I. The Law As A Guardian Vs. 23-25

A. Kept Under Guard, For Faith Vs. 23, 24

1. The Christian’s life is described in two conditions: Before faith and after faith.
2. V. 23- Before faith: A person is kept “under guard” by the law.

a. Kept- To keep inward under lock and key.
b. The Law shows him how he ought to live, but reveals that he fails to live right.
c. The law keeps a man conscious of his own failures.
d. Jesus did this in The Sermon On The Mount- Matthew 5:17-48
e. If a man believes that the law is good, it will eventually wear him down if he uses it to try to justify himself.
f. It makes a man abandon self-salvation, and causes him to look for a Savior.
g. Guzik- The purpose of the Law of Moses is fulfilled when we stop trying to justify ourselves and come to faith in Jesus.

3. V. 23- Kept for faith: The intention of the law included this: to guard and keep a person
until they come to faith. Too keep them in “spiritual lockdown” until the only authorized freedom was made available.

a. The Mosaic Law made the Jew look forward to a salvation that would be offered through Jesus’ death, which would satisfy the payment for the sins of mankind.
b. The Law directs the modern man to look backwards to the cross of Christ.
c. The Law shows a man his guilty condition.
d. Some people go into despair and hopelessness regarding their guilt.
e. Others seek to blame shift and deflect the blame away from themselves.

4. The Law can only work on a man’s heart if:

a. That man agrees that the Laws of God are good.
b. That man is honest about his own failure in obeying the laws of God.

5. V. 24-Tutor– Better translated as guardian, custodian.

a. Wuest- a slave employed in Greek and Roman families who had general charge over a boy in the years from about 6–16. He watched over his outward behavior, and took charge over him whenever he went from home, as for instance, to school. This slave was entrusted with the moral supervision of the child. His duties were therefore quite distinct from those of a schoolmaster. The guardian could also discipline the child.
b. The guardian would show the child right living, and would provide external moral restraint until the child became an adult and did not need that external guardian.
c. The Guardian didn’t just teach facts, but he sought to shape character.

B. When Faith Comes, No Guardian Is Needed V. 25

1. The grown child doesn’t do away with the valuable lessons learned from the Guardian, but he also doesn’t answer to the Guardian any longer.
2. He now takes what he has learned, and lives his own life according to his convictions.
3. Spurgeon- “The law ceases its office as schoolmaster when it comes to be written on our hearts. Boys have their lessons on slates, but men have their laws in their minds. We trust a man where we should carefully watch a boy. When the child becomes a man his father and mother do not write down little rules for him, as they did when he was a child, neither do they set servants over him to keep him in order. He is trusted. His manliness is trusted; his honor is trusted, his best feelings are trusted. So now, brethren, we who have believed in Jesus have the law written here in our hearts, and it corresponds with what is written there in the Scriptures.”
4. Bible Knowledge Commentary- In the Roman society when a youth came of age he was given a special toga which admitted him to the full rights of the family and state and indicated he was a grown-up son. So the Galatian believers had laid aside the old garments of the Law and had put on Christ’s robe of righteousness which grants full acceptance before God. Who would want to don again the old clothing?

II. Life As An Adult Child Of God Vs. 26-29

A. Sonship Comes By Faith Vs. 26, 27

1. V. 26- The Legalists taught that one becomes a child of God by obedience to the Law.

a. This was a huge departure from the prevailing thought of the Legalist.

2. Paul has already explained that the purpose of the law was to bring you to faith, not reward you with justification.
3. V. 26– Sons of God- Relationship with God. The ability to know God, sense God, experience God, be led by God, be strengthened by God, etc. Much more than rules.
4. V. 26- Through faith (not obedience)– Faith-To cling to, trust in, rely upon.
5. V. 27- Baptized into Christ- Not baptized in water, but baptized into Christ.

a. Baptism in water is to be placed into, immersed into water.
b. Baptism into Christ- by faith we are placed into, immersed into Christ.
c. Water baptism is useless unless it is accompanied by faith in Jesus.

6. V. 27- Put on Christ- We choose Jesus by faith; He becomes what the world sees in us.

B. Equal Standing For All Of God’s Children V. 28

1. V. 28- The legalists saw viewed people according to cultural standing and ethnicity.
2. William Barclay- Rabbis quoted a morning prayer that was popular among many Jews of that day. In that prayer, the Jewish man would thank God that he was not born a Gentile, a slave, or a woman. Paul takes each of these categories and shows them to be equal in Jesus.
3. Martin Luther- “The list might be extended indefinitely: There is neither preacher nor hearer, neither teacher nor scholar, neither master nor servant, etc. In the matter of salvation, rank, learning, righteousness, influence, count for nothing.”
4.The Modern Church draws lines between denominations, between people of varying backgrounds, between differences of lives before salvation, between family history, etc.
5. The saved alcoholic is just as much a child of God as the saved banker; the saved homosexual is just as saved as the saved mother of five; the saved unchurched person is just as saved as the former religious church member who was unsaved; the saved murderer is just as saved as the saved preacher. All come by faith to their Savior.
6. The former idolatrous Gentiles stood equally with the former self-religious Jews.
7. Paul speaks of equality regarding salvation, not sameness of purpose on earth.

C. Heirs Of The Promise V. 29

1. “If you are Christ’s”- NOT- “if you are baptized, if you are a church member, if you have conquered all your sinful habits, if you speak in tongues, if you follow church rules”, etc.
2. If you are Christ’s then like Abraham, you are justified by faith, and seen as righteous by God.
3. John Stott- “We are neither prisoners, awaiting the final execution of our sentence, nor children, minors, under the restraint of a tutor, but sons of God and heirs of His glorious kingdom, enjoying the status and privileges of grown-up sons.”