Family Bible Study lesson for July 13: Good News! No Longer Under the Law
June 27 2003 by Kim D. Shaver , Galatians 3:10-14, 18-25

Family Bible Study lesson for July 13: Good News! No Longer Under the Law | Friday, June 27, 2003

Friday, June 27, 2003

Family Bible Study lesson for July 13: Good News! No Longer Under the Law

By Kim D. Shaver Galatians 3:10-14, 18-25

God used the 16th Century monk Martin Luther mightily to change the course of world history by purifying and preserving the church from corruption.

Luther single-handedly sparked the Protestant Reformation by posting his "95 Theses" on the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church in 1517, rejecting the legalism that had permeated the Christian faith.

Luther, however, had not always been a vessel of God's power, authority and freedom. For years, he had served God in high places - including the University of Wittenberg - but had been under the bondage of the law. He was known to have walked up the steep stone stairs of a towering German cathedral on his knees as a demonstration of remorse for sins as he tried to win God's favor. He struggled to blamelessly keep God's law in order to become righteous. Repeatedly, he failed.

The turning point of Luther's life came one day as he read the first chapter of Romans in his study in the tower of Black Cloister in Wittenberg. There in that dark room, the light broke upon him when he read and believed Paul's words: "The righteous will live by faith." (Romans 1:17) At the realization that God justifies sinners through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus, not by works or the keeping of the law, Luther said he felt he was "altogether born again and had entered paradise itself through open gates." Now Luther was a ready instrument to be used by God to reform the world church.

Like Martin Luther, the Galatian church was also in the dark, following a false gospel where one "gets in" by grace but then must live by the law to continue to be right with God. In his letter to them, the Apostle Paul taught clearly and boldly to help set the Galatians free from this false doctrine.

Mosaic Law Never Saved Anyone

(Galatians 3: 10-14, 18)

The Law of Moses is not an instrument of salvation but of condemnation, Paul asserts. "All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law."

Breaking even one commandment brings a person under condemnation. But, thanks be to God, Jesus took the curse of the law upon Himself when He hung on the cross so that we could escape the curse. "God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Cor. 5:21).

Mosaic Law Condemns Everyone (Galatians 3:19-22)

Because "the whole world is a prisoner of sin," the law condemns everyone. "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23). There is no one righteous, not even one.

Therefore, we look in vain to the law as a means to become right with God. The law has a major shortfall: it cannot impart life or forgiveness. Only Jesus can impart forgiveness and eternal life. Those who look to Christ will find righteousness and life.

Mosaic Law No Longer Supervises (Galatians 3:23-25)

Those who are "supervised by the law" are like a prisoner who is chained to a prison guard. Such a prisoner is constantly suppressed by a harsh and haunting disciplinarian who simply will not go away.

Before Martin Luther received God's grace through faith, he was filled with anger and hatred toward God, who he believed "crushes us miserable sinners with His law and threatens us with punishment." In Luther's blinded eyes, God was like a harsh prison guard. But when the light of true faith dawned in Luther, he saw Christ as He truly is: as the Great Emancipator.

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6/27/2003 12:00:00 AM by Kim D. Shaver , Galatians 3:10-14, 18-25 | with 0 comments
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