Under The Curse

Posted by on Sep 10, 2006

First Baptist Church of Ranson, WV

September 10, 2006

Sunday Morning

“Under The Curse”

Scripture Text: Galatians 3:10-14

Introduction:

 

A.   I realize that I may be starting to sound like a broken record, but I want to remind you again of the situation that existed in the churches to whom Paul was writing this letter.

1. The Galatian churches were made up, primarily, of Gentile converts.

2. However, false teachers had crept into the churches and had convinced these Gentile believers that if they wanted to be saved, they must keep the law of Moses.

3. This is why, as we saw last Sunday, Paul used Abraham to illustrate that salvation was by grace through faith alone.

4. Paul clearly demonstrated that Abraham was saved as a result of a three step process.

5. Step One: Abraham heard the gospel.

6. Step Two: Abraham believed what he heard.

7. Step Three: Abraham was made righteous by his faith.

8. Notice again Gal. 3:6, “Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

9. And so, Paul clearly demonstrated that Abraham, the father of all Jews, was saved, not be keeping the law, but by simple faith in Christ.

 

B.   In our text for this morning, Paul continues to make his case that salvation is by grace through faith alone, and he does so by pointing out that rather than bringing salvation, the law brings condemnation (rather than bringing justification, the law brings a curse).

C.   As we examine our text more closely, the first thing that comes to our attention is…

 

I.       The Curse Of The Canon.

 

A.   Notice again the first part of Vrs. 10, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse:” In other words, “Those who are trying to be saved by keeping the law are under the curse (condemnation) of God.”

 

B.   Now this raises the question, “Is the law bad? If the law brings a curse, does that mean that there is a problem with the law itself?”

1. The answer is, “Absolutely not, the law is not bad, but to the contrary, the law is good.”

2. The law is good for at least three reasons.

3. First of all, it is good because it reflects the character of God.

4. This is why God’s law is perfect.

5. God’s law is perfect because God is perfect.

6. And so, the law is good because it reflects the character of God.

7. Secondly, the law is good because it defines sin.

8. Listen to what Paul wrote in Rom. 7:7. “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”

9. We would not know the difference between right and wrong were it not for God’s law.

10.   And so, the law is good because it defines sin.

11.   Thirdly, the law is good because by defining sin, it makes us aware of our need for Christ.

12.   Paul wrote in Gal. 3:24 (we will talk about this more in a later sermon), “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ.”

13.   If the law teaches us anything, it teaches us that our only hope of heaven is Christ! (Amen?)

14.   And so, the law is not bad, but good.

 

C.   Why then does the law bring a curse?

1. Well, it’s really not the law itself that brings a curse, but rather our inability to keep (live up to) the law.

2. Notice again Vrs. 10 of our text, “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.”

3. And so, it’s not the law itself that brings a curse, but rather our failure to conform to the law.

4. (Illus.- Let me illustrate. We have laws in our land, as well as penalties for breaking those laws. For example, it is against the law to commit murder. Not only is it against the law to commit murder, but in many states the penalty for committing murder is death. Now let me ask you a question. If a person commits murder and as a result of his crime receives the death penalty, does this mean that the law against committing murder is a bad law? Of course not. The law is good. It is the person who breaks the law who is bad. That person who is on death row for committing murder cannot blame his predicament on the law, but he must shoulder all the blame himself. Why? Because he broke the law!)

5. And so, it’s not the law itself that brings a curse, but rather man’s failure to keep the law.

 

D.   Now exactly what is the “curse” (penalty) for breaking God’s law?

1. The Bible answers that question in Rom. 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death.”

2. Paul put it like this in Rom. 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”

3. Do you remember what God told Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden? He had given them only one law to obey, but do you remember what He said would be the penalty for breaking that law?

4. Listen to Gen. 2:16-17, “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:…But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

5. Of course, when the Bible says that “the wages of sin is death,” it is not talking about physical death, but rather spiritual death.

6. It is talking about what the Bible refers to as “the second death.”

7. What is the “the second death”?

8. Listen to Rev. 21:8, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

 

E.   (Illus.- When I share the gospel with individuals, I come right out and tell them that if God were to give us what we deserve, we would all be in hell! Why is this true? It’s true because we are all sinners, we have all broken God’s law, and the penalty for breaking God’s law is spiritual death.)

 

F.    But someone says, “Wait a minute, preacher. I may have broken some of God’s laws but I haven’t broken all of them!”

1. It doesn’t matter!

2. Do you know why it doesn’t matter?

3. It doesn’t matter because if you have broken only one of God’s laws, you are just as guilty, just as cursed, just as condemned as if you had broken them all!

4. Notice again Vrs. 10 of our text, “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.”

5. James put it like this in Jam. 2:10, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

G.   That’s the curse of the canon. The second thing that comes to our attention in our text is…

 

II.      The Cure For The Curse.

 

A.   Thank God there is a cure for the curse! (Amen?)

1. What is the cure?

2. The cure is Jesus!

3. Notice again the first part of Vrs. 13 of our text, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law.”

4. The word “redeemed” here is translated from a Greek word that literally means “to purchase” or “to pay the ransom.”

5. It can also mean “to rescue.”

6. And so, when the Bible says that “Christ” has “redeemed us from the curse of the law,” it means that “Christ” has rescued “us from the curse of the law.”

 

B.   Now this raises a question.

1. How did Christ rescue us from the curse of the law?

2. He did so by becoming a curse for us.

3. Notice again Vrs. 13, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us:”

4. In other words, Jesus rescued us from the penalty of sin by paying that penalty Himself on the cross.

5. The prophet Isaiah foresaw this in Isa. 53:4-6, “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted….But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed….All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

6. Paul put it like this in 2 Cor. 5:21, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

7. Peter put it like this in 2 Pet. 2:24, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”

8. How did Jesus rescue us from the curse?

9. By becoming a curse for us, by going to the cross, and on that cross suffering our penalty for sin!

 

C.   Notice again Vrs. 13 of our text, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:”

1. This is a reference to Deu. 21:23, which says, “…he that is hanged is accursed of God.”

2. Even though death by crucifixion was unknown to Israel when God gave them His law, it was understood even then that being hanged implied being cursed by God.

3. Well, that’s exactly what Jesus did when he allowed Himself to be hung (suspended) on the cross, He became cursed by God, not because of His sin, of course, but because of our sin.

 

D.   By the way, Jesus could not have become our substitute for sin, had He possessed any sin of His own.

1. Do you remember what God told Israel in Exo. 12:5 concerning the passover lamb?

2. He said, “Your lamb shall be without blemish.”

3. The passover lamb had to be a perfect lamb.

4. Why? Because it was a picture of Jesus, our passover Lamb! (Amen?)

5. The Bible says in 1 Pet. 1:18-19, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;…But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”

6. Let me quote again 2 Cor. 5:21, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin.”

 

7. Because our Lord Jesus was Himself sinless, He was a suitable sacrifice for our sin.

 

E.   That’s the cure for the curse. The final thing that comes to our attention in our text is…

 

III.    The Condition For The Cure.

 

A.   Thus far we have noticed the curse of the canon and the cure for the curse, but what is the condition for the cure?

1. In other words, what must we, as sinners, do in order to benefit from what Christ did on the cross for our sins?

2. There is only one condition for the cure, and that is simple faith in Christ.

3. Notice again Vrs. 14 of our text, “That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

4. How does “the blessing of Abraham” come on us?

5. How do we “receive the promise of the Spirit”?

6. The answer is, “…through faith.” (Amen?)

7. Not through keeping the law.

8. Not through doing good works.

9. Not through being baptized or joining the church.

10.   But “…through” simple “faith” in Christ!

 

B.   Turn with me, for just a moment, to Rom. 3:24-28, “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:…Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;…To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus….Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith….Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”

1. And so, again, the condition for the cure is simple faith in Christ.

2. As Paul noted in the passage we just read, this excludes all “boasting.”

3. Paul put it like this in Eph. 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:…Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

 

C.   There is one more thing that I want to point out about Vrs. 14 of our text, and that is the fact that Paul referred to salvation as “the promise of the Spirit.”

1. Do you have any idea why he did that?

2. He referred to salvation as “the promise of the Spirit” because when a person puts his faith in Christ as Savior, not only does God save him, He also sends the Holy Spirit to dwell within them.

3. Jump ahead to Gal. 4:4-6, “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,…To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons….And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.”

4. When a person places his faith in Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit of God comes into his heart.

5. In fact, it is the Holy Spirit who quickens our dead spirits, giving us both spiritual and eternal life.

6. Not only does the Holy Spirit create new life within us, He also seals us (becomes God’s mark of ownership within us).

7. The Bible says in Eph. 1:13, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.”

8. All of this in response to simple faith in Christ.

 

D.   That’s the condition for the cure.

Conclusion:

 

A.   What have we learned this morning?

1. We learned about the curse of the canon.

2. Paul said, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse.” (Vrs. 10)

3. We also learned about the cure for the curse.

4. Paul said, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.” (Vrs. 13)

5. Finally, we learned about the condition for the cure.

6. Paul said, “…that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” (Vrs. 14)

 

B.   May I ask you a personal question?

1. As a sinner, you are definitely under the curse of the canon, but have you received the cure for the curse?

2. You have received the cure only if you have fulfilled the condition for the cure, and that is faith in Christ.

3. Listen, if you have placed all of your faith in Jesus and what He did on the cross for you, you don’t have to worry about the curse.

4. Why not?

5. Because Jesus…

-was made a curse for you,

-became your substitute on the cross,

-paid the penalty for all of your sins in full!

6. If you have not received the cure, would you consider doing so now?

7. Do you believe that Jesus died for your sins?

8. If so, the Bible says in Rom. 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

9. Won’t you call upon Him today?

10.   You won’t be sorry!!!