Do we not wonder sometimes just what God is doing? We are in this challenging Chapter 3 of the letter to the disciples of Jesus Christ in Galatia. Paul is seeking to answer this difficult question – what is the place and purpose of the Commandments and where does the mercy and grace and love and forgiveness of God fit into all this?
It became a real problem then and for many it remains a serious issue today. False teachers had thrown and shaken these disciples of Jesus – and wherever they appear they continue to throw and shake and even undermine. There are many false teachers around.
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.
Here we see something of the wisdom of God, and how He knows what He is doing. He always does. Now know that. Believe that.
As disciples of Jesus Christ we should be maturing to that stage where we do not need the laws of God regarding behaviour. Some people may always need them because they just refuse to mature.
How many leaders wish they had paid attention to what God has said regarding adultery?
How many businessmen wish they had listened to, "You shall not STEAL"?
Rules are needed for order. In school, walk on this side of the corridor - behave at the table - and then one day that child is trusted with the keys of the home.
Rules shut you in - limiting you – but the key - the promise - the Gospel - releases you. That is why the law is inferior to the promise.
Which do you want – the law or the promise?
The law was given through angels, and through Moses, to the people, but the promise was given directly to Abraham from God - and to us directly, through Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
I have found that I keep having to explain who Jesus Christ is and what Jesus Christ does – because so few are aware of His Sovereign role – let people see and know who Jesus Christ is!
Verse 20 - If you use a middle man - a mediator - you have a go-between - you are almost negotiating - and in one sense that was true - "If you do - I will bless".
The promise is not like that. It is a Covenant. God speaks. It is one sided - no negotiating - and no 'ifs'. In these ‘modern times’ many people are unwilling to appreciate that truth – they want to negotiate with God and perhaps even argue with God. In one sense that can be all right provided we understand that we will not ‘win’ that ‘argument’.
I cannot bargain with God. I cannot negotiate with God. I cannot bargain with my Creator and Saviour and Redeemer and Lord.
The law is there to deal with our wrong doing.
If passing laws could improve people, we would be perfect, when you consider what Holyrood, Westminster and Europe have passed over these past few years.
You cannot make an honest man by Act of Parliament.
The trouble is due to SIN.
Paul is saying here - no law can make you good - but the promise of God can transform a man - rescue a man - empower a man – and equip a man.
People know when they are on the run from the law - or from GOD. The truth shall set you FREE. I am the truth. This whole and clear and simple teaching is to be found John Chapter 8 and verse 31 - spoken to those who were becoming believers - "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free."
Paul wanted these believers to keep their freedom and not to lose it.
“Loving Father, we thank You and praise You for all that You give us - we thank You for Jesus – a Saviour who loves us and leads us and guides us.” Amen.
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