“The law, then, was our guardian until Christ, so that we could be justified by faith. But since that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian” (Galatians 3:24-25 HCSB).
The Gospel of Luke records a conversation between Jesus and an expert in the Mosaic Law that helps illustrate the message behind Galatians 3:24-25…
“And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested (Jesus), saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?’ So he answered and said, ” ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.'” And He said to him, ‘You have answered rightly; do this and you will live'” (Luke 10:25-28).
To his credit, this lawyer didn’t respond to this question with his opinions, ideas, or beliefs; instead, he based his answer solely upon God’s Word. So in reply to Jesus’ question, he rightly said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27 ESV).
While it may be easy to overlook this response in light of the famous parable that follows, this portion of Scripture is tied to Galatians 3:24-25 in an important way. You see, the Law tells us that we are responsible to love God continually with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind. Our second priority is this: “Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Jesus endorsed these standards and commended the lawyer by saying, “You have given the right answer. If you do this, you will have eternal life” (Luke 10:28 CEV).
This brief interaction should prompt us to make a make a personal assessment: “Do I love God continually with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind? Do I love my neighbor as myself?” If the answers to these questions are “no” then we have failed to meet the standard for eternal life- just like every other member of the human race with One exception.
So much like a signpost that directs us in the way we should go, the Law points us to our need for a Savior who can deliver us from our failure to meet these standards. It is in this manner that “…the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”