Galatians 2:16" The Law Saves No One"

Thank You for giving me a few minutes of your time. Galatians is a unique letter. It will take some time to get into Paul's mind, and from there to understand what God has chosen to reveal through the disaster that the congregation at Galatia was experiencing.

The effect of these Meditations will be cumulative, and the real benefit may have nothing to do with what I have written. I believe that the discipline of having a brief daily conversation with God about the meaning of a variety of Bible passages over a period of a few weeks, even if you come to some very different conclusions, will still be a wonderful and enlightening experience for you. At, under the Yellow Pages, is some background info about Galatians. If you missed an earlier Meditation, you can still read it at by going to the homepage, clicking on Newsletter, and clicking on "browse previous newsletters."


Meditations in Galatians #4  Thursday, June 4, 2009 Galatians 2:16


“…nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law butthrough faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.

Father, I guess I really did know that keeping Moses’ Laws would not make me righteous, because I thought no one could actually do it. But Paul seems to be saying that even if a person kept them all, it would still not “justify” them. It’s true that I believe in Jesus and seek to be justified in Him, but I need some help in understanding what Paul was saying. Is he really saying that until Jesus came, no one was ever considered just in God’s eyes? What happened to all those people when they died?

I know that Abraham set the standard of faith, and that You revealed Yourself to Him in a very direct way, hundreds of years before Moses. But what about everyone else? How will You judge them? Your Son said that those who hoped in Moses would be judged by Moses. I don’t think I would like that. Moses spent a lot of time being really “put out” with the people he was called to lead. He even prophesied that the nation would break the covenant he had established between them and God. It looks to me as if faith in Jesus was the only hope of righteousness even before He was born. This means that You would have had to reveal Him to a lot of people between the days of Abraham and Pentecost. Oh, maybe You did. I know that when Jesus was born, Zechariah and Elizabeth; Simeon,  Anna, and Mary all seemed to correctly understand the prophecies of Your Son. And they clearly lived by faith in anticipation of His coming. So salvation by faith in Jesus was possible even before He was born? That’s what it looks like to me. 

I just remembered Hebrews 11: the "Roll Call of the Faithful."  You never did intend anyone to be saved by keeping any law, did You? Paul said the Law of Moses was a tutor. Is that all it was ever suppposed to be, even when it was new?

Oh, I get it. It was always about Your Mercy, wasn't it?  The purpose of the Law was to show every Israelite that they needed Your Mercy. Everything else was secondary. They were supposed to learn that they could never be worthy enough and then turn to You in faith like Abraham did.  Please help me to understand how this relates to my walk with You today. Thank you for your mercy.  And Thank You for my Freedom in Christ!