Galatians Part 21 - Galatians 3:10-14

v. 10-14

  1. The law of Moses was a great blessing to its recipients (ROM 3:1-2) but when relied upon to secure eternal justification, it became a curse. v. 10 c/w ROM 3:19.

    1. “under the law” (GAL 3:23; 4:4-5, 21) = “under the curse.”

      1. (1)  “under the law” contrasts with “under grace” (ROM 6:14-15), God’s favor freely bestowed without condition upon unworthy, incapable sinners.

      2. (2)  Righteousness by the law is a frustration of grace. GAL 1:21.

    2. Men have a propensity for misusing bestowed blessings or exalting them to an inordinate degree to where they become a curse. DEU 28:12 c/w PSA 69:22.

      1. (1)  Corinth turned the gifts of the Spirit and the Lord’s Table into self-destruction. 1CO 14:26; 11:29-30.

      2. (2)  This principle should remind us to not let the “dear old church” become more precious than the Savior Whose blood purchased it and Whose doctrine regulates it.

    3. The opposite of sinners, God turns a curse into a blessing. DEU 23:5; GAL 3:13-14.

  2. Justification via the law required much more than Mosaic circumcision. It demanded continual, unfailing obedience to all of its precepts. Breach of one law meant death. v. 10 c/w GAL 5:2-3; EZE 33:13.

    1. If one is bent on relying upon his own righteous deeds/works to obtain eternal life, God may very well accommodate him in furthering his error. PRO 26:5 c/w MAT 19:16-22; EZE 14:4.

    2. The Pharisees knew full well that they could not perfectly keep all of the law, so they exalted certain laws that they could keep and downplayed the rest (a common tendency).

      1. (1)  The easy laws were then made the measure of righteousness. MAT 23:23; LUK 18:9-14.

      2. (2)  Their pride blinded them into a form of cognitive dissonance. Another form of this is the popular proposition, “There is nothing you can do to be saved; all you have to do is...”

      3. (3)  NOTE: We rightly cherish the house of God but if that's all there is to our Christianity, are we any better than selective-law Pharisees? EZE 33:30-33.

    3. Another Pharisaic ploy is to fabricate something neither prescribed nor proscribed in word and exalt that tradition over God’s standard for righteousness. MAR 7:1-13.

      1. (1)  The tradition becomes a substitute for Scriptural duty.

      2. (2)  The only positive uses of “tradition(s)” in Scripture are in 2TH 2:15; 3:6, which refer to apostolic tradition.

  3. Paul shows the weakness of arguing for justification by the law by an obvious principle which was stated in the law: “...The just shall live by faith...” (vs. 11-12). c/w HAB 2:4; ACT 13:39.

    1. Ordinarily, the O.T. was divided three ways: the law, the prophets and the psalms. LUK 24:44.

    2. Sometimes, though, the psalms are called law. JOH 10:34 c/w PSA 82:6; JOH 15:25 c/w PSA 69:4.

    3. Likewise, the prophets. 1CO 14:21 c/w ISA 28:11-12.

    4. Therefore, the law itself was witness against law-works justification. ROM 3:21.

    5. “...the law is not of faith” (v. 12) does not mean that faith was not required by the law, for it was. MAT 23:23; HEB 3:18-19.

    6. Rather, the nature of the law covenant was a “do and live” proposition. LEV 18:5; ROM 10:5.

      1. (1)  This “do and live” order secured and blessed temporal life. DEU 30:20; PRO 3:1-2.

      2. (2)  Individual righteous acts were declared righteousness to the doer. DEU 24:13.

      3. (3)  We have similar promises. ROM 8:12-13; 1TI 4:8; 1PE 3:10-12.

      4. (4)  The error was/is in making the conditional promises for temporal life the means for eternal life, which could never be possible because of the curse for one disobedient act. v. 10 c/w DEU 27:26; JER 11:3-4.

      5. (5)  “The alteration which the gospel has made is in the last word: still the man that does them shall live, but not live in them; for the law could not give life, because we could not perfectly keep it; it was weak through the flesh, not in itself; but now the man that does them shall live by the faith of the Son of God. He shall owe his life to the grace of Christ, and not to the merit of his own works...” (Matthew Henry Commentary on LEV 18:5)

    7. The “do and live” nature of the law covenant contrasts with the new covenant which is “live and do.” Christ gives us life so we can do His will. HEB 8:7-13.

      1. (1)  Old Covenant: law written down, taught by men outwardly, sin avoided, end: temporal life.

      2. (2)  New Covenant: law written within by God, sin forgiven, end: eternal life.

  4. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law. v. 13.

    1. He did not earn a curse, He was made a curse for us on the cross. c/w DEU 21:23.

    2. The redemption cost was His blood to which we were chosen. EPH 1:3-7; 1PE 1:2, 18-19.

    3. The blood of Christ put the New Testament/Covenant into effect. HEB 9:16-23.

  5. The redemptive work of Christ was designed to incorporate Gentiles into distinctively Jewish promises. v. 14 c/w EPH 2:11-17; ROM 11:17.

    1. The blessing of Abraham comes through his Seed, Jesus Christ. GAL 3:16.

    2. The promised Spirit (the abiding presence of God) is received by faith in Christ. c/w ACT 2:38-39.

    3. Once Christ by His faith eliminated the middle wall of partition between Jew and Gentile (EPH 2:14-15), the door of faith was opened to Gentiles (ACT 14:27). The elect among them could, like elect Jews, receive the promise of the Spirit through their faith. EPH 1:9-14.

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