Here begins the second division of the epistle, in which Paul deals with the doctrine of liberty. He begins with the exclamation, "O foolish Galatians, who did bewitch you?" He then inquired, Did they receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or, having begun in the Spirit, are they now perfected in the flesh? Was their suffering in vain? Was that Spirit supplied, and those miracles wrought by the works of the law?
The answers to these questions are perfectly clear, and reveal a positive doctrine. The true sons of Abraham are they who are of the faith. "As many as are of the works of the law are under a curse." This the apostle shows to be so. The Scripture says, "The righteous shall live by faith; while the law says, "He that doeth them shall live in them."
What, then, was the value of the law? It was a temporary arrangement only, until the coming of the Seed. It was a divine arrangement, for it was "ordained through angels by the hand of a mediator," Moses. Therefore the law leads on to the coming of the Seed, the Christ, through faith in whom the promise made to faith may be realized. The work of the law was to keep men in ward, and to shut them up unto the faith "afterwards to be revealed." Thus "the law has become our tutor to bring us unto Christ." The "tutor" is really one who exercises discipline and watches over conduct. Then the law was simply a disciplinary custodian, until Christ, who would open the prison door, and would set the prisoner free. Thus the newborn are Abraham's seed, not according to, or by the way of, law, but according to promise. This is the great doctrine of liberty from the law.
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25