The Run Down
Vs. 19 Why then the law?
If it can’t bring the Spirit, it pronounces a curse on us, cannot accredit righteousness to us, and we can’t fulfill it to give us “life”… then why at all?
It was added because of transgressions.
2 best explanations here can actually both apply…
1) Identifying: And also revealing sin as sin… more so as here as a transgression… meaning once one knows the law… and sins they transgress the law knowingly. Look to Romans 4:15.
2) Restraining: later he is going to go on about it being a guardian … so it serves a purpose in clearly defining sin/transgression/wrong doing…. Then to restrain us… as a disciplinarian.
Paul similar argument with Abe in Romans 3:19-20, 4:13-15 to 5:20.
The law identifies, restrains, and even accentuates need for a Savior.
Correctly “Seed” is linked back to vs. 16 which is Christ.
Literally “ordained through angels by the hand of a mediator”.
“Through angels” meaning from God. Deut. 33:2 speaks of angels giving the Law.
Acts 7:53 very similar. Heb. 2:2.
Vs. 20 One of the most difficult verses in NT with over 250 different interpretations.
“A maddeningly opaque sentence.”
Shema. 1 Tim. 2:5, Heb. 8:6, 9:15, 12:24.
Mediator: Moses between God and the people. Law came to them indirectly. The promise was direct.
Moses direct reference: compares to Jesus as not perfect like him.
Jesus is mediator: Not great in the context.
The law was mediated between two… while the promise was unilateral from God.
God is one invokes the Shema. Deut. 6:4. The oneness of God is within the Law. The seed was one vs. 16. Christ. Who is one with God. And is maybe “The” intermediary of the “Promise”.
Vs. 21 “Is the law then contrary to the promises of God?”
Paul uses this rhetoric often… setting up a reasonable conclusive logical inference with a question built on the previous material and then categorically denying it!
Similarly In Romans 3:31 “Do we then abolish the Law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the Law.”
Vs. 22 Since perfect fulfillment of the Scripture (Law) was impossible by man… it fulfills its function imprisoning man under sin… via revelation of sin and creating the ability to now transgress.
So that the promise can be fully realized by faith in Jesus Christ, the obedient one.
The Law prepared men and women to receive the promise through the Seed Jesus Christ. By grace… by promise…
Very similar to Romans 11:32… all imprisoned… all disobedient… mercy on all…through Jesus Christ.
Vs. 23-25 Paul repeats and elaborates on what he just said. The Law imprisoned us.
Was a slave in the Greco-Roman household who supervised and guarded the a child from 6-16 years old. Walk them to and from school, see that they behaved,… and watch over them for their own safety.
Not a family member… when of age… they weren’t needed any longer.
The Law was similar. Good, needed up to a certain point, then no longer necessary. Once full rights in sonship, now not needing a guardian, took effect.
The Law was our Guardian until Christ came… in order that the promise may be fully realized for justification which comes from faith in Jesus Christ.
Vs. 26 All sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
Both Jew / Gentile… receive the promise to Abraham… through faith… all the peoples… his descendants of faith… find justification in Christ.
Deut. 14:1-2 You are sons of God.
1-From Spiritual infancy to full maturity in justification by Jesus Christ.
2-We all become one in Christ with no separating distinctions.
Ethnically,… Jew or Greek. Legalizers are wrong for trying to enforce this route of distinction to obtain justification from circumcision.
Socially… slave or free. We are all brothers in Christ.
Gender… male or female. Women were denigrated in society as less than males. Back to creation of Humankind creating in His image (male and female). Without inferiority.
1- In Christ one people.
2- In Christ all free as Sons.
3- In Christ all humans of equal value.
One body of Christ.
3-Heirs of Abraham with everyone who come by faith. From Abe all the way through the ages to those now in Christ.