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Explain the meaning of- “the law was our school master”

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Speaker 1

Havard is asking, Explain the law. I’m struggling with this. Explain the law was our schoolmaster. All right. Thank you. Havard. And I think I know what you’re referring to, which is referred to Galatians, where Paul compares the law to a schoolmaster. So we’ll be talking about that. And this is a big question because it relates to an issue that is very important. It has lots of implications as to what do we have to do to be saved. So many people trip up on this because they don’t know then what does this mean with regard to the law? What law are we talking about? And even within churches, I know they have split, divided over this text in the book of Galatians. So it’s big. There’s a lot to go here, but we’re just going to nick the surface. And first and foremost, as we always say, it’s important to read the Bible in its full context, so that might include the historical context, what’s going on. So here, this is a letter to the Church of Galatia, and we can gather from it that they’re having struggles. Some people have moved in. It looks like Jews or people who are Jews who claim to be Christians, and they’re saying, hey, guys, you need to be circumcised and you need to be keeping the feast days and you need to be doing this and this and that.

Speaker 1

And Paul’s just like, ripping his hair out. He’s like, what? You guys, I told you, you don’t have to worry about these things. And then he just writes this whole letter to make his case about that. So this is the setting for the whole book or letter. And each chapter actually keeps hammering on these principles. And we see this contrasting between the law and faith, law and faith, law and spirit, law and faith. And Paul is trying to hit home here that under the Christian faith, we have something better than what the Hebrews had back at Mount Sinai. So the question is, what was that? And so in in Galatians Two, paul starts hinting at his main thesis here, galatians two, verse 16. He says, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law. For by works of the law, no flesh shall be justified. He’s like, It’s all about faith, guys. It’s all about faith. If you’re going to depending on law, that’s not going to get you anywhere.

Speaker 1

So why the law? Why did God even give law in the first place? Well, Paul talked about that. He’s not saying, like, wait, God made a mistake and now I’m going to roll it back. Why did he do it? So glacians 319. So we’re going down a little bit further. In the book, Paul writes, what purpose does the law serve. It was added because of transgressions till the seed should come to whom the promise was made. And it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. So basically Paul saying, we got sin, we got transgressions, things going on and what is God going to do until the seed, the Promised One, the Messiah, shows up? I mean, between Moses and Jesus was, I think, 1500 years, about a long period of time. And so what’s God going to do during that time when people are sinning and don’t know what’s right and wrong, what true love looks like? The law was appointed at this time. And Paul then goes on to say in verse 23, so this is the same section, Galatians three. And now we’re going to verse 23. But before faith came and he sort of talked about faith that comes from knowing Jesus and the Holy Spirit being involved because we were kept under guard by the law, kept for faith which would come afterwards or which would afterward be revealed.

Speaker 1

Verse 24 says, therefore the law was our tutor and other translations will say our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor where we are all sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ. And I have like the perfect illustration of this, even in real life, because I was speaking with a young man who’s struggling with life. He’s so worried about is he making these the unpardonable sins and is God angry at him? And on and on. And at the end of the day, it came down to he wasn’t listening to his parents and he’s hanging out with people he shouldn’t. I said, look, your job isn’t about getting caught up in giant moral dilemmas. You just need to obey your parents. Right now. They’re the ones that make those judgment calls. You just listen to them while you’re still young. You don’t know what you’re doing. And your parents will be growing you, teaching you and building character so that by the time you become an adult, you will know right from wrong what you should do.

Speaker 1

And this is the same thing with God. God gave the Israelites the law. They had just come out of Egypt, a place known for its wickedness and sin. And God’s now giving them these beautiful laws so that they can know how to treat one another, how to have a good and happy, secure, effective society, one where there’s no disease and where everybody is treating each other again with love. So the law was there to help them, to show them how to do it. It wasn’t going to save them, but it’s showing them what it looks like when they’re saved. And then when Jesus comes, he fulfills this law to its fullest. Now that we can look back and see what Jesus did, we know how far god’s law can go with God’s law of love. As we proceed. Then in reading Galatians in chapter four, he starts talking a lot about bondage and how the law really was like bondage. Just like when you’re a kid and you don’t have a lot of rights, eventually that will get taken away when you come of age. And that’s what Christianity is supposed to be. We’re coming of age.

Speaker 1

We don’t need to always have all these rules and restrictions because now we know how to act out of principle within us and we’re going to have the Holy Spirit working in us. And then we come to Galatians five. Beautiful. These are powerful verses right here that really to me capture the heart of the New Testament Gospel and what it really means to have faith, to really love God and to be his true follower. The Glaciers Five, verse 13, it says, for you brethren, have been called to liberty like Jesus is, that he will set us free and we’ll be free indeed. So we’ve been called to liberty only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh. So Paul’s saying, well, you’re free, you’re not sort of under the law, but don’t use this as an opportunity now to actually go break the law and become a wicked person. He says, only do not use that liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. The obligation of love is still there. The law has been elevated to the point now that we should love as we’ve seen Christ love.

Speaker 1

Verse 14, it says, for all the laws fulfilled in one word, even this, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another, I say, then walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh for the Spirit, lusts against the Spirit, and the spirit against the flesh. And these are contrary to one another, so that you do not know the things you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. If you’re led by the Spirit, you’re not under the law. Again, what does this mean? So it means now that the Holy Spirit again is like it could work in us, change our desires, make us desire to do what is good. And Holy Spirit, if we’re listening to it, will tell us, yeah, don’t do this or do that. And when we keep listening, we are now following God’s law of love. We’re treating people well, we’re fulfilling Christ becoming in us and growing the mind of Christ within us. This is what it’s all about. And so really Glacier is about more your relationship with the laws.

Speaker 1

And not that the law is gone, but our relationship with it has changed. And this is especially, especially shown in, in Galatians five, verse 22 to 23. We know this part very well, at least the first part. It says, but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. So these are the fruit that the Spirit bears within us. We’re called to love, and it’s a Holy Spirit that causes us to love. And then Paul ends verse 23 with this against such there is no law. So when the Holy Spirit is bearing fruit within us and causing us to love, we are now fulfilling and going we’re either doing or going beyond what the law wants us to do. So we’re above the law in a good way. And now we’re not under the law. Now we’re not worried about the oppression of the law and the punishment of the law and all these things because we’re going beyond it or doing what it wants, what its spirit is intending us to do. This is how Christians could be liberated. It’s not that the law is gone and we could do whatever we want it’s no, we now have the gift of the Holy Spirit working within our hearts to cause us to do what God wants us to do, which is love.

Speaker 1

And so this is even better. It’s even better than what the Israelites had where they had to try to keep the law on their own and they’ve always failed miserably. Now we have more help. The New Testament is the New Covenant is so much better than the old one, and this is why we should get excited about it. So I hope that gives you clarity as to what the school master is. Tina, do you have any other thoughts here?

Speaker 2

I really appreciated what you shared and I like how you called it God’s beautiful lot because there really is something beautiful and not something to be feared and dreaded. I think that’s a really big misconception, but I really appreciate how you shared. It just that God’s law is just basically to teach us this is what somebody looks like when they are already saved and living by the Holy Spirit. And I was just trying to find I think it’s first John or excuse me, James 125, when it says he who looks into the perfect law and continues therein not being a forgetful hearer, this man is blessed indeed. And so basically I know that they’ve there’s. I think there’s another verse that says a little more clearly that basically the law is like a mirror and it’s just you’re looking at to see, do I have errors? Are there things there that don’t match up in my life with what God’s perfect will is? And it’s not there to it can’t save us. Keeping the law can’t save us. But also the law, it isn’t Jesus, it’s not who we have a relationship. It’s just something that just basically it’s like a mirror that shows us, hey, things are right or things are not quite right.

Speaker 2

And it just helps us lead us back to the person who can save us, which alone is Jesus.

Speaker 1

So anyways, yeah, as Paul says, I wouldn’t even know what it means to COVID if it wasn’t for the Commandment. Thou shalt not covet.

Speaker 2

Exactly. And I think that’s so true. Like, I mean, as a little child, I remember reading the Ten Commandments and being, like, falling in love with God’s Ten Commandments. I loved reading his commandments. And it was so funny because later on I read the Book of Psalms, verse 19. It says, the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. And so it was God’s law that drew me to God, because I saw his good character in that law. I was like, God doesn’t like lies. God doesn’t like stealing. God doesn’t like murders. God wants us to be faithful, all these beautiful things that show us God’s character. And so, yeah, God’s law is beautiful, and it should draw us to Him and make us desire to know Him and love Him. And then the fruit of the Spirit, just like you’re saying is the fruit of it, is naturally just to be in harmony with those laws.

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In His Service
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