For the Jews the law had been the only way to salvation, until the mystery was revealed by Paul, that salvation was offered to the Gentiles also, through faith in Jesus Christ.
In his letter to the Galatian church the apostle Paul addresses God’s covenant with the Gentiles, that the same inheritance awaits them as that of the people of Israel who had been relying on the law for their salvation.
“15 Brothers, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case.” (Galatians 3:15)
Here Paul compares the covenant between God and His children with a contract made between two men, an agreement which cannot be altered without both men’s consent.
“16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ.” (Galatians 3:16)
Paul clarifies the promise made to Abraham as one inclusive of anyone who has faith in Jesus Christ, the ultimate seed of Abraham.
The apostle then attests the fact the law did not supersede previous covenants made with believers before the law, that instead the law was a covenant between God and the people of Israel. The new covenant involves all men, all nations.
“17 What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18 For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.” (Galatians 3:17-18)
430 years is the length of time the Jews spent in exile before God delivered the law though Moses, the chosen mediator. Clearly those who believed in God before the law cannot be held accountable for the law, therefore Paul clarifies the fact salvation is associated with a promise rather than the law.
“19 What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator. 20 A mediator, however, does not represent just one party; but God is one.” (Galatians 3:19-20)
The purpose of the law was to help the Jews understand sin so they could seek redemption, until the coming of the Lord. The mediator, Moses was to bring together God and the people of Israel through the law, which never gave life yet was used by God as a gateway to eternal life.
“21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law.” (Galatians 3:21)
Since righteousness comes from the seed of Abraham as a part of a promise made by God, all those with faith in Jesus Christ will inherit the great gift that is eternal life in spite of sin.
“22 But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.” (Galatians 3:22)
Paul describes the law as a prison by which Jews sought salvation until the coming of Jesus Christ at which time deliverance would come by faith.
Until Christ was revealed the law acted as a guide by which the people of Israel could grow in the Lord according to His ways. Once Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross the law was no longer needed.
“23 Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24 So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.” (Galatians 3:23-24)
Justified by faith, sanctified by works, all believers are set free of the law. The Galatians needed to be reminded of this but more importantly so do all believers. Salvations comes through faith in Jesus Christ, not of deeds, nor by abiding to the law of Moses.
“25 Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.
Once we were condemned by the law, since we are all sinners, now that Jesus has come and delivered us from sin, by faith and through the promise made to Abraham all believers are offered the inheritance once only available to the people of Israel. Let us pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre