“For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”
Patrick Henry is famous for the quote, “Give me liberty, or give me death.” Personally, if I had to choose between the two, I don’t think it would take me long to decide. Seems a pretty obvious choice. Liberty please! Of course I understand what Henry meant, but phrased as two equal choices, the saying becomes absurd.
Paul reveals that the Galatians are faced with a similarly ridiculous choice – between the blessing of God through faith (in verse 9) or the curse that comes when relying on the law. Paul explains that according to the law itself (Deuteronomy 27:26) that unless one was to follow every command completely and fully without error, then they would fall under the curse of it’s judgement. And as we saw in Romans 3:23, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Anyone choosing to live by the law would be backing a horse that had no chance of winning. When seeing what each of the two choices bring us, it is quite literally the choice between liberty and death.
While using the HEAR method (see below) consider the following questions:
- When faced with the choice between faith and the law, understanding what each bring (blessing or curse) why would anyone choose the law? This is not a rhetorical question, as some Galatians were clearing being swayed. Why do you think?
- Blessing and curse are not simply eternal consequences. We experience the effects of either in this life as well. Can you think of times in your own life when you experienced the effects of blessing through faith or curse through works?
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you?
Explain – what does the passage mean?
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today?
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?
Today’s post is by Jon Price, Associate Pastor