The New Testament correlates faith and grace to make sure that we do not boast in what grace alone achieves. Faith is the act of our soul that turns away from our own insufficiency to the free and all-sufficient resources of God. Faith focuses on the freedom of God to dispense grace to the unworthy. Faith boasts in The Lord Jesus, nothing else and nobody else.

The idea of redemption brings to light an insurmountable need on the part of those being redeemed.  There is a reason for redemption.  Paul couches the need for redemption in the language of a “curse.”  The Bible declares that we are all sinners who are born in Adam. Because of that, we live under a curse of infinite proportions that we are helpless to remove by our own efforts.  Only by the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, can sinners be delivered from the curse.

Verses 10-14 provide the contrast from the saving faith of believing Abraham (Galatians 3:9) to those who are seeking to get right with God by the works of the law.

Gal 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law (lit. all who are depending upon their own obedience to the Law) are under the curse: for it is written (De 27:26), Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

Paul is dealing with the Galatian heresy espoused by the Judaizers who tried to lure the church in Galatia into embracing Judaism as supreme over the sufficiency of faith in Christ.

They sought to bring the Galatians, both Jew and Gentile, into a bondage of dependence upon the works of the Law as the means of justification.  In response to this threat of damnable legalism, the apostle Paul plants his feet firmly into the true meaning of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

The Judaizers believed and taught that the Law carried more weight than the cross.  As a result of that way of thinking, they were hanging on to their own ability to keep the Law as the way to God rather than faith in Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
Continuing his thought that we are justified by the grace of God and not by the keeping of the law, Paul shows here that it is spiritual suicide to think that you can be justified in the sight of God by keeping the law because all who seek to approach God through it will inevitably be cursed, not blessed from God.

The word curse here means, “to be condemned and doomed to punishment by the righteous judgment of God.”
Why? Because if you attempt to be made right with God by human effort, there is no room for one single error; if you break one of the commands of God, you have broken the entire law.

o   Jas 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

The law demanded entire obedience.  He who violated one commandment was guilty of all. “The law is not a collection of stray and miscellaneous parts, some of which may conveniently be disregarded.  It is a whole, and must be kept in all its parts if it is to be considered kept at all

Not a single person on this Lord’s Supper Sunday should be under any illusion or so self-deceived as to think we are able to perfectly obey at all times and in all ways every aspect of the law. Jesus’ teaching regarding the true meaning of adultery and murder in the Sermon on the Mount makes this even clearer. Thinking the thoughts of adultery and murder indicate that we are fallen sinners who need a Redeemer for our sin debt.

Both the books of Galatians and Hebrews reveal to us that the law was intended by God to show us our inadequacy to keep it and our need of His saving grace, through faith in The Lord Jesus Christ. The law was never intended to make men righteous.

o   Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

o   Heb 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

If God’s holy, perfect law could not justify us in the sight of God, but only declare us guilty and point us to the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ, how can any person, now that Jesus has come and fulfilled all of the holy and righteous requirements of God, really believe that their salvation can be obtained by their keeping of the rituals or rules of their denomination?  It’s absurd, its heresy, it’s impossible. It’s works, and not grace.

Biblical salvation is not Jesus plus ritual, or works. Biblical salvation from A to Z is all of grace, not or works lest any man should boast.
Would you be totally honest with yourself at this point?  Are you clinging to your own adherence to the Ten Commandments or the Golden Rule or some other standard of morality as your means of being justified before God?

The whole intent of the epistle to the Galatians is to explain to you that God will not accept your attempt at obeying the law for righteousness.  As much as you try, as much effort as you give, you can never meet up to God’s standard; which is perfection. 

11 But that no man is justified (declared righteous and brought into right standing with God) by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

To the believers in Rome, Paul wrote Ro 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

The law declares all mankind guilty before God and renders it impossible for any man to be counted justified in the sight of God by trying to follow the law of Moses, no matter how good or sincere he or she is or how much good he or she does.

Having shown from the Old Testament that the law inevitably brings a curse upon fallen humanity, Paul now shows that the same Old Testament scriptures also revealed a way for sinful man to enter into a right relationship with God.

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

Three times we find this phrase, the just shall live by faith in the New Testament. Here in Galatians and

  • Ro 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
  • Heb 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

In quoting Habakkuk 2:4 Paul shows that salvation by obedience the law is pride and contrary to the message of grace.

  • Rom 4.2-5For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness
  • Rom 11.6,7 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

Pride in whatever I do to make myself right in the sight of God only proves that I have not comprehended the grace of Christ and am not right in the sight of God.

The grace of God isn’t something that is earned; it is Someone Who is received. The only way to enter into a vital relationship with The Lord and live a life that is pleasing to Him is by faith.

  • Hebrews 11:6, “but without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

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

Seeking to be accepted by God on the basis of complete obedience to the law is not an act of faith in God, but a nullifying of the grace of Christ and an act of arrogant pride. Salvation according to a religious person is always rooted in self and upon the basis of what they have done or don’t do instead of trusting in the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ.

  • Lu 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Like this self-righteous Pharisee, it is only a proud person this morning who believes that they can be good enough to stand before God upon the basis of their own self-justifying religious activity or good works instead of total trust in the saving work of Christ alone.

A proud person cannot accept that his or her own depravity makes them just as guilty before God as any other person on this planet right now.

  • All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
  • God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law,

The Greek word for the English word redeemed is “exagorazo” and it means to purchase for oneself by the payment of their debt.

Please note that Jesus and Jesus alone redeemed us from the curse of the law.

  • 1Pe 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

Religion substitutes good works, rituals or religious service for the holy blood of Jesus Christ, which is the only God approved price of redemption.

being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 

Paul quotes Deuteronomy 21:23 in referring to what happened when Christ died upon the cross. Christ took upon Himself the curse of sin when He suffered the penalty of sin and death for us. (Is. 53:1-11; John 1:29)

  • Mt 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many (the price paid to set them free).
  • 1Ti 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
  • 2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that (in and through Him) we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Like the symbolic scapegoat spoken of in Lev 16:5-26, Jesus was the representative of the legal payment of the sin and the curse that it required.
The Bible declares that The LORD is both a God of justice and of mercy: On the surface, mercy and justice seem to oppose each other. But the gospel of Jesus Christ clearly reveals that God can show both mercy and justice at the same time. Because on the cross, Jesus took the punishment we deserve, God’s justice is satisfied. At the same time, He shows mercy by extending the work of Jesus to us as payment for our sins. Only God can reconcile mercy and justice, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus (Romans 3:26).

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.

The New Testament emphasizes what God has done for us. The Church has made the mistake of emphasizing what we should do for God, and in doing so, we have drifted away from a life of faith, grace and fruit in the power of The Holy Spirit to the life of law, works, and flesh. 

  • And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:27,28)

This verse poses a very important question before us all: Are we included in the “many” whose sins he bore?

The answer of Hebrews 9:28 is, “Yes,” if we are eagerly, constantly, and patiently] waiting for and expecting Him.” We can know that our sins are taken away and that we will be safe in the judgment if we trust Christ in such a way that effects the way that we live and we are daily earnestly awaiting for His coming.

There is a phony faith that claims to believe in Christ, but is only a fire insurance policy. Phony faith “believes” only to escape hell. It has no real desire for Christ. In fact, it would prefer it if he did not come, so that we can have as much of this world’s pleasures as possible. This shows that a heart is not with Christ, but with the world.

When you know Jesus, you follow Him; when you do not know Jesus, you may glance at Him from time to time, but in reality, on a day-by-day basis, you do your own thing and sprinkle your religious spin to it to make yourself look good before others. So the issue for us is: Do we eagerly long for the coming of Christ? Or do we want him to wait while our love affair with the world runs its course? That is the question that tests the authenticity of faith.

So let us be like the Corinthians who were “awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:7), and like the Philippians whose “citizenship was in heaven, from which also [they] eagerly waited for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).

That’s the issue before us, beloved. Do we love His appearing? Or do we love the world and hope that His appearing will not interrupt our worldly plans? Eternity hangs on this question.


The New Testament correlates faith and grace to make sure that we do not boast in what grace alone achieves. Faith is the act of our soul that turns away from our own insufficiency to the free and all-sufficient resources of God. Faith focuses on the freedom of God to dispense grace to the unworthy. Faith boasts in The Lord Jesus, nothing else and nobody else.

The bread and the cup is all about Jesus. The Christian life beloved is not about me, it’s not about you, it’s not about us, it’s all about Jesus Christ. It’s all about trusting Him, serving Him and eagerly looking for His glorious appearance.

  • Romans 3:24 Being justified (made upright and in right standing with God) freely by His grace (unmerited favor) through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
  • 2 Tim 1.12 for I know (not simply know about) whom I have believed (adhered to and trusted in and relied on), and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.

Do not settle for just knowing about Jesus – choose today to follow Him with all of your heart. If you would like to receive Christ as Lord today, we would love to pray with you. Email us.