Why the law?
“What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgression until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator.” Galatians 3:19, NIV. “The law was added because of transgressions,” why? Paul answers, “The law was added so that trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:20, 21, NIV. Why was this necessary?
For an answer, we must go back to the Mount Sinai where God wanted to speak to people directly. God wanted to be with His people always. The people, however, were afraid they would die from seeing the display of Gods glory. So, they told Moses, ‘you go to God, and what He tells you we will obey.’ The people were sincere in thinking they could obey all that God requires. The people were not aware that sin changed their nature, and made it impossible for them to follow what God requires of them. So, God gave the Ten Commandments to help the people realize they could not obey perfectly. Regardless of how much the people desired to obey they could not, because the law could not change their sinful nature and help them to obey. Only God could do it.
The sin in the garden of Eden made the entire humankind unrighteous and helpless to do anything concerning their sinful nature. The Ten Commandments were to make the people realize they must rely on God for their righteousness. “The law was added until the Seed,” the Messiah, who would, in the fullness of time, replace the sinful life of the humankind with His perfect and eternal life. “So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.” Galatians 3:24. The “justified by faith” reads, literally, “justified by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ.” In the eyes of God, we stand justified, sanctified, and glorified, but in Jesus Christ only. Of ourselves, we are sinners, but sinners who are saved by grace, to the glory of God.