Trying to please God by obeying the Law puts you under a curse. The Scriptures say, “Everyone who doesn’t obey everything in the Law is under a curse.”
This is another little Old Testament nugget from Deuteronomy 27:26. Remember that the Law includes the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The arguments that many of the things in the Mosaic law are no longer relevant to modern society is bogus, but even assuming that much of the stuff no longer applies—like mixed fibers in fabric, or hybrid plants, or eating kosher—then the Big Ten are enough to convict us.
But what about the rest of the Law?
There is much there that we ignore at our peril. The idea of eating corn that is not affected by Roundup—a herbicide that kills everything—is a little scary, coupled with the fact that this hybrid corn is sterile. Maybe this is why God warned us in the Law that we should not mix seed? Many believe that things like this are the reason for all of our allergies and things like that.
My personal peeve would be cotton-poly blends. Like hybrids, this seems to break Leviticus 19:19.
‘You shall keep My statutes. You shall not let your livestock breed with another kind. You shall not sow your field with mixed seed. Nor shall a garment of mixed linen and wool come upon you.’ [NKJV]
So, are cotton-poly socks sin? That’s between you and the Lord. Personally, my feet are much healthier when I can find 100% cotton socks.
What about mules? That clearly breaks Lev. 19:19—right?
What other ways do you and we break the law?
None of us has even kept the ten commandments. So we are all guilty of not obeying everything. Therefore we are under the curse.
We have evidence that no one is justified before God by the law “The righteous shall live by faith.”
Here Paul seems to pull another quote out of the blue—this time from Habakkuk 2:4. I find it fascinating how the Holy spirit can put teachings together. But this was well-known teaching. Hayford’s spirit-filled bible gives us this quote from the Talmud:
Moses gave Israel 613 commandments. David reduced them to ten. Isaiah to two, but Habakkuk to one.
Paul’s revelation put this quote at the core of Christian faith.
The law is not based on faith. It says, “Obey my laws and rules; a person who obeys them will live because of them. I am the Lord.”
It seems strange to me that people love this idea. Churches who promote the law by focusing on the principles of the law have huge followings. The law is easy to understand and you can always look for loopholes. Pastors who tell their sheep how to live and what to do in any situation have large followings because people do not want to have to think or to be dependent on hearing God.
That sounds too much like work. It must be too difficult. It takes effort. The walk of faith requires us to develop a personal relationship with God that dominates our life. Our relationship with the Lord must have prime place in our lives, thoughts, and actions.
Our Messiah took away the curse the law put on us. He took our place and volunteered for the curse. It is written, “Anyone whose body is displayed on a tree is cursed.”
Here the spirit inspires Paul to connect the curse of Deuteronomy with the cross.
If a man has committed a sin worthy of death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God) [Deuteronomy 21:22–23 NASB]
Jesus had not committed a sin worthy of death, but basically volunteered to be hung on a tree. This was probably idiomatic usage of the time to call the cross a tree.
And now, because of what Jesus did, Abraham’s blessing is available for heathens also so that we all might receive his Spirit in the way Abraham did.
As is common in anointed teaching, Paul’s reasoning makes leaps that go beyond logic to simply expose truth. Again we can tell by the huge variations in the translations of these verses that the concepts were clear though difficult to express logically.
I remember that best preacher I ever heard. He was the overseer when Pat and I were called to plant a mission church in the New Age section of a city a couple decades ago. His preaching was amazingly anointed.
Here’s what I mean by anointed preaching. Everyone in the audience heard an individualized, targeted message that directly applied to them personally. His preaching had real power to change lives. When you heard him preach, it was obviously God using him to speak to us individually.
His style was unique. He rarely spoke in full sentences. The words were brief, prayerfully considered, and often seemed to wander about the topic. What each of us received was rarely about the planned subject matter. He was enabled to put forth words in such a way that the Spirit could freely use them to put together individual messages for each listener. It was a marvelous thing. I loved to sit under his teaching.
I suspect Paul was a bit like that. Peter said he was difficult to understand. The only people who didn’t like our overseer’s sermons were those who tore them apart, looking for logical structure. They had no logical structure, but a supernatural coherency. He spoke truths that the Spirit assembled into a rhema for each of us.
There are two words used in the New Testament that are translated word.
One is logos which is the overall word of the Lord.
The Logos became flesh and dwelt among us. [John 1:14]
The other is rhema which is the specific utterance from the Lord for a specific purpose
.…the sword of the spirit, which is the Rhema of God. [Ephesians 6:17]
Rhema are personal and when shared with others often mean nothing to anyone else other than yourself. They are given in a specific place for a specific time.
Your life is changed by rhema
When God speaks to you personally, it transforms your life. This type of personal conversation with God is the reason He made us and sent Jesus to die for us.
- Learning to Walk in Freedom: Part 1 Galatians 1:1-10 (bergsland.org)
- Learning to Walk in Freedom: Part 2 Galatians 1:11-24 (bergsland.org)
- Learning to walk in freedom: Part 3 Galatians 2: 1-14 (bergsland.org)
- Learning to walk in Freedom: Part 4 Galatians 2:15-21 (bergsland.org)
- Learning to walk in freedom, Part 5: Galatians 3:1-9 (bergsland.org)