In Custody Under Law Until Christ (Galatians 3:23-25)
Scripture: Galatians 3:23-25
In this section of Galatians, Paul uses strong terms to describe the situation under the Law. He says we were imprisoned, confined, and under a custodian. When the faith of the gospel came, believers were released. Over the years, various Bible translations have missed the point by making seem as if those under the “paidago_gos” were making progress which would have been a good thing. Paul is not speaking here of moral progress but time. The issue is “until” not “unto” as some have suggested. We give many examples from the context in Galatians so show that Paul is making a strong contrast to emphasize the glorious truth of freedom in Christ and also giving good reason not to go back. We also point out that this was an important Reformation issue and Luther is cited about this. Faith alone is strongly emphasized. People are willing to be under bondage, not just to old covenant law, but to any religious system that puts people in bondage to works and will not allow them the freedom of Christ’s once for all work of grace for believers. We point out that many are in bondage to Roman Catholicism. God uses the Law, not to help us make moral progress, but to bring the proud sinner to the end of himself. We cite Paul from Romans 7 and elsewhere to that end. In Adam all die and only in Christ can anyone be made alive. The Law shows just how spiritually dead we really were.
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