19 Then what was the purpose of the law? It was added because of human sin. And it was supposed to control us until the promised Seed had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a go-between. 20 A go-between does not take sides. God didn’t use a go-between when he made his promise to Abraham. But the same God was at work in both the law and the promise. 21 So is the law opposed to God’s promises? Certainly not! What if a law had been given that could give life? Then people could become right with God by obeying the law. 22 But Scripture announces that the whole world is a prisoner because of sin. It does so in order that what was promised might be given to those who believe. The promise comes through faith in Jesus Christ.
This is quite a dense passage in terms of the reasoning going on, and yet, what strikes me in this passage is that God is all about promises. I get caught up in questioning whether I’m doing right or wrong, and I slip into worrying about whether or not I’m measuring up to God’s standards. I feel this ‘law’ weighing heavily down on me, but the law is only there to show me my need for Jesus; to help me appreciate the value of the promise of salvation.
What a rich word that is… promise… It is a reason to expect something; an express assurance on which expectation is to be based; a declaration that one will do or refrain from doing something specified; it gives the person to whom it is made a right to expect or claim the performance or forbearance of a specified act. Wow! God has given me the right to expect, to claim, the performance of salvation, and all the other things He has promised – like peace, joy and provision – not because I am perfect, but because I have put my faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice upon the cross. The law judges me guilty, but in Jesus, God judges me innocent. That’s what the promise is about. It is hope. It is freedom.
Lord, when I look at myself through the eyes of the law, help me to see myself as you see me, washed clean in Jesus’ blood, with a shining white robe covering me. Help me to remember all of your promises, for I want to spend each day in a state of expectation and assurance that you will act as you have said. Amen.
Written by Beth Waugh