Galatians 3:10-3:14

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Text: Galatians 3:10-14

JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH

INTRODUCTION:

The Scriptures consistently teach that a man is saved by believing the gospel.

John 1:11-12 - (11) He came unto his own, and his own received him not. (12) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.

John 3:16 - (16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Acts 16:31 - (31) And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

We have previously shown that the Galatian believers were saved by faith in Christ alone.

In order to demonstrate that faith alone is God's method of saving people, Paul asks four questions.

1. How did you receive the Holy Spirit? - 3:2

2. How will you be sanctified? - 3:3

3. Did you suffer in vain? - 3:4

4. On what basis did God perform miracles? - 3:5

We have also seen that the example of Abraham demonstrates that salvation is by faith alone.

1. Abraham was justified by believing God - 3:6

2. Just as Abraham was saved by faith, so his children will be saved by faith - 3:7-8

Gentiles who believe will be saved by faith as Gentiles. They will not be saved by becoming Jews.

3. Although provision was made for all nations, only those who have faith will be justified - 3:9

I. THE LAW CANNOT JUSTIFY; IT CAN ONLY CONDEMN - 3:10

Galatians 3:10 - (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.

Contrary to what the Judaizers were teaching, the law could only condemn. It could not make one righteous. It could not justify. In support of this Deuteronomy 27:26 is quoted.

Deuteronomy 27:26 - (26) Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.

As many as are of the works of the law = all those who seek to obtain favor with God on the basis of obeying the law.

Are under a curse = are condemned to death.

That continueth not = the law must be kept perfectly forever. Thus, the breaking of only one commandment in an entire lifetime would bring an individual under the curse, i.e. it would condemn him to death. The law must be kept perfectly and completely. People do not understand how serious and all encompassing this is. This is not just the 10 commandments. It is every one of the more than 600 laws found in the entire Pentateuch. Just one slip and an individual finds himself under the curse, i.e. condemned to death.

How many will be found that keep the law perfectly? None. The man who does them shall live by them is the condition for attaining eternal life, but it is impossible for anyone to keep.

It is not the old nature which brings about the curse. It is the act of sin. Now, admittedly, it is because of the old sin nature that we choose to sin. However, if one would go throughout his entire life without ever committing a single act of sin, he would not come under the curse.

This is important for understanding what happens to someone who dies as a baby. Although he had an old sin nature from his conception, he will still be in heaven because it is not his old sin nature which brings about his condemnation. It is not until he reaches what we call the age of accountability that he is guilty of committing sin. The age of accountability is the point in one's life where he is capable of understanding what sin is. The age of accountability varies from individual to individual, but it usually comes somewhere between 4 and 6 years of age. Prior to this point in his life, he is not held accountable for sin. When he reaches this point where he understands what sin is, he becomes accountable for his own sins and comes under the curse of sin.

This is also helpful in understanding Romans 2:6-12 ,

Romans 2:6-12 - (6) Who will render to every man according to his deeds: (7) To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: (8) But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, (9) Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; (10) But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: (11) For there is no respect of persons with God. (12) For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law.

II. THOSE JUSTIFIED BY FAITH WILL LIVE - 3:11

Galatians 3:11 - (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.

Evident = clear, plain, evident

Paul quotes from Habakkuk 2:4 :

Habakkuk 2:4 - (4) Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

Romans 1:16-17 - (16) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (17) For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

The just shall live by faith does not mean that we who are saved must live lives characterized by faith or trust. It means that the one who is justified by faith is the one who is going to live. The word order in Greek is the just (righteous) by faith (one) will live.

III. FAITH AND LAW CANNOT BE COMBINED - 3:12

Galatians 3:12 - And the law is not of faith: but, the man that doeth them shall live in them.

Law and faith are mutually exclusive. You cannot have both of them together at the same time and in the same place. It will not work.

The law is not of faith means that the law is not based upon the principle of believing. Justification will not come by believing according to the law.

Paul refers to Leviticus 18:5 , Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the Lord.

The principle of law is that the individual who keeps the law perfectly throughout his entire lifetime is the one who is going to live. This is a theoretical ideal; nobody can ever do it. It is impossible.

IV. THERE IS HOPE FOR ALL WHO HAVE BROKEN THE LAW AND ARE UNDER ITS CURSE - 3:13

This hope is in Christ.

Galatians 3:13 - (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.

Thus, the curse of the law was transferred from sinners to Christ. This speaks of imputation.

II Corinthians 5:20-21 - (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. (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.

This also speaks of substitution.

Two purposes for Christ's redemptive work are given.

1. that Gentiles might receive the blessing given to Abraham. It is available to all who believe.

Galatians 3:8 - (8) And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

2. that all who believe might receive the promise of the Spirit.

Galatians 3:14 - (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.

Thus, both salvation and sanctification come by faith and not by the works of the law.