For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.”The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. Gal.3:10-14 NIV
If you believe that the Bible commands you to live by the Law, then you will have lots of trouble reconciling what Paul is saying in these verses. (Paul is specific here when he speaks of the Law; he calls it “the Book of the Law”). Perhaps, you have convinced yourself that Paul means something different from what he plainly says. On the other hand, there is no shortage of individuals who are willing to twist Scripture to make it say what they believe. Beware of those who do that.
Paul is clear that the righteous will live by faith. These are not Paul’s own words. He is quoting this from Habakkuk 2:4. In verse 12 of Galatians 3, he informs us that the Law requires action and no faith. We have three facts from Paul, 1) The righteous will live by faith and 2) the Law does not require its adherents to have faith and 3) The Law cannot justify anyone. How then can the righteous live by the Law without violating the command to live by faith?
Those who try to keep the Law inevitably come under a curse because they are unable to keep it entirely. Jesus redeemed us from the curse so that by faith we may receive the promise of the Spirit. Why return to that from which we have been redeemed? Christ came and redeemed us from sin, and he tells us not to live in sin any longer (Rom.6:2,15). When God redeems us from anything, his instruction to us always is that we should not return to it.
Trying to live by both The Law and faith is like living in two opposite states. Living in such a way is to live in opposition to God’s revealed purpose for us. Claiming to live by both faith and the law is an exercise in futility. From my experience, of trying to live by both faith and Law, I found that the Law took precedence and faith went out the door. (I lived by Sabbath and Holy day regulations, clean and unclean meats and tithing. At one time, the church (cult) I attended advocated that those who were into farming should rest their land every seven years; that farmers should not plant crops of a similar family in the same field and that members should not wear clothing of mixed fabric). The result was, I ended up living purely by the Law, and far from grace as Paul warned against (Gal.5:4).
When a person’s life is rooted in Law based living, every action, thought, word, intention, motive, and attitude the person has is directed toward seeing that the Law is not violated. There is much zeal for the Law. He reads the Law into every verse of the Bible where it is not present. Every conversational topic soon shifts to a discussion that seeks to confirm the Law as the guiding light to that person. In other words, the Law becomes ubiquitous; it becomes the master, the god that they worship more than the Law-giver.
Those who advocate Law based living seem to have an unclear understanding of the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. Most of these persons believe that the Holy Spirit is a power and not a person. For them, the concept of the Trinity is unbiblical and at worst pagan. Instead of having faith and the promised Holy Spirit, they are dependant on the Law and have ended up being under a curse (Gal.3:10).
Trying to live by both the Law and faith is an impossible task. It is a task that brings no joy, peace or salvation. Law based living is man’s way of trying to please God. All human religions earn good standing with their god through legalistic rituals. Christianity is different. Christians ought to have good works, but those actions are not the means of securing favour with God. Christians depend on Christ’s finished work on the cross, his faith and grace and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It is not that Christians are lawless, but Christ has redeemed us from the Law and its curses. Let us live by faith.
I hope you enjoyed this article and that it has been of some spiritual benefit to you. I would appreciate hearing from you. So please feel free to leave your comments. Just remember to allow your comments to reflect Jesus Christ as he makes his abode in you.