v. 13. In the preceding verses Paul shows the law to be a cursing law because of its perfection and the'imperfection of our nature and deeds. Therefore, no man can be justified by a law of works. In this verse he shows us how we are justified and redeemed from the curse of the law. Christ was made a curse for us (Gal. 4:4,5; Isa. 53:4-6). Cursed is everyone who is hanged for crime (Deut. 21:22,23).
v. 14. 'That the blessing of Abraham' - the same blessing of justification (imputed righteousness before God) which Abraham had in Christ - 'might come on the Gentiles' (Rom. 4:7-10). Abraham was not justified by law, works, nor circumcision but by Christ (Rom. 4:20-25). We receive the realization of the promise of the Spirit by faith. The Holy Spirit opens and applies the promises of God. Justification, then, is not by law but is by faith in Christ because it was purchased by Christ.
In verses 15-18 the apostle argues that justification before God cannot be by the law because these promises were made by God in a covenant 430 years before the L&vitical law was given.
1. Justification is not by law because the law says, 'Do and live.'Man cannot fulfil the holy law, so the law only condemns.
2. Justification is not by law but in Christ, who redeemed us from the curse of the law by the sacrifice of himself.
3. Justification is not by law since it was promised by God in a covenant of mercy before the law was given.
V.15. A covenant or testament made by a man cannot be overturned or disannulled when it is confirmed; much less can the covenant of God be disannulled or cancelled.
v.16. These promises of acceptance, justification and eternal life were made not to Christ personally, not to all the natural seed of Abraham, but to Christ's body, the church, the spiritual seed of Abraham, both Jew; and Gentiles. The promises are made to all believers, who are one in Christ!
V.17. The Levitical law, which was given 430 years after the covenant concerning the Messiah (Gen. 12:1-3), does not and cannot change or make void the promise of life in Christ by faith.
V.18. If justification is by keeping the law or by ceremony, it cannot be of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
V.19. What was the purpose of the law?
1. It was given after the promise in order to reveal and expose to men their guilt and to make men more conscious of the sinfulness of sin.
2. It was given to reveal the Messiah, the Redeemer, in types and pictures until he came (Heb. 10: 1 ).
3. Moses served as the mediator between Israel and God (Exod. 20:18,19). He was a type (a picture) of Christ, our Mediator. The angels of God were messengers and instruments God used in the giving of the law.
v.20. A mediator has to do with more than one party. There can be no mediator if only one person is involved. Yet God is only one person; he is the one offended, standing off at a distance, giving the law, in the hands of a mediator, revealing their alienation. Therefore, justification cannot be expected through the law.
v.21. Is the law against or opposed to the promises of God? Of course not! The giving of the moral law and the ceremonial law does not change the promise of life in Christ. If a law could be given that would justify a sinner, then justification would be by that law.
v.22. But the Word of God, especially the law of God, pictures all mankind as sinners shut up and imprisoned by sin so that the blessing of life must come through Christ, the Messiah, to them that believe (Rom. 8:1-3).
v.23,24. But until Christ, the object of faith, came to fulfil the law, we were kept under the law which served as a tutor or an instructor to show us our sins, to reveal God's mercy in Christ and to instruct us in the justice and righteousness of God. The law empties the sinner of all self, glory and merit and brings him to Christ, the Justifier.
v.25,26. After Christ came, we are no longer under these types, pictures and ceremonies; but in Christ we are sons of God, justified, forgiven and righteous. The law has served its purpose and is put away (Heb. 10:8-10).
v.27-29. 'As many of you (Jew or Gentile, male or female, slave or free) who have been baptized by the Spirit of God into a spiritual union with Jesus Christ are one in Christ. All that Christ is, you are. All that Christ has, you have. You are accepted in the Beloved!'
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