Galatians 3:21-25


Gal 3:21 (KJB)
Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
Paul now asks a serious question concerning the law of God and if it is against the promises of God. The answer by Paul is, of course, an emphatic no. The law did not negate the covenant of grace. The law was designed to show the utter sinfulness of man and therefore it could not possibly have given anyone the right way of salvation. The law showed how sinful man was, and in that exposition, it showed manís need for salvation by grace alone. Law and grace is like water and oil. An engine needs oil for lubrication to run properly and it needs water to keep it running cool but they can never be mixed or else the engine will be ruined. Grace and Law work simultaneously in that the law shows the sinfulness of man and his inability to gain salvation by keeping the law and grace is the means whereby those under the law can become saved and then they are out from under the bondage of the law.
Gal 3:22 (KJB)
But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
Hath concluded - Enclosed or imprisoned
Under - Subject to or under power of
The Bible is replete with the fact that the whole human race is under the power of sin. Concerning the subject of man being under the power of sin, the Bible is like a prison in that there is no way out or around that fact. However, there is a way to get a complete pardon and that is by the faith of Jesus Christ. The promise is given to those who believe, as Abraham did, and that would be reckoned to them for true righteousness. It must be noted that for a person to truly believe, they must be given salvation first. The order is always salvation first and then comes belief. The promise is not given to everyone but only to those who believe. This means that Christ did not die for the whole human race, just for the elect within that sinful human race.
Gal 3:23 (KJB)
But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
We were kept - Guarded, confined, or protected
Under - Subject to or under power of
Shut up - Consigned, imprisoned, or enclosed
Paul now speaks of the time from Moses to the time of Christ. Remember that grace was active throughout history saving people but here Paul speaks of a specific time when the law was given to Moses, the people were confined to that law being subject to it. They were actually considered being imprisoned in the law as if it was the only method by which a person could becomes saved. As we have previously seen. No one could be saved by keeping the law. When the Lord Jesus Christ came upon the scene and then went back to Heaven after his bodily resurrection. He sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and then the true Christian faith was fully revealed in the effusion of the Holy Spirit as evidenced by the 3,000 that were saved without keeping the law. Those under the law were shut up to the fact of this faith unless they were the elect of God who became saved out from under the law.
Gal 3:24 (KJB)
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Schoolmaster - Tutor, guide, director, or trainer
A schoolmaster in Paulís day was either a free man or a slave who was very educated and was in charge of educating the children of the masterís house. The law was the same way. It educated the sinner to realize that they could not keep the very law they were living in and as a result, they needed to be justified by faith or in other words by grace alone. No one can be justified by keeping the works of the law so the law itself guided the sinner to realize they were helpless in attaining salvation on their own. This caused the elect under the law to seek the Lord for salvation by grace alone.
Gal 3:25 (KJB)
But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
The result was that once a person became saved, they were no longer under the confines of the law because they now became free from the law. (Rom 8:2 KJV) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2 states it beautifully that once a person becomes saved, they are no longer under that schoolmaster which was the law of sin and death. This is the either not the and. Either you are under the law or you are saved through grace. There is no such thing as being under grace and having to keep the law it sustain that salvation.