3:10-14 "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."
"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." Who, among
all of mankind, can honestly say that he has continued in all things
that are written in the book of the law to do them? We are all guilty
before God. The law requires perfection for justification. James
wrote: James 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." To keep
all of the law but one very small part, still renders one as being a
transgressor of the law and therefore under the curse of the law. The
law renders us condemned and not justified.
"But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of
God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith." Notice the
difference in this statement than what is taught by the false "grace,
but" doctrine. The "grace, but" doctrine has the following sentiment:
"the unjust shall get life by obeying some precept of some
The truth is one must first be just before he can live by
faith. Practical justification comes through the new birth, where the
atoning blood of Christ is applied to the soul and we are born of the
Spirit of God, which gives us spiritual life. Christ does this under
his covenant work. Once we are justified by the atoning blood of Christ
and born of the Spirit, we have the fruit of the Spirit, which includes
faith. Now we can live a spiritual life by faith.
"And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth
them shall live in them." Attempts to keep the law are by the works of
the flesh. We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. The
law which we try to keep in the flesh we find that rather than
justifying us ends up condemning us.
"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:" Throughout the Old Testament, the lessons of substitutional
sacrificial atonement are manifest. Christ was made to be sin for us
that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Cor. 5:21).
Christ, in becoming our curse on the tree of his cross, redeemed us from
the curse of the law. We no longer are under the curse of the law.
Christ performed this work all by himself. There is nothing in this
statement that indicates that man had anything to do with bringing this
to pass. The work of atonement was by grace alone.
"That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles
through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit
through faith." This is what the promise of God to Abraham was all
about. "All nations are blessed in the seed of Abraham" and they were
blessed at the tree of the cross where the promised seed (Christ) was
made to be a curse for them. By faith, we receive the assurance of this
promise of the Spirit. We embrace it in our hearts that Christ died to
redeem us from sin and that this work was by the covenant promise of God
and is by grace alone.
Gal. 3:15-18 "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."
"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." Paul is showing to the brethren at Galatia that based
on a covenant being confirmed, no man can disannul it or add to it.
This is true under man's system of laws, and it is even more so under
God's system of jurisprudence. Once a covenant is confirmed, the
covenant is in effect and cannot be disannulled or added to. The terms
of the covenant must be carried out. God made a covenant before the
foundation of the world. This covenant is stated for us in Rom. 8:29,
30: "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed
to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many
brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and
whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he
God confirmed this covenant in Abraham:
1. Gen. 12:1 "Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee
out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house,
unto a land that I will show thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great
nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt
be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him
that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be
2. Gen. 15:5 "And he brought him forth abroad, and said,
Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number
them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be."
3. Gen. 22:16 "And said, By myself have I sworn, saith
the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld
thy son, thine only son: 17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in
multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as
the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the
gate of his enemies;"
4. Gen. 13:16 "And I will make thy seed as the dust of
the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall
thy seed also be numbered."
"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." Abraham had a total of eight sons by natural birth.
He had one son by promise. Yet none of the eight sons was the seed that
God had under consideration when he confirmed the covenant unto
Abraham. The seed under consideration is "Christ." Christ is the seed
that God said he would multiply as the dust of the earth, and as the
sand upon the seashore, and as the stars of heaven. Christ is the seed
that possessed the gate of his enemies. Christ is the seed that all
nations, kindreds, peoples, and tongues are blessed in.
"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." Since the covenant promise has before been confirmed of God in
Christ, then no man can disannul it or add to it. Names cannot be added
to this covenant promise nor names be taken out of it. It is fixed
forever. This covenant promise is sure to all the multiplied seed. The
law which came four hundred and thirty years after the promise was
confirmed in Christ cannot disannul the covenant promise or add to it.
"For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of
promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise." The inheritance is not
by the law, but it is by promise. Our eternal inheritance has been
given to us by covenant promise that God promised before the world
began. No law can disannul it or add to it. This completely destroys
the "grace, but" doctrine. The doctrine that says you have to do
something in order to get eternal life would either disannul the
covenant promise or add to it. This is just not possible. The
inheritance is certain to all the heirs of promise and it cannot be
altered. Praise God!
Gal. 3:19, 20 "Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added
because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise
was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. 20
Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one."
"Wherefore then serveth the law?" If our eternal
inheritance is not by the law, then what was the purpose of the law?
Paul wrote in Rom. 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 showed us that we were
sinners. All arguments for intrinsic righteousness or man's ability to
make himself righteous are destroyed by the law and all the world is
condemned by the law before God.
"It was added because of transgressions." Transgression
did not begin with the law of Moses. Transgressions began in the Garden
of Eden when Adam broke the law of sin and death and brought himself
under the curse of the law and brought all of his posterity under the
curse of the law of sin and death. While those before the giving of the
ten commandments may not have had full knowledge of what God's moral law
required, yet they were still breaking the commandments even without
that full knowledge. In the eyes of a just and holy law, they were
still guilty of transgressions. The law was added because of these
transgressions to bring knowledge of transgressions and the wrathful
judgment of God towards these transgressions. The law taught us that we
are sinners and that no flesh can be justified in his sight by the works
of the law.
"till the seed should come to whom the promise was made"
The law covenant was given for a period of time. Once the seed (Christ)
should come to whom the promise was made, the law would be fulfilled by
that seed and the multiplied seed (elect of God) would be justified
before God and the New Covenant of worship would be established. This
effectively negated the need of worship under the law covenant.
"And it was ordained by angels in the hand of a
mediator. 20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one."
The word, "ordained," means appointed. The word, "angels," means
messengers. Paul is writing that the law was appointed by messengers in
the hand of a mediator. We know that Moses was given the law by God on
Mount Sinai. He delivered it to the children of Israel. The totality
of the Old Testament was written by the prophets that God sent. These
prophets were messengers writing as God appointed them. The law
revealed the exceeding sinfulness of sin. It also by types and shadows
and by prophesies showed the remedy for sin. The remedy God gave for
sin under the law was that a suitable sacrifice had to be made by a
There are two parties to any mediation. When one party
is aggrieved at another party then a mediator is sometimes appointed to
bring the two parties together. The qualifications of the mediator is
that he must be able to relate to both parties. However, how can anyone
relate to both God and men and be a suitable mediator? The person must
be a God/man. There is only one God/man and that is the man Jesus
Christ who is also God manifest in the flesh. Christ is our mediator.
He is also the lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. He is
the one who satisfied the legal requirements of the wrath of God against
the sins of his elect people. He was their representative who shed his
blood on the cross of Calvary to deliver them from the wrathful judgment
of God as he suffered in their room and stead. Christ is their mediator
and their atonement.