(Article for publication week of 5-23-2012 AD)
“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’ “ (Galatians 3:10).
We are searching the scriptures to find the answer to Job’s question in the ninth chapter, second verse of the Old Testament book that bears his name- “how shall man be just with God?” Our text this week tells us that no man will ever be just with God by keeping the law, for every one that continueth not in all things of the book of the law to do everything required by the law, is under a curse.
Now we know that the law of God itself is “holy, and just, and good” (Romans 7:12). If everyone obeyed God’s law, why, it would be heaven on earth. There is nothing wrong with God’s law, but there is something dreadfully wrong with us. Therefore our text says we are cursed by the law if we do not continue in all things contained in the law to do them.
God’s law requires perfect obedience. Notice our text says, “cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things (emphasis mine)” written in the book of God’s law. God’s standard is nothing less than perfection. If you will be saved by keeping the law, then you must keep it in all things outwardly and inwardly. If you are not keeping the law perfectly, then you are cursed by the law. James 2:10 tells us, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” If you have offended God in one point of His law, then you are cursed as a lawbreaker. Cursed is every one that does not obey God’s law in perfection.
Next, see that God’s law requires perpetual obedience. “Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things of the book. The law will never give you a moment’s rest, a day off, or a vacation. You are bound to keep the law “24/7“, as folks say nowadays. If you have not kept the law perfectly from the moment of your conception, then you are cursed by the law. If you do not obey God perfectly forever, then you are cursed by the law. For emphasis, let us suppose a man kept the law “24/7” for a hundred years. Then suppose our man failed in one “minor” point on his hundredth birthday. Do you imagine God would justify this man on the basis of a century of supposed righteousness? Not according to our text, for this hundred-year-old man would be cursed for not continuing in the law to do it. But, in reality no one has ever kept the law for one year, much less a century. No one since the Fall of Man has even continued in the law for a minute, much less a year.
Also further notice that our text says that God’s law requires actual and positive obedience. There is a negative and a positive to the moral law of God, that is the Ten Commandments. The commandments forbid their breaking, but they also require their positive duties. For example, the First Commandment prohibits idolatry, but it also positively requires our pure worship of God, and again I say perfectly and perpetually.
Dear reader, do you not feel the very curse of God upon your poor soul? Do you not see that you are under the curse of the law? You will never be justified by the law, only cursed by it.
“How shall man be just with God?” Shall he be justified with God by keeping the moral law of God? A better way of justification must be found. And thank God there is! Christ has redeemed His people from the curse. The curse has been removed from every one that believes in Christ. May His grace rest upon you, all my dear readers.