19 Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. 20 A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one. 21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22 But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. 23 Before the coming of this faith,[j] we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith.
Muslims are proud of their shari’a. It is more than the penal law that determines how theft, adultery and alcohol consumption ought to be penalised. The Islamic religious law contains at the same time liturgical prescriptions. A little bit like the Bible book Leviticus, which, next to conditions for different sacrifices also contains marriage laws and social regulations. Except the shari’a is a lot more detailed. Do Christians lack something that Muslims have? A continued revelation with practical rules of life?
Jews are two thousand years behind because they are still waiting for the Messiah. So did Christians meanwhile get stuck in the first eras after Chris’s birth, because they do not know the Islamic prophet? Not at all! The shari’a is a stap backwards instead of forwards. Not because there is nothing good to be said about it, but…. because it “has locked up everything under the control of sin” again.
The law, ordained by God through angels and registered by Moses in letter, contains all kinds of duties and taboos. Between Sinai and Golgota, everything and nothing was rebuked as sin. Jesus Christ brought what Abraham was already dreaming of. Not all kinds of demands people must comply with, but words of one God. That one word of promise, that whoever entrusts himself to Him, may live by faith alone. When you hear that particular promise in church, you will have had a good Sunday. Muslims still lack that grace, which the Galatians threatened to loose.
O my people, hear my teaching;
Parables I will unfold
Give attention as I utter
Dark and hidden things of old –
Things that we have heard and known;
By our fathers they were shown.
sola fide Latin for: “by faith alone”. One of the five “solas” by which the Christian faith was concisely described during the reformation in the 16th centry.