Galatians 3:24 – ‘…the Law… our tutor to lead us to Christ…’, Explained.

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“Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible® (NASB), Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. www.Lockman.org

“Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™ “

The Orthodox Jewish Bible Copyright Artists for Israel Intl Used by permission © The Orthodox Jewish Bible fourth edition, OJB. Copyright 2002, 2003, 2008, 2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Brief Summary

Showing how Galatians 3:24 is speaking of how the Law of Moses schooled mankind as to what right and wrong is, and led up to Christ (Messiah), where one can be justified and accounted completely righteous by faith (Isaiah 53:11 ‘my righteous servant will justify many…’ (NIV)), and also be blessed with everlasting life (Isaiah 28:16, Ephesians 2:20, John 3:14-16), instead of perishing (Isaiah 28:22).

Begin

Galatians 3:24 reads as follows;

Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.
Galatians 3:24 NASB

A great number of dear people have currently, and sadly inherited an incorrect interpretation of Galatians 3:24.

The Incorrect Interpretation

The portion of this verse that is often recited out of context is;

‘…the Law… our tutor to lead us to Christ…’,
(Galatians 3:24 NASB)

A dear though mistaken person, might currently say that this verse is thus saying something along the lines of;

‘… the Law of Moses (Torah) was simply a thing to observe until Christ came to complete his mission on the earth, and now we don’t have to do it anymore…’

Civilly, the above interpretation is incorrect, and let us know understand why.

The Correct Interpretation

Firstly, one should note that in no place does the verse state that the Law of Moses has been abolished, when it says ‘…the Law… our tutor to lead us to Christ…’.

 Rather, this well known phrase is actually the lead-up to the core context of the verse, and the core context of the verse is located toward the end of it – when it says;

Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.
Galatians 3:24 NASB.

The later part of this verse tells us that the context is thus speaking on the matter of ‘justification by faith’, and as we will continue to see, Galatians chapter 3 is not stating that the Law of Moses has been abolished at all.

Verse 11 confirms this context for us again, when it says;

Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.
Galatians 3:11 ESV

As verse 10 refers to the conditions of the Torah – when it says;

For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”
Galatians 3:10 ESV

[ref. Deut 27:27, 28:1, 28:15, amongst other verses]

‘…curses shall come upon you and overtake you.’
(Deuteronomy 28:15 ESV)

 When it says ‘…all who rely on works of the law…’, this is speaking of a person who is counting on their own merit and good deeds to be declared completely righteous before the Holy G-d. 

Such a ‘works-based’ approach is also referred to in verse 23 as seeking to be ‘under the law’;

Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed.
Galatians 3:23 ESV

Explanation

In context, Galatians 3:24 tells us that the law is holy just and good (Rom 7:12), however the flesh is week (Matt 26:41) and we can not fulfil what it requires, this leads to judgement and curses which ultimately speak of perishing (Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 28).

By believing on Messiah (Christ), a person is justified and blessed with everlasting life.

No longer are they ‘under the law’ for justification- which is a term representing purely works based effort, but rather observe the Law diligently, knowing that their righteousness comes from G-d, by believing in Christ.

This is how they are accounted righteous (ref. Isaiah 53:11-12).

For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.
Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.
Romans 3:28, 3:31 ESV

‘…we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh…’
(Philippians 3:3 NIV)

May the Holy G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; bless you with a beyond maximum increase, believing in His risen Son the Lord Jesus Christ (Adonai Yehoshua HaMoshiach). Amen.

Biblical Copyright Translation Disclaimer

“Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.” 

 “Scripture quotations marked (NASB) are from the New American Standard Bible® (NASB), copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.Lockman.org ” 

 “Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Standard Version® (NIV®), copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™”

 “Scripture quotations marked (OJB) are from the Orthodox Jewish Bible Copyright Artists for Israel Intl. Used by permission © The Orthodox Jewish Bible fourth edition, OJB. Copyright 2002, 2003, 2008, 2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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