How Good Are Your Works?

Author: Mike Hurley — Host: Emily TenterPosted on: December 12, 2020

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
How Good Are Your Works?

My kindergarten teacher was fantastic, everything I could want as a nervous five-year-old. I can still picture the room and recall the moment I let go of my mom’s hand and watched her walk away. Mrs. Lizama ushered me to a table and introduced me to a few other kids. The rest of the day and most of the year is a blur to me, but I felt safe and secure in her hands. In Paul’s discussion of the Old Testament law in Galatians 3, he asserts, “the law was our guardian until Christ came” (verse 24). The word translated guardian basically means “tutor” or “teacher.” But here’s the thing: the tutor in Paul’s time was nothing like my kindergarten teacher (or so many other terrific elementary teachers). Tutors were unbending taskmasters demanding perfect obedience. Those who failed to live up to the standards of the tutors were disciplined harshly, both verbally and physically. Paul’s tutors were feared. Here, Paul reveals the purpose of the law. It was never, ever meant to save. The law identifies every single flaw, every failing and omission in our lives. It creates hopelessness in us because we know “we all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (Romans 3:23). Nobody can live up to the standards of the law. The entire Old Testament is a series of failures by every sort of person you can imagine—young and old, rich and poor, Jew and Gentile, and every profession from every corner of the world. They ALL have fallen short. But what the law cannot do, Christ has done (Romans 8:3). The law leads us to Christ, giving us the opportunity to “be made right with God through faith” (Galatians 3:24). In Christ, we are no longer under a tutor but are God’s children (Galatians 3:29)! Christ’s perfect sacrifice has released me from the relentless taskmaster of the law. It is faith in Christ, not our good deeds, that saves us. • Mike Hurley • Read Ephesians 2:8-10. Why is it so important that nothing we can do can save us? • Why is it important that Christ fulfilled the entire law? • To learn more about what it means to put your faith in Jesus, check out our “Know Jesus” page. But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” Galatians 3:13 (NLT)


Read Verses:

Galatians 3:19-29