Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians
Dr. Rod Rosenbladt
Lesson 10 Notes
Question: “If the Law does not justify, why, then, was it given?” [or] “Why does God prod & burden us with the Law if it does not give life?”
- By admitting the law does not justify, we are not voiding it
- Law does have its proper function, but it is not to justify sinners (1 Tim. 1:8)
- Law has its usefulness: it brings men to a knowledge of themselves, discloses sin, increases it.
Vs. 22 – But Scripture consigned all things to sin.
- In clearest of words, Paul says that the Law does not make alive. Where does Scripture consign all things to sin?
- Paul: Gen. 3:15; Gen. 22:18
- Paul: the Law does not make alive, was not given for that purpose
- Luther: If the Law neither justifies nor makes alive, then works do not justify, either (is the inference Paul wants us to draw) (AE 26: 333)
- Conclusion (Luther): Therefore the proposition “Faith alone justifies,” which our opponents find altogether intolerable, is true.
Vs. 24 – So that the law was our custodian until Christ came.
- Luther: analogy of “custodian” or “schoolmaster” very useful, outstanding; must be considered carefully
- Luther: “The Law is a schoolmaster – not until some other lawgiver comes who demands good works, but until Christ comes, the Justifier & the Savior, so that we may be justified through faith in Him, not through works.”
Vs. 28a – There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female.
Luther: . . . and many other divinely ordained offices could be added: neither magistrate nor subject, neither professor nor listener, neither teacher nor pupil, neither lady nor servant, etc. Paul’s words “there is neither Jew” vigorously abolishes the Law. (AE 26: 354)