Under a Curse

“For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the books of the law, and do them.” (Gal. 3:10)

The Book of the Law, or Torah, carried with it its own curse. That curse was the requirement to keep every single point of the Book of the Law. The curse was about the total law not just some parts. To keep one law but not another was not sufficient. Once a person set out to obey the Book of the Law he became subject to the entire body of the law.

The Torah contained multitudes of rules and regulations which controlled every aspect of life. Keeping every single one of these rules and regulations proved to be an impossible task. Since no one could do this, all who attempted it were under the curse.

The Jewish Christians had been freed from that curse by the death of Jesus who demolished the law and its curse. Paul is reminding them of two important considerations. One, if they keep one rule, such as circumcision, they become responsible for the entire law. Two, they could not abide by or keep all things written in the law. No one could do that.

These two facts led to only one conclusion, the Galatians were going back under the curse of the law. Paul seems somewhat baffled by why they would do that and so sets out to explain why it is a big mistake.

Living a sin free life has proven to be impossible for everyone but God Himself who came in the form of a man. We cannot do any better in today’s world than the Galatians did in theirs. Their only hope was to forget the law and live under the grace of God and it is our only hope as well.

Even without the law over us, we cannot live sin free. Paul was also speaking of our day when he said, ‘there is no one righteous, not even one.’ Of a truth, all have sinned and fallen short of God’s requirement for sinless living. We have one hope and that hope is the gift of grace, the sacrifice of Jesus who became our sin. Our sins are washed away in the blood of Christ. God counts our faith in Jesus as righteousness. When we live by faith we escape the curse. Thanks to God for His unspeakable gift.

Task for Today: Don’t try to live by works of the law or by works outside the law. Admit you are a sinner and allow God to take away your curse. Do things because of faith not to obtain or to sustain faith. Live by your faith. James in is small books makes it clear that faith will produce good things and not the other way around.

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