Galatians 3:15-29 — Promise Versus Law

Paul now moves his argument for faith in the direction of contrasting the promise made to Abraham by God to the deliverance of the Law to Moses—430 years later! Given that God had already ratified a covenant with Abraham, of which God would be the sole supervisor and curator of the covenant, then no one could come along and nullify such an agreement, much less could God’s law. Faith or trust in God, in other words, would always be the lone means by which any human being would ever find justification with God.

Of course, there would always be the naysayers, much like the legalistic Judaizers that confronted Paul, as well as more contemporary versions of such characters in the form of Mormonism, Seventh-day Adventism, Islam and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, to name just a few, but their contention is also dealt with by Paul. The Law only served as as “tutor” or child guardian to lead one to Christ, nothing else. “For if law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law” (3:21). Since that was never the purpose of the law, then legalistic arguments to the contrary were nothing more than the preaching of a false gospel.

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