Galatians 3:24-25 KJV
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
The law was designed to be our schoolmaster. The word schoolmaster was translated from a Greek word that means a servant whose office it was to take the children to school. The law was a servant whose office it was to take us to Christ. The law was meant to point us to our desperate need for a Savior.
Man has taken what was meant to be a catalyst to lead us to Christ and turned it into something to be obtained. God told man to depend on the Word – to take it in, to hear it, to focus on it, to deem it as their first priority in life, and to value it. We see this in the Hebrew words shama and shamar. Shama was translated as obey in English and shamar was translated as keep. When we read that we are to “obey” and “keep” God’s commandments, we must be sure that we understand what that really means. Both shama and shamar refer to an intimate, dependant relationship with the Word of God – not performance. God’s plan for man is to live through His Word – not try to live up to it; however, man wanted to achieve his own perfection and acceptance. Man did not want to depend on God.
When we look at the Word as something to be obtained or achieved, the focus is taken off of Christ and it is placed on us. It is all about our performance instead of Christ’s sacrifice. The Bible tells us that the law is good – if it is used properly (1 Timothy 1:8); it is good – it is beautiful and valuable. When the law is used to point us to Christ it is beautiful and it is valuable. When we look at the law as something that we must accomplish, the focus is no longer on Christ; consequently, it is not of Spiritual value.
The Old Testament system of animal sacrifice was a picture of Jesus Christ as our sacrifice for sin. The focal point of animal sacrifices was the sacrifice – not the person offering the sacrifice. The sacrifice was examined for perfection, not the person presenting the sacrifice. God is not looking at you and what you can do – God is looking at Christ. When we accept Christ’s sacrifice we are then hidden with God in Christ. His perfection is our perfection. When we go to God, we go in Jesus’ name – not ours! We present everything He has done for us; we depend on His sacrifice instead of trusting in ourselves. God sees us in Christ; He sees what Christ did for us!
Man can pervert the sacrifice and put the focus on himself. Too many times we take pride in what we do instead of what Christ did for us.
Isaiah 57:12 NIV I will expose your righteousness and your works, and they will not benefit you.
God tells us that our righteousness and our works will be exposed; they will be shown for what they really are. We must understand that whatever we can do apart from Christ is nothing more than filthy rags in God’s estimation (Isaiah 64:6). God is not interested in our attempts or our performance. We need to feel the same way.
2 Corinthians 11:30 NIV If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.
Paul was an apostle. He was a follower of Christ; he was a student of the Word of God and he was a teacher of the Word. Paul knew that his works were of no Spiritual value. Paul even bragged about the fact that he could not produce Spiritual fruit on his own – he was happy to be dependent on Christ! We should feel the same way! We should rejoice in the fact that Christianity is not about us. We should get excited about the fact that we must abide in Christ. The focus will be taken off of us when we truly understand that we cannot do anything of Spiritual value apart from Christ and focusing on Christ is something to be excited about!