The Schoolmaster

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.   – Galatians 3:24

This is an eye-opening statement made by the Apostle Paul.  The Law was sent not only to teach us, but in a very real way, to humble and break us so that it might then bring us to Christ.  In Romans 3:20, we learn that nobody has ever been saved by doing what the Law commands, which makes sense, as current obedience does not negate nor pay for the past disobedience (sin) of which we are all guilty.  So following the law of God cannot atone for sin, instead the Law stirs up a recognition of and conviction over sin.  It reveals the sin of every man, and stops every mouth so that, “all the world may become guilty before God” (Romans 3:19).  It is when the Law forces us to face the hopelessness of our situation that we become aware of what Jesus Christ is truly offering us through His work on the Cross.

Without the mirror of the law showing us our sin, the atonement offered by Christ would be somewhat puzzling and offensive to us, as we would believe that we could attain (or had already attained) a right standing in the heavenly court.  The law, combined with knowledge of the justice of God, leaves no room whatsoever for thoughts of works-righteousness.  It makes the need for the Cross to come into sharp focus, it humbles us, and it makes us tremble in wonder at the love of a God who condescend to save creatures as guilty and filthy as we now know we are!

Do the preachers and teachers you allow to speak to you keep the law in the proper place?  Do they use it to illuminate the need for a savior?  Do they preach the good news of a free salvation alongside the law?  Does every sermon end with “go do” which is law, or do they end with “marvel at what was done” which is gospel?  Think about it…

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