October 26, 2014

Galatians 3:24 So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.

Japanese has a much better equivalent than English for the Greek expression of “one put in charge.” The idea is of education or training, and different English translations have used expressions like “schoolmaster,” “tutor,” and such. What Paul is saying is that the whole point of the Law is Christ. We tend to think of various things as having independent existence, but actually, everything is to point us to Christ, because everything was created through Him and He is what holds it all together. (Colossians 1:17) We were created to have fellowship with the Father through Jesus Christ the Son by the Holy Spirit, and the Law was given to help teach us that. When we focus on elements of the Law to the point that we lose sight of Christ, we’ve lost the whole point. Recently someone drove a car into a granite monument of the 10 Commandments, destroying the monument (and the car), as though they could remove the Law by such an act. How pathetic! We rebel against the Law, not recognizing the grace and love that were and are behind it. God never commands anything that isn’t for our good, but we fail to realize that and desire to do things simply because they are forbidden. That’s why God took the very drastic step of sending Christ to earth to be born as a human baby, experiencing all our frailty and then in perfect obedience bearing the penalty for our rebellion, so that we might be saved by faith in Him.

As an educator myself I am well aware of this principle. I don’t teach students “me,” I teach them the material they will need to fulfill their purpose in life. They generally learn some things about me along the way, but that’s not the point. That’s all the more important in my role as a pastor. I’m not here to draw people to me, I’m to draw them to Christ. Some people refer to this as “Garrott’s church,” but that comes from a misunderstanding of what is going on. I have responsibility and considerable influence in this church, but the church belongs to Christ because it is part of His body, and I must never forget that. Likewise, I am to help the believers operate in that understanding. When I do too much, rather than providing opportunities for them to participate and contribute, I am doing no one any favors.

Father, thank You for my current back problem that forces me to let others do things. Thank You for the young man who came yesterday to set up the sanctuary for today’s service. Thank You for the sister who will be leading the service, apart from the sermon. Help me be fully focused on Christ so that I may lead others to Christ as well, just as You gave the Law to do, so that Your purposes may be accomplished in Your way on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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2 Responses to October 26, 2014

  1. Kai says:

    What is the expression in Japanese for “one put in charge”?

    • jgarrott says:

      The Shinkaiyaku translation gives “youikugakari.” My wife (who sometimes teaches Biblical Greek) says the actual closest English equivalent for the word in the original is “tutor,” but that’s rather different from the Japanese (for tutor) “katei kyoushi.”

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