Pastor John Miller continues our study through the book of Galatians with a message through Galatians 3:15-22 titled, “The logic Of The Law.”
3:15 Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Though it is only a man's covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it. 16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, "And to seeds," as of many, but as of one, "And to your Seed," who is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. 18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise. 19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one. 21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
In the book of Galatians, Paul is defending very vigorously the doctrine of justification by faith. That was really the battle cry of the Reformation period. The church had lost the reality that we’re saved by grace, through faith alone, in Christ. The book of Galatians is the argument we’re saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. The reason Paul wrote this epistle is because false teachers had entered into the churches of Galatia, modern day Turkey, where Paul had founded them on his first and second missionary journeys. They were actually promulgating a doctrine of what we call Judaizing—they were telling the Gentile Christians that you can’t be saved unless you become Jews, and the way to become Jews was by the rite of circumcision, keeping ceremonial law, worshiping on certain holy days, sabbath days, following dietary laws, and basically becoming Jewish in order to be saved. Paul realized that the gospel itself was at stake. As I read the book of Galatians, I’m amazed that Paul just relentlessly hammered away from every conceivable angle—logical arguments, biblical arguments, and practical arguments—that we’re saved by grace, through faith, in Christ alone.
The book of Galatians starts with two autobiographical sections, Paul defends his apostleship, and it moves to Galatians 3 and 4 which deal with doctrinal, that’s what we’re in tonight, and then it moves to Galatians 5 and 6 which are practical—how the liberated person, by the grace of God, lives out in their daily lives the subject of justification by faith.
I want to start, backing up one verse, in Galatians 3:14; our text is verses 15-22. It’s really hard to break up the text because there’s really just one theme and one continuous argument as we move through, so it could be just part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, almost every week. Paul is defending the doctrine of justification by faith. In Galatians 3:14, Paul closed our session last week with, “That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Verse 14 was the conclusion of his argument. He was arguing from Scripture that Abraham was justified by faith, by believing.
God made a promise, and we’re going to get that in our text tonight, a covenant that He would bless Abraham—that through his seed all the nations of the world would be blessed. Abraham basically responded to God’s promise—catch that, God’s promise, one of the key words of our passage tonight—and that promise was believed by Abraham and God imputed, again, another important biblical term, reckoned or imputed, given to Abraham, righteousness. That set the tone for how God saves sinners—by believing God’s promise. All the way through the Bible, whether it be Old Testament or New Testament, everyone is saved the same—by believing the promise that God gives to us of Jesus Christ who died on the cross and rose again from the dead.
Abraham had the seed, the promised seed. Abraham believed God, and God imputed it to him for righteousness. Now, we’re going to be talking tonight about God’s promise to Abraham in these first few verses, verses 15-18. I want you to understand that God made a covenant with Abraham before He made the Mosaic covenant of the law. The law came after the covenant with Abraham, and the law coming after that covenant could not disavow or destroy the covenant that He made with Abraham. God first made the covenant with Abraham. It was a divine covenant, an eternal covenant, and, more importantly, was an unconditional covenant.
Let’s get into it. In Galatians 3:15-18, we see that the law cannot change the promise or the covenant that God made to Abraham. As I read in verse 14, there was the promise of the Spirit, which is basically another way of saying salvation. When you’re born again, God gives you the Holy Spirit. When Abraham believed God, he received salvation, and they received the Holy Spirit. Now, he goes (verse 15) to talk about that promise is not changed by the Mosaic covenant that came later, the giving of the law. Let’s read it. He says, “Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth,” or frustrates, “or addeth thereto,” or can’t change that covenant. “Now to Abraham,” he comes back to Abraham, “and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. 18 For if the inheritance,” another way to describe receiving the Spirit or receiving the blessing or receiving the promise of justification, “be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.” The contrast is between the law and the promise that God gave to Abraham.
When Paul says, verse 15, “…I speak after the manner of men,” don’t misinterpret what he’s saying there. He’s not saying that this is not given by inspiration. He’s not saying that what I’m saying isn’t the inspiration of the Holy Spirit or God’s will or plan for me to write. What he’s saying is, “I want to use a natural illustration.” He’s saying, “I want to use the example,” or the illustration, “of a human covenant. I want to go out to the secular world for a minute,” that’s basically what he’s saying. He’s saying, “I speak after the manner of men.” He starts with an illustration in verse 15 about a covenant.
We kind of know what that’s like. When you buy a house, you fill out a contract; and sign on the dotted line, when you buy a car. We make agreements, and we have marriage contracts. We have different agreements that we make, so we know what human covenants are—two people sign and agree that you do this, that, and the other; and that you’ll have this benefit. That contract can’t be disannulled by one person; it can’t be changed by another person. It’s set. We write our names on it, and we sign it. He’s basically using a human illustration of an earthly covenant or agreement, “Though it be a man’s covenant,” that’s the explanation. He’s using a human illustration.
Paul continues in verse 15, “…Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.” Basically, he’s simply saying, “I want to use an illustration,” and the illustration is that of a covenant. Two people agree to certain terms and sign their names at the bottom of the covenant, and maybe they shake hands and so forth. One or the other can’t change the covenant. You can’t add to it or take away from it. You can’t break the covenant. You make an agreement to pay somebody a certain amount of money to buy a house, you can’t say, “Well, you know, I changed my mind. I decided I’m not going to do that.” No, you’re obligated. You made a commitment. You signed your name. You’ve covenanted with them. It’s a binding agreement, but it takes two individuals to make that covenant. What Paul is going to do is contrast God’s covenant with Abraham from this earthly concept of a covenant and what it is.
A human covenant is conditional. It’s not based on just a promise that I’m going to do something for you unconditionally. It’s conditional—you do this, I do this, we agree. We have the terms, we sign our names, and it’s legally binding. So, “…no man disannulleth,” the word literally means to frustrate or break the covenant thereof, and you can’t “addeth thereto,” either.
Paul begins to explain what he’s doing with this illustration in verse 16, “Now to Abraham and his seed,” the first reference to the “seed” there in verse 16 is a reference in context with Genesis 12:3 and Genesis 22:18 where God made the covenant with Abraham about the promised seed. In context there, it started with Isaac, who was the promised seed, not Ishmael but Isaac; and then Isaac would represent, of course, Jacob; and Jacob, the twelve tribes, and the twelve tribes would imply the whole nation of Israel. “…were the promises made,” I gave you the references, Genesis 12:3 and Genesis 22:18. These are important references. Twice God came to Abraham and either gave the covenant at first and then renewed the covenant by reminding him of it. Years later, his son Jacob was given the same promises that God made with Abraham his forefather.
Verse 16, “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not,” what Paul is doing is going back to these promises God made with Abraham. He’s looking at these promises word for word, phrase by phrase, and notes that in the promise God actually said, “And to thy seed,” singular, not to thy seeds, plural. The promise isn’t that if you are just an Israelite or that you’re a Jew or that you are physically a descendant of Abraham, the promise is in a specific individual. Paul makes it clear that that individual, that seed, singular, is a reference to Jesus Christ. God was promising Abraham that he would have the Messiah. If you open your Bible to Matthew 1, you find out that Jesus was the son of Abraham. His genealogy goes right back to Abraham. He’s basically saying that that promise, that seed, is a reference to Christ. He’s talking about the Abrahamic covenant.
Just a real quick footnote, this is a support for what is known as the doctrine of verbal inspiration. You say, “Well, what do you mean by verbal inspiration?” What we mean by that is God inspired the human authors to write Scripture. He spoke His Word to them, and the best definition I have of inspiration is: God superintended the human authors so that the very words they wrote were the words of God. The inspiration goes right down to the words, not just the broad concepts, but the actual words. In the original manuscripts, the very words were the very words of God. Now, we have very accurate manuscripts and very accurate translations, so we can be sure that every word is the Word of God. This is why when you study the Bible, you pay attention to words—not just to words, but to the grammar in these words. Is it in the singular? Is it in the plural? What tense is it? Is it a command? Is it an imperative? When you hear me preach and teach, sometimes you’ll hear me refer to grammatical issues in the text.
I believe in what is called the verbal plenary inspiration of Scripture. What that means is that the very words, and plenary means all of them, are given by inspiration of God. We can’t just pull words out of the text and make it say what we want. God actually was very specific when He used the singular and not the plural, “…And to thy seed,” He said, “shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.”
Notice in verse 16, “And to thy seed, which is Christ.” He’s showing the difference between an earthly covenant, verse 15, which took two parties to agree on with stipulations and terms and was conditional and sometimes temporary, but the covenant God made with Abraham was made by One—it was made by God. Basically, in the promise, it’s God saying, “I will, I will, I will,” and in the Mosaic covenant of the law, He’s saying, “thou shalt, thou shalt, thou shalt.” There’s a real contrast that Paul is developing here. The challenge is it’s a combination of biblical and logical arguments. If I were living at that time and needed a good lawyer, I’d want Paul the Apostle to be my lawyer. He’s one smart dude. His arguments are just masterful. He says, “This promise that God made to Abraham in Genesis 12 and Genesis 22, is actually a reference to the coming of Christ the Messiah.”
Notice verse 17. What Paul says here is that the law cannot disavow the covenant or the promise made to Abraham. In verse 15, he uses a human conditional covenant to illustrate. In verse 16, he uses a divine unconditional covenant that God promised to Abraham. In verse 17, he says that the law, “…cannot disannul,” the covenant God made by promise to Abraham. Verse 17, “And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed,” this was a later confirmation probably made not to Abraham but to Jacob, so Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Genesis 46, I say that based on the four hundred thirty year time that he gives there in verse 17, “before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after,” and here’s the point, “cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.”
Paul is basically saying it, very simply, like this, “God first made a divine, unconditional promise covenant to Abraham. Abraham didn’t have to do anything but believe it—I’ll take it, I’ll accept it, I’ll receive it, I believe it. He didn’t have to perform. He didn’t have to do good works. He didn’t have to get circumcised. He didn’t have to keep the law of Moses. He just basically said, “Yes, Lord. I believe You’re going to give the promised Messiah through my lineage,” and God made that promise to him. Then, He reminded Abraham of that promise, and He reminded Isaac and Jacob of that promise.
The law did not come on Sinai to Moses for four hundred and thirty years later, so he’s saying that that law, even though it came afterwards, could not disannul the covenant that was made first by God with Abraham. Now, that may sound basic and elementary and unnecessary, but it’s important for you to get that time frame and understand that because the false teachers in Galatia were basically saying that what God promised Abraham isn’t the issue, but what God gave us through Moses is; and if you want to get to heaven, you really want to be saved, then you have to become a Jew. Today, the application would be follow rites, laws, rituals, do good deeds in order to be saved. You have to get to heaven by your own good works, and that would actually disannul the promise that God made to Abraham, that he believed and God reckoned righteousness unto him.
Notice in verse 18, Paul says, “Salvation, thus,” this is his conclusion to this first section, “is either by the law or by promise.” It’s either by the grace of God or by legalistic works and good deeds. He says, “For if the inheritance be of the law,” he’s speaking hypothetically. He’s basically saying, “Well, let me wrap this up for you. If, and it isn’t, but just for argument’s sake say, you could be saved by keeping the law, then it is no more promise. The promise is disannulled. It’s bunk. It’s no good any longer.” Verse 18, “…but God gave it to Abraham by promise.” He’s concluding his own argument, wrapping it up. He’s saying, “If you could get to heaven by keeping the law, then the promise made to Abraham is null and void. The truth is, “God gave,” it’s a very important word in verse 18, “it to Abraham by promise.” The word “gave” there we get our word grace. It’s tied in with the Greek word charis or grace, so the focus is that God gave it to Abraham. What does Abraham have to do? Just receive it by faith, just as God gives us salvation by His grace.
In Ephesians 2, Paul says, “For by grace,” charis, “are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves,” when he says that, he’s referring to the salvation—it’s not of yourself. “…it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” God gave to Abraham that covenant promise that believing he was righteous before a holy God, so it was given to him as a gift. The law says, “Behave;” grace and promise says, “Believe.” We see that we cannot, verse 18, mix the two. It is so common for people to want to say, “Oh, yes, Jesus died for us. Oh, yes, you’re saved by grace. Oh, yes, you should believe in and trust Jesus, but you gotta go to church,” or “You gotta be baptized,” or “You gotta refrain from eating certain foods,” and “You have to worship on a special day,” and “You have to do these rites and rituals. If you don’t do your part, then you won’t be saved.” They say, “You’re saved by grace and works,” but those two don’t go together. One of them disannuls the other. It’s either a promise or the law. God saves no one by the law. The next section in this passage is to show the purpose of the law was never to give you salvation. It was to show you your need of a Savior and to drive you to Jesus, who would save you from your sins.
In verses 15-18, Paul is basically arguing the law cannot change the promise that God made to Abraham. We’re saved by grace through faith by believing God’s promise.
In verses 19-22, which is the second main section, we have the law’s purpose or the law’s design. It basically involves two rhetorical questions that Paul asks to argue his point. The first is in verse 19. He says, “Wherefore then serveth the law?” or if I were to paraphrase that: Why the law? What’s the purpose of the law? It’s possible that Paul was hearing this argument from the Judaizers or from the Galatians who were bewitched by the false teachers. They would basically say, “Well, what about the law? God gave us the law? It was given by God on Mount Sinai,” and you and I hear the same kind of arguments when you run into legalistic people that say, “Well, you have to be good enough to go to heaven,” and “You have to keep the law,” and you say, “Well, you’re saved by grace.” “Well, then, why did God give us the law? Why do we have the Ten Commandments? Why do we have the law of God? Why did God give us these moral codes in the Old Testament if He doesn’t want us to keep them?” That’s the first question in verse 19.
The second question is in verse 21, “Is the law then against the promises of God?” or is the law contrary to the promise of God? Paul is going to answer these two questions. Let’s read them, verses 19-22. He says, “Wherefore then serveth the law?” There’s the first question. He says, “It was added because of transgressions,” he’s actually telling us why God gave the law. He added it. It wasn’t there. It was added by God, “…because of transgressions,” which means a willful, deliberate disobedience to God’s commands, “till the seed should come,” which is a reference to Christ, “to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator,” that is, the Mosaic covenant was given to Moses by God through angels, and then Moses gave it to the people of Israel.
A “mediator” is not a mediator of one, but God is one. In the Mosaic covenant, there were several involved in this contract or agreement. In the Abraham covenant, it was all God’s doing—God’s promise—all we do is believe, just the same as the cross of Jesus Christ is all the work of God. Salvation is of the Lord. Faith is not a work, but we believe and we receive by faith.
Paul continues, “Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid,” basically, the second question, verse 21, Paul actually uses that common response of saying, “Don’t even think about it.” If you were to paraphrase that, he’s basically saying, “Don’t even go there,” to basically say, “Well, the law is no good,” or “The law is evil,” or “It’s contrary to the promises of God.” “God forbid,” perish the thought, and then he rationalizes, “for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily,” or truly, “righteousness should have been by the law. 22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” He first talks about the law cannot change the promise made to Abraham, now he’s talking about the law and its purpose or its design.
Notice that first question in verse 19, “Wherefore then serveth the law?” Let me give you five real quick reasons before I go back and unpack these verses why God gave the law. First, He gave the law to define sin. Write down Romans 7. Paul said, “I had not known covetousness until I saw the law that said, ‘Thou shalt not covet.’” When Paul read that, he said, “I was dead. It wiped me out. I thought I had the first nine—I’m good. I’m in the groove—and then. “Oh no, ’Thou shalt not covet.’” Then, when Jesus came on the scene, He actually said that if you look lustfully, you commit adultery; that if you have anger in your heart, you’ve committed murder. You think, Oh, wow wow wow wow wow! I’m busted! God, not only looks at our outward actions, but the law is given to govern our inward attitude. Purpose number one is it defines what sin is. Sin existed, but it wasn’t defined.
Secondly, it stirs up sin, Romans 7:9. Paul said, “…but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.” Write down also Romans 4:15. If you’ve ever read John Bunyan’s, Pilgrim’s Progress, there’s a scene where Christian goes to the interpreter’s house. In the house, the floor is all covered with dirt and dust. This woman comes in with a broom and starts vigorously sweeping the house. All the dust just goes in the air and doesn’t go anywhere. She stops and goes out, and the dust just settles back down. The interpreter made it clear to Christian that that is a representation of the law, that the law comes in and just stirs up sin. It convicts us of our sin. It’s kind of like, “I was doing fine until I found out there’s these Ten Commandments. I was doing really good until someone read the Bible to me and it said, ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery—I thought, Uh-oh— and thou shalt not steal, or thou shalt not lie.” Now, it doesn’t clean the room, it just stirs up the sin. Another person came in the same room, in Bunyan’s allegory, and sprinkled water on the dust and someone came and swept it right out the door. That represented the grace of God and the Spirit of God and salvation by grace. All the law can do—it cannot cleanse you—is stir it up. It’s likened in the Bible, and I think it’s a great analogy, to a mirror.
When you look in a mirror, mirrors don’t lie. If you look in the mirror and you’re not looking too good, don’t blame the mirror. If you’re looking in the mirror, and you’ve got all these issues, a new mirror is not going to help. Maybe you can dim the lights a little bit, you know, and get by. Mirrors are brutally honest, aren’t they? Don’t you hate those mirrors where the lights are real bright around them? It’s like, “Whoa! Have mercy!” That’s what the law does. It simply shows you your sin. It doesn’t have the power to cleanse you or to wash you or forgive you. It defines what sin is, and it stirs up your sin.
Thirdly, it shows sin to be against God, and we see that in the term “transgressions” in our text. A transgression is a willful, deliberate disobedience of a divine law—God’s law. We know the law. We break the law. We step over the line or the breaking of God’s law. What it also indicates in this point here is that sin is thus against God. You need to understand that sin primarily starts with the breaking of God’s law, so David in Psalm 51 said, “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight.” If you’re going to get right with God, you need to realize, “I’ve sinned against God, not just against this person but against God.” You need to have what’s called a godly sorrow, which produces repentance. True repentance is brought about by seeing, “I’ve sinned. I’ve transgressed. I’ve broken God’s law. I’m under condemnation, and it drives me, thus, to Him for salvation.” It shows us that we’ve sinned against God.
Fourthly, I would say it proves that man can’t save himself. Peek at verse 21 of our text. It says there, “…for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily,” truly, “righteousness should have been given by the law,” which it can’t happen. There’s no law given that can bring life. Man cannot save himself because we’re sinners; and because of the weakness of our flesh, we cannot keep God’s law.
Fifthly, in verse 24, and we’ll get it next Wednesday night, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” We’ll look at that next Wednesday night, but a schoolmaster wasn’t a teacher in front of the classroom. He was kind of like a juvenile bodyguard that would actually go with the child to school, get him safely there, and then bring the child home from school. He would actually watch over the child, make sure the child got to the school, and then came home from the school. The law was given to bring us to Christ. Once we then have been brought to Christ, we don’t need the schoolmaster any longer.
Go back to our text in verse 19. Paul says, “Wherefore then serveth the law?” and then gives us in this verse, “It was added because of transgressions,” so it was given so that we would know that we had sinned against God, that we had broken His commandments, but “It was added,” so it was something in addition to the promised covenant made with Abraham, and it was temporary, “till,” those two phrases, “added,” and then “till,” “the seed should come to whom the promise was made.” God made a promise to Abraham of a promised seed that was fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. He would be that promised One. He says, “…and it was ordained by angels,” that’s the promise made to Moses, “in the hand of a mediator.”
One of the most difficult verses in this entire text is verse 20. It’s a challenge. It’s got about two hundred different ways to interpret, and I mean literally. Most Bible scholars admit that it’s a challenge. I think the bigger picture is, and basically what Paul is trying to say, that in the Mosaic covenant, you had God gave the law to angels, which actually the Bible declares that it was mediated by the hands of angels. When Moses met with God on Mount Sinai, I figured that there were thousands of angels on that mountain that day giving the law to Moses, and then Moses gave the law to the people of Israel. There were at least, God and Moses, two involved. You can include the angels. But when God made, verse 20, a covenant with Abraham, it was all God’s doing. There was no mediator because God is One, so it was just God making a promise.
In verses 21-22, Paul shows that the law does not violate the promises of God. It’s not contrary to God’s promises. It has a purpose in serving God’s promise. “Is the law then against the promises of God?” Will the law disannul? The word “against” in verse 21 is the same word translated in verse 15, “disannul.” Will it disannul the promises of God? “God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.” The law is not against God’s promises, and the law cannot bring new life. Someone put it in a poem, “‘Do this and live!’ the law commands, but gives me neither feet nor hands. A better word the gospel brings, it bids me fly and gives me wings.” I love that. The law says, “Do, and you shall live,” the gospel says, “Done, all you have to do is believe, and you will have eternal life.” You need to understand that the law is good, holy, and righteous for its purpose, not to give life, but to show you you’re a sinner, you’re condemned, you need a Savior.
Check out Romans 8:3 where Paul says, “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son,” and here’s the cross, we always come back to the cross in Galatians, “in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.” Jesus became a Man, went to the cross, and died to pay our penalty to the law.
Paul closes in verse 22, “But the scripture hath concluded,” and what he does is show that the law prepares men to receive the promise, “all under sin,” everyone is under sin, which is a reference to Psalm 14:3. I want you to write that down and look it up when you go home tonight. Do you know the Scripture in Romans 3 where Paul says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” and “There is none righteous, no, not one,” that’s from the Psalm. Paul goes back and quotes the Psalm using the Scripture to show that all of us are sinners and that we’re under sin. It means that we are shut up, locked tight. We are shut up together. That word “concluded” means to lock up or to shut up all men under sin. Why does he do that through the law? Verse 22, “…that,” here’s the reason, “the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given,” that’s the same word, charisma, “to them that believe.” Do you see the last word in verse 22? Believe—not behave, believe.
You say, “Well, Pastor John, are you giving us license tonight to go misbehave?” No, no, no, no, no. “Praise God, I’m free at last!” No, because under the new covenant God writes His laws on your hearts, and God gives you the Holy Spirit. There’s a reason He’s called the Holy Spirit because when He comes into your heart, He produces holiness, which is likeness to God. Many of God’s attributes are communicable to His people so we can become like God and we can be holy—separate from sin. We’ll never be perfectly holy as long as we’re in these bodies. We won’t be perfectly holy until we go to heaven and get our new bodies, but we should be growing in righteousness and true holiness as a result of being justified by faith, being indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and being empowered to live out His law in our daily lives.
Paul concludes in verse 22 that every one of us have sinned, so we’re all shut out of heaven by the law. We can’t get into heaven by keeping the law, so it has to be by faith, verse 22, in God’s promise, which the object is of Jesus Christ, that He might give, by His grace, to those that, again, believe or trust in Him by faith. Again, it’s all about the cross. When Jesus died on the cross, He said, “It is finished,” right? “It’s done. It’s completed.” What is there for us to do? Try to finish it a little bit more? Super finish it? “I appreciate it, Lord, but You left a few things undone.” If the law is having its proper affect on our lives, we realize, “I’m lost. I’m guilty. I’m condemned.” All the law can do is bring a curse and condemnation, so I must run to Jesus. I must flee to Jesus. I must get to the cross as quickly as I can and say, “God, be merciful to me a sinner.”
Aren’t you glad that God made salvation so that anyone could believe and be saved? It’s not about behaving or performing, it’s about trusting. It’s about believing in Jesus—to believe, to have faith, to trust, to receive Him—they’re all synonymous terms of what it means to believe in Christ. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
As we eat the bread tonight, as we drink the cup, let us be thankful, and let us be grateful. Let our hearts rejoice that we could not save ourselves. We’re not good enough. We can’t keep the law, we are condemned by the law; but the law has done its work in showing us our sin and condemnation causing us to flee to Jesus Christ to be saved by grace, through faith. Amen? Let’s pray.
Pastor John Miller continues our study through the book of Galatians with a message through Galatians 3:15-22 titled, “The logic Of The Law.”