|Lesson 7||November 5 - 11|
The Road to Faith
Memory Text: “Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe” (Galatians 3:22, ESV).
“Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION”. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson Publishers. Used by Permission.
The Law and the Promise
Galatians 3:21 (NKJV) 21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law.
Leviticus 18:5 (NKJV) 5 You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the LORD.
Deuteronomy 6:24 (NKJV) 24 And the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day.
2 Kings 5:7 (NKJV) 7 And it happened, when the king of Israel read the letter, that he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to kill and make alive, that this man sends a man to me to heal him of his leprosy? Therefore please consider, and see how he seeks a quarrel with me.”
Nehemiah 9:6 (NKJV)
6 You alone are the LORD;
You have made heaven,
The heaven of heavens, with all their host,
The earth and everything on it,
The seas and all that is in them,
And You preserve them all.
The host of heaven worships You.
John 5:21 (NKJV) 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will.
Romans 4:17 (NKJV) 17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”[a]) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;
Galatians 3:22 (NKJV) 22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
Romans 3:9-19 (NKJV) 9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.
10 As it is written:
“ There is none righteous, no, not one;
11 There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
12 They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.”
13 “ Their throat is an open tomb;
With their tongues they have practiced deceit”;
“ The poison of asps is under their lips”;
14 “ Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “ Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways;
17 And the way of peace they have not known.”
18 “ There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
“Kept Under Law”
Galatians 3:23 (NKJV) 23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.
Galatians 2:15 (NKJV) 15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
Galatians 3:26 (NKJV) 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:24 (NKJV) 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Galatians 3:22-23 (NKJV) 22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.
Romans 6:14-15 (NKJV) 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!
1 Corinthians 9:20 (NKJV) 20 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law;
Galatians 4:4-5,21 (NKJV) 4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born[a] of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law?
Galatians 5:18 (NKJV) 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Galatians 4:21 (NKJV) 21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law?
Galatians 3:21-22 (NKJV) 21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
Galatians 5:2-4 (NKJV) 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
1 Corinthians 9:14 (NKJV) 14 Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.
Galatians 3:11 (NKJV) 11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.”
The Law as Our “Guard”
Galatians 3:15-20 (NKJV) 15 Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Though it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it. 16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,”[a]who is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ,[b] that it should make the promise of no effect. 18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.
Galatians 3:19-24 (NIV) 19 Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. 20 A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one. 21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22 But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
Children of God 23 Before the coming of this faith,[a] we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith.
2 Corinthians 11:32 (NIV) 32 In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me.
Philippians 4:7 (NIV) 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 1:5 (NIV) 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
Galatians 3:23 (NIV) 23 Before the coming of this faith,[a] we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed.
Genesis 20:18 (NIV) 18 for the LORD had kept all the women in Abimelek’s household from conceiving because of Abraham’s wife Sarah.
Exodus 14:3 (NIV) 3 Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.’
Joshua 6:1 (NIV) 1 Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.
19 The cities in the Negev will be shut up,
and there will be no one to open them.
All Judah will be carried into exile,
carried completely away.
Luke 5:6 (NIV) 6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.
Romans 11:32 (NIV) 32 For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.
Romans 3:1-2 (NIV) 1 What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? 2 Much in every way! First of all, the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God.
Deuteronomy 7:12-24 (NIV) 12 If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the LORD your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your ancestors. 13 He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your womb, the crops of your land—your grain, new wine and olive oil—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you. 14 You will be blessed more than any other people; none of your men or women will be childless, nor will any of your livestock be without young. 15 The LORD will keep you free from every disease. He will not inflict on you the horrible diseases you knew in Egypt, but he will inflict them on all who hate you. 16 You must destroy all the peoples the LORD your God gives over to you. Do not look on them with pity and do not serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you. 17 You may say to yourselves, “These nations are stronger than we are. How can we drive them out?” 18 But do not be afraid of them; remember well what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt. 19 You saw with your own eyes the great trials, the signs and wonders, the mighty hand and outstretched arm, with which the LORD your God brought you out. The LORD your God will do the same to all the peoples you now fear. 20 Moreover, the LORD your God will send the hornet among them until even the survivors who hide from you have perished. 21 Do not be terrified by them, for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God. 22 The LORD your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you. 23 But the LORD your God will deliver them over to you, throwing them into great confusion until they are destroyed. 24 He will give their kings into your hand, and you will wipe out their names from under heaven. No one will be able to stand up against you; you will destroy them.
Leviticus 18:20-30 (NIV) 20 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your neighbor’s wife and defile yourself with her.
21 “‘Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molek, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.
22 “‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable. 23 “‘Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion.
24 “‘Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. 25 Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. 26 But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the foreigners residing among you must not do any of these detestable things, 27 for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled. 28 And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you. 29 “‘Everyone who does any of these detestable things—such persons must be cut off from their people. 30 Keep my requirements and do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practiced before you came and do not defile yourselves with them. I am the LORD your God.’”
Romans 7:6 (NIV) 6 But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.
Galatians 2:19 (NIV) 19 “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.
Romans 7:12, 14 (NIV) 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.
14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.
Romans 8:3-4 (NIV) 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,[a] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.[b] And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Romans 13:8 (NIV) 8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.
The Law as Our Schoolmaster
Galatians 3:23, 24 (NIV) 23 Before the coming of this faith,[a] we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed.
24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith.
Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 1, p. 234.
In the contemplation of this great theme of salvation we see Christ’s work. Not
only the promised gift of the Spirit, but also the nature and character of this sacrifice
and intervention are subjects which should create in our hearts elevated, sacred, high
ideas of the law of God, which holds its claims upon every human agency. The
violation of that law in the small act of eating of the forbidden fruit, brought upon
man and upon the earth the consequence of disobedience to the holy law of God. The
nature of the intervention should ever make man afraid to do the smallest action in
disobedience to God’s requirement.
There should be a clear understanding of that which constitutes sin, and we should
avoid the least approach to step over the boundaries from obedience to disobedience.
God would have every member of His creation understand the great work of the
infinite Son of God in giving His life for the salvation of the world. “Behold, what
manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons
of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not” (1 John 3:1).
When he sees in Christ the embodiment of infinite and disinterested love and
benevolence, there is awakened in the heart of the sinner a thankful disposition to
follow where Christ is drawing.—Manuscript 87, 1900.
Especially the Moral Law
“The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified
by faith” (Galatians 3:24). In this scripture, the Holy Spirit through the apostle is
speaking especially of the moral law. The law reveals sin to us, and causes us to feel
our need of Christ and to flee unto Him for pardon and peace by exercising repentance
toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
An unwillingness to yield up preconceived opinions, and to accept this truth, lay
at the foundation of a large share of the opposition manifested at Minneapolis against
the Lord’s message through Brethren [E.J.] Waggoner and [A.T.] Jones. By exciting
that opposition Satan succeeded in shutting away from our people, in a great measure, the special power of the Holy
Spirit that God longed to impart to them. The enemy prevented them from obtaining
that efficiency which might have been theirs in carrying the truth to the world, as the
apostles proclaimed it after the day of Pentecost. The light that is to lighten the whole
earth with its glory was resisted, and by the action of our own brethren has been in a
great degree kept away from the world.
Matthew 5:28 (NKJV) 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Romans 7:6 (NKJV) 6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.
The Law and the Believer
Galatians 3:25 (NKJV) 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
Romans 8:3 (NKJV) 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,
Romans 6:14-15 (NKJV) 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!
John 8:34 (NKJV) 34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.
Romans 8:1-3 1 (NKJV) There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,[a] who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,
1 Thessalonians 4:1 (NKJV) 1 Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God;
Galatians 5:18 (NKJV) 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Hebrews 8:10 (NKJV) 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
Romans 8:4 (NKJV) 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 1, p. 233
The Law in Galatians
I am asked concerning the law in Galatians. What law is the schoolmaster to bring us to Christ? I answer: Both the ceremonial and the moral code of ten commandments.
Christ was the foundation of the whole Jewish economy. The death of Abel was in consequence of Cain’s refusing to accept God’s plan in the school of obedience to be saved by the blood of Jesus Christ typified by the sacrificial offerings pointing to Christ. Cain refused the shedding of blood which symbolized the blood of Christ to be shed for the world. This whole ceremony was prepared by God, and Christ became the foundation of the whole system. This is the beginning of its work as the schoolmaster to bring sinful human agents to a consideration of Christ the Foundation of the whole Jewish economy.
All who did service in connection with the sanctuary were being educated constantly in regard to the intervention of Christ in behalf of the human race. This service was designed to create in every heart a love for the law of God, which is the law of His kingdom. The sacrificial offering was to be an object lesson of the love of God revealed in Christ—in the suffering, dying victim, who took upon Himself the sin of which man was guilty, the innocent being made sin for us.
Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 1, p. 235
“The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:24). In this scripture, the Holy Spirit through the apostle is speaking especially of the moral law. The law reveals sin to us, and causes us to feel our need of Christ and to flee unto Him for pardon and peace by exercising repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
An unwillingness to yield up preconceived opinions, and to accept this truth, lay at the foundation of a large share of the opposition manifested at Minneapolis against the Lord’s message through Brethren [E.J.] Waggoner and [A.T.] Jones. By exciting that opposition Satan succeeded in shutting away from our people, in a great measure, the special power of the Holy Spirit that God longed to impart to them. The enemy prevented them from obtaining that efficiency which might have been theirs in carrying the truth to the world, as the apostles proclaimed it after the day of Pentecost. The light that is to lighten the whole earth with its glory was resisted, and by the action of our own brethren has been in a great degree kept away from the world.
The law of ten commandments is not to be looked upon as much from the prohibitory side, as from the mercy side. Its prohibitions are the sure guarantee of happiness in obedience. As received in Christ, it works in us the purity of character that will bring joy to us through eternal ages. To the obedient it is a wall of protection. We behold in it the goodness of God, who by revealing to men the immutable principles of righteousness, seeks to shield them from the evils that result from transgression.
We are not to regard God as waiting to punish the sinner for his sin. The sinner brings the punishment upon himself. His own actions start a train of circumstances that bring the sure result. Every act of transgression reacts upon the sinner, works in him a change of character, and makes it more easy for him to transgress again. By choosing to sin, men separate themselves from God, cut themselves off from the channel of blessing, and the sure result is ruin and death.
The law is an expression of God’s idea. When we receive it in Christ, it becomes our idea. It lifts us above the power of natural desires and tendencies, above temptations that lead to sin. “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them” (Psalm 119:165)—cause them to stumble.
There is no peace in unrighteousness; the wicked are at war with God. But he who receives the righteousness of the law in Christ is in harmony with heaven. “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other” (Psalm 85:10).—Letter 96, 1896.