Galatians 3:19-22

First –              faith 3:6-9. . .  faith of Abraham        He believed in the Lord

            Second-           law 3:10-14. . .curse of the law           No one gets the blessings


            Third -             faith 3:15-18. . .covenant of Abraham   A unilateral covenant

            Fourth -          law 3:19-22. . .purpose of the law: Reveal transgressions


            Fifth -              faith 3:23-29. . .heirs of the covenant

            Sixth -                         law 4:1-7 . . .bondage to covenant



3:19     If Abraham and his people had a unconditional covenant with God why were they \given the Law of Moses??


            Does the Law of Moses have no purpose for the plan of salvation??


            Is the Law of Moses opposed to God’s plan of salvation??


            Paul’s answer is, “It was added because of transgressions.”

                        Does he mean that the Law would restrain sin until the Messiah came? 

                                    This answer is “No.”

                        Does he mean it was given to make transgressions known?  

                                    This answer is “Yes.”

            The word for transgression is “parabasis” or parabasiV  and means “stepping over the boundary.”

            It is not the word “hamartia” or ‘amartia which is the word for “sin” and means

                        “to miss the mark.”


            Romans 3:20 “through the law we become conscious of sin.”

            Romans 4:15 “where there is no law there is no transgression.”


            The law is what makes “sin” a “transgression.”

            Sin has always existed but with out a statement of the law it would not be a transgression.


            Romans 5:20, “The law was added so that transgressions might increase. . .”

            Romans 7:1-4

                        a)  first example: a woman is married to a man,

                                                    the man dies,

                                                    the woman is free to marry another

                        b)  second example: the person had a binding relation with the law

                                                    the person dies to the law when they enter into Christ

                                                    the person is free to be joined to another, the risen Lord

                        Note why you have been separated from the law and to Christ. . .7:4


            John 15:1 -  Jesus introduces the same subject.  This is also the topic of Gal. 5,6.

The law reveals man’s need for a savior.  It compares man to the holiness of God.

The law then has prepared man’s heart and soul to look for the covenant of Abraham.

            Abraham asked, “How can I know that I will gain possession of it?”

            See Hebrews 11:8-10


Second half of 3:19

“Until the seed”  meaning there was a time limit for the usefulness of the law.

“The seed to whom the promise referred had come.”   What promise? 

            Which promise contained the ‘promise of the seed?’ 

            Answer:  The one in verse 15,16


“The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator.”

            The mediator is Moses.

            The angels are suggested in Deut. 33:2 and Psalm 68:17

                        And referred to in Acts 7:53 and Hebrews 2:2


3:20     “A mediator, however, does not represent just one party; but God is one.”


            There are over 300 interpretations of this verse.

            It is the most obscure verse in Galatians and maybe the whole Bible.


            It is difficult because it is an abrupt, short statement of a principle.

                        “God is one.”   This is true.  But what is the point of saying that now??


            The Law of Moses is said to have been mediated.  Meaning there were two parties

involved:  God and the people. 

            But, God is one, in the sense of the Abrahamic Covenant.  He did not mediate it, although there were two there, the smoking pot and the blazing torch.  The NT          mediator is Christ, but still, he is God, so there is still just one. 


            The point:  Salvation is a unilateral covenant.  The law is between two parties.


3:21     “Is the law opposed. . .”

            This is a response to those who take Paul’s teaching and try to make it ridiculous.

            They would say, “So, the law of Moses is an evil document.”

            Paul is saying this is nonsense.  The law is the character of God.

                        Rom. 5:20 says it increases transgressions, but the law is not sin.

                        Rom. 7:7-11 says the law even kills

            In fact, if you can fulfill the law you would have life: Lev. 18:5 and Gal. 3:12


3:22    The problem is not with the law.  The problem is with man. 

            When you fully realize this you look for an answer elsewhere and find the promise of the unilateral covenant that is Christ. 

            When you find Christ, you have salvation.

            If you hold to the law, you show you do not fully understand the promise of

                        Salvation through Jesus Christ.