“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, cursed is every one that hangs on a tree:” Galatians 3:13
Early on in my life I made a decision that has caused me no little pain. I would not put myself in the category of the Apostle Paul, and yet I can totally relate to his statement, “For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God” 1 Corinthians 15:10. I am sure that when he thought back upon his early days of persecuting the Church, and standing by and giving approval to Steven’s death, he felt no little grief.
The blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, of course, washes away all guilt and the fear of any coming punishment. Upon the cross Christ as a substitute bore the penalty of sins for those who believe. However, the pain we caused Him causes us to both rejoice in our salvation and mourn over the pain we caused Him.
I believe that common grace can keep people from the sin they desire. However, in God’s great wisdom and authority He can permit unredeemed men to go as far into sin as they like; or even redeemed men, so that He might change them in greater measure. Isaac was an obedient son, but the end of his life revealed certain spiritual blindness that remained in his soul. Jacob was a rebellious, stubborn, liar, and cheat, but at the end of his life he stood before Pharaoh and asked for nothing, and understood far more than even Joseph, the one God exalted over all the land.
God is sovereign; the work that He accomplishes in the lives of His people is His alone!
Our verse at the top of the page tells us that everyone that is hung upon a tree is cursed. All people are cursed, some just don’t know it. How so? Jesus was hung on a tree in the place of sinful men. His substitutionary death takes away the curse of sinful men. Therefore, Paul says, “…being made a curse for us…”. Paul including all followers of Christ. Jesus proves undeniably that all men are cursed.
It is not fun to look back at your life and clearly see the reason for it being cursed by God. It is, however better than to think our life is good enough to be acceptable to God, when in fact it is not. Our imperfect words, actions, motives, and attitudes make us unacceptable to God. “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” Galatians 3:10 (Emphasis added)
The least bit of hypocrisy is cursed by God for its deceitfulness, by thinking oneself to be good, when he is no such thing. “Cursed be he that does the work of the Lord deceitfully, and cursed be he that keeps back his sword from blood” Jeremiah 48:10. In the context of this verse, everyone is cursed by pride, which is unwilling to admit guilt.
God devoted an entire chapter to reveal who are the cursed people, Deuteronomy 27. None of us escape God’s condemnation. As it is written, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23. If you try to jump the gran canyon and miss by a mile or a foot, the end result is the same; you fall to your death.
You may also want to read my new book.
EXCERPT from the preface:
“Often after proclaiming the gospel to others, I have desired to place something in their hands along with the scriptures: a detailed description of the Jesus of the Bible. Nothing is more important than for a person to see Jesus. Whether Jew, Muslim, Atheist, Buddhist, or Catholic, all need to see Jesus as the one they need more than all others.”
“This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” John 17:3