24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. Gal. 3:24-25
Recently, I was watching my favorite documentary, “Seconds from Disaster”. In this particular incident, a chartered plane was travelling from Moscow to Barcelona with about 50 school children who were going on holiday in Barcelona, Spain. The trip was their reward for doing well at school. Separately, a mother with her two young children had managed to squeeze themselves into the plane. Her husband was waiting for them in Barcelona. He hadn’t seen them for almost two years. His heart desperately yearned for his children, and all he wanted was to see them, to be with them.
“It was hard not to see my children for such a long time”, he said. “We were finally going to see each other, and we were going to have fun together.”
That was all this father wanted.
But he would never get to see them. Just as it was nearing the end of its journey, the plane that carried this man’s family and the school children, suffered a mid-air collision with another plane, and everyone on both planes perished.
The father was so distraught that, many years later, he took matters into his hands. He accosted the air traffic controller who was on duty the night his family perished, and when an altercation occurred between them, he stabbed him with a knife. The air controller died instantly.
This father loved his family so much that he would go to such extremes.
God our Father also went to extremes because of His love for us. But, unlike this earthly father, God gave His Son for us instead.
The scripture we just quoted above is very important for the church. It talks about the Father’s love for us. Let us take time to look at it closely.
Notice the phrase “the law was our schoolmaster”. Anyone reading this post has attended school in their lifetime, and we all know that school is not the “coolest” place to be, and the schoolmaster is certainly not our best friend. He is there, above all, to discipline us. In school there are rules and regulations to enforce this “discipline” upon us.
Law dictates things. If we fail to follow the laid-down rules and regulations, the law will beat us to our knees. The law is there to enforce things, and it has the clout to do so.
That is why when people graduate from school, they do all kind of crazy things because they have been under pressure/law all those years!
When my kids were young, and I understood very little about grace, I put a lot of law on them. I was hard on them and they had to do things my way, by force if necessary. But today it is a different story. I may be weak, but I now understand I have a responsibility to handle them with grace. I came to understand that you can discipline your kids, including giving them the rod, but with a heart of grace.
So, before Christ came, we were under a schoolmaster. We were under law. But it was never God’s will for us to be under law. The law had no joy or freedom in it, and what father does not desire for his children to be just happy? God certainly does!
So God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to set us free from law.
The gist of what I am saying here is that law has no place in church. Not an iota! But when we lack a revelation of grace, we have nothing but law! We can offer nothing more. That is why the church today desperately needs a revelation of Christ’s grace.
When we do not have a revelation of grace in our hearts, we place law on people. But notice that the law takes us nowhere. Before Christ came, at least, it was of some use. It kept us in a holding area till grace would come.
Now that Christ has come, the law is of absolutely no use to us or to anyone. In fact, if we allow law into our lives, it will destroy us. It will bring us into bondage. We will lie there in the dust with the law’s foot on our throat, and if somehow in our lifetime we are unable to come out from under law, we will die with all the anger, bitternesses, unforgivenesses, lusts, hatreds and all the carnal nature bound up in our hearts. I have heard of people who went to heaven and they were surprised at all the hands, feet, etc. that were simply there at the disposal of God’s children… No, I believe the greatest surprise that we will find in heaven is the grace that was available to us here on earth, but which we simply did not partake of!
We need a revelation of grace. If we somehow manage to get ourselves from under the law, if it is not through a revelation of the grace of our Lord Jesus, we will go back to the world and get wild, like those college graduates.
That is why we need a revelation of grace. When we have this grace in our hearts we are free to serve a holy God and we can set others free. Grace comes to the jail of law and opens the door and tells us, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (Jn. 8:11). That is what Jesus told the woman caught in adultery.
Show me a man whose joy and excitement in the Lord has grown exponentially since they got saved, and I will show you a man who is walking under grace.
But it is not so with many believers. Many quickly lose their first joy, and their first love for Christ. They easily tire of church and begin doing things by rote, but the light and enthusiasm has dimmed in their hearts.
That is a sure sign that soon after they got saved, they fell into the arms of law, not grace. The law quickly took them into the quicksands of nowhere, and they died there. The spirit of law in church is a death knell for the believer.
That is why we cannot ignore the Pauline doctrine, the doctrine of the cross. I repeat, we cannot ignore it. The Apostle Paul was a man of immense grace. But this grace did not come easily. It came to him as he carried his cross and followed Jesus.
The church cannot escape the narrow road. We may run all over and all around the world, but that narrow road is awaiting us. We would rather choose, right where we are, to gird ourselves in the spirit and purpose to walk this road instead, for the sake of grace.
[Below: We love our children to be happy. How much more God we!]