Summary: We see in the Bible that the curse is why Jesus died. To remove the curse of sin and death. We will also see the cross where Jesus died and the Crown why Jesus lives.
Intro: Paul’s letter to the Galatians is addressing what man seems always to do. Either add to or take away from God’s word. It began in the garden with Adam and Eve. Adam disregarded God’s word and Eve added to it.
I’ve got to quote John Piper, “Satan is continuously at work tempting us to think and feel that because we use God-talk, and come to church, and pray at meal times, and avoid gross sins, we are, therefore, under God’s blessing.”
Who is this letter and more especially this passage of Galatians 3 speaking to? It is not dividing between church people and non-church people. The difference that Paul is talking about in this book is the difference that is between some of us here today. It is the difference between those that have been crucified with Christ and had their self reliance utterly assassinated and those that have never really had self step down from the throne of their heart.
Why is our country and culture in such a mess today? The answer is simple because so many are living life their way without regard to God or others and they are living under the curse.
Whether you absolutely reject God’s direction for your life or set up you own ladder of good works to heaven you are under the curse.
What is the curse? If you stay strictly with the word translated curse there are many meanings. But looking in Genesis, Revelation and other parts of the New Nestament the curse is the absence of the life that God gives. The curse is the opposite of what Jesus promises. He promises life abundant, full and free. The curse is life stagnant, shallow and a sad shadow of what God meant for His creation. Why the curse? Simple mans decision.
I) Its Cause: Mans decision (Galatians 3.9, 10)
Galatians 3.9, 10 “So those now who live by faith are blessed along with Abraham, who lived by faith—this is no new doctrine! And that means that anyone who tries to live by his own effort, independent of God, is doomed to failure. Scripture backs this up: "Utterly cursed is every person who fails to carry out every detail written in the Book of the law."
Genesis 3.17-19 ‘Then to Adam He said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ’You shall not eat from it’; cursed is the ground because of you;In toil you will eat of it
All the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field; By the sweat of your face You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground, Because (V)from it you were taken; For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return
What do we see in the curse? It is mans rejection of the power, protection, direction and fellowship of God. It is saying God I know better than you. Because of mans decision the curse fell like a curtain on creation.
The curse separates us from the light and life of God just like the veil of the Temple separated the holy place from the most Holy place.
What do we normally do instead of accept responsibility we make excuses. Adam blamed it on Eve, eve blamed the serpent. God squarely placed the blame where it belonged.
Whether you choose to be responsible or not you will be held responsible.
II) Its Consequence: Self reliance and condemnation.
What is the consequence of man’s decision? It is separation from God reliance on self and condemnation.
Galatians 3.10 “For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law to perform them.”
To rely on anything the law, yourself, tradition etc is wrongly direct your trust. The law promises curse and death. We are called to trust Christ because He is life.
If you are self-reliant and continue to disregard the life that God invites you to by faith in Jesus Christ you are currently condemned.
John 3.17 “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
The life of faith is not easy. The life of moral checklist and religious requirements is easy. You can go to church Sunday and sometimes Wednesday say the right words pray the right prayers but never be justified by faith in Jesus Christ. But its easy.
Maybe that is why the Galatian Christians were drawn into the legalism of the Jews. It is much easier on this side of eternity to live by something that you can measure.