God made us a Grace promise through Abraham and Sarah– God would give us the Savior Messiah within Abram and Sari’s lineage beginning with their only child Isaac. Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 91 when Isaac was born! Grace indeed!!
430 years had passed since God made the promise to Abraham and Sarah (Exodus 12:40) then God gives Moses the law. The law is the Ten Commandments and the Deuteronomic/Levitical details of the law consisting of 613 Hebrew laws. Paul helps us to understand that the laws given were to guide them away from sin until the Savior Messiah is given to us.
For Israel the Messiah means that exile has ended, God’s deliverance has arrived, and the outpouring of the Spirit that God has promised is evident. The Jewish Nation expected the law to be restored and honored when deliverance comes through this Messiah. Led by the Holy Spirit, Paul says that there is no returning to the Torah. The law is the past. The freedom that Christ Jesus gives is Holy Spirit alive in the community of believers, God’s children– trust Holy Spirit and obey Christ.
Paul calls us to understand that the gift of God’s promise is given to us out of God’s Grace. Christ Jesus is Grace fulfillment. God has given us Christ Jesus not because we deserve Him, can earn our way to Him through obedience to the law, nor because we are especially chosen by God. God’s Grace gift through Christ Jesus is for our freedom in Cross Suffering salvation and for our liberation from both sin and captivity in Easter Resurrection Glory.
God’s Grace gift of Jesus Christ is for all, Jew and Gentile. Everyone. The law, not being a Grace gift, is not used anymore. Faith in Christ Jesus and His anointing by the Holy Spirit give us Christ’s Presence as guidance. That some Jews today still use the law as disciplinarian and guidance shall cause us to be patient with Jewish people, not violent at any time, for their understanding of redemption will come through Christ alone and He is able to make the wind of the Holy Spirit blow where it will. We are to love generously showing the Way to Christ with our lives and our words. Our faith works through love.
Mixed together in the Galatia Churches were both Christians who were formerly Jewish and the Gentile Christians. Faith together meant dependence upon the Holy Spirit and yet in not doing so the Galatians had listened to the missionaries tell them the law still prevailed, even within their Christian congregations. They believed this and Paul firmly corrects their understanding of the old law overridden by Christ’s New Covenant.
The New Covenant that Christ makes with us requires us to be Holy Spirit listeners, obedient, and fully dependent on Holy Spirit speaking to us. At salvation’s moment Holy Spirit is poured into you and to listen to Holy Spirit speak is our common ground. And as we listen to Holy Spirit speak to us we share Holy Spirit’s words and messages with each other, confirming the Word. Holy Spirit blesses our Scripture understanding.
Paul is very firm on this– Holy Spirit will speak Christ’s Truth to us and we will all hear the same thing. At our Baptism’s we are clothed with Christ. Christ is in us, around us, before and behind us– everywhere. We are one in Christ Jesus. And our lineage is Christ’s lineage, going back to the Grace promise given to Abraham and Sarah and shouting over the roof tops, “Christ is Alive with us now and forevermore.” Alleluia.
Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring would come to whom the promise had been made; and it was ordained through angels by a mediator. Now a mediator involves more than one party; but God is one. Is the law then opposed to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could make alive, then righteousness would indeed come through the law. But the scripture has imprisoned all things under the power of sin, so that what was promised through faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:19-29