Galatians 3:10-11 The Mouse Companion Version (MCV)
whoever lives by the law is under a curse, as it is written, “everyone who doesn’t fulfill everything written in the scroll of the law is under a curse,” and it is clear that no one can be justified before God by the law since, “by faith the righteous will live,”
The law is utterly unforgiving: even one tiny slip breaks the entire edifice, and no one (apart from Jesus Himself) has ever been able to obey it perfectly. Which obviously means that everyone is under the curse without Christ; whether they try to obey the law or not.
We’re not just to believe, we’re supposed to draw our very life from the Son of God by that faith so that nothing we do draws upon the flesh as its resource in any sense. If everything we do is by faith in His provision, He will live out His transcendent, overcoming life in us and through us, and there will be “no condemnation” for any of us! We will be righteous, and free, and we will truly live!
Romans 3:20-21 (MCV)
So no flesh will be justified in his sight by obeying the law, since the law’s purpose is that we may know our sin, but now God’s righteousness has been made available without recourse to the law, though both the law and the prophets testify to it.
In this God is not contradicting the law in any sense, as the Torah itself pointed forward to this perfect solution to the problem and God’s prophets confirmed it. What he’s doing simply does not involve the law, it doesn’t use the law, it’s not built on the law. The purpose of the law was to show the Hebrews that, in itself, the law was no solution since they (and we) are powerless to obey it perfectly. So we cannot think we might wriggle through by obeying the rules—that’s where the Pharisees went wrong. God has perfect standards, obviously, and our very best is merely insulting to One with perfect standards—particularly as He has provided real redemption for us by faith.
Galatians 2:21 (MCV)
if righteousness is through the law, then Christ died for nothing.
If we try to obey the law, at any level—like celebrating Shabbat or the festivals, or eating kosher food—in order to contribute in some way towards our salvation, we cancel out the value of Christ’s sacrifice (for us) and lose our salvation. In Galatians Paul stresses the point because he understands human nature and knows that many will be deceived into trying to obey the law—even some who are not actually Jewish or Hebrew by descent, who were never under the law even historically. He also knows prophetically that such deception is coming and that many will fall, so he wants it to be absolutely clear to every reader.
Romans 3:28-30 (MCV)
We determine then that men are justified by faith, without recourse to actions demanded by the law, or he would be God of the Jews only. Is he not God of the Gentiles too? Yes, of the Gentiles too since there is but one God, who will justify the circumcision by faith and the uncircumcised by faith.
Faith is the only way anyone will be justified, Jew or Gentile, and we demonstrate that faith by trusting Jesus to obey the spirit of the law in us and through us. Since we cannot obey the law in our natural selves, the law itself cannot be established in us until we start to live by faith in Christ. Only when we live by faith alone can we truly fulfill the law, becoming what the law commands us to be.
As soon as we turn to any obedience to the law, we also turn to the flesh, and immediately put ourselves under the curse, reject the sacrifice of Christ and jettison our salvation. Poor choice. If we try to add law, in any form, to the promises of God, we don’t negate the promise in any universal sense, we simply cancel it’s effect on ourselves individually and lose our claim on Christ, and therefore our inheritance in Him.
We don’t even obey the law by the Spirit—it’s simply not about the law—we obey Christ, and thereby reveal the nature of God.
Bless you guys, Geoff >ᴥ<