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Theology Thursday | Gal 2:21 | The Law

Updated: Sep 22, 2023

Let's talk about the Christian's relationship to the Law:

“I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”-- Gal 2:21

Throughout chapter 2 of Galatians and into chapter 3, Paul is strongly condemning the idea that Christians must live in accordance with the Law of Moses in order to obtain salvation. As a matter of fact, this whole book is a clear explanation as to why Christians don’t follow the Old Testament Law. Paul’s argument here is focused around Christ’s death as the proper perspective on how we, as Christians, relate to the Law.

What was the point of Christ’s death on the Cross? Why was it necessary for Jesus to be born under the Law (Gal 4:4) and to die under the curse of the Law (Gal 3:14)?

It was so that He could redeem those who were already under the curse of the Law (Gal 3:10-11). No-one but God could live under the Law and be counted as righteous because of what the Law is.

What is the Law? What was the purpose of the Law?

The whole point of the Law was/is to make a person aware of where they fall short of God’s perfect standard. Following it does not make someone righteous. We just either are righteous or we aren’t (Rom 3:9-20).

“What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” - Romans 7:7

The Judaizers came and convinced the Galatians that following the Law was necessary to obtain salvation. They thought that only those who lived righteously would be saved, not realizing that they themselves were under the curse of the Law. The only way for them to come out from under the curse of the Law is if God pulled them out. And that’s what He did, graphically, despising the shame (Heb 12:2), for us, out of love.

What do you think about the Law and what our relationship, as Christians, is to the Law of Moses? Have you ever come across someone who asked you why you don’t follow the Old Testament Law? If so, what did you tell them?

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