Moving Mountains
 
A brief explanation, yet a long title.  Ironic, huh?

St. Paul writes to the Galatians concerning this issue, "To give a human example, brothers:  even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified.  Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring.  It does not say, 'And to offsprings,' referring to many, but referring to one, 'And to your offspring,' who is Christ.  This is what I mean:  the Law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void.  For if the inheritance comes by the Law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise."

The promise through Christ came before the Law.  The Law does not annul the promise.  Even when we make our own promises (man-made promises), they don't become void and we don't add to them when they're official.  So it is with God.  He instituted the promise of Christ through faith in Abraham, and later came the Law.  So, why the Law then?  This is why it's so important to pay attention to context, because Paul continues in verse 19:  "Why then the Law?  It was added because of transgressions [sin], until the offspring [Jesus] should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary.  Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one."  And as God is one, He is also 3 persons (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), therefore 3 intermediaries, but one.  Explaining it further, Paul says in verse 24, "So then, the Law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.  But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith."  Before Christ's first coming (His incarnation), humans obviously still lived in sin, and without Christ to intercede for us, there was no way for sins to be forgiven.  Christ needed to take our sins upon Himself before He could intercede for us on our behalf.  So, what did God do?  He instituted the Law, and in this way it was a guardian, but only for a while, until Christ came so that we might be justified by faith, for the Law cannot justify us; it condemns us.

Now let's go back to verse 13 in chapter three, telling us how Christ fulfilled the Law and therefore why we no longer keep it:  "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us — for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree' [crucifixion on a cross] — so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to Gentiles [that's us], so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith."  We are incapable of fulfilling the Law; only God is capable of fulfilling it,  and it would only be effective if He were simultaneously human.  That's why He became incarnate as Christ — born as man yet fully God.  So He was nailed to a cross, bearing our sins, and having fulfilled the Law for us on earth, we are released from it as well as the bondage of original sin.  This is why we say we are saved.  It is indeed salvation.
 


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