Galatians Part 23 - Galatians 3:19-25

1. In these verses, Paul sets forth that: A. the Law was added after the promises were made to Abraham and Christ. B. the Law was added because of transgressions. Sin remained at large after the promises. C. the Law was good but could not give life and righteousness. D. Scripture always taught that all men are under sin. E. the Law was a temporary covenant. F. the Law was a schoolmaster directing us to Christ. G. the Law Covenant was not directly spoken to the people by God. H. a particular faith came which terminated the Law’s order and its curse. I. believers may be sure that they have been given the promised inheritance.

2. The Law was not contrary to the promises. It was holy, good and spiritual. ROM 7:12-14. A. It was weak through the flesh: sinful man could not live up to it. ROM 8:3. B. Therefore the promises could not come via the Law Covenant but by a New Covenant. HEB 8:6-8. C. Per v. 17, the addition of the Law could not disannul the promise previously confirmed by God in Christ.

3. The Law Covenant could not give life and righteousness because: A. life and righteousness was already a promise in Christ. B. it was impossible for sinners to fully keep. GAL 3:10. C. its sacrifices never took away sin. HEB 10:4, 11. D. it condemned men; it was the ministration of death, not life. 2CO 3:7-9. E. it could only restrain man’s nature, not change it. ISA 64:6; JOB 14:4 c/w GAL 6:15. F. men had life and righteousness before the Law and evidenced it by a token that was superior to circumcision, law-works and Levi (the priesthood). The token was faith. HEB 11:4-8; ROM 4:3.

4. Scripture concluded all under sin. v. 22. A. This includes Jew and Gentile. ROM 3:9, 19, 23. B. Therefore one’s Jewishness or circumcision availed nothing. ROM 2:25-29. C. Israel’s chief advantage was God’s revelation (ROM 3:1-2) which included the Law but also declared righteousness prior to the Law and also the futility of law-works to justify one and change one’s Adamic nature. ROM 3:20-21.

5. The Law Covenant was meant to be a temporary parenthesis to the promises. A. The season of the Law Covenant ended with John the Baptist. LUK 16:16. B. The Law Covenant was to extend to Christ, no further. GAL 3:19, 23-25. C. The Levitical service was a temporary figure imposed until Christ. HEB 9:6-10. D. The Law was a schoolmaster until Graduation Day, the New Covenant in Christ. vs. 24-25. (1) Christ fulfilled all the Law’s righteousness, sacrifices, types and shadows. MAT 5:17; ROM 10:4; HEB 10:1. (2) When a new era of the church begins, the temporary props up to that point are discontinued. a. When Israel entered Canaan, the wonders, signs and manna ceased. JOS 5:12; ACT 7:36. b. N.T. miraculous gifts, prophesies and knowledge passed away with the apostles and the completion of Scripture. 1CO 13:8-10. c. Faith and hope cease at Christ’s return. 1CO 13:13; HEB 11:1; ROM 8:24. (3) The schoolmaster only prepares one for life. So the Law only prepared the church for liberated life in Christ: its work is done. ROM 8:2. E. The New Covenant abolished the Law/Old Covenant. EPH 2:15; COL 2:14. F. By contrast, the N.T. order of church endures forever. EPH 3:21. G. How strange that some Christians consider the church to be a temporary “Plan B” parenthesis which will be set aside in favor of a restored Levitical system of service.

6. The Law “...was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator” (v. 19). A. The Law Covenant at Sinai came via angels. c/w ACT 7:53; HEB 2:2. (1) By contrast, the New Covenant/Testament came by God’s Son Who owns angels. HEB 1:1-5. (2) This argues for the superiority of the New Covenant/Testament. HEB 2:1-4. B. At Sinai, God did not speak directly to the people but through a mediator, Moses. DEU 4:12 c/w JOH 1:14. (1) The people did not see God’s glory then but they did so in Christ. (2) God in Christ directly spoke to the people, even as God had directly spoken to Abraham. JOH 8:36; GEN 12:1-3. (3) It was Moses, a sinful man and mediator, that indirectly spoke the blood testament of earthly things to the people. HEB 9:19-23. (4) But it was God Himself in Christ the Sinless Mediator that directly spoke the blood testament of heavenly things to the people. MAT 26:28.

7. “Now a mediator is not a mediator of one,...” (v. 20). A. mediator: One who intervenes between two parties, esp. for the purpose of effecting reconciliation; one who brings about (a peace, a treaty) or settles (a dispute) by mediation. B. The concept of mediator demands that there be more than one party. C. “...but God is one” (v. 20), the other One involved. 1 (man) + 1 (God) = 2. D. Moses was a sinner mediating between sinners and God, a weak arrangement suitable only for a weak covenant composed of weak and beggarly elements. HEB 7:18; GAL 4:9. (1) The Law was weak through the flesh. ROM 8:3. (2) The flesh has no good thing indwelling it. ROM 7:18. (3) The Levitical priests died out of weakness, being sinners themselves. HEB 7:23. E. Christ is the sinless God-Man, the perfect Mediator between man and God: He perfectly represents both parties, a perfect arrangement suitable for a better covenant. HEB 8:6. (1) Christ’s mediation required His death for redemption of the heirs of promise (HEB 9:15), whereas Moses’s mediation could redeem none by life or death. a. Moses died and remains dead, typical of Levitical priests. PSA 99:6. b. Christ died and rose to eternal life as a superior priest. HEB 7:24-25. (2) Christ’s mediation was not a one-time event of history to settle a legal dispute between God and man. He IS yet the mediator with the dedication blood at hand. HEB 12:24. (3) “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1TI 2:5). The inclusion of any other mediator of the New Testament is hereby forbidden. 8. “But before faith came... But after that faith is come...” (vs. 23-25). A. It is not that there was no faith required or exercised before Christ. HEB 11. B. Christ is the first and only man of perfect faith. (1) Everything He did pleased God by faith. JOH 8:29 c/w HEB 11:6. (2) When He had completed all His active faith, He surrendered Himself by faith to God’s promise of temporary hell and death. ACT 2:27. (3) This was faith like Abraham’s (HEB 11:17-19) but free of Abraham’s errors. C. The death and resurrection of Christ transformed the church from “do and live” righteousness to “done for me, I live” righteousness (ROM 3:21-22). This is true faith.

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