Galatians Chapter 3
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23 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. - Galatians 3:23


Verse 22 spoke of how scripture has shut up everyone under sin. Verse 23 here now shows you who the warden is. The law. Our sin is the evidence of our crime, and as verse 22 states, all the world is guilty (Rom. 3:19, 3:23). All of us are justly kept in custody under the law, none of us are wrongly imprisoned. "being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed." Good news is coming! In the Amplified version this part is translated as "kept in custody in preperation for the faith that was destined to be revealed (unveiled, disclosed),"


24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. - Galatians 3:24


"Therefore the law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ" Paul, having previously in Galatians throughly debunked the notion of the law having the capability to impart life is now sharing insight and elaborating on his earlier point on the actual purpose of the law. Paul is pointing out the law is not useless, as some may think he has been saying in regards to the gospel of grace in his message. Paul is accurately putting the law in it's place, showing it's devine purpose. "to lead us to Christ".


Question: How does the law lead people to Christ?


In Paul's analogy we are imprisoned by the law (v.23), shut up under sin by scripture (v.22). What does someone want who's imprisoned? Freedom.


It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. - Galatians 5:1


What does someone want who's sick? To be healed.


But when Jesus heard this, He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. - Matthew 9:12


The law makes it evident that we need someone to set us free. Similarly our sin makes it evident that we need someone to heal us. If we did not receive the law, how would we know we were in custody, sick with sin?


20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. - Romans 3:20


Without the law we would not know we were sick with sin. Who seeks for a healer if they think they are well? Who seeks for freedom if they don't know they are imprisoned? Not knowing you have a sickness doesn't change the fact that you are sick. Not knowing you're imprisoned doesn't change the fact that you're in custody.


For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; - Romans 2:12


Even if you don't have knowledge of your sin, the fact remains, it is there. Ignorance is not bliss. We would not think that cancer has no way to kill us if we are unaware of it do we? On the contrary, we press for people to become aware of cancer as soon as possible. Why? So they can seek treatment.


Similarly the law is letting us know we are sick before it's too late to seek Treatment, that is, to seek Christ. The law is like a mammogram exposing our cancer. Does the mammogram heal us of our cancer? Not at all, it just exposes it, and hopefully, provokes us to seek treatment.


The law does the same for us in regards to sin. It points out we have a problem (Rom. 7:7) but it in itself offers no solution. It simply lets us know we're in need of one, and hopefully, provokes us to seek It.


So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. - Romans 7:12


The law is good. It's always had good intent, to expose our illness, that is sin.


Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful. - Romans 7:13


The purpose of the law remains even today. For those who have yet to find Christ this intention of the law still remains, to lead them to Christ. Consider how John the baptist approached the Pharisees and Sadducees when they approached him for baptism:


5 Then Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea and all the district around the Jordan; 6 and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins.

7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; 9 and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. 10 The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. - Matthew 3:5-10


Question: Why did John start by calling them "You brood of vipers"?


If you consider his discourse after that, John wasn't being mean, John was actually being loving. John was making sure the Pharisees knew they were in sin. Others in Jerusalem and Judea were coming and confessing their sins already (v. 5-6), these knew they were sinners. John boldly addresses the Pharisees in a way that might humble them and uproot their faulty idea of claiming Abraham as their father and he stresses to them their need to "bear fruit in keeping with repentance". The sheer act of repentance is humbling as it's admitting you have done wrong, that you are a sinner.


Like the law leads us, who have been humbled by it's exposing of our sin, to Christ (the narrow gate [Matt. 7:14]), I believe John wanted to make sure The Pharisees and Saducees didn't proudly strut their leneage down the wide path to hell (Matt. 7:13).


This is why it is important for us as Christians to not disregard the law for it's true intent. People today are still sick, people today are still ignorant of their walking the wide path to hell. While the law is powerless to heal, it reveals man's illnesses as a means of provoking them to seek the One who can actually heal them! (Rom. 8:3-4). Christ Himself has made known that we are not to disregard the law (Matt. 5:17-19).


25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. - Galatians 3:25-26


This is where the tutor stops. The law which ushered us to Christ stops once it gets you there. We spoke earlier of the riches we have in Christ, fulfillment of the law is included in those riches (see also Matt. 5:17, Heb. 10:16-17).


3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. - Romans 8:3-4


31 Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law. - Romans 3:31


"we establish the Law." Establish here means "achieve permanent acceptance for". Christ fulfilled the law (Matt. 5:17) and we are no longer under a tutor because we are no longer sick. The law was only an effective tutor when it was able to point out our imprisonment, now that we are set free we are no longer being tutored.


The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set free those who are oppressed,
- Luke 4:18


32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” - John 8:32


We are no longer inadequate. We are no longer short of the mark. We are no longer ill. We are no longer slaves.


27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. - Galatians 3:27


"have". Not will, not need to, not maybe, not some of you. All in Christ are clothed with Christ. Clothed with Christ is not merely taking a sinner and letting his sin remain underneath the garment of Christ but rather our old garment was worn by Jesus on the cross and in Him we have a new garment, unblemished, unstained, blameless (Rom. 8:4, Eph. 1:4, 5:27).


22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— - Colossians 1:22


We aren't putting a clean garment on top of a stained garment. We are made clean at our core. We are a new creature altogether!


17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. - 2 Corinthians 5:17


Remember, Christ was not clothed with our sin on the cross. He actually became sin.


21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Cor. 5:21


Christ became sin, our sin. Why? As 2 Cor. 5:21 states, "so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." Our sin was imputed to Christ and His righteousness was imputed to us. Christ had to take ownership of our sins for God to justly poor out His wrath on Him. God was actually wrathful towards Christ at this moment (Matt. 27:46). Likewise, as we read above in Romans 3:31 we who are in Christ, by Christ's doing have been imputed with His righteousness.


28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. - Galatians 3:28


Being in Christ is HUGE and trumps all other distinctions among men. Ethnic, social, or sexual distinctions carry no merit nor penalty. As Paul states it very plainly, in the next verse.


29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise. - Galatians 3:29

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