Galatians 3:1-5, 19-29
What strange, Satanic influence has come over you? By what horrible deceit have you been entangled and held captive? You have heard and known the way of salvation by faith in the crucified Saviour—how could you then have been duped by legal teachers?
Paul’s argument is, that hitherto all the good they had received had come to them by grace and not by works, by the Spirit and not by the flesh, by faith and not by ceremonies, and he chides them for yielding in any degree to the delusive teaching of Judaizers. We have the best reason for keeping to the gospel, for no real good ever comes to men by the opposite teaching. The following testimony is only one of many, and establishes the point:—”I preached up sanctification very earnestly for six years in a former parish,” says Mr. Bennet, in a letter, “and never brought one soul to Christ. I did the same at this parish for two years, without having any success at all; but as soon as ever I preached Jesus Christ, and faith in his blood, then believers were added to the Church, and the people flocked from all parts to hear the glorious sound of the gospel, some coming six, others eight, and others ten miles, and that constantly. The reason why my ministry was not blessed when I preached up salvation partly by faith and partly by works is, because the doctrine is not of God; and he will prosper no ministers but such as preach salvation in his own appointed way, namely, by faith in Jesus Christ.”
If it cannot save, why was it given? It was given to discover and lay bare our sin to us. A sight of misery must go before a sense of mercy. Lex, lux, the law is a light, and shows us our need of a mediator. Therefore the apostle says—
And this proves that God and men were opposed, or a mediator would not have been needed. Thus the giving of the law showed mans state of alienation.
Galatians 3:21, 22
concluded or shut up as prisoners
Galatians 3:21, 22
The law is not therefore the opponent of the promise, but an agent for putting men where they feel themselves to be in need of mercy, and therefore accept salvation by grace.
We are not baptized unto Moses, we have put off legal robes, and are dressed in the garments of grace.
Galatians 3:28, 29
So that we obtain all the blessings of the law by faith, even in the same manner as Abraham became the heir of all things. Evermore in our hearts let us make a clear distinction between the law and the grace of God, so shall we be sound in doctrine and preserved from much bondage.