Galatians 3 verses 19 to 29 - Is this not one of the most difficult sections of Paul's letter to these believers in Jesus Christ, but we can get the feeling of what he is saying as well as the meaning.
None of us could keep all the Commandments in the Old Testament, and that is why many wonder, "What do we do with the Old Testament?"
It has been described as like a flex with two strands twined together - one linked to Abraham and one linked to Moses, and these two strands of promise and the law, lead us right through to Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord. It is as if Jesus unwinds the flex. He took the law and paid the penalty of the curse. The strand of keeping the law to be right in the eyes of God no longer applies.
At the Cross Jesus took the curse of the law that we might receive the blessing, which He and He alone can give.
Jesus completed the law - and fulfilled it - and finished it as far as righteousness goes.
God made the promise to one descendent of Abraham - to Jesus - and He inherited the promise, and took the blessing given to Abraham and passed it on.
Since the beginning of this letter Paul has been arguing against the kind of religion that is based upon struggle and striving and trying.
Now - you could get the idea that when God gave the 10 Commandments He made an awful blunder. Why then the law? God knew what He was doing. He always does.
The law has an important place - in as much as it shuts you in - but the promise lets you out! You can't be let out until you have been shut in. You have to be convicted of sin, and that is the work of God the Holy Spirit. You have to repent before you can be forgiven.
God had to show people that they were wrong before He could offer them the way of being put right.
In Acts Chapter 2, the people ask, “What must we do?”
Verse 22 - These people saw they had been shut in - cornered - and they wanted out and Peter explained in a few phrases how that might happen!
Repent - be baptised – receive the Holy Spirit.
As far as righteousness goes the law was temporary, but the promise given to Abraham keeps on going.
The law does put a brake on sin, but people know they are going to break the law again. It is like the traffic laws in as much as it shows up wrong doing for what it is.
And, the Commandments are God's Will for the ordering, the well-being and welfare of society - not its salvation.
Until I have the laws I have no idea how bad I am, or how lawless I am. God never gave the 10 Commandments to show people how good they were, but to show people how bad they were, and they are there to stop you from becoming worse.
We are living in a day when society is rapidly moving away from the Ten Commandments - and it is becoming worse - debt - binge drinking - and the increase in sexual diseases have all been on the news recently.
The Commandments have a limited application.
They can prevent you from becoming worse, regarding your behaviour, but they cannot make you righteous in the eyes of God.
For righteousness in the sight of God we need a Saviour – a Redeemer – a Rescuer – and God the Father provided Jesus Christ Who fulfilled that role completely – and He still does.
“Gracious Heavenly Father, we thank You for our Saviour, our Redeemer – the One who rescues us, and so loves us – we worship You.” Amen
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