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Summary: Someone will say, “But when we are saved, then surely we can keep the Law.” Absolutely not! Because it calls for CONTINUED, UNBROKEN, PERFECT obedience in every single point. One slip and you are guilty.

October 19, 2013

The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians

Tom Lowe

Chapter III.A.2.b: The Curse of the Law (3.10-12)

Galatians 3.10-12 (KJV)

10 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.

11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

Commentary

10 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.

The important word here is “continueth.” I would imagine that there was a day in your life when you felt very good, when you were on top of the world and singing, “Everything’s coming up roses.” On that day you walked with the Lord and you didn’t stumble or stub your toe. Then you say, “Well, because I did “such and such, God saved me.” But notice that this verse says, “Cursed is every one that CONTINUETH not in all things which are written in the book of the law.” What do you think about that? Do you keep the Law twenty-four hours every day, seven days a week, and fifty-two weeks out of the year, in thought, word, and deed? If you are a human being, someplace along the way you let down. You are not walking on top of the world all the time. My friend, when you let down, the Law can only condemn you. Only perfect performance could win divine approval under the Law, but since that was not achievable the Law could only condemn a person (James 2.10) and cause him to cast himself on God in faith.

During my seventy-two years, I have met several men who go around saying “Hallelujah, Praise the Lord.” I am willing to bet you that if you asked their wives if they were that way all the time, they would tell you, “No, he has his bad days.” We all have bad days, don’t we?

If you are going to put yourself under the Law, and you have a bad day, you are not going to be rewarded for it. Suppose I had kept all the laws of Laurens, South Carolina, which is where I have lived for twelve years. Then I wait at my home for the mayor and city council to come to my home and give me an award for keeping those laws. Let me tell you something, they do not give awards for keeping the law in Laurens South Carolina. If I had kept every law for twelve years, and then stole something, or broke a speeding law, I would be arrested. You see, the Law does not reward you. It does not give you life. The Law penalizes you. But faith gives you something; it gives you life.

Salvation could never come by obedience to the Law, because the Law brings a curse, not a blessing. The Law demands obedience, and this means obedience in all things. The Law is not a “religious cafeteria” where people can pick and choose. Nobody could ever live by the Law, because the Law kills and shows the sinner he is guilty before God: “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Rom. 3.20).

Someone will say, “But when we are saved, then surely we can keep the Law.” Absolutely not! Because it calls for CONTINUED, UNBROKEN, PERFECT obedience in every single point. One slip and you are guilty. Is there a saint who can say he has ever lived one day without breaking God’s Law? The Bible states that no man lives, and no man has ever lived (except Jesus), who has been able to keep the law of God perfectly. In Psalm 14 David tells us this: “The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God” (Ps. 14.2). Here in the next verse is what God has to say that He found as He looked down to see who sought after Him. Here is God’s answer to the question: “They are ALL GONE ASIDE, they are ALL TOGETHER BECOME FILTHY: there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Ps. 14.3). That is God’s opinion of every man, by nature and by birth. That applies to you and to me, for He says that they are “all gone aside” and are filthy in God’s sight. “There is not one righteous, no, not one.” God’s perfect Law condemns us, one and all. These are God’s infallible words, and the same thought is conveyed in the New Testament in verses like this one in Romans: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3.23).

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