“Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith”
Paul now brings us to another conclusion, just as he did in verse 19. He again shows the purpose of the law.
the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ,
The law as a “tutor” brings us to Christ. The word “tutor” means a guardian or guide for boys. This person was a slave whom a landlord charged with supervising his son from age six until puberty. He kept the child from the evils of society. This slave, as his custodian and disciplinarian, attended the son wherever he went. The law was our custodian to bring us to Christ.
God uses the law as a guardian to both Jews and Gentiles. It strictly disciplines those who violate its laws. The role of the “tutor” was not permanent. When a boy reached puberty, his father released him from his slave “tutor.” He was then an adult with the rights and privileges of adulthood.
that we might be justified by faith
The role of the law is to lead us to the point where we recognize God justifies and sanctifies us by faith, not works.
The law does not justify a sinner, nor is it the rule of life for the believer.
The purpose of the law is to convict us of our sin (Romans 7:7-9). Why would we embrace Jesus Christ if we sensed no need for a Savior? Why would we want forgiveness if we discern no reason for forgiveness? Grace becomes valuable to us when we realize our need.
If we refuse the finished work of Christ for our salvation, then we remain forever in custody to God’s unalterable law. This irreversible law keeps every person under the burden of its custody. However, Christ redeemed us from the law by paying the price for our sins.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).
If we reject the warnings of the law, we pay an eternal consequence – an eternity in hell. The law clearly warns us against some illusion that God might accept us because of our works. By ourselves, we are utterly unable to keep the law. That is why we need the Savior.