As Christians, we often ask the question that was asked of Paul, “What then the law?“ (Galatians 3:19,20). Why did God give the law and how does it fit in His plan for our salvation? Tomorrow we will try to specifically answer this question. For today, we will look at why the question was asked.
This was obviously a question asked by Judaizers who followed Paul around distorting and perverting the gospel. Their belief system went something like this, “You Galatians have done well to trust Christ, but you need something else. You need circumcision, dietary laws, and rules and regulations.“ In short, these Judaizers taught that you had to become a Jew in order to become a Christian (Acts 15:1). The Jerusalem Council of Acts 15 was held to deal with this foundational issue.
These Judaizers were the spiritual forerunners of those who teach today that Jesus is not enough. In their belief it is Jesus plus something else. You can almost plug in anything for those who do not live by faith in Christ alone. For some it is Jesus plus baptism or Jesus plus speaking in tongues or Jesus plus worshipping on the Sabbath day. In fact, it can be almost anything.
But for Paul and for the teaching of the New Testament our salvation is in “Christ alone.” It is Jesus plus nothing.
Paul wrote to the churches of Galatia to combat this destructive teaching. He asked, “who has bewitched you Galatians so that you have so quickly turned away from the truth?“
Paul wondered how anyone could turn from freedom to slavery and from the Spirit to the law. He knew that we have been redeemed in Christ Jesus and we have been adopted as God’s sons (Galatians 4:4–6).
Through Christ, we who were far off are now the sons of the living God. Paul knew that this truth was worth defending.
May we be faithful in following the teachings of the New Testament about the hope that we have in Christ alone.