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July 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made . . . “—Galatians 3:19 (NKJV)
By now, if you’ve been working your way through the Book of Galatians, you’re starting to see a trend. On the positive side of the fence we have faith, and on what appears to be the negative side there’s the law. In fact, as we go through Galatians we can start to wonder why God even allowed the law to be a thing since it seems so bad!
But we need to understand something here, something that Paul makes a point to highlight here: The law, in and of itself, was not evil. It actually had a purpose in God’s plan. What was evil was the way in which man misunderstood and misapplied the law’s purpose in God’s plan. We don’t want to be guilty of making that same mistake, which is why it’s important for us at this point to examine the extent of God’s intention for the law.
For starters, Paul points out that the law was given because of transgression. That is, it was a way of revealing mankind’s sin. It showed our flaws and faults; it gave us the “bad news” that we would need in order to appreciate and accept the “good news” that would eventually come by way of Christ.
Now think that through carefully for a moment. If there wasn’t something that exposed us as sinners, something that showed us how different we are from God, something that indicated our dire need for forgiveness and salvation, what would our response to Jesus be?
By way of illustration, suppose an advancement in medicine was made, and there was a new cure for a disease that had been unbeatable. You see the commercial for it and tune it out as something for someone else. But what if you were diagnosed with that very disease at your next check up? You’d value the cure because you now have the need!
The law reveals our need. It shows us how we’ve transgressed God’s holiness and need a prescription in order to live. Christ is the prescription. He is the cure for our sinfully diseased soul. If the law serves to show us that, then it’s very good and very valuable, indeed! That was the law’s purpose in God’s plan. It was not meant to be an end-all but the means to an end—to faith in Christ.
DIG: Why is it wrong to view the law as essentially evil?
DISCOVER: What is the law’s relationship to Christ?
DO: Think of ways you can employ the law in sharing the message of Christ with others.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.