Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:24 (NKJV)
It’s back to school time for many youth across our country. As they bring lessons home, some students may find they are struggling in one subject area and need a tutor. I was a tutor for a few years, welcoming students into my home after school to help with math and reading homework. Much like a piano teacher who gives lessons, I only saw my pupils for 30-45 minutes each week. We got through a good chunk of homework that was due the next day, but I never felt we were making big progress in our brief time together. I pray my students saw Jesus in me and my family, and that is the lesson they remember the most!
These pupils needed the daily care of a tutor or parent to help them press on in their studies, much like we need Jesus daily to guide us. Just as 45 minutes of tutoring a week might not make a difference to a math student, an hour in church each week may not grow a believer. We need to be in God’s Word and praying EVERY DAY, listening to His Voice through the Holy Spirit, submitting to His will, fighting the good fight of faith.
Paul shows us in Galatians how that’s what God was doing through the Law — constantly tutoring us, showing us the right way, guiding us forward. And since none of us can follow the Law perfectly (For all have sinned, Romans 3:23), God sent His Only Son Jesus to save us and fulfill the Law. Now we live not under Law but under His grace!
…for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Romans 3:20 (NKJV)
For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:14 (NKJV)
What is this Law? It is the Ten Commandments God gave to Moses after he led God’s people out of Egypt, 430 years after God rewarded Abraham with a promise because of his faith. Abraham’s faith led to the Law, which led to the Law showing us our sin, which led to our need for a Savior, which led to Jesus coming, which leads to our faith in Him!
We need the Law to show us our sins and to lead us to Jesus. John MacArthur, in his study Bible, provides additional insight into the Law as our tutor. In MacArthur’s notes for Romans 3:31, he explains how our salvation through faith does not nullify the Law, but rather shows its true importance. Our faith in Christ provides the payment for the penalty of death required by the Law. And our faith in Christ fulfills the original purpose of the Law, to serve as a tutor. In his notes for Galatians 3:24, MacArthur tells how the Greek word for tutor denotes a slave whose duty it was to take care of a child until adulthood. They took children to school and watched over their behavior constantly, making children long for the day they would no longer have a tutor. I love John MacArthur’s quote, “The Law was our tutor which by showing us our sins, was escorting us to Christ.”
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (NKJV)
Isn’t it interesting that Jesus taught His disciples so many truths, but the one thing they specifically asked Him was, “teach us to pray.” Perhaps prayer, most of all, is where Jesus tutors us the most.
Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1 (NKJV)
Today’s TEA CUPP: A new school year is upon us. Read Romans 3 with a heart open to tutoring. Let us commit to pray daily for children, grandchildren, neighbor children, and teachers in our towns. May they all be guided and tutored by the Word of God and His Holy Spirit. And may Jesus return to schools in the USA! May God also bless the homeschool families. And may we all continue to be tutored by Jesus until He returns!
Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes,
And I shall keep it to the end. Psalm 119:33 (NKJV)
Teach me good judgment and knowledge,
For I believe Your commandments. Psalm 119:66 (NKJV)
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18 (NKJV)
Receive, please, instruction from His mouth,
And lay up His words in your heart. Job 22:22 (NKJV)
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge… Proverbs 1:7 (NKJV)
Teach me Your way, O Lord;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name. Psalm 86:11
Thank you to David Kim and Carrie from Discovery Church for this beautiful song!
Scripture from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson