The first bicycle was invented by German Baron Karl von Drais in 1817. The British developed training wheels years later to stabilize the back wheel of a bicycle. Training wheels are an additional wheel or wheels mounted parallel to the rear wheel of a bicycle that assist learners until they have developed a usable sense of balance on their bicycle. In a first century letter to the Church at Galatia, the apostle Paul refers to spiritual training wheels.
Now before the faith came, we were perpetually guarded under the Law, kept in custody in preparation for the faith that was destined to be revealed (unveiled, disclosed), 24 So that the Law served [to us Jews] as our trainer [our guardian, our guide to Christ, to lead us] until Christ [came], that we might be justified (declared righteous, put in right standing with God) by and through faith, Galatians 3:23-24.
Due to legalism that infiltrated this church via a religious sect known as the Judaizers, Paul addresses the role that the Jewish law should play in Christianity. While Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as a counselor, Paul compares the Torah to a personal trainer. The Old Testament was designed as a guardian, to guide followers of God to Christ. While the Judaizers tried the overemphasize the Law, Paul reminds new converts to Jesus that individuals are justified by faith, not works.
But now that the faith has come, we are no longer under a trainer (the guardian of our childhood), Galatians 3:25.
In the passage above, Paul is calling first century Christians to take off their training wheels. This is accomplishing through living by faith. Following a set of rules is good for training, but faith is designed to live out what you believe. Just as a young child develops enough confidence to ride their bike without training wheels, mature Christians need to start applying all that they have learned, Joshua 1:8. Therefore, if you want to make a difference in 2021, let faith be your guide.
by Jay Mankus