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Paul uses rhetoric and personal appeals to destroy the legalists' false gospel of righteousness by law-keeping.
Paul asks the rhetorical question: is the law against the promises of God? He has already proven that the promises come by faith and not by the law. He has already proven that the law cannot nullify the promises which came before.
But does the law compete with the promise of faith? Does it set up a competing method of receiving the promises? Did God impose the law as against the faith of Abraham in His promised blessings through Christ?
The Judaizers claimed righteousness by works, which would compete with the promises God made to Abraham and Christ.
If the Judaizers were correct, then how can God's promise to Christ that He would be the blessing be fulfilled?
Paul's answer is, that the law would have been against the promises, if there had been a law that could give life! But since the law brings only death for disobedience, it cannot compete with God's promises through Christ by faith!
In fact, the Scriptures conclude all under sin, so that the promise by faith in Christ might be given to believers!
Legalists miss the whole lesson of the law: not that life and blessing come from it, but that its just demands against sinners drives them into the arms of Jesus!
Life is not by the law. The only way to life is faith in the promised Seed. The law showed us God's requirements and how sinners would be dealt with without a substitute.
Thus, the law had us shut into prison, but Christ has set us free! The law was our tutor to faith in Christ.
Judaizers never learnt the sad lesson of the law, so they never got out of its harsh school.
John Pittman Hey was born in 1961 in Jackson, Mississippi, to Godly parents who from the beginning raised him in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. With child-like faith he came to Christ on his fourth birthday at his mother's knee. He received his education at church school,...