Books of the Book: Galatians

The Curse Of The Law

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Mark Howard & Jim Howard


Series Code: GBOTB

Program Code: GBOTB00006A

00:22 Welcome to Books of the Book, I'm Pastor Mark Howard
00:25 of the Gobels Seventh-day Adventist church
00:27 and also director of the Emmanuel Institute of Evangelism
00:30 in the Michigan Conference of Seventh-day Adventist.
00:32 I'm here at my brother and co-host Jim.
00:34 Yes and hello my name is Pastor Jim Howard and I am the Pastor
00:37 of the Detroit Metropolitan Seventh-day Adventist Church
00:40 and South Lyon's Seventh-day Adventist church.
00:42 We are excited to be studying the book of
00:44 Galatians with you today.
00:45 Absolutely this book is so powerful and we have talked
00:49 about the fact that the book of Galatians is the one,
00:52 probably the most concise book dealing with the subject
00:56 of the Gospel in the whole Scripture.
00:58 That is the apostle Paul's point.
01:00 False gospels have come in and he is setting forth the
01:03 true Gospel from several different angles.
01:05 What we find, especially in the book of Galatians is that
01:08 Paul is trying to give us a clear understanding of the
01:11 relation between the law of God, not only the
01:15 Ten Commandments law but the Torah, the instruction of God
01:18 with the Gospel and how the two interact together.
01:23 We have also talked about how there are people who at
01:27 a surface reading will use the book of Galatians and assume
01:31 the book of Galatians is actually talking negatively and
01:35 talking about law in a derogatively and this will be
01:38 a passage that we are looking at here today starting
01:41 in Chapter 3:10.
01:43 - were that often gets misconstrued in that way.
01:47 That's right, and the title of our study today
01:50 'The Curse of the Law' right from Galatians Chapter 3.
01:53 If you have your Bibles with you I would encourage you
01:56 to turn in them to the book of Galatians in the
02:00 New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans,
02:02 1 and 2 Corinthians and then Galatians.
02:04 Galatians 3:10, in Galatians 3:10 the apostle says,
02:09 "for as many as are of the works of the law are under
02:14 "the curse; for it is written, cursed is every one who
02:18 "does not continue in all things which are written in
02:22 "the book of the law, to do them. "
02:23 Now what is interesting here Jim, is that the initial
02:27 reading, as many as are the works of the law communicates
02:30 to our minds that oh those who are of the works of the
02:32 law, these are the people that think it's important to
02:35 keep the law. - right.
02:37 But we have talked about this in previous studies that
02:39 phrase, works of the law, or of the works of the law is
02:42 not saying that at all.
02:44 Those who are of the works of the law are those who are
02:47 seeking to be justified by law.
02:49 Not that they think the law of God is important,
02:52 but they think it is the means of justification.
02:56 Right and we have said that the law is not necessarily
02:59 how the text reads, but law in general.
03:01 By the works of law, so any system of righteousness
03:05 that they develop, it is not some specific code they
03:08 are trying to follow necessarily.
03:10 Any system of righteousness that they developed by
03:12 which they think they are going to merit justification.
03:15 That's right, and if we read in verse 10, I'm going to
03:18 read it how some people will read it initially.
03:21 For as many as are off the works of the law, or under the
03:25 cursed for it is written cursed is every one who continues
03:28 in all things which are written in the book of the law.
03:31 Or cursed is everyone who seeks to obey the law and that's
03:35 how people tend to read it but it's not what it says it all.
03:38 Notice the curses on those who do not continue.
03:42 "Cursed is every one who does not continue in all things
03:46 "which are written in the book of the law to do them. "
03:49 So there is a curse pronounced upon those who are of the
03:53 works of the law, these are the people who are not continuing
03:57 in the law, they are not obeying the law.
03:59 That's right and on the contrary then you go to verse 11
04:02 and it describes the other class and it says,
04:06 "but that no one is justified by the law in the sight
04:10 "of God is evident, for the just shall live by faith. "
04:14 And we talked last time that the only way to truly have
04:17 obedience, the kind of obedience where your heart is in
04:21 tune with the will of God.
04:23 Where you are submissive to God, where that humble
04:26 attitude of trust in God is evident, it's to have faith.
04:30 We look back at Romans 3:31 where it says,
04:34 "by faith we establish the law. "
04:36 So those who are of the works of law, they don't continue
04:40 in the things of the law.
04:42 Those who live by faith are just, that is they establish
04:47 the law. - that's right, by the grace of God.
04:50 It is the only way the law can be established in the
04:52 human heart and so this is where in verse 13 Paul says,
04:55 "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law,
04:58 "having become a curse for us (for it is written,
05:02 "cursed is every one who hangs on a tree), that the
05:05 "blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in
05:07 "Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise
05:10 "of the Spirit through faith. "
05:12 So the point here that needs to be clear in our minds is
05:14 Christ did not come to redeem anybody from the law,
05:17 but from the curse of the law. - that's right!
05:20 The curse of the law is the curse against disobedience
05:23 or sin. - that's right, when you look at it, verse 13
05:27 tells us that Christ redeems us from the curse of the law
05:31 that is He redeem those from the curse of disobeying the
05:35 law by being crucified.
05:37 Because this is cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.
05:41 So He took our guilt, our punishment for disobedience
05:45 to the law, in essence that's what it's saying.
05:47 Then in verse 14 it says, "that the blessing of Abraham
05:50 "might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we
05:53 "might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. "
05:56 First He redeems us from the curse of disobedience to the
06:00 law, then He gives us the Spirit which writes the law on
06:03 our hearts and He in essence gives us an obedient heart.
06:07 He dies for our disobedience and implants in our hearts
06:11 something that wasn't there before, a heart of obedience.
06:15 I think this is so important for our readers, our viewers
06:18 to grasp here, then again those who are of the works of
06:22 the law are the people who are not obeying God,
06:25 but who disobey because if man is attempting
06:28 in his own strength, to keep his own idea of right,
06:32 let me rephrase what I mean by that.
06:35 If I look at the law of God I deduce from it what is
06:39 right and what is wrong, I'm still only viewing it from
06:44 my limited understanding for example.
06:46 How many times have you thought you were living right,
06:49 or doing right or whatever and then you learn something
06:52 new that you didn't know before?
06:54 Lots of times. - yeah, so if I live up to my highest
06:58 conception of righteousness today, my highest ideal of
07:01 what is right, is that going to be right?
07:05 Not necessarily. -No! Tomorrow I might learn something
07:08 new and the next day something new.
07:09 So for man to think that he can even conceptualize
07:12 righteousness is a futility.
07:18 The Lord Himself only knows righteousness and that is
07:22 why the Bible says in Isaiah where the Lord talks about
07:25 those who know righteousness and He says the people in
07:29 whose heart is My law.
07:31 It's the only way to know true righteousness.
07:33 So those were the works of the law they are under the
07:36 curse, it can't be otherwise, you could never meet
07:39 the standard of God in human strength.
07:42 The greatest reason is because those who are seeking
07:47 to be justified by the works of the law are not
07:50 going to Christ for justification.
07:52 So they are not receiving a divine nature, all they have
07:55 to work with is the flesh, the selfish heart.
07:58 So they can do things but even the things they do are
08:01 going to be from a selfish motive.
08:03 They are probably only going to pick and choose certain
08:05 things because the reality is their heart is not
08:08 submissive as we read in Romans 8:7 where it says,
08:11 that our carnal mind, our sinful heart is not subject
08:14 to the law and it can't be made that way.
08:16 We have to have Christ to give us something from above
08:20 the Spirit of God even, to give us that humble spirit
08:23 that is willing to obey God.
08:25 That's right, and that is where the concept goes on as
08:28 Paul continues to talk and we are going to Galatians 3:16
08:32 and notice what he says here.
08:33 "Now to Abraham and his Seed where the promises made. "
08:37 "He does not say unto seeds as of many, but as of one,
08:41 "and to your Seed, who is Christ. "
08:43 We are going to talk more about the Seed of Abraham I
08:45 believe next time, but it says in verse 17,
08:48 "and this I say, that the law, which was 430 years later
08:52 "cannot annul the covenant" now it he's talking here
08:56 about the giving of the law, not just the
08:57 Ten Commandments, but also the ceremonial laws that
08:59 were given at Sinai and he was referring to that event.
09:03 He said that, "which was 430 years later can not annul
09:07 "the covenant that was confirmed before by God, in Christ,
09:10 "then it should make the promise of no effect. "
09:13 Now the point the apostle was trying to make here is
09:16 the same God who gave the promise of salvation in Christ,
09:20 gave the law, and I would ask those who have been
09:24 wrestling with this and thought about the law as still
09:27 binding upon Christians and should we still keep the
09:30 Ten Commandment law, the question to ask would be
09:34 because the thought that comes in here is didn't Jesus
09:37 did Jesus die so we can be free from a law?
09:40 We have talked about this before.
09:41 But we have to ask ourselves who was it who gave the
09:44 Ten Commandment law again? - it was God.
09:46 You know a dear friend of mine, Dan Griffin always said
09:49 that there is one word that God never uses, one word
09:53 God never says, and that word is oops!
09:55 - that's right. - God wasn't up there giving a law
09:58 and oops I made a mistake, I shouldn't have given that
10:01 law, so all the apostle is saying here is the same God
10:05 who gave salvation in His Son, Jesus Christ
10:08 also gave the law.
10:09 Well He wouldn't give us a law that contradicted
10:12 His own promise. - that's right!
10:13 So rather than the law being contradictory to salvation,
10:17 if we find ourselves as Christians battling on one side
10:21 of this issue verses another saying, I'm for the Gospel,
10:24 or I'm for the law we are mixed up.
10:27 The same God that gave law gave the Gospel.
10:30 The same God who gave the Gospel gave the law and they
10:32 are not working to counter purposes but are working
10:35 together. - you know that's right.
10:36 You know I think about when Jesus was talking to the
10:38 Pharisees and He said you tithed mint and anise and Cumin
10:42 but you neglect the weightier matters of the law.
10:45 Justice and mercy and faith.
10:47 A lot of people when they read Galatians, they think this
10:52 is really attacking these people who are so focused on
10:57 carefully obeying these rules and requirements, but the
11:00 reality is that we have to be careful not to throw the
11:04 baby out with the bath water. - that's right!
11:06 If you look at the example of Jesus He is saying it's
11:10 okay to pay this tithe but don't neglect
11:14 the weightier matters of law.
11:16 It is not obeying the law to keep these external requirements
11:21 if you are bitter and angry in your heart.
11:24 It is not obeying the law if you are critical of others
11:27 because they are not obeying the law.
11:29 That is not obeying the law. - that's right.
11:30 That is about all our stubborn or can do, that is not
11:33 obeying the law, we need something deeper.
11:36 Just because we need a more warm Spirit, just because
11:39 we need that mercy and compassion of God is no reason
11:43 to say because that is the weightier matter of the law
11:47 we don't need to do anything from an external observant
11:51 standpoint that God asked us to do.
11:52 We can't throw away the one to make room for the other.
11:55 We have to look at it as a perfect whole.
11:57 When you talk about throwing away this example comes to
12:01 mind, when Paul talks about the law he repeatedly says
12:04 that man can't be justified by the law.
12:07 By the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
12:09 What that does is that it triggers the mine of some people
12:12 the idea that there is no purpose for the law.
12:13 For example, my wife and I received this beautiful ceramic
12:19 fruit bowl from some friends of ours that had went
12:22 overseas and brought this back.
12:23 So we have this beautiful fruit bowl on our counter at
12:27 home, now let's imagine one day I'm coming through the
12:30 kitchen and heading out to the garage and take that fruit
12:32 bowl, take the fruit out and began to walk out to the
12:35 garage and my wife says honey hold on a minute.
12:36 Where are you going with the fruit bowl?
12:39 Oh I'm just going out to change the oil.
12:41 She says you're doing what? I'm going to change the oil
12:46 don't worry I'll bring it back.
12:47 She says no you are not going anywhere to do any such
12:50 thing with that fruit bowl you put it right back here.
12:53 - I know Stephanie she wouldn't speak that way.
12:56 No, no she would speak that way but she might still say
12:59 that, so she says you are not going anywhere with that.
13:03 You can't change oil in that fruit bowl
13:06 that's not what it's for.
13:08 Let's imagine if my response is oh well if that's not
13:11 what it is for what good is it and I chuck the thing in
13:14 the trash can, that wouldn't go over real well.
13:17 Okay, I think you husbands at home can relate to that.
13:20 Here's the idea, that is the very thing that some
13:24 Christians do with the law of God.
13:26 When Paul says you can't justify, a law can't justify
13:29 they say what good is it in chuck it in the trash can.
13:32 The reality is, was there a purpose for that fruit bowl?
13:35 - yes there was. - absolutely.
13:37 There was a purpose it just wasn't for changing the oil.
13:39 There is a purpose for the law of God, it's simply not
13:42 to be justified with, but it does serve a purpose.
13:45 We are going to talk about that purpose well we come back
13:47 from our break, so stay tuned and stick with us.
13:51 When we come back we're going to talk about the purpose
13:53 of the law in the life of the Christian.


Revised 2014-12-17