Today you should read: Galatians 3:15-29
This chapter is one that is considered controversial to some. Paul has already mentioned a couple times in Galatians how some of the Jewish Christians had twisted the Gospel to force the Gentiles to adhere to Jewish laws. In yesterday’s reading, Paul pointed this out directly to them, asking them in verses 2 and 3, “Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish?” He made the distinction that the law doesn’t save, but faith does. Now he has to answer the question, “Why does the law exist?”
This is a question that a lot of new Christians or non-Christians don’t know the answer to: “Why do the Old Testament laws exist and do we need to follow them?” The Mosaic Law (or the Law of Moses) had a couple different purposes. One of those purposes was to show the people that they weren’t perfect and have a sin nature. We talked all about this whenever we went through Leviticus not that long ago. The other purpose was as a guardian (v. 24). Their works couldn’t save them, only faith could. Paul referenced Genesis 15:6 earlier in this chapter; that Abraham’s belief was counted to him as righteousness, and that same faith counted for the people. Likewise as Abraham’s faith led to obedience, their faith should also lead to obedience. This doesn’t not go the other way around. Their obedience does not lead to faith, but instead obedience should be a byproduct of faith. Paul goes into more depth about the law in Romans 7 and 8. He finishes this chapter with this cry that we are no longer bound by the law. No longer Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, no male or female, but one in Christ Jesus!
By: Jacob Kerr — West Campus Pastoral Ministry Apprentice: Worship & Students
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