Summary: 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.
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.
Elizabeth Elliott wrote “True faith goes into operation when there are no answers.” How’s your faith this morning? Do you have a lot of faith? Do ye have faith like a grain of mustard seed? How much faith is enough; how much faith does it take to be saved? I’m afraid that if it took a lot of faith, most people would never be saved. I was saved when I was nine years old. I was ignorant of God’s word and I didn’t have much faith, so God gave me more faith and He has been building my faith ever since. Today the message is about faith and the Law of God. Let’s read Galatians 3:10-12, and that will be our text for this morning. (Read text) Let’s look carefully at these verses. Verse 10 says, “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 Jews had hundreds of laws. For example, there was one command that said you should not work on the Sabbath. They didn’t want to break this law, so they added what was called “fence laws” which were laws meant to help you avoid breaking the laws of God. No one ever worked harder at keeping the law than the Jews, particularly the Pharisees. They kept every minute detail of the law and in addition they kept all the fence laws. For example, the command was “remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.” But that means, of course, that you can’t do any work on the Sabbath. One of the fence laws they adopted said, “you can’t drag a chair across the floor on the Sabbath, because that creates rows in the dirt floor, and you know what that is, that is plowing. It is working. In time this thing they called the Law, consisting of the commandments, dietary laws, inheritance laws, etc., and the fence laws, got out of hand. People forgot which laws were from God and which laws men added. Well, we want to keep it simple, so for our purposes today, when we speak of the Law it is the Ten Commandments; the ten commands that tell us how to live in His world.
Listen as I read verse 10 again: “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 and cause him to cast himself on God in faith. In James 2:10 it says, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.”
During my seventy-four 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?