|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:23-25 The law did not teach a living, saving knowledge; but, by its rites and ceremonies, especially by its sacrifices, it pointed to Christ, that they might be justified by faith. And thus it was, as the word properly signifies, a servant, to lead to Christ, as children are led to school by servants who have the care of them, that they might be more fully taught by Him the true way of justification and salvation, which is only by faith in Christ. And the vastly greater advantage of the gospel state is shown, under which we enjoy a clearer discovery of Divine grace and mercy than the Jews of old. Most men continue shut up as in a dark dungeon, in love with their sins, being blinded and lulled asleep by Satan, through wordly pleasures, interests, and pursuits. But the awakened sinner discovers his dreadful condition. Then he feels that the mercy and grace of God form his only hope. And the terrors of the law are often used by the convincing Spirit, to show the sinner his need of Christ, to bring him to rely on his sufferings and merits, that he may be justified by faith. Then the law, by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, becomes his loved rule of duty, and his standard for daily self-examination. In this use of it he learns to depend more simply on the Saviour.
Verse 25. - But after that faith is come (ἐλθούσης δὲ τῆς πίστεως); but now that Faith hath come; this white-robed, joy-bringing angel of deliverance! (see note on the words, in ver. 23, "before faith came"). We are no longer under a schoolmaster (οὐκέτι ὐπὸ παιδαγωγόν ἐσμεν); we are no longer under a keeper of our childhood. When a child becomes of age, as determined by his father's arrangement, the paedagogus's function, of course, ceases; so also when we(God's collective people)became believers in Christ, we had reached the era appointed by our Father for our coming of age, and the Law lost all hold upon us. This triumphant conclusion is based upon the premiss that the Law was the paeda-gogus of God's people, and nothing more. This premiss is itself proved true to the apostle's conviction, by the very nature of the case.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But after that faith is come,.... That is, since Christ the object of faith is come in the flesh, and has fulfilled the law, and redeemed them that were under it from its bondage, curse, and condemnation:
we are no longer under a schoolmaster; under the law as such; as no longer under it as a military guard, nor in it as a prison, so neither under it as a schoolmaster; not needing its instructions, or its discipline; since Christ is come as a prophet to teach and instruct, as a priest to atone for sin, and make intercession for transgressors, and as a King to rule and govern; in whose hands, and not in the hands of Moses, the law now is, as a rule of walk and conversation.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
25. "But now that faith is come," &c. Moses the lawgiver cannot bring us into the heavenly Canaan though he can bring us to the border of it. At that point he is superseded by Joshua, the type of Jesus, who leads the true Israel into their inheritance. The law leads us to Christ, and there its office ceases.
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