Law vs. Promise
Topic: Galatians Passage: Galatians 3:10–3:22
That purpose is not to give salvation, but rather to convince man of his need for salvation.
“Satan would have us to prove ourselves holy by the law, which God gave to prove us sinners.”
“though the law comes the knowledge of sin” (3:20).
“Where there is no law, there is no transgression (4:15).”
“If it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin (7:7).”
Martin Luther said,
“The principal point…of the law…is to make men not better but worse; that is to say, it sheweth unto them their sin, that by the knowledge thereof they may be humbled, terrified, bruised and broken, and by this means may be driven to seek grace, and so to come to that blessed Seed (who is Christ).”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said,
“It is only when one submits to the law that one can speak of grace…I don’t think it is Christian to want to get to the New Testament too soon and too directly. We must never bypass the law and come straight to the gospel. To do so is to contradict the plan of God in Biblical history.”
“People cannot see the beauty of the pearl, because they have no conception of the filth of the pigsty. No man has ever appreciated the gospel until the law has first revealed him to himself. It is only against the inky blackness of the night sky that the stars begin to appear, and it is only against the dark background of sin and judgment that the gospel shines forth. Not until the law has bruised and smitten us will we admit our need of the gospel to bind up our wounds. Not until the law has arrested and imprisoned us will we pine for Christ to set us free. Not until the law has condemned and killed us will we call upon Christ for justification and life. Not until the law has driven us to despair of ourselves will we ever believe in Jesus. Not until the law has humbled us even to hell will we turn to the gospel to raise us to heaven.”