"Wherefore Then Serveth The Law?"

“Wherefore Then Serveth The Law?”

“Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Galatians 3:19

I have read many commentaries on this verse. There are many explanations and suggestions as to what this verse is talking about. I’m sure someone somewhere has put out a great answer to the question asked in this verse. However, I have not found one that does it for me — yet.

Before I give you my thoughts, let me quote what a well know commentary said on our verse.

The Law was “added to restrain transgressions among men, and ESPECIALLY (my emphasis) among the fleshly race of Abraham.”

I know, those FLESHLY Jews! Good thing we Gentiles aren’t FLESHLY otherwise who would we have to point our non-FLESHLY finger at?

So instead of that wonderful piece of exposition I thought I might as well throw mine into the mix. Hopefully mine is a little more substantive and plausible. I am putting quotes around it all.

“The Israelites had been living in Egypt. As such, they were functioning under and within an established set of laws already laid out for them. They were under the authority of Pharaoh.

“But an epochal moment was about to happen — they’d be leaving to head out in search of a new homeland.

“But first they must have a layover on the way … Mt. Sinai. While there they would be given a new set of their own Laws to help them function under a new Head.

“They are soon to become their own people group, their own nation. Since they’d never lived as their own nation, they would now need their own Law because they’d be dealing with their own transgressions such as: idolatry, immorality, theft, murder … and everything else a functioning group of very human people have to deal with.

“Hence, the Law was added. What was it added to? That’s a much discussed question. I think one very good possible explanation is that it was added to the Abrahamic Covenant. This is what is discussed in Galatians chapter three.

“The giving of the Law/Torah was a gracious act of God whereby He set the guidelines which would enable them to survive as a people. It is paramount that we understand and accept that all people left to themselves are FLESHLY and need Law. Just look at our country since we’ve increasingly abandoned the guidelines of God’s Word. We have become morally and spiritually bankrupt.

“So, where does our verse ‘until the Seed should come’ fit into this?

“We have to remember that with Yeshua’s coming another (unbeknown to everyone) epochal moment was about to happen. This time instead of going into the Land, they’d be LEAVING the Land =’s the Dispersion/Diaspora among the nations. This will last until Yeshua appears again.

“Therefore, ‘when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.’ (Galatians 4:4). In other words, Yeshua came so that He could, among other things, fulfill (carry out to their full intended purpose) the types, figures, realities of Temple life which could not possibly, or adequately, be practiced outside the Land.

“The coming Dispersion/Diaspora would soon necessitate life outside the functioning capabilities of Temple life in the Land. That’s why Peter says in 1 Peter 2:9: ‘But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar {owned and governed by God} people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.’ …

“Until the next and final epochal moment when …

“Yeshua returns and establishes His legal/righteous Kingdom of rule… where we will be with our Lord in the Land under His Headship.” [end of quotes]

All of this means that God has not left us without Law as normative Christianity teaches. We still have to deal with “transgression.” That’s why John defines sin as being “transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4 - “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”

Without the Law how do we, how can we, define and declare with any Biblical authority what sin is? Sooner or later you’re going to have go back to the Law/Torah/Old Testament. It’s there where we find God’s intended definitions and explanations.

Otherwise, we are stuck with our one word explanation for everything: Love. And, by the way, who defines love? Shouldn’t the Wedding Cake court case in Colorado wake us up just a little?

And PLEASE don’t forget: The people back in Paul’s day only had (for a very long time to come) the back of the Book.

Let me leave you with this thought —

Are we under Grace and out from under the Law or … is there possibly another option we have been missing through our lack of, misunderstand of, Paul’s writings?

Maybe last week’s blog and this week’s blog will provide for you some jump off points that will enable you to revisit this important topic for yourself.

And so …

That’s it. Just thought I’d place my exegesis in the hat of religious scholarship. What the heck, I do have a BA in Bible.

Doesn’t that make me qualified? :-)

{Something for you to chew on: How does the Abrahamic Covenant fit into all this? The focal point in Galatians chapter three is upon three things: Abraham; Faith; Promise. Abraham is KEY to all of this. — Maybe next week’s blog.}