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Under Moses, In Christ, Part 3

October 31, 2010 Pastor: John Fonville Series: Galatians

Scripture: Galatians 3:23–3:29

Under Moses, In Christ

Part 3


Text: Galatians 3:23-29




I.       Life under Moses equals bondage. vv. 23-24


A.       Prison, v. 23

B.       Pedagogue, v. 24


II.       Life in Christ equals blessing. vv. 25-29


A.       Free from harsh discipline, v. 25


“What is God’s law now? It is not above a Christian-it is under a Christian. Some men hold God’s law like a rod, in terror, over Christians, and say, ""If you sin you will be punished with it."" It is not so. The law is under a Christian; it is for him to walk on, to be his guide, his rule, his pattern. ""We are not under the law, but under grace."" Law is the road which guides us, not the rod which drives us, nor the spirit which actuates us. The law is good and excellent, if it keeps its place.” (Charles Spurgeon, “The Allegories of Sarah and Hagar,” Galatians 4:24)


What does a life look like that is no longer under a guardian [pedagogue]?




1. To be “under Law” is to live under harsh discipline by a Judge. But, to be “in Christ” is to live under loving discipline by a Father.


2. To be “under law” is to be in bondage to the command of perfect obedience for life. But, to be “in Christ” is to possess life on the basis of Christ’s perfect obedience for us.


“The holy and just law of God will never exact from them a double payment of the same debt…On the ground of Christ’s fulfilling it in their stead, they are delivered from all its demands of personal and perfect obedience, and of punishment for sin in order to justification before God,” (John Colquhoun, A Treatise on the Law and the Gospel, p. 199).


3. To be “under law” is to be under the tyranny of the devil. But, to be “in Christ” is to be free from the devil’s tyranny.


4. To be “under law” is to be in bondage to the sinful desires of the flesh. But, to be “in Christ” is to no longer be enslaved to the sinful desires of the flesh.


5. To be “under law” is to be unpleasing to God. But, to be “in Christ” is to be pleasing to God.


“The gospel remits the severity of the moral law. Wherein our personal obedience comes short, God will be pleased to accept us in our Surety. ‘He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.’ Eph. 1:6. Though our obedience be imperfect, yet, through Christ our Surety, God looks upon it as perfect,” (Thomas Watson, The Ten Commandments, p. 47).


6. To be “under law” is to lack the ability and desire to repent of sin. But, to be “in Christ” is to live a life of repentance.


“Godly sorrow for sin is produced in you by believing the forgiving grace of God. Experience shows that a stubborn criminal will come to tears sooner from a pardon then from fear of prison. In this way the sinful woman was brought to wash Christ’s feet with her tears (Luke 7:37-38). You are not likely to be sorry for grieving God with your sins while you consider Him an enemy. You will never grieve over your sin if you only see God as one who takes pleasure in your everlasting destruction,” (The Gospel Mystery, p. 109).


7. To be “under law” is to be void of the Holy Spirit. But, to be “in Christ” is to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit.




© John Fonville

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