15 Brothers and sisters, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. 16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ. 17 What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18 For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.
19 Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. 20 A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one.
21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22 But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
23 Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.
26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
That’s a bit of reading, I know. Yet it’s nice to see explicitly stated in Scripture WHY the law was here, WHAT it was for, and WHEN it was fulfilled. Let me summarize what you just read: the law was here to show you what was wrong, which is why it couldn’t produce righteousness. It was a school master, a tool to point out things that needed adjusted but did not show how to adjust or change them. In other words, the law was the standard for us but didn’t contain instruction or equipment for achieving that standard.
I know for some of you this isn’t super exciting, you already knew legalism wasn’t the route for salvation. However, there are some of you reading this that have been struggling, you’ve been battling with the mindset of whether legalism was right or not. Here we see it explicitly stated: legalism, the law, it isn’t enough. THAT is what we need to listen to. If Scripture says it explicitly then it’s time to listen.
So look, I am going to wrap this up in 2 principles. These are great “take homes” even if you weren’t struggling with legalism:
1)Don’t stand firmly on something you don’t have Biblical support for. That meaning, if you don’t know verses that not only SEEM like they support your view but also have sufficient context support as well, then you don’t have a correct view! Many of us are standing on “truths” and are ready to die on those “truths” but have never seen them in Scripture. It’s simple: if the Bible doesn’t say it, don’t preach it.
2)The Bible is clear. This one is basic, if you’re reading the Bible you’ll see the truth. The truths you need to live a powerful, freed life aren’t covered and difficult to find. If you are reading the Bible you will find all of the truths that are preached from our church. We don’t do any fancy packaging or rephrasing of the truths found in God’s Word. Instead, we are simply opening God’s Word, reading the statements inside, relating them to our lives, and rejoicing over God’s glory! The Bible is clear.
Get in the Word! It’s all there. Don’t base your belief on things you’ve heard for years. Instead, base your life on the freedom you have read in Scripture for yourself!
God help me not to build my christian life on doctrine that cannot be found in Your Word. Expose to me all of the things that I have built my life around but aren’t accurate. Cause me to desire to be in Your Word so that I can know the truth. Challenge my heart to desire reading It more! Amen.
You’ve got Facebook friends or real life friends that are either struggling with legalism or they have parts of their doctrine that aren’t actually in Scripture. Take a moment and give God praise for being so clear in Scripture. Motivate your friends to be in the Word so that they will know that they know what they know! THEN when someone tells you a point of view about God ask them for Biblical support. This will not only help you learn from them but also prompt them to look into it, or realize that it wasn’t supported.