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Redeemed From The Curse

So far in our journey through Galatians, we have learned that the churches of Galatia are being led astray by false teachers called Judaizers.  They have attacked Paul, the gospel, his apostleship and his mission.  Paul has written to the Galatians verifiable facts to defend his ministry and calling.  He is carefully constructed a case for his side of the argument.

In Galatians 3:10-14, Paul his assault on what the Judaizers are teaching.  For as many as are under the works of the Law are under a curse.  The easy thing to do is to view the Law as a bad thing.  After all Paul says that if you are under the Law you are under a curse.  We need to realize that what Paul is meaning is the life under the Law that the Judaizers are promoting.  The Law was given to show us the way to the Lord, not be the way to the Lord.  Man still had to live by faith, as we have seen from Abraham.  The curse that Paul is describing is relying on the Law, legalism, to achieve what we can only obtain through faith.

Next, Paul quotes from Deuteronomy 27:26: Cursed is everyone who does not abide all things written in the Book of the Law, to perform them.  What Paul is saying is that if you are going to live by the Law, then you are obligated to keep every iota of the Law.  If you fail, then you are under a curse.  Paul’s argument is that is virtually impossible to live entirely by the Law, so you are condemning yourself if you try.

Instead, Paul re minds the Galatians that no one is justified by the Law before God and that this is evident from scripture.  Paul once again turns to our Old Testament, this time to Habakkuk 2:4, which says The righteous man shall live by faith.  Like a surgeon, Paul is slicing away at the teaching of the Judaizers, using scripture to prove his point.

Paul next returns to his argument that if you are going to claim the Law as the way of being right before God you have to live by the entire Law.  Here he quotes Leviticus 18:5.  He begins by saying that the Law is not of faith.  On the contrary HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM.  Again, the Law, as the Judaizers teach it, is not of faith it is of works because those that choose to go down that path are obligated to keep the entire Law.

Paul next reminds the Galatians of the life they were given through faith in Christ.  Paul writes that Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us.  Christ understood the life man was under, so he lived the life that we could not, meaning he kept the entire Law, then he became a curse for us so that we would not be under the curse.  Christ became a curse for it is written  CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE.  Paul quotes Deuteronomy 21:23 to show that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross was him becoming a curse for all of us.

The good news comes next when Paul writes why Christ became a curse for us.  He writes that Christ did this so that the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.  Christ’s sacrifice on the cross made it possible not only for the Jews, but also for the Gentiles to have access to the salvation that faith in Christ brings, as well as the Spirit that comes by faith.

What takeaways do we have from these verses this week?

1.  Trying to live by the Law is to not live by faith.  The Law was not meant to be the means of salvation, it was meant to be a guide.  This will become evident later in the letter.

2.  Attempting to live by the Law is a curse.  Placing your faith in the legalism of the Law leads to death instead of life.

3.  Christ redeems us from the curse that the Law places on us.  Instead of living as the Judaizers, where the Law replaces faith in Christ, faith in Christ replaces the Law.

Categories: Christianity, Church, Faith Tags: , , ,
  1. June 30, 2013 at 9:05 am

    So very thankful for the higher standard of grace which carries forgiveness when we fail to live up to it. Well said brother.

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