10 August, 2019

Galatians 3:24—“the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ”

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. 3:23-25).

“The Mosaic Law administration’s purpose was to lead Israel unto Christ so that they might be justified by faith and be saved.  This purpose was revealed in (1) God’s driving them away from themselves by the Moral Law, (2) in God’s giving Israel sacrifices and symbolic rites in the Ceremonial Law in order to draw them to faith in the Messiah, and (3) in God’s giving them a foretaste of the equity of the Messianic Kingdom in the Civil Law.  This has historically been defined as ‘the first use of the Law’ in Reformed theology.  This purpose of the Law, of course, was not fulfilled by all of Israel, as not all of Israel was brought to Christ, contrary to God’s revealed purpose.”


Prof. David J. Engelsma

The law is a pedagogue to lead some sinners to Christ.  It does not itself justify or save.  Only Christ in the gospel saves.  This is the message of the book of Galatians.  Law does not save; only the gospel saves, since only the gospel reveals Jesus Christ.  It is the overwhelming message of Galatians to distinguish law and gospel and to insist that the law—commandments—does not justify and save.  
Galatians 3 teaches that the promise of salvation was given to Abraham’s seed and that this seed is Christ so that the promise of salvation comes only to those who are in Christ by faith, not to all physical children of Abraham.  The promise with its salvation is particular, not universal.  
And what determines who are included in Christ?  See Romans 9. (DJE, 08/08/2019)



More to come! (DV)

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