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Law or No Law?

Paul's Letter to the Galatians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  50:16
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Paul spent the first two chapters defending the gospel of grace, by using his own experience and calling. These had been challenged.
Paul shows that God rather then man has called him and given him his message.
In Galatians 3 Paul begins his theological discussion around the atonement. He explains that there is no other way for anyone, whether Jew or Gentile, to be righteous before God except through personal faith in Jesus Christ.

The Law Was Temporary

Scripture reveals God's three basic provisions for dealing with people over the centuries - the patriarchal, Mosaic, and Christian dispensations. Recall God's promise (Genesis 12:3; Galatians 3:16).
Genesis 12:3 NIV
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
Galatians 3:16 NIV
The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ.
The Gospel preceded the law in the promise. Galatians 3:19 explains why the law was added.
Galatians 3:19 NIV
Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator.
The law helped expose sin. So we could see it clearly.
The law was inadequate, but not wrong. It was not complete because it lacked the shedding of blood in a perfect sacrifice (Hebrews 9:22).
Hebrews 9:22 NIV
In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
No one but Christ could keep the law perfectly (Galatians 3:10-13, 21).
Galatians 3:10–13 NIV
For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”
Galatians 3:21 NIV
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.
To the Galatians, influenced by Judaizers, Paul made it clear that the law was like a school bus, designed to take us to the proper place (Galatians 3:24).
Galatians 3:24 NIV
So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith.

The Law Was Fulfilled

Jesus regarded the law as provisional (Matthew 5:17,18).
Matthew 5:17 NIV
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
Matthew 5:18 NIV
For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
It was good (Romans 7:12,13)., so good that only Jesus could keep it perfectly (Galatians 3:10). In Him it was fulfilled, filled full, completed.
Romans 7:12 NIV
So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.
Romans 7:13 NIV
Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.
Galatians 3:10 NIV
For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”
Some try to limit the "law" to the Ten Commandments, but this is not correct. Where in them is there a reference to offering turtle doves and pigeons? (see Luke 2:22). The Ten Commandments contain the moral law, but they re not the moral law. Moral law as such cannot be done away with, and has not been.
In the NT, the Ten Commandments (except the Sabbath) are repeated, reinforced, and reissued. We live by their moral principles, but not by the Ten Commandments as such.

The Gospel is Our Permanent Authority

Jesus has all authority for all time (Matthew 28:18).
Matthew 28:18 NIV
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Paul reminded his readers how they were saved by pointing to their experience. (Galatians 3:1-5).
Galatians 3:1–5 NIV
You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?
We need no law but love for Christ; no rule of faith and practice but His New testament; no requirements in the church but those He laid down, God offers salvation, not on the basis of our keeping the law perfectly, but because of what Jesus did for us (Galatians 3:26-29).
Galatians 3:26–29 NIV
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Big Idea: Jesus is our authority, there is no other way for anyone, whether Jew or Gentile, to be righteous before God except through personal faith in Jesus Christ.

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