The Law Points Us to Christ

This school year in 4:TWELVE Student Ministries we are working our way through the books of Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. We have titled this series, In Christ. All of these books will teach some deep lessons about the application of the Gospel in our lives.
      We want our parents to be able to track along with our lessons and be able to discuss the topics we are covering with your teens. We will include the follow-up discussion questions that were discussed in small groups so you can hear your teen discuss these questions. Please use this tool as we seek to assist parents in raising their teens in the way of the Lord.

This week we turned to Galatians 3:15-25 and discussed the way the law points us to Christ.

 

Galatians 3:15–25 (NASB95)

15 Brethren, I speak in terms of human relations: even though it is only a man’s covenant, yet when it has been ratified, no one sets it aside or adds conditions to it. 16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ. 17 What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. 18 For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise.

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 would 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 everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. 24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

 

  1. The Law and the Covenant (15-18)
    1. Why is there so much attention being made to the law and its place in the salvation process?
      1. The belief that the law had somehow become the means of God keeping His covenants with Abraham.
      2. So they mistakenly thought the only way to earn God’s favor for salvation was to follow the law of Moses.
    2. The issue is that the Law came 430 years after the covenant was made. (17)
    3. The law cannot set aside the covenant and make the promise of land, seed, and blessing void.
    4. So the law cannot take away the power of the covenant, because the covenant is from God. God is faithful too His promises.
    5. Verse 18 is teaching us that salvation either comes by grace or works. It either comes by “the giver’s promise or the receiver’s performance.” – Keller
    6. “This is worth reflecting on. For a promise to bring a result, it needs only to be believed, but for a law to bring a result, it has to be obeyed.  For example, if I say to you: My uncle Jack wants to meet you and give you $10 million dollars, the only way you can probably fail to receive the $10 million is to fail to believe the claim.  If you just laugh and go home, rather than going to see Uncle Jack, you may never get the money.  But if, on the other hand, I say to you: My Uncle Jack is willing to leave you his inheritance of $10 million dollars, but you have to go live with him and take care of him in his old age, then you to fulfill the requirement and condition if you are to get the money.A gift-promise needs only to be believed to be received, but a law-wage must be obeyed to be received.” – Keller
    7. Application to us.
      1. At the cross when God promises if I believe and repent of my sin I am made right with God, that is a covenant that is not broken.
      2. “It is common for believers to begin their Christian lives by looking beyond themselves at “Christ … clearly … crucified”, relying on God’s promise that Christ has taken our curse and given us His blessing. But, as we go on, it is tempting, and easy, to look within ourselves at our own “human effort”, resting in our own performance to give us our sense of acceptability before God.  Doing this makes us radically insecure – it cuts away our assurance, and prompts us to despair or pride.” – Keller

    8. Discuss it:
      1. When are you most tempted to look at your own achievements to make yourself acceptable in God’s eyes?
      2. How can knowing the record of God’s promise-keeping be an encouragement to you regarding your salvation?
  2. The Purpose of the Law (19-25)
    1. Why were we given the law?
      1. Because we are sinners (19)
      2. To show us we are sinners (21-22)
    2. The law shows us that we can never make ourselves right with God on our strength.
      1. “This is the purpose of the law. It shows us that we do not just ‘fall short’ of God’s will, requiring some extra effort to do better, but that we are completely under sin’s power, requiring a rescue.” – Keller

    3. 2 metaphors to describe the law.
      1. A guard (23)
        1. It holds us as a prisoner.
      2. A tutor (24)
        1. It teaches us we are not good enough.
      3. If I am a believer then the law has already done its job. Do I still need to obey the law?
        1. “The law shows us as we really are. And so the law points us to see Christ as He really is: our Savior, the one who obeyed the law on our behalf and then died in our place so that we might receive the promised blessing.  The law allows us to love Jesus, and enables us to show our love in grateful obedience to Him.” – Keller

    4. Discuss it:
      1. How does knowing the law cause you to be thankful for Christ?
      2. Why do you obey God’s law?
      3. Are there wrong reasons why people obey God’s law?
Johnny KjaerJohnny Kjaer
Johnny Kjaer oversees the Youth and Skatepark Ministries at Faith Church. He can often be found serving the community with the teenagers. His passion is to assist parents in training their teens to love the Lord. He and his wife, Tori, have three children; Leif, Tryggve, and Kjirsti.