Now before the time for this trusting faithfulness came, we were imprisoned in subjection to the system which results from perverting the Torah into legalism, kept under guard until this yet-to-come trusting faithfulness would be revealed.
Before the coming of faith we were all imprisoned under the power of the Law, with our only hope of deliverance the faith that was to be shown to us. Or, to change the metaphor, the Law was like a strict governess in charge of us until we went to the school of Christ and learned to be justified by faith in him. Once we had that faith we were completely free from the governess’s authority.
Until the time when we were mature enough to respond freely in faith to the living God, we were carefully surrounded and protected by the Mosaic law. The law was like those Greek tutors, with which you are familiar, who escort children to school and protect them from danger or distraction, making sure the children will really get to the place they set out for.
Before it was possible to be saved from the punishment of sin by putting our trust in Christ, we were held under the Law. It was as if we were being kept in prison. We were kept this way until Christ came.
And before that belief came, they were kept under the law, enclosed into that belief that was to be showed. [Forsooth before that the faith came, we were kept under the law, shut together into that faith that was to be showed.]
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