ISSL Reflections May 15 2022 Galatians 3:18–29 Post 1

I have to admit the first sentence in this passage has me going in circles – “ … from the law … no longer … from the promise … but … through the promise …”

“Why then the law?”

Good question!

Let’s see if we can follow Paul into and out of this “maze” that involves “sin,” “promises,” a “disciplinarian,” “imprisoned” and even “faith.”

Do you suppose it would be a good idea to spend time with this passage reading it slowly several times?

Galatians 3:18-29 (New Revised Standard Version)

For if the inheritance comes from the law, it no longer comes from the promise; but God granted it to Abraham through the promise.

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.

What do you hear Paul saying is the “strength” and what is the “weakness” of “the law”?

When Paul speaks here of “promise,” what comes to mind?

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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