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Creed vs. Freed: 1/24-25/2015

By Laura Buffington

In Galatians 3, Paul is trying to work out the purpose of the Law.  Maybe you've tried to do this, too. After all, we believe the whole Bible can help us get to know God and the Old Testament contains 600-something laws about what to do and not to do.  

Here are some ideas about why the Law existed, some of them directly from Paul:

- Maybe the Law helped to practically keep society in order.

- Maybe the Law showed people just how prone to disobedience they are in their heart.  Or our heart. Speaking for myself, I feel naturally prone to resist Law.  Just put me at a red light with no traffic around and my soul feels tortured. 

- Maybe the Law was just the first part of the story, preparing people to see the difference of the Grace system that came along with Jesus. 

Most of the ideas about Law see it as an inferior way to live.  BUT sometimes the folks in the Old Testament seem to LOVE Law.  Check out Psalm 19.  They sang about Law being perfect, delicious, like Sugar.  They thought Law was as good as honey on a biscuit!  Why in the world?!

Maybe...Law painted a picture for them of a different way of life.  Maybe it could be about something more than Legalism.  Maybe they heard the Ten Commandments, plus the other 600-somethings, and imagined a life without anger, or adultery, or idolatry.  The Law painted a picture of life without destruction.  So maybe they loved it at first.  Maybe they loved thinking of living a whole day that honored God.  

Maybe the Law wasn't the problem, but the Law-users and abusers.  

Re-read Galatians 3 this week. Think about your own relationship to Rules.  How can they be freeing? How can they be restricting?  

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