Galatians 3:10-18 KJV
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.
15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.
16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.
18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
One of the things that becomes very obvious if you really look at the law that was given to Moses is that we are all cursed under the law because we cannot keep it. And the law specifically says that anyone who does not keep the words of the law is cursed! Here is some of what the Word says about that in Deuteronomy 28:
15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:
16 Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field.
17 Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store.
18 Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.
19 Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
20 The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.
Pestilence, fever, consumption, a botch, hemorrhoids, scabs, itch, blindness, madness – all these are listed in just 14 verses of the chapter – there are 29 more describing what happens to those who do not follow all the law completely! God is serious about following the law!
But we are not under the curse of the law. Jesus Christ gave His life so we would no longer be obligated to the law. Paul says Jesus became a curse for us, taking our place. Deuteronomy 21:23 tells us that cursed is everyone who hangs in a tree. When Jesus hung on that cross, bearing all our sins, He reversed the curse of the law and made us all free from that curse.
The law was all about works, not faith. You could not fulfill the law by faith. The law was all about the things that the people did to show their worship, repentance, and awe toward God. That is the Old Covenant. The New Covenant which Jesus brought is based on belief in Him and His sacrifice. If we decide we want to live by the law, then we have to do the whole law – not just parts of it. Why would I ever choose the law over grace?
This also applies to our works. Grace is what saves us – the grace of God. We extend our faith to accept that grace. It is not our works. I know I keep repeating this fact, but we must understand that God has done all He needs to do to save us. We cannot add anything to it, and so many do! So many say works are a requirement for heaven. Don’t fall back under that trap!
On another note, in verse 16 Paul mentions that the promise was made to Abraham’s seed. This is a singular form of the word seed. The promise of blessing was not to his offspring, which would be seeds. The seed is one – the seed of faith. The faith that God counted to Abraham for righteousness. That seed is in everyone who believes God. We believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, born to take away our sins, died on a cross to redeem us and rose again to grant us eternal life.
If you ignore the fact that God promised this way before the law was given, then I can understand why one would think works are needed for redemption. That is why this is so important! God’s promises are true, throughout the Bible. The law does not negate the promise to Abraham any more than the law negates the promise through Christ. 2 Cor 1:20 says For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. Through Christ, all the promises are ours!
I will be the first to say that once we get saved, we must be about the Father’s business. We have so much work to do in this world. There are so many hurting people and each one of us can touch a soul each day. It is imperative that we do all we can to spread His love to all we know. God has entrusted His grace to us so that we can show grace to others. How do we do that? By being a blessing to them!
Here’s a short list from a website called moreradiance.com.
- Smile and say hello to others
- Give up a parking space for someone else
- Pay for someone else’s meal
- Be kind and patient towards your waiter
- Leave a generous tip with a gospel tract
- Hold the door for others
- Let someone else go in line ahead of you
- Share coupons at the store
- Pick up things that have fallen off the shelves
- Be kind and patient towards the cashier
- Say “thank you”
- Give a stranger a sincere compliment
- Put extra change in a parking meter
- Pick up trash
- Wave others on at a stop sign
For the full list of 100 things, you can go to https://moreradiance.com/100-little-ways-bless-others/
It does not take a grand gesture to bless someone. We pass on grace with a smile, a handshake, a good deed, a shoulder to cry on. These works are necessary to work out our salvation (Phil 2:12). In the end, we will be judged on how well we performed these works of grace. We will all stand before the judgement seat of Christ! Second Cor 5:10 says “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” Don’t think that just confessing Christ as your Savior will get you there! If you make that confession and then turn away and just do your own thing, this verse is a warning!
Works does have a place, not in initial salvation, but in refining and molding us into our salvation. Salvation is an ongoing experience. We keep growing in the grace of God – or at least we should. If you are not growing, please take a hard look at why and correct it. Do what the Father asks you to do. Your eternal life depends on it!