Studies in Galatians – Wayne Barber/Part 15
By: Dr. Wayne Barber
|By: Dr. Wayne Barber; ©2004|
|I want to make sure you’re listening to me—everything, everything that God does, He does with a purpose, even when He gave the law. We have seen some pretty negative things about the law, but I want you to know it had a purpose to it.|
The Purpose of the Law
Will you turn with me to Galatians 3:19-25. We are going to be looking at a very complex truth today. And pray for me, because it’s not an easy one, but yet in a way it is if we could just grasp it. Everything that God does He does with a purpose. Can I say that again? Everything—now let me say it again. I want to make sure you’re listening to me—everything, everything that God does, He does with a purpose, even when He gave the law. We have seen some pretty negative things about the law, but I want you to know it had a purpose to it.
We have seen that the superior covenant was the covenant of grace which was given to Abraham 430 years before there was ever the law, before Israel ever became a nation. In the Abrahamic covenant, it says in Galatians 3, “The gospel was preached to Abraham,” faith alone in Christ alone. Christ was the seed that was promised Abraham. He was promised a land, Israel; he was promised a nation, Israel; and through that nation would come the seed; that seed would be the Lord Jesus Christ, proving that the gospel is older than the law or Israel. This has been God’s plan from day 1, that Jew and Gentile could become a part of His family by faith alone in Christ alone.
But now Paul has beautifully expressed how all that we have promised in Christ—remember it was promised to Abraham, and to his seed—all that God has promised has been given to Christ, and all of that is ours by faith, not by having to measure up to a set of rules which the covenant of law demands. He said in 3:17, “What I am saying is this, the law, which came 430 years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God” —you can’t bring another covenant over here and change the terms of this covenant which was the pre-eminent one, and that is the covenant of grace. The word “ratified” means made valid—“so as to nullify the promise.”
Verse 18: “For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise.” It is based on performance rather than a promise. “But God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise.” And that promise is obtained by faith alone in Christ alone. The law that could not provide the Holy Spirit, Galatians 3:1-5, that could not bring salvation, verses 6-9, that could not alter or change the covenant of grace in verses 15-18, that can only bring a curse in verses 10-12, still has its purpose.
Now, by using the term “law,” Paul is speaking of the Ten Commandments, as you will see later on. All of the ceremonial law was simply dove-tailing out of that, because they were found to be sinners because they could not obey that law; therefore, there were certain regulations they had to live by. But that law he’s talking about is the Ten Commandments. Paul wants to show us now why the law was ever given in the first place.
Now, I want you to be real honest with me this morning. How many of you have been asking, “Well, if the law is so negative, why did God ever give it?” Does that bother anybody? You just want to raise your hand and say, you know, “I’ve had that question.” Paul says in Romans 7:12, “So then the law is holy and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.” Now, wait a minute. We’ve just seen all the negatives. How can it be holy and righteous and good? What Paul says is it’s not bad, so it must have a purpose to it somehow. Well, then, help me out, will you? Why did God give the law?
Well, let’s just see what Paul says. And, by the way, I didn’t write this. So let’s just explain what it says. There are three things that we are going to find beginning in verse 19 about the purpose of the law. First of all is this, the law was only a temporary addition. Isn’t it funny how Paul anticipates this question. He anticipates them asking it. He says, “Why the law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made.”
Now, Paul, really what he does here gives us sort of a brief, very brief history of the plan of redemption and the plan of salvation. It’s just awesome when you begin to realize how God had thought this through so beautifully before it ever came about. Note the phrase, “it was added because of transgressions.” The context will show that the law was given to Israel as a nation. And Paul shows us why.
The Abrahamic Covenant was given to Abraham, and it included everyone. This was just strictly given to Israel. The Israelites were a nation totally conceived by God. Now, I have been over this so many times, but sometimes we have folks that haven’t been with us before. What do I mean by that? God created this nation. He took Abraham, who was not a Jew; there was no such thing as a Jew; there was not any such thing as an Israelite. He took him out of Chaldea, which was a Babylonian area, Iraq. He took a man like that, He brought him out and He said, “Abraham, I’m going to promise you something. I’m going to promise you a nation, promise you a land, and I am going to promise you a seed.” And that seed, of course, is going to be the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s when the gospel was preached to Abraham. Abraham had Isaac at 100 years old. And that was his child by faith. His wife was 90. And then Isaac had two sons, Esau and Jacob. But the covenant was ratified to the younger one, which was Jacob. Jacob’s name was changed to Israel. Israel had 12 sons. There’s your nation, the 12 tribes of Israel. They were totally God’s idea and they were there for a purpose, through which the Lord Jesus one day would find His humanity, born of a virgin, the virgin Mary, there in Bethlehem.
But, you see, the reason the law was given was that Israel, they were still sinners like everybody else. The problem was, they didn’t see themselves this way. Therefore the law was given, he says, “because of transgressions.” God was displeased with their behavior. The word “added,” of course, means just that. It was an addendum to the Abrahamic Covenant and for only a short period of time. The law was not designed to cancel any promise that was given to Abraham. The law was not designed to give another way of salvation, as some of them believed, through circumcision, the law of Moses. It was simply a temporary addition to this everlasting covenant. It was added because of transgressions.
Now, the law does three things when it comes to sin, and you begin to see the genius of God in giving the law. First of all, the law reveals sin. Romans 3:20, “Because by the works of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin.” You know, I have used this illustration before I think. But in Montana they didn’t have a speed limit for years. But you know what happened? They had so many wrecks, and actually the state troopers, when they would go out would take their cameras because it was bad. If you had a wreck up there, it was bad. So now they have speed limits. Well, all of a sudden here is somebody driving 90 miles an hour passing a sign that said you could only go 70. Guess what? It was just revealed that he had broken the law. Before there was no law; now there is one, and so the law exposes sin.
But secondly, the law provokes sin. The law provokes sin. You put somebody under a law and sin comes alive; either rebelliously or religiously it will come alive. You always know where I am going to be. Romans 7:8 says, “But sin,” now watch this, “taking opportunity through the commandment” [the word “opportunity” there means it builds a base camp and that is where it operates from] “produced in me coveting of every kind. For apart from the law sin is dead.” Sin has no life to it unless you put a law over it. My flesh is going to respond to law.
That’s why God had to give the law. We have to see ourselves as sinners before we will ever turn to the message of grace in the covenant of grace and faith in Christ in Jesus. It’s amazing how many people are trying to get saved and never see themselves as lost. We’ve got to see ourselves as sinners. That’s why God gave the law. And if you don’t think that the law doesn’t somehow initiate sin in your life, it will go one of two ways. You may be the proud goody-two-shoes that you do everything right and everybody else is wrong, but you—that’s just the religious sin mentioned in Romans 2:1-3:20. Or you might be on my side of it, the rebellious side of it, Romans 1:18-32. But one way or another you are going to go that route. You put a law over somebody, the flesh comes alive. It provokes sin.
But the third thing the law does, it multiplies or causes sin to increase. In Romans 5:20, “The law came in so that the transgression would increase. But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” God was always covering the bases, but that’s what it was for, for everyone to see themselves as a sinner. Now, it was given to Israel, but it was written on the Gentiles hearts in Romans 1:18-32. So there’s something about all of us that convicts us that we are sinners.
So Paul says, “Why the law then? It was added because of transgressions.” The word “transgression” is the word parabasis. It means to cross the line. Israel had crossed the line so many times. But until the law was given, there was no legal offense. You see, the law now causes it to be legal and there is a legal offense. Now they were guilty. There’s no need for a Savior unless there’s an awareness of sin and its consequences. Paul now shows us a tremendous difference between how the two covenants were made, the covenant of grace with Abraham and then 430 years later this temporary covenant of law. He wants us to see the differences here, not so much in the two covenants, but in how they were made. And he brings that out very clearly.
He says in verse 19, “Why the law then? It was added because of transgressions.” Now watch. Here is the first covenant, the second covenant; the latter is the one he talks about first: “having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator.” Now, what is he talking about here? “It was ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator.” Let’s take the first phrase first: “having been ordained through angels.” Now that word “ordained” is a key word. It is “diatasso.” It’s a technical term for carrying out laws. It means that something is going to be taken up. Everything is arranged so that it is set in order.
Somehow the angels were involved there. The angels evidently were representatives of God when this covenant was made, when the law was given. And they made sure, or how that works, I don’t know. Yes, God was there when He spoke to Moses. Yes, but that was to Moses. Remember, the covenant was not with Moses, the covenant was with Israel; and Moses represented Israel. He was sort of like an arbitrator. We will see in a minute he is a mediator. But somehow, and we just do not know exactly how. I was studying some of the best people I know just to find out what they said about it. You know what they said about it? “We just don’t know.” So we are going to say this morning that we just don’t know. I’m not going to step out there and say I know when the people I respect haven’t got a clue. But somehow the angels were involved in making certain that the law was carried out, the arrangements, whatever. The word “itself ordained by angels,” has that idea.
But Paul’s point is that the covenant of grace, God spoke Himself to Abraham. It was just the two of them as friend to friend as you’ll see in a minute. But here it was much more indirect when the second covenant was given. Very direct in the first covenant, but very indirect. We’ve already seen the agency of the angels, they were involved.
But not only that, then Paul adds the phrase, “through a mediator.” Now this mediator was Moses. This proves the fact he is talking about the Ten Commandments when he was up on that mountain. The angels were there representing God; Moses was there representing the people. It was kind of like a court case that was going on here. The word for “mediator” is the word mesites. It means an arbitrator that stands between two opposing parties. So a lawyer, in a way; he stands there to arbitrate between two opposing parties. Israel was guilty of sin, period. Moses stood between God and them. He was their mediator.
Now, again, Paul is dramatizing here the difference in the way the two covenants were made to show you the authenticity of that everlasting covenant made with Abraham. When God gave the law the setting was awesome. Now, you have to think about this. If you ever saw the movie “Ten Commandments” somehow that bleeds into our thinking, doesn’t it? Well, in a way that’s not bad, except we don’t have Charlton Heston saying anything here. But the setting was awesome. Remember that? It was very forbidding, very foreboding. You think about when it was given. Burning bush, the burning bush and you see fire and you see thunder and lightning and God’s hand writing the commandments on the stone. Man, this was a very awesome setting.
But there was a lot of fear involved in this. It says in Exodus that God warned the people through Moses. He said not to come close to the mountain. You tell those people, says Exodus 19:24, “Then the Lord said to them, ‘Go down and come up again, you and Aaron with you, but do not let the priests and the people break through to come to the Lord or He will break forth upon them.’” You just sense that when that covenant of the law was made, oh, there was fear and darkness and fire and it was so awesome and so forbidding.
But God gave the covenant of grace to Abraham as friend to friend. Isn’t that a beautiful analogy here of what Paul is doing? I didn’t write this. He’s putting the difference of how they were made and he’s trying to say something here. The promise of salvation by faith alone in Christ alone was so precious to God that He gave it to Abraham in person, no mediator, no angels, no warnings, no fire and smoke in the sense of the way the second covenant was inaugurated.
This is the way God wants a person to come to Him. And if you don’t know the Lord Jesus Christ, understand His heart. This is how He wants you to come. He wants you to come not out of fear, but out of faith and the promise that will be yours in the Lord, Jesus Christ.
It was so beautiful when He ministered to Abraham. It was so fearful when the covenant of law was given. So he says in verse 19 again, “Why the law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator.” But then Paul shows the temporary nature of the law, that it was only given for a short time. It was there for a purpose. It was good. It was righteous. It was not bad, but it had a purpose to it.
And what was that time period? He says, “Until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made.” This temporary covenant was only good until Christ came, you see. What do I mean by that? Well, we know the seed is Christ because of verse 16 of chapter 3. We have already studied that. So when Christ came, why did He put aside the law? I will tell you how; because He came as a man, God-man, born of a virgin. And what did He do? He fulfilled everything that the law required, and it was no longer valid after He fulfilled it.
Oh, I can’t wait until we get to chapter 5, because that’s going to make a question come up in your mind, well, did God throw away the Ten Commandments? Hold on to that question till we get to chapter 5. It’s going to light your fire when you get over there. The standard that God requires is still there, but I want to tell you how it is manifested and I will just go ahead and preempt it. The Lord Jesus produces the love that the law requires. He says the law is fulfilled in one word, love. And verse 22 says the fruit of the Spirit is that love. He says, “Until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made.”
Now the contrast, the covenants, He does it one more time. He’s trying to show the temporary nature of the law, the temporary addendum through the covenant of grace with Abraham. And he says in verse 20, “Now a mediator is not for one party only.” You have to have two opposing parties in order to have a mediator, an arbitrator. But then he say, “Whereas God is only one.” Now Paul shows when there is more than one party, buddy, you have got a different kind of situation. You have two2 opposing parties. But God is only one. And what is he doing here? There were two parties at the covenant of law, as we have already said. There was Israel and God and they were opposed, in the sinfulness of Israel and they were worshiping the golden calf while God was giving the Ten Commandments to Moses on the mountain. He was a mediator that had to stand between the two; he is a type of Christ in the Old Testament, two opposing parties.
But then he said, “God is only one.” Now, what’s he talking about? When the first covenant was made—and how many times have we been over this—but back in Genesis 15 God cut a covenant with Abraham. And what did He do? He took the animals and cut them in half and that was the sacrifice to show the great penalty that would have to be paid to have covenant. And He entered in between those two halves and He entered in by Himself. God did. And the description of God there is the same description of Jesus in the book of Revelation. Everything from His feet all the way up. And He walked between, the path.
Well, where was Abraham, because aren’t two parties involved in a covenant? He put Abraham to sleep and God—one—no opposing anything, God came in and built the everlasting covenant; not on the faithfulness of men, but on the faithfulness of God and that is the difference in the two covenants right there. It took two, and he had to have a mediator between the other two. There were two opposing parties and the law said you obey or you die. If you do obey you can live, but if you don’t obey, you die. Well, nobody could obey, and so He condemned all men. But when the Lord Jesus walked between those two halves in Genesis 15, a theophany, when Christ came down and cut that covenant, it was not based on man’s faithfulness to God; it was based on God’s faithfulness to man.
And what Paul is doing, he’s contrasting these two covenants. The law demanded performance. And the moment it did, it condemned the man because of his performance, because the standard could not be attained. The law was only a temporary addition until the seed could come.
So we see the first thing then. Does the law have a purpose? Absolutely, but it was temporary. It was an addendum. It was an addition. It was given because of transgressions, until the seed could come and pay the debt for those sins and also fulfill every law that was there so that He could be our representative and then He would stand between the Father and us and He could offer us the promise that was promised to Abraham and to the seed which was the Lord Jesus Christ.
The second thing about the law is this that Paul brings out. The law had a specific assignment and that was in verse 21. What it is, it’s to prepare us for grace. It says in verse 21, “Is the law then contrary to the promises of God?” He says, “May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life or salvation, then righteousness would indeed have been based upon law;” man could attain it. The word “contrary” here in verse 21 is the word kata, and it means to be against something. Paul is telling us that the law is not against the promises of God. That’s not why it was added. He says, “May it never be!” That phrase is used 11 times in Romans and three times in Galatians. It means that’s absurd, that’s absurd. We have seen this before. When you drive up in a parking space and a sign says “Don’t even think about it!” That’s “may it never be!” Alright, it means something that is absurd. It is like Paul stops and says “What? What do you mean the law annuls any promise that was given to Abraham? Why, that’s absurd! Don’t ever ask that question again.”
Now he says, “Is the law then contrary to the promises of God or against the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based upon law.” Now, what Paul says is that the only way the law could be against the promises of God in the Abrahamic covenant would be if the law could somehow produce life or produce salvation. Then there would be two options, is basically what you would end up with, for someone to be saved. The Jews could attain salvation through the law and the Gentiles by faith in Christ. But Paul says, no, you can’t have that. It’s totally contrary to the promises of God. These promises of God were made to Abraham on the basis of faith and that stands. The law in no way contradicts this.
Well, if any man, Jew or Gentile, trusts the Lord Jesus Christ, then he inherits the promises that were given to the Lord Jesus. But the law cannot affect any of that. So it’s not against it at all. The law was not given to be contrary to the promises. Its assignment then is found in verse 22: “But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.”
Now, this is interesting. He uses the word “Scripture.” You see, Scripture upholds the law. God speaks through Scripture and the law is in Scripture. The law was the very tool God used; this is so interesting to me, how God thought this through; to keep man from ever thinking that there was any other way to salvation. The law was the very tool. It shut all men up under sin. Actually, Paul draws a picture for us. The law is the standard of character that God requires, that no man except the God-man has ever attained. The Scripture is the magistrate who upholds the standard. And all men are sinners to death because they cannot meet the standard, and so it builds up four walls around it. No man can get outside those walls. He is shut up under sin, Jew and Gentile.
The word for “shut up” is the word sugkleio. It’s an interesting word. Sun, which means together with and then kleio, which means to close. All men are together. This is the one thing that’s the common denominator between all mankind, whether Jew or Gentile. We are all shut up under the law. We are sinners, period, and that’s what the law was given to do. We are closed up on all sides. The law hems all men up. No man can attain its standard.
Now, I know that there are those who think they can. Now, I want to promise you if you think you can, tomorrow when you get up, just simply say, “I want to live Jesus today,” because He’s the only One who has ever done it. And just say you are going to be like Jesus. I want to promise you, God has a brother in store for you that you did not know existed. And by noon tomorrow He is going to drop you right in his lap, and the law requires you not only to love the Lord your God with all your heart, your mind, your soul and your strength, but to love your neighbor as you love yourself. And you are going to find by 1:00 tomorrow, “I can’t love this brother. I don’t even like this brother.” And you are going to cry out to God and say, “God, I can’t,” and God is going to say, “Thank you, thank you.” So you are hemmed up with the rest of the bunch aren’t you? So you’re a sinner like everybody else.
My daughter would get up at 6:00 in the morning to get ready for school. About an hour later I would get up about 7:00 and she would still be brushing her hair. I would go by the door, and I would say, “We leave at 8:00.” “I hear you daddy.” Well, about 10 minutes to 8 I would go by again. “Stephanie.” “I hear you daddy.” So my son and I would go out in the car and sit and wait on her to come on out. We got to know each other real well during those times. And when Stephanie would come out, she’s always running late. She’s frustrated. Her hair has frizzed. And every day she would get into the car and she would come out and say something really profound. I mean, it was wonderful. And one morning she came out and she stepped on the back deck and her feet just went out from under her and she hit the floor. She was going to a Christian school, had her little dress on, had her hose on and everything. She tore her hose, busted up her knee, and she is running late, so she can’t go back inside. She gets in the car, slams the door. And I am backing up and she says, “Daddy!” I said, “What?” She said, “I want to tell you something.” I said, “What is it?” She said, “I don’t care what you preach, nobody can live the Christian life.”
You know, by the time we got to the school, God showed me she is exactly right. There’s none of us can. That’s what the law was for to begin with; to show us what we are not able to do. Only Christ can save us and only Christ can sanctify us. There are too many times I think I know enough and I have achieved enough that I can do it. But my daughter reminded me I can’t do it.” That’s why Paul said in Galatians 2:20, it’s not me, it’s Christ living in me. Jesus, the seed promised to Abraham, came to fulfill that law that condemns all mankind. We are all shut up together, Jew, Gentile. We are all sinners. Nobody has attained that law. He is the One who took our penalty upon Himself when we deserved it.
Well, Christ is the only One who can live the Christian life. He’s the only One who ever lived it. The law’s requirements showed us all up under sin. But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. And then Paul becomes even more specific. He said the Scripture had shut up all men. And then he said, “But before faith came we were kept in custody under the law.” He wants to make sure you have got this point. Scripture upholds the law. It’s a part of Scripture. It upholds it. “Being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed.” Christ is the essence and the object of our faith and He had not yet come, and so the law shut all men up under sin. And those who have received Jesus are out from under that. The door has been opened. No man comes to the Father except by Me. Jesus said, “I am the door in which men may enter.” Is there a way out of this? Yes, there is.
The law was only a temporary addition. The law had a specific assignment. But now, finally, the law, because of Christ, has been annulled. Verse 24: “Therefore the law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.” I will tell you what, when you think of salvation you cannot help but get excited about what he is saying right here. The word for “tutor” is the word paidagogos. It comes from the word paideia, which means child. And what it had to do with was a schoolteacher or a schoolmaster. Some people even say it like a babysitter, which is really more correct, because originally it referred to a slave who conducted boys, of course, to school and back home, because you know boys have a tendency to stray. And so they made sure that when they left the house they got to where they were designed to go. They made sure they got there.
What an awesome picture! You want to know what the law is all about? God used it as a child conductor; He used it as a babysitter to make sure that we got from the place of sin separated from Him to the place of promise by putting our faith into Him. The law was actually a tutor for you and I. If we hadn’t seen ourselves as sinners we would have never been ready for grace. It was to frustrate mankind, to get them ready for the promise of grace that came with the Lord Jesus, who was the seed that was promised to Abraham.
Well, what an awesome picture. We sing this song, “I Can Only Imagine,” you know. And when I start thinking about all that salvation offers, do you realize what we are experiencing today is nothing more than the earnest of our inheritance? Do you realize that? Everything that we are talking about, every victory that we have in Jesus today is just a little bit of an earnest; the down payment hasn’t even come yet. We don’t have a clue yet what is reserved for us, but we need to understand why we have what we have. The role of the schoolteacher or schoolmaster or one of these child conductors was never a permanent thing in their culture. There came a day when a child became of age and when he became of age that was quite a celebration, because now he’s cut loose. He has earned the rite of passage. He has finally stepped into adulthood. He does not need that childhood conductor anymore.
Do you realize what coming of age is talking about spiritually in Scripture? That’s when we come to know the Lord Jesus Christ, the seed that has come. We have put our faith in Him as Abraham did. Now we become heirs of the promise that was given to Abraham and to his seed. And on that particular day, when we receive the Lord Jesus Christ, at that moment we come of age and we put away childish things. That is what Paul was talking about in 1 Corinthians. He said I have put away childish things. Don’t give me religion again. Don’t give me a set of rules again. Give me a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. I want to learn to walk by faith. That’s what salvation is all about.
What the Galatians had done was to go back and put themselves under a child conductor. Why would you do that if you have already come of age? Why would you want to be back up under this particular bondage? “Therefore the law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ so that we may be justified by faith.” Then Paul drives his point home in verse 25. “But now that faith has come, now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.” Remember, the law was only good till Jesus came. Jesus is the essence and the object of faith. He produces the faith. And when we receive Him into our hearts the law is now annulled. It can’t condemn us anymore. It can’t control us anymore. Christ lives in us. The one who gave the law, the one who fulfilled the law, lives in me. So you that love the law, just go on and love Jesus, because He fulfilled it. And when you say yes to Him, don’t worry about it; that law is going to be fulfilled as we will see in chapter 5.
I want to tell you something, folks. When this church begins to walk in that relationship, the signal will be in the relationships of this church body. When we start loving one another in the love that Jesus is producing within us, when all of a sudden we lay down our fleshly agendas and God begins to love through us, then what we have just done has shown and proved that the law has been annulled and is now being fulfilled by the one who gave it and by the one who enables it to be fulfilled as He produces His character in and through our lives. Christ is the essence and object of our faith. He is the seed promised to Abraham. He is the one to whom the promises have been given. The law was a temporary addition. The law had a specific assignment. The law, because of Christ, has been annulled.
Is the law bad? Oh, no! When you see it this way, oh, give us the law because it shuts us all up under sin, and every man is a sinner in desperate need of the seed, Christ, who has already come. It served the purpose for which God gave it. What awesome salvation! You know, I read this to you when I first came and I just feel like God put on my heart this morning to read it again. If you want law, help yourself. But if you want Christ, here is what you have in Him. And to walk in that relationship, just in trusting Him, here is what you have:
He is the first and the last; the beginning and the end. He is the keeper of creation and the Creator of all. He is the architect of the universe and the manager of all time. He always was. He always is and He always will be unmoved, unchanged, undefeated, and never undone. He was bruised and brought healing. He was pierced and He eased pain. He was persecuted and brought freedom. He was dead and brought life. He has risen and brings power. He reigns and brings peace. The world cannot understand Him. The armies cannot defeat Him. The schools cannot explain Him and the leaders cannot ignore Him. Herod could not kill Him. The Pharisees could not confuse Him. And the people could not hold Him. Nero could not crush Him. Hitler could not silence Him. The new age cannot replace Him and the talk show hosts cannot explain Him away. He is light, love, longevity and Lord. He is goodness, kindness, gentleness, and God. He is holy, righteous, mighty, powerful and sure. His ways are always right. His Word is eternal. His will is unchanging and His mind is on me. He is my Redeemer. He is my Savior. He is my guide and He is my peace. He is my joy. He is my comfort. He is my Lord and He rules my life. I serve Him because His bond is love, His burden is light and His goal for me is eternal life. I follow Him because He is the wisdom of the wise, the power of the powerful, the Ancient of Days, the Ruler of rulers, the Leader of leaders, the Overseer of the overcomers and the sovereign Lord of all that was and is and is to come. And if that seems impressive to you try this on for size. His goal is a relationship with me. He will never leave me, never forsake me, never mislead me, never forget me, never overlook me, and never cancel my appointment in His appointment book. When I fall He lifts me up. When I fail He forgives. When I am weak He is strong. When I am lost He is the Way. When I am afraid He is my courage. When I stumble He steadies me. When I am hurt He heals me. When I am broken He mends me. When I am blind He leads me. When I am hungry He feeds me. When I face trials He is with me. When I face persecution He shields me. When I face problems He comforts me. When I face loss He provides for me. When I face death He carries me home. He is everything for everybody, everywhere, every time and every way. He is God. He is faithful. I am His and He is mine. My Father in heaven can whip the father of this world. So if you are wondering why I feel so secure, understand this, He said it and that settles it. God is in control. I am on His side and that means all is well within my soul. Every day is a blessing for God is! That is who Jesus Christ is. He is the seed that was promised to Abraham. And the promises were given to both. That is who He is.
Now, do you want to go back up under a set of rules? Is that what you want? Do we really want a child conductor today? Is that what we want? Is that what we really want? Evidently the Galatians did and they were believers. And that is why he said in chapter 3 to start this whole chapter, “O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you?” Listen, anything you are trying to attempt to do for Him, if you will just submit to Him He will do for you and that is the difference right there. There is your contrast. Why the law? I am kind of glad it is around, aren’t you? That is what got us to grace. That is what got us to grace. I am so glad I did not write this. I could not be smart enough to get in out of the rain. I am so glad God wrote it and so we wrestle with what He says, don’t we.
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Dr. Wayne Barber
Wayne has taught the message of “Living Grace” around the world. He is president, founder, and principal speaker of Living Grace Ministries and Senior Pastor of Woodland Park Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He learned to exegete Scripture by studying for 10 years with Spiros Zodhiates, one of the leading Greek scholars.