by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 3 Paragraph # 4 Study # 1 April 22, 2012 Dayton, Texas (Download Audio)
(167)Thesis:There is a critical need for us to understand what the Law is and why it was "ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator".
Introduction:Because the difficulty of relating to God by faith is a perennial problem for men, we have an enormous need for clarity in understanding what "Law" is and why it was put in place over 400 years after God gave the inheritance to Abraham by promise. For this cause, the apostle Paul launched immediately into the answers to these questions as soon as he had made "relating to God" a "Promise/faith" issue in direct opposition to "Law without obedience" principles.
This evening we are going to embark on the facts that God sets forth regarding the nature and function of "Law" so that we may be as clear as possible on the difference between "Law" and "Promise" as issues that control whether a person enjoys "Life".
I. Paul's Question is of the Nature of "Law".
A. His question is not as the Authorized Version renders it "Wherefore then serveth the law...?"
B. The question begins with an interrogative pronoun, not a conjunction (as in the Authorized Version translation of 3:24).
II. Paul's Answer Has One Main Part and One Secondary Qualification.
A. The Main Part identifies the nature of the Law by describing its "purpose" for existence (thus the AV translators "serveth").
1. It is the "nature" of "Law" to be a secondary, temporary addition to the Grand Plan to bring many sons to glory.
a. It is secondary because Promise trumps Law as an inviolable covenant that dominates the "relational world" of God and men.
1) It is obvious that "Law" was instigated after "Promise".
2) It is obvious that "Law" has an altogether different purpose and function than "Promise".
3) Since inserting "Promise" as the only methodology of "relational Life", we must look for a corollary, but different methodology for "Law" (different objective; different method) at a lesser level than the ultra-critical "Life" level.
b. It is temporary by direct statement: it was inserted "until the Seed should come" (the automatic consequence is that once the Seed has come, the function of "Law" is over: 3:25).
2. It is the "nature" of "Law" to deal with "the transgressions".
a. At the very root of "relational" reality is the fact that relationships cannot survive the practice of evil.
b. At the very root of "relational" reality is the fact that true "love" and "belief" are the only factors that sustain relationships.
1) Love is always a one-way street (it makes no demands upon the beloved that are rooted in any sense of "return" to the lover), but relationships are always a two-way street so that, though "love" does not demand a return of "love", relationships do demand that.
2) Faith is always the outcome of integrity so that the One declaring anything as "true" always tells the "truth" and the one yielding to the declarations does not "make Him a liar" because of hidden agenda issues (wanting, so that the only "acceptable truth" is what will forward my own agenda).
c. The presence of transgressions is the consequence of the death of the love/faith reality.
1) The death of the love/faith reality will destroy "Promise"; rendering it of no consequence.
2) Thus, the One making the promise must institute some methodology that will not allow that death.
d. This "dealing" is only until the Seed arrives on the scene.