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The Curse of the Law and the Gospel


“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us, for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree'” (Galatians 3:13).

This Bible verse is often interpreted as an argument against God’s law and in favor of Jesus Christ. This is a gross perversion of its meaning. Here is what it means, and what it doesn’t mean.

“The curse of the law” hangs over those who break the law (see Deut. 28:15).

“The curse of the law” is “death” (compare 1 John 3:4 with Romans 6:23).

Death is pronounced upon all who break God’s law (of Ten Commandments) because that law is so perfect, so holy, so unchangeable (see Romans 7:12), and so eternal (being written on stone, Exodus 31:18), that all lawbreakers are justly condemned to die for violating its holy principles.

Thus is not an argument against God’s law, but in favor of it.

The Good News is that Jesus Christ willingly took the horror of “the curse of the law” and became “a curse for us.”

Because of what Jesus did for us on Calvary, we can repent of our sins, have faith in Him, be fully forgiven, and thus stand before God’s law as if we never sinned (see Romans 3:26).

Far from abolishing God’s law, the death of Jesus Christ establishes its holiness and eternal validity (Romans 3:31).

Understanding the proper relationship between the law and the gospel results in people choosing to “keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12).

How is your understanding today?

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