There is arguably no issue more fiercely debated within orthodox evangelicalism as that of Paul's teaching regarding the Christian and law.1 The debate has been around for centuries, and I am no position to say that I have come to an understanding that has been absent in church history. Actually, my understanding of the relation of law and gospel is similar to that of the reformers—in particular Martin Luther. He saw that the Mosaic Law had a temporal role in God’s plan of redemption, and he tended to stress what is commonly called the "second use" of the Law which is to drive the unbeliever to Christ.
Paul, I believe, espoused this position in his monumental letter to the Christians at Galatia. In chapters 3-6, he gives us a redemptive-historical perspective on the purpose of the Mosaic Law and life led by the Spirit in the New Covenant. Correctly understanding this perspective can, I believe, move Christians who are divided on the issue to a more fruitful discussion.
The structure of this essay revolves around my exegesis of Galatians 3:23-25. I will first provide the background of Galatians, and I will then analyze 3:23-25 through exegesis and contrasting various positions in Christendom on this passage. The essay concludes with a discussion on life in the Spirit over the age of Law and the Law of Christ as Paul explains in chapters 4-6.
Continue reading Why the law then, by Chris Poteet at BeginningWithMoses.org. Chris Poteet blogs at Imperishable Inheritance.
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