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Devotional - week of November 24, 2013


AFTER FAITH COMES

But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. Galatians 3:25

False teachers came to the Galatian churches after Paul had left and taught them that Paul was wrong. They taught that laws from the First Covenant had to be obeyed in order to be saved and to live the Christian life. Paul mentions two of the things they were evidently teaching. In Galatians 4:10 Paul writes, “You observe days and months and seasons and years.” In chapter 5, Paul mentions circumcision in verses 2, 3, and 6. In Galatians 3:10, Paul quotes Deuteronomy 27:26: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” James 2:10 says, “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.”

In Galatians 3:24-25, Paul explains the purpose of the law with, “But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”

Attempting to keep the law, one is driven to Jesus for salvation, because no one in his own wisdom and strength can keep them. That is how the law is our tutor—the word is translated “our school master” in some translations of the New Testament. After faith comes, we are no longer under a tutor. We can also say, “After faith in Christ has comes to a believer for salvation, he no longer needs to attempt to live the Christian life by “doing his best for Jesus.” Trying to keep the law and doing our best for Jesus are both living out of our own wisdom and strength. Neither is of faith.

Unfortunately, many of God’s children who know they are saved try to live for God by doing their best for Jesus.  .

In order to get the attention of the Galatian believers, Paul writes at the very beginning of chapter 3, “This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” Paul obviously told them while he was with them that God sent the Holy Spirit to live in them to guide and enable them to live for God. Paul would say to believers today who are trying to do their best for Jesus, “Be filled with the Holy Spirit and move on under His leadership and enabling power.”