Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Law was our Schoolmaster

Moses with the Law

"Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith" (Gal. 3:24, KJV). It is interesting to discover that God instituted the Levitical law for the purpose of walking us to the feet of Christ. It was never intended to be an eternal covenant by the simple fact that it was a conditional (if-then) covenant. Any covenant with conditions can be nullified by the person who breaks the terms of the covenant. And as Bible history clearly shows, the Jewish nation broke the terms of the covenant repeatedly.
But, as Paul explains in Galatians, the law was given for the purpose of showing wayward people their need for something better than the law. It was God's plan to provide grace as a gift at just the right time through his one and only Son and his finished work on the cross. In fact, I love Paul's words in Colossians concerning the written code of the law when he wrote in Colossians 2:14 (NIV) having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. We see then, that the law served the same function as the household slave who walks the children to school and deposits them into the presence of the teacher. That is what a "pedagogos" was; not the teacher himself, but merely, the slave who took the children to the place where they could be taught. The Levitical law walked us wayward children into the presence of Christ by revealing to us that we were ill equipped to keep the law in and of ourselves. In fact, attempting to keep the law was never anything other than an effort in futility. But until we tried and failed, we didn't realize how badly we were in need of imparted grace and imputed righteousness that only Christ could give. Praise God! The schoolmaster has finished its work. It has walked us up to the foot of the cross and deposited us at the feet of the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world. The master has come, so the slave is no longer needed. Now we are justified by faith apart from the law!


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