Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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The Patternists: The Pedagogue


In ancient times, wealthy Romans and Greeks commissioned a slave to care for the well being and morals of their sons. This trusted slave was called a pedagogue (from the Greek pais – a boy; and ago – to lead).

In Galatians 3:23-24, Paul used the term to refer to the Old Covenant that God had with Israel. The NKJV translates the term “tutor.”

“But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”

The purpose of the pedagogue (the law) was to guard, protect, and lead to the Christ. It served its purpose well. Faith has come, and Christ is our Teacher, Savior and Lord.

Much can be gleaned about God and His interactions with men even today by perusing that previous covenant. But, it is the previous covenant. Verse 25 states, “But after faith has come, we are no longer under the tutor.”

Some Jewish Christians were seeking justification by an appeal to that previous covenant. With these words, Paul explained clearly that such efforts were vain and misguided. In chapter 5, Paul wrote, “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace” (vs. 4).

Some today seek similar justification from that covenant. Whether it be the observance of the Sabbath, tithing, or the use of mechanical instruments of music in worship, they should consider carefully the words of Paul before seeking such validation.

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