“Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator” (Gal 3:19).
A question might arise from previous articles, that if grace has always been God’s plan for man’s salvation, why then was the law given? Paul says “…It was added because of transgressions.” A more accurate rendering of the Greek word ‘Charin’ translated ‘because’ is ‘for this cause’. As such, instead of ‘in response to’ transgressions being the reason the law was given (as it appears to be), it actually means ‘to lead to’ transgression or to reveal transgression. Paul painting the picture of the man under the law says to the Romans: “For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died” (Romans 7:9).
The law was given to bring people to the end of themselves, where they realize that they cannot meet up to God’s righteous standards. The point of the law was to help the Jews at that time realize that they needed a saviour. Paul says: “…till the seed should come to whom the promise was made…” The law was given to convince people of sin, which is an important requirement before admitting we need a savior.
“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: THAT EVERY MOUTH MAY BE STOPPED, and all the world MAY BECOME GUILTY before God” Romans 3:19. While the Jews pursued the law for righteousness, it was designed to produce the opposite. Paul says: “But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness” (Romans 9:31).