Daily Devotions


Day 56

"What purpose then does the law serve?"

Text: Galatians 3:19a


The law of Moses was given by God, just as the Abrahamic covenant was. But how exactly should the law be regarded?

What purpose then does the law serve?
It was added because of transgressions,
till the Seed should come to whom the promise
was made; and it was appointed through angels by the
hand of a mediator.

Galatians 3:19

1. “What purpose then does the law serve?”

a) Paul raised the understanding of “purpose” as his approach.
b) The law was given for very special purposes.

2. The original purposes

The original purposes may be found in the book of Deuteronomy. The following may be highlighted:-

a) To teach Israel how to fear the Lord (Deuteronomy 6:2a).
b) That it may be well with the children of Israel through faithfully keeping the law (Deuteronomy 6:3).
c) To teach Israel how to relate to God through service (Deuteronomy 6:13).
d) To keep them from idolatry (Deuteronomy 6:14).
e) To teach them to do what was good and right in God’s eyes (Deuteronomy 6:18).

3. “It was added because of transgressions”

a) Paul had this thought to add.
b) Israel did not keep the Commandments of God.
c) More laws were added to help Israel fear the Lord and walk in His ways.

4. “Till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made”

a) This was Paul’s theological insight.
b) This must have been given to him by revelation from the Spirit of God.
c) The focus was Christ the Seed, to whom the promise of Abraham was made.
d) This was an entirely new angle of thought.
i) No Jewish scholar had ever considered this line of thought.
ii) To the traditional scholars the law would exist perpetually.
iii) The law was seen as an eternal commandment to be obeyed at all cost.
iv) Nobody ever figured out how the law and the Messiah were related.