Chapter # 3 Paragraph # 2 Study # 5
January 8, 2012
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.
13 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:
14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
1901 ASV Translation:
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one who continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law, to do them.
11 Now that no man is justified by the law before God, is evident: for, The righteous shall live by faith;
12 and the law is not of faith; but, He that doeth them shall live in them.
13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
14 that upon the Gentiles might come the blessing of Abraham in Christ Jesus; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
I. Paul's Linkage of the Gospel to the Methodology of God's Dealings With Abraham [See notes for Dec. 4, 2011<135>].
II. Paul's Focus Upon Abraham's "Believing" [See notes for Dec. 11, 2011<137>].
III. Paul's Interpretation of God's "Accounting" (KJV word, NASB uses "reckoned") [See Notes for Dec. 18, 2011<139>].
IV. Paul's Adamant Application of Genesis 15:6 to the Gospel [See notes for Jan. 1, 2012<141>].
V. Paul's Logic Regarding "the Curse".
- A. Being "of the works of the Law" puts a person "under a curse".
- 1. As many as are of works of law are under a curse.
- a. The issue of "works of law" is its identity as the methodology of relationship.
- 1) Paul's "given" is that relationship, when related to persons, is an overarching reality in the totality of creation: God's creation of a "physical" universe was deliberately subjugated to His intention to create a "relational" universe. The physical serves only the interests of the relational and every time the order is reversed, evil results accrue.
- 2) The issues of a "relational" universe are the issues of how persons "relate" to each other in healthy ways that nourish joy. Every time a relationship is put into a "you owe me" setting, the relationship is subject to deterioration.
- 3) The reasons that subjecting relationships to "legal" issues is death-producing are two: first, creation reality makes it impossible for relationships to thrive in legal settings; and, second, the Scriptures say so. Paul argues from an "it stands written" posture of appeal to divine revelation.
- a) At issue: being under a curse.
- i. Even if God had not "said" that everyone who approaches "relationships for joy" from the direction of "obligation" would invariably fail, everyone doing that would have still failed. The problem is in getting two, or more, "persons" to put their efforts into seeking the best interests of the other. That problem is intensified out of this world by God's (One of the "two, or more") declaration of accursedness. By this declaration He has declared that He will have nothing to do with anyone who approaches the issues from a "legal" direction. Since He is omnipotent, such a declaration makes "relating" impossible for anyone else.
- ii. Being "under" a curse simply means that the course of the "curse" will dominate the situation and the persons involved. There can be no escape when one is "under". Romans 3:9 is as strong a statement of this reality as one can find. To be "under" renders all capacities vain if those capacities are turned toward getting "out" from "under".
- b) The "written" revelation: highly accursed is every one who does not absolutely remain in all the things "written" in the Book of the Law so that he may perform them. At issue is the unyielding reality of Truth expressed; no "truth" can be violated without a considerable negative consequence. The Book of the Law is a written expression of the inviolable nature of God, its Author. Even the least deviation from "Godliness" will insert an "ungodliness" that will corrupt every one it seduces.
- i. At the heart of this entire issue is the answer to this question: why would any person not "continue in all things which are written"?
- ii. There is only one reason for refusal to conform to the nature of God: antagonism toward Him. What this boils down to is a lack of love, a characteristic apart from which relationships cannot thrive.
- b. Being "under a curse" means both that the methodology cannot work and that there are real consequences for failing to apply truth.
- 2. The biblical record simply declares that "the righteous by faith shall live".
- a. This means two things.
- 1) The biblical record establishes that "life" arises out of "faith" (Habakkuk 2:4).
- 2) Law is not "of faith". Its methodology is declared by the biblical record to be "life by performance of its dictates". This brings us full circle back to the curse.
- b. This inclusion of Habakkuk 2:4, on top of the biblical argument from Genesis 15:6, simply means that the record is not ambiguous. The Bible has always taught that righteousness arises from faith and that Law demands perfection of performance.
- B. Christ's redemption involved becoming "the curse for us".