"No Longer Under the Schoolmaster"
In ancient Greece, the truant schoolboy, who with truancy in his heart played hooky, avoiding the responsibility of learning the lessons appropriate and needed for his betterment and future good might meet with the startling presence of his custodian, the slave assigned by his parents to oversee his activities. This servant was given a special task of helping the lad to discover his need of educational advancement and his responsibility to his parents, as well as to enforce upon him their good pleasure concerning the management of his young life. This custodian, called in Greek, the "pedagogos", was often empowered by parents to reprove, instruct, and punish the child should he be found in insubordination to their will and instructions. The rebellious truant boy might, no doubt, be roundly condemned and whipped by the consciencious custodian, as he attempted to impress upon the youth the importance of his responsibilities. So is the Law of God to the sinner. The law has a specific role, according to Gal. 3, of being our pedagogue or custodian to lead us to Christ. While the law is identified as our "schoolmaster" in the King James Version, it is actually Christ who is truly our "schoolmaster" or teacher in Paul's parable. While we are cavorting at the swimming hole of sin, wasting away our capabilities and shunning responsibility, the Law custodian, at the good will of God, the parent, condemns and punishes us. It is a loving purpose. God wishes for us to have a good future, even eternal life. But we must have righteousness for this to be. So the law stands to condemn us as long as we are away from Christ; for it is certain that the only way we may have righteousness is not from the Law custodian who is not prepared or capable of doing that work, but only from our true School Teacher, Christ. As long as we are running away and resisting, the servant persistently does his duty, cajoling, encouraging, inducing, blocking, confronting, reproving, and otherwise inhibiting our freedom of movement. To use Paul's terminology, the Law is there to shut us up, imprison us or otherwise confine us until faith comes unto righteousness. The custodian is not there to make the truant comfortable, but highly uncomfortable. So, the Law's condemnation of sin must be presented faithfully before the sinner. It's claims must be upheld. The Holy Law of God still demands obedience. This is the condition of eternal life. Its claims derive from the highest Authority over us to whom we shall ultimately have to give an account. Perhaps the skillful pedagogue/custodian might appeal to the heart of the Greek child, his sense of honor and love for his parents. At last, the child sees the goodness of the command and perceives that what is required is in his best interest. Now he feels ashamed of dishonoring his parents and sorry for disappointing them. The faithful custodian escorts the humbled child to school. Once the child has become connected to the School teacher in faithful school attendance, the pedagogue's task has been accomplished. Nevertheless, He will stand by if perchance, the student should change his mind and try to slip away from class, which, of course, would once again place him at discord with his parents desires concerning his future well-being. When the child is at school, then the custodian has no problem with him. The child is fulfilling that which is required of him. He is not condemned. He is no longer "under" the mistakenly-titled "schoolmaster". So with us, only when we, becoming ashamed of our rebellious ways and perceiving the love of a Divine Parent come to Christ, the Saviour from Sin, thus fulfilling in our lives through faith in Christ the right doing of the Law, that the Law can release us. When we have obtained in Christ the right-doing that the Law faithfully demands, then the Law custodian will have no problem with us. We meet its approval. Then we are at peace with our Custodian. The Law custodian itself will witness before our Divine Parent, that our schoolday and school responsibilities of righteousness have been met. Then, we are no longer condemned or punished. We are no longer under the Law because Faith, Righteousness by Faith, has come.