A Study of Galatians 3:19-25
Wherefore then [serveth] the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; [and it was] ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not [a mediator] of one, but God is one. [Is] the law then against 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. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. [Gal 3:19-25]
Please read the following passages regarding the law and the purpose that it served.
Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: [Rom 5:20]
Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. [Rom 7:13]
But we know that the law [is] good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. [1Ti 1:8-11]
Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin. [Rom 3:19-20]
So why the law? It was God’s great object lesson. The sons of Israel were a great object lesson for all of the sons of Adam. None of the sons of Adam are righteous. Each one of us stands before the bar of justice condemned. Those who make their boast in keeping the law only find themselves condemned by it. God gave the law to bring us in guilty before it. There is no transgression of the law without a law, and with the law, mankind has shown itself nothing but guilty. If you have not laid down your own “righteousness” and think that something good in you will commend you to God please hear the scripture. The law was given so that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight. The prosecution rests and the defense has been silenced. There is nothing more to say. A guilty plea is all that is left, but glory to God that He has provided righteousness freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Glory to God that He has given this grace to us because our Lord Jesus died for our sins! Why has God so graciously provided for our righteousness, and redemption, and our sanctification? It can only be answered that it is because His grace is matchless and rich, and because He is the God of all grace, and because He is love. Please, unsaved friend, believe on your only hope today! All that you are hanging on to will only condemn you, but Jesus Christ will save you!
But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
By God’s sweeping pronouncement that we are all under sin, He has opened the door to all of us to be saved by His grace. He graciously saves all who believe. There is no merit in our faith. The merit is in Christ and only in Christ. All that is required from you, and from anyone, is that you take God at His word and believe what He says about the matter. He is faithful, and the Lord Jesus Christ has been faithful in providing the way that the gentiles would be blessed according to the promise given to Abraham, that in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed, [Gen 12:3] to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all. [Rom 4:16]
But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
This brings us to the time before faith came. It is before the faith of Jesus Christ came, or before He fulfilled His faithfulness in becoming sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2Cor 5:21). But now that His work has been accomplished, that “IT IS FINISHED” (Jhn 19:30), that the handwriting of ordinances that was against us and contrary to us has been taken out of the way and nailed to His cross (Col 2:14), the faith has been revealed. We are not under law but under grace (Rom 6:14). Rejoice in it Christian! It is not cheap grace, for it cost the Son of God His life’s blood, but it is given to you FREELY! If you have not taken God at His word and believed on His only Son and His death for your sins, what are you waiting for? This is the best offer that ever will be given to you!
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
As the law teaches us our need by its great object lesson: there is none righteous. (Rom 3:10) So when we learn our lesson and come to Christ in faith, we graduate. The “schoolmaster” did his job! He showed and even proved to us our need, and now that we have graduated to justification by faith of Jesus Christ, the schoolmaster is no longer in a place of authority.
In the next few studies, we will learn our new place, not under the schoolmaster, but in the privileged position of sons (whether men or women) because we are in Christ!