Why Paul so ‘Law Saul’?

by Rev Lai Kai Ming

Readings: Galatians 3:23-4:31

READ (verse/s chosen for meditation)
Galatians 3:24-25
Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

REFLECT
Paul really took pains to help the Galatians understand the purpose of the Law. Well, he was a Pharisee after all. The Law was a big deal to the Jews, and had been central to their nation’s history and conscience. But now that Christ has come, the Law’s role as tutor/guardian was no longer necessary. But does it still have a role? While the food, festival, ceremonial and sacrificial laws are no longer relevant to us, how about the 10 commandments? Or laws concerning war, homosexuality, or slavery? Who decides which laws make it into the New Testament? No wonder Paul had to be so ‘Law Saul’ (long-winded)!

RELATE
It is clear by the end of Galatians that Paul upheld the need for a holy life – free from sexual immorality, idolatry, hatred, envy, and the like. He reminded us that our freedom from the Law is not for us to indulge in selfish urges (5:13). Rather, it is to free Christians to serve and bless others. This is tough for those of us who live in the First World – where spending power is great, and the lure to self-actualisation (be yourself!) is strong. Yet Jesus offered a simpler answer to the problem of the Law – deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Me. This is the only way to a truly happy and fulfilled Life.

REST
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me. Grant me wisdom to understand Your truths, and faith to live them out. Amen.

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The Test of Successful Discipleship

A very important key to intentional discipleship is found in what Jesus said in Mt.28:20a – “and teaching them to OBEY EVERYTHING I have COMMANDED you.” If every Christian in every church obeys everything Jesus commanded us, disciples and disciple-makers would explode exponentially! Well-crafted sermons, passionate worship, gourmet food, warm fellowship and intensive Bible study are all great but if they don’t result in fellow believers becoming obedient, then we have all wasted each other’s time, worst still, we have simply played church! That’s the big test of successful discipleship.