Cursed by the Law, Redeemed by Christ
A Study of Galatians 3:10-14
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, [it is] evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. [Gal 3:10-14]
Before going on with in this passage, let us remember where the last study left off: So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. [Gal 3:9]
We begin here with the opposite of those that are blessed. Those that are of the works of the law, who are under the curse. The believers in Galatia who were allowing themselves to be enticed by those who would place them under the law were not hearing the law. The law carries with it a curse. As Peter said at the meeting in Jerusalem, the law was a yoke that neither our fathers nor we were able to bear. [Act 15:10]
Many well-meaning Christians today still bind the law on themselves and pass it on to others without hearing it. Not only that, they use a “pick and choose” method to determine which commands are still binding, and which are not. They try to prove a scriptural methodology to say this, but they are not hearing the law. Paul states here what Moses said regarding what parts of the law were required:
Cursed [be] he that confirmeth not [all] the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen. [Deu 27:26]
There was no picking and choosing of commands, as we see in James’ epistle:
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one [point], he is guilty of all. [Jas 2:10]
If you are a believer in our Lord Jesus Christ, you are dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, [even] to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not [in] the oldness of the letter. [Rom 7:4-6]
The law is not our justification, and it is not our sanctification. It is no longer the believer’s rule of life. We are dead to it. To bring it back to us brings back the entirety of it, including its curse. We also need to be reminded, just like the Galatians, that no man is justified by the law. The just are those that live by faith. This is not just faith in anything. Faith in whatever one chooses to have faith in is presumption. This is faith in what God has said.
But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. [Rom 4:5]
Those who would add a binding law to the Christian’s walk also align themselves well with the Galatians, and should answer the question in their own mind:
Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? [Gal 3:3]
The Christian walk is never about rules and “sin management”. Christ has redeemed us from the curse, being made a curse for us. Why would we again bind that curse on our necks? The honest Israelite who was under that law could not live up to its expectations, and neither can any of us. Could it be that those who want to add the law to our Christian walk really still think that they need a little of self? Let us remember that Paul’s great announcement of his being crucified with Christ and living by the faith of the Son of God who loved him and gave Himself for him was made in this very context of not going back to the law. (Gal 2:20) The “rule” to go back to, if I may use that word, would be:
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, [so] walk ye in Him: Rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. [Col 2:6-7]
How did we receive Christ Jesus the Lord? By faith! So walk in Him–by faith! The just shall live by faith. The just have been justified freely by God’s grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Rom 3:24) on the basis of faith and now are to walk in that same faith. The law appeals to the flesh, but
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. [Rom 8:13]
For those who accuse us of antinomianism–So be it! I am not under your law either to bind about my neck. Christ has set me free from the law and you will not bind it on my neck, no matter how righteous you think you are or how great a following that you have. As one who has been baptized by the Spirit into Christ, I am in Him, and identify only with Him. I am bound under the law as much as He is. As He died unto the law, so did I. If anyone can find a scripture telling me that the risen, ascended, and glorified Lord Jesus Christ is bound under the law, then you have an argument. Until then, believe the scripture that you do have. Christ bore the curse for you when He took it to Calvary and there is no need to resurrect it.
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree: [Gal 3:13]
Christ set us free from the curse so that He would be free to bless us. He delights in blessing, and He has taken the freedom in His sovereignty to give gentiles the blessing of Abraham through faith. The Spirit promised to Abraham that in him all nations shall be blessed, and Christ by the cross has set us free from the curse so that God is free to bless us. He is not going against His righteousness by blessing unrighteous sinners who are under a curse. He is keeping with His righteousness that on the ground of Christ’s death completely satisfying His righteous judgment against sin, He can freely give by grace His righteousness to undeserving sinners because He loves them. He gives freely on the faith principle, because believing is the only thing the depraved sinner can do.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. [Eph 2:8-9]
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved [Act 16:31]
Charles Miller View All
Husband, father, engineer...Enjoys fishing, archery, guitar, running, and lifting, but most of all reading and studying God's Word.
Thanks for your article. And thank you for giving the gospel message at the end of each article. Folks should not be made to guess what the gospel is, but, rather, to be told what they, by simple faith, need to do to be saved. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” To us who have known about Jesus Christ for years it is hard to comprehend that we have a generation of folks who do not even know who He is or what He did for them at Calvary. It is good for us, the saved, to also remember how we have been saved. Thanks again.
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