1. Galatians 3:12 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

What does Paul mean when he says that the law is not based on faith?

Galatians 3:12 (ESV)

12 But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.”

Although the people of Israel demonstrated their faith in God by submitting to his law,1 the old covenant (Mosaic) law was not a system that rewarded faith. It promised blessing for obedience and curses for disobedience. It was also tied to life in the land of Canaan (Ezekiel 20:11, Ezekiel 20:13, Ezekiel 20:21; Nehemiah 9:29)2 where God dwelled in the midst of his people (in the tabernacle/temple).