Bible Passage:Gal 3:19a
Why, then, the Law? It was added because of transgressions, until the Seed should come to whom the promise was made.
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When we teach that a man is justified without the Law and works, says St. Paul, then this question necessarily arises: If the Law does not justify, why then was it given? Also: Why does God charge and burden us with the Law if it does not justify? Reason cannot answer this question, but is rather offended on account of it. Paul answers thus: Although the Law does not justify, it is very profitable and necessary. It outwardly restrains such as are carnal, rebellious, and obstinate. Moreover, it is a mirror that shows man himself as he is: a sinner, guilty of death and worthy of God's everlasting wrath and indignation. And to what end does this humbling, bruising, and beating down by this hammer, the Law, serve? To this end, that we may have an entrance unto grace. When the conscience is thus terrified by the Law, then comes the doctrine of the Gospel and grace, which raises up and comforts those who are cast down, saying: Christ came into the world, not to break the bruised reed nor to quench the smoking flax, but to preach the Gospel of glad tidings to the poor, to heal the broken and contrite heart, to preach forgiveness of sins to the captives. The tyranny of the Law, then, must so long continue until that Seed of the blessing come, not to the end that the Law should bring this Seed or give righteousness, but that it should outwardly restrain the rebellious and obstinate, spiritually reprove them of sin, humble and terrify them, and when they are thus humbled and beaten down, it should constrain them to look up to that blessed Seed.
That we Thy holy Law may know
And mourn our sin and all its woe,
And yet believe in Father, Son,
And Holy Spirit, There is One.
aka Pastor Robin Fish
Lutheran to the core -- and just a little beyond.
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