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Thursday, October 17, 2019

2019.10.17 Hopewell @Home ▫ Galatians 3:13-14

Questions from the Scripture text: From what has Christ redeemed us (Galatians 3:13)? What did He become for us? How did God show that (cf. Deuteronomy 21:23)? Whose blessing came upon the Gentiles (Galatians 3:14)? In Whom? What/Whom did we receive? Through what?
In what ways are we not under the law, if we believe in Jesus Christ?

First, we are not under the curse of the law. As Galatians 3:10 reminded us, the law puts a curse upon everyone who does not personally, perfectly, perpetually obey it!

This is a great problem for us, because we have not done so. It is no problem for Christ, because He has done so.

Yet, one of the wonders of the gospel is that Christ has taken our problem and made it His problem. Galatians 3:13 tells us that Christ became a curse for us.

Scripture wanted us to see that this is what Christ was doing by the prophecy of Deuteronomy 21:23, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.” This is why Jesus had to be crucified, not stoned or beheaded or die of tuberculosis. He wasn’t only being punished in our place; He was being displayed as having become a curse for us.

You, dear reader, must have this as all your hope as you think about the judgment of God. If Christ is not yours through faith, then your curse is still yours, and it will sink you lower than the grave!

A second way that believers are not under the law is that they are hoping for reward through faith in Christ, not through the merit of the law.

Galatians 3:14 tells us that it is “in Christ Jesus” that “the blessing of Abraham” comes upon the nations (the literal meaning of “Gentiles”).

Scripture often tells us that there is a reward for good works, but then it also often tells us that none of our works are good enough to deserve the reward. How can this be?

It is because Christ is the One who deserves the reward. And the Christ who deserves the reward is the One who gives us His Spirit. As the apostle has already reminded them, it is preposterous to imagine that the Spirit could ever be received by a wicked man as his due for his works under the law (cf. Galatians 3:2).  Now, Galatians 3:14 affirms that all of the blessings of the covenant (collectively called “the blessing of Abraham”) are in Christ Jesus, received through faith.

We are not under law, but under grace—the grace that gives us Christ’s righteousness counted for us and His removal of the curse from us, the grace that works out Christ’s righteousness in us to enable us to obey the law, the grace that gives us in Christ all covenant blessing.
What role does God’s law have in your life? What role must it not have in your life?
Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH130A “Lord, from the Depths”

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