I. THE CURSE OF THE LAW.
A. What is the curse of the law?
1. In Leviticus 26
God tells Israel what will happen to them if they break His laws, and go after other gods.
a. He will bring upon them terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy their eyes and drain away their lives.
b. They will plant their seed in vain for their enemies will eat the fruit.
c. They will be slain by their enemies.
d. They will flee when no one is pursuing them.
e. They will be so famished that they will eat their own children.
f. Their land will be laid waste and the cities destroyed.
g. They will be scattered among the heathen.
h. The ultimate curse of the law was death.
i. One of the curses of the law was to be hung on a tree.
And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree:
His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged [is] accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee [for] an inheritance.
2. This is the curse that Paul has in mind when he wrote "For as many as under the works of the law, are under the curse of the law, for it is written, 'Cursed is every one that hangeth on a all tree.'"
3. We all of us have fallen under this curse for the law also declared in
Cursed [be] he that confirmeth not [all] the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen. Paul gives this a free translation, "Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things in the book of the law to do them."
4. The idea that Paul is putting across is that if you are seeking a righteous standing by keeping the law, you are already under the curses pronounced in the law, for you have already broken the law. If you keep the whole law, yet violate it in one point you are guilty of all.
a. You cannot just keep part of the law, that part that pleases you.
b. You must keep the whole law, and to break one commandment is to make you guilty. It is really immaterial as to which one you might have broken.
B. Because of this Paul concludes that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God.
1. Let us say that you are some kind of exception. You are a perfect person, you have lived your entire life without breaking a single commandment.
2. As you are driving home on the freeway some nut swerves in front of you then suddenly brakes, you get angry and swear at him as you rear end his car and you die in the accident. You came close, but you came short.
3. The Bible tells us that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. There is none righteous no not one.
II. WE ARE ALL GUILTY, WHAT CAN WE DO? MUST WE ALL BE CURSED?
A. "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law."
1. How? By taking the curse for us.
2. I am the guilty one, I deserve to be hung on a tree.
3. Jesus came and He took my guilt, and He hung on the tree for me.
B. That Jesus bore my sin for me, the scripture is abundantly clear.
1. It was first of all prophesied.
a. Isaiah prophesied of the Messiah suffering and being disfigured, but he declared, "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, all we like sheep had gone astray, we had turned every one of us to his own way, and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."
b. Again, "For the transgression of My people was He smitten."
2. Jesus said that He did not come to be ministered to, but to minister and to give His life as a ransom for all.
a. When Jesus gave the cup to the disciples at the last supper He said,
For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
3. The death of Christ for all is testified to in the epistles.
For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many;
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers;
But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
III. THE BLESSING OF ABRAHAM HAS COME ON THE GENTILES.
A. The redemption we have in Jesus is not just negative, that is, it is more than saving us from the curse of the law, it also brings us into the blessings.
B. God had promised Abraham that through His seed, all of the nations of the world would be blessed. This was a declaration to Abraham that the Messiah would be a descendant of Abraham.
1. The blessing was to extend to all the nations of the world.
And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
C. We Gentiles might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. God had promised to put his Spirit on Israel, and to give them a new heart.
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them].
D. But then God also promised to pour out His Spirit on all flesh.
And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
E. This then is the offer that God is giving to you today. The law has sentenced you to death, but Jesus Christ the Son of God died in your place, He took the curse of the law and hung on the cross for you. You can now have a new heart and a new spirit. You can be a new person. The past sins will be forgiven and all things will become new. God will give you a fresh start.