Galatians 3:13-14; Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree,”that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
The book of Galatians, in chapter 3, says that the law was a school master, to bring us to Christ. It was meant to show us our need for a savior. A law so holy that no man could not keep, that everyone that failed to keep it died. This was the emphasis Paul made in his ministry to the Gentiles. He did not want them to continue in ignorance (2 Corinthians 2:11), but it was his constant prayer for them to be established and rooted in Him, established in the faith, and increasing therein with thanksgiving (Colossians 2:7). We do need to be firmly established in this grace of God. Romans 5:2 says this is where we STAND. Presented here are some of the transactions that Jesus made as far as the law and the believer is concerned.
Romans 7:5 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.
Again, here the word “sins” is a noun, referring to the evil or sinful nature indwelling a person who is not born again. The evil nature took advantage of the law, to bring its desires to pass.
How did sin (this evil, ungodly nature) enter the world?
Through Adam! Through Adam, how? He ate of the forbidden tree.
What was that which he did? He disobeyed the only law that was present.
So, what can we say?
The devil took advantage of the law that forbade the eating of the tree to tempt man. That is, sin took advantage of the law to bring death. This is what the enemy always does. He takes what God meant for good and he perverts it. Look around you, he is perverting marriages, families, the desire for material things. God made us all with the desire and potential to do good, but Satan adds a little bit of deception to cause us to go against God. He is telling people it is OK for premarital marriage, it is natural to be homosexual, it is OK to abort a child in the womb. And many people seem to have embraced the poison of the enemy. They have been blinded to his deception. Paul talks about this in Romans 7:8.
Romans 7:8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.
Concupiscence means evil or ungodly desire. Sin took advantage of the law to produce all kinds of evil desire. Have you ever noticed that man has a propensity for doing what is forbidden? This is exactly what this verse is saying. Have you ever told someone a secret and tell them not to tell anyone? That just lights a fire inside them and that fire makes them itch to tell anyone and everyone the secret, and then tell them not to tell anyone.
There is a certain pastor who was reading this part of the Word and endeavored to test it. He noticed a bunch of kids playing outside and he went to them and told them that they should not touch the elephant flower by the door, or even think about it. It was there all along but no one dared touch it. The moment they were made aware of it in the form of a law every desire burned in them just to touch it. Some cursed it, some spit on it, some ripped leaves off it. What changed? A law was introduced into the picture.
Here is something also that Paul said in the book of 2 Corinthians concerning the law.
2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.3:7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:3:9 For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.
Paul brought out two things about the law.
- The law kills – it culminates in death. This was because it came with a curse attached to it. And also because of the sinful nature residing in us that took advantage of the law.
- The law condemns – this is crucial in a believers life. Condemnation kills. That feeling of unworthiness will not make one run to God, it turns them away.
James shows us the severity and holiness of the law.
James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
Do you know the implications of this? If you lie, you are guilty of the rest of the 10 commandments. You are as bad as murderer, you are guilty of having other gods, you are guilty of adultery … That is the full wrath of the law. Who can keep such a demand when they are morally corrupt and the evil nature still resides in them. This is a good example which shows us that the purpose of the law was not to make people holy and righteous before God. It was designed to bring man to the end of themselves, where he will say, who can deliver me from such a demand (Romans 7:24)?” And God will answer, “My Son! Only Jesus can (Romans 7:25).”
Does that make the law evil, since it caused people to die, and since it caused people to sin more? Of course not. Paul explains that the Law of God is good, and holy. It came from a holy God. But he also said that the law had a weakness. Not that it was God’s fault or there was a fault in the Law He gave. It was weak through the flesh (Romans 8:3). We were the problem, not the Law of God. We were not able to keep it by reason of the evil nature in us which took advantage of the law. It was not the law that was killing people, but the sinful nature in us was the one dishing out the death (Romans 6:23).
This is why Jesus delivered us from the law. He gave us the Holy Spirit to give us life. We can now live in the newness of life, ordering our behavior after the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit, instead of following a written code that only produce death when you miss its requirements.