Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
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WHY THE LAW?

GAL 3:19-22

NAS 19 Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed should come to whom the promise had been made.  20 Now a mediator is not for one {party only} whereas God is {only} one.  21 Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law.  22 But the Scripture has shut up all men under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. NAS  

NKJV 19 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. 20 Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one. 21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. NKJV 

TLB 19 Well then, why were the laws given? They were added after the promise was given, to show men how guilty they are of breaking God's laws. But this system of law was to last only until the coming of Christ, the Child to whom God's promise was made. (And there is this further difference. God gave his laws to angels to give to Moses, who then gave them to the people; 20 but when God gave his promise to Abraham, he did it by himself alone, without angels or Moses as go-betweens.) 21 Well then, are God's laws and God's promises against each other? Of course not! If we could be saved by his laws, then God would not have had to give us a different way to get out of the grip of sin-- for the Scriptures insist we are all its prisoners. The only way out is through faith in Jesus Christ; the way of escape is open to all who believe him. 

Introduction 
Paul built his case for the superiority of the promise to Abraham, People must have asked "why then the Law? So, Paul now points out the need for the Law.



1.    Why the Law? The Law . . Defines. v 19         
        19
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.

    A.    Defines As An . . Added Definition of Sin. v 19 a    
        19 W
hat purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, . . ."

<>        Vincent: Why the Law? Gal 3:19   
        A natural question of an objector, since, according to Paul's reasoning, salvation is of promise and not of law. (Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament)


    B.    Defines As An . . Acting Definition of Sin. v 19 b 
        "till
the Seed should come to whom the promise was made;"

<>        John 16:8-10 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin,  because they do not believe in Me;
         10 of righteousness, b
ecause I go to My Father and you see Me no more; NKJV

    C.  Defines As An . . Appointed Definition of Sin. v 19 c   
           
"and it was appointed through angels"

Acts 7:53 who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it." NKJV


<>2.    Why the Law?  The Law Acts As A . . Diplomat. v 19 d & 20 
    "by t
he hand of a mediator." 20 Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.

    A.  The L
aw Had A . . Mediator. V 19 d  
   
        "by the hand of a mediator."

<>        (Vincent's Word Studies by Biblesoft) 
        Thelaw is of the nature of a contract between God and the Jewish people. The validity of the contract depends on its fulfillment
        by both parties. Hence, it is contingent, not absolute.


    B.    The Law was . . Mediated. v 20
          Now
a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.

        (Vincent's, Biblesoft) 
        God does not need a mediator to make his promise valid. His promise is not of the nature of a contract between two parties. His
        promise depends on his own individual decree. He dealt with Abraham singly and directly, without a mediator. The dignity of the
        law is thus inferior to that of the promise.  The
presence of a mediator assumes two parties, and the need of a mediator shows the
        inferiority of the law.




3.     Wh
y the Law? The Law . . Distinguishes. v 21
       21  Is
the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law.





4.    Why the Law? The Law . . Displays. v 22 
        22
But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. NKJV