Day 30: The Scope of the Law of Moses

Galatians 3:19 :

What then is the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the seed should come to whom the promise has been made. It was ordained through angels by the hand of a mediator.

We learn five things here about the Law of God given through Moses.

  • It was an additive
  • It was temporary
  • It was given because of sin
  • It was ordained through angels
  • It was ordained by a mediator

I would like to focus on the first three things.

The Law, was an additive. It simply wasn’t available before the children of Israel got it on Mount Sinai. It was still wrong to break the 10 Commandments, it’s just that, no one knew exactly what they were doing wrong or what the punishment would be. They also didn’t know what the blessings might have been. This is important to know because one would naturally ask, “Why was it added?”

Also, the Law is temporary. Paul says that it only applied “until the seed should come to whom the promise has been made.” Because of this, we know that the scope of the law was limited in time. So the law was added at the time of Moses until the time of Christ. This describes a special economy between God and mankind. We are no longer in the “Mosaic Economy”. We are now in a different one. This still brings up the question of “Why?” Why was the law added temporarily?

This compact verse also tells us that it was given because of sin. Sin isn’t the same as “sins.” We are talking about who we are here, not what we do. We are sinners by nature. We don’t just sin.

The reason that sin is so hard to accept is because we often think that we are good. God says we are all evil. God doesn’t think we are good because we haven’t stolen or murdered anyone. God already knows that we are thieves and murderers at heart. The law does a great job of exposing that fact to us. Considering your own behavior against what The Law requires, causes it to be very clear that you continuously break the law and that you are not really a good person at all.

Notice what isn’t in scope here. The law can’t be used to improve our morality. It isn’t going to improve anything, in fact, it makes things worse as the law excites our deep-seated rebellion against God.