No Need For A Schoolmaster

Galatians 3:24-25
by Dennis Baker, Brotherhood President

Galatians 3:24-25, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justifed by
faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.”

A good definition of the word schoolmaster would be child guardian. This definition would be familiar to the readers at
the time of Paul writing the book of Galatians. In many Greek and Roman households, well-educated slaves took the children to and from school and watched over them during the day. Sometimes they would teach the children, sometimes they would protect and prohibit, and sometimes they would discipline.

It is important that we introduce four important principles before we begin the evaluation of the text. 1) The Bible stresses what God has done rather than what sinners do to bring about salvation. 2) Ritual observance or moral improvement cannot improve God’s plan of salvation. 3) The cross is the only way of salvation. 4) God’s plan of salvation is based on
faith.

The Mosaic moral law or Ten commandments is the standard for God’s righteousness. God wrote the Ten Commandments on stone tablets and gave them to Moses on Mount Sinai, but the principles were written on the hearts of mankind from the beginning of creation. Jesus summed up the moral law in Matthew 22:37-40. However, it is interesting that Paul points out in Galatians 3:17, that God’s plan of salvation is not based on the law but on the Abrahamic promise. The Abrahamic promise was inclusive of both Jews and Gentiles based on the seed of Abraham, Jesus Christ. Genesis 12:3, “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

In Galatians 3:17, Paul states the purpose of the law by acknowledging that the law was added because of transgression. Based on his reasoning, he concludes in verse 22 that all are sinners as established by God’s moral law. Paul’s message is that mankind cannot obtain salvation by works. Before the conversion experience, the purpose of the law was to teach the sinner why he needed a Savior. In truth, we cannot live up to God’s standard of righteous. The law is a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.

In Galatians 3:26, Paul establishes that by faith we become the children of God. He also states in Galatians 3:25, “that
after faith, there is no need for a schoolmaster.” Is Paul saying that the moral law has no place in the life of the believer?
Does not being “under the law” lessen the moral responsibility of the believer? As Paul would write, “God forbid.” Because the believer is a child of God he is a spiritual person.

Paul wrote in Galatians 5:18, “but if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” Galatians 5:25, “If we live in the
Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” As a believer in Christ, the moral law teaches us the moral character and righteousness of God. Being justified by faith produces great importance for conforming to the moral character and righteousness of God in the life of the believer.

As a believer in Christ we have the leadership of the Holy Spirit and the written Word to help us conform God’s will in
our lives. Galatians 5:22-26, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”

We need to praise the Lord because we are no longer under the schoolmaster of the law to bring us to faith. But
because of faith, we are under grace and the leadership of the Holy Spirit to help us on our journey of faith!

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