Thursday, June 12, 2014

In Christ - I am redeemed from the curse of the law

I am redeemed from the curse of the law...

I Peter 1:18,19 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 

Galatians 3:10-14 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them." But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "the just shall live by faith." Yet the law is not of faith, but "the man who does them shall live by them." Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”) ,that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Notes from John MacArthur’s Bible Commentary –

I Peter 1: 18-19 – “Redeemed” means to buy someone from bondage by the payment of a price; to set free by paying a ransom.  Redemption was a technical term for money paid to buy back a prisoner of war.  Here it is used of the price paid to buy the freedom of a person in the bondage of sin and under the curse of the law.  The price paid to a holy God was the shed blood of His own Son.

Galatians 3:10-14 – Anyone who is attempting to earn salvation by keeping the law is under the curse quoted from Deuteronomy 27:26, which shows that failure to keep the law perfectly brings divine judgment and condemnation.  One violation of the law deserves the curse of God.  No one can keep all the commands of the law – not even strict Pharisees like Saul of Tarsus.  Paul goes on to say that no one is made righteous (justified) by the law.  Justification does not come from keeping the law;  this quote from Habakkuk 2:4 shows that justification is by faith alone. Justification by faith and justification by keeping the law are mutually exclusive. Paul uses the word “redeemed” in much the same way as Peter – it speaks of buying a slave’s or debtor’s freedom.  Christ’s death, because it was a death of substitution for sin, satisfied God’s justice and exhausted His wrath toward His elect, so that Christ actually purchased believers from slavery to sin and from the sentence of eternal death.  By bearing God’s wrath for believers’ sins on the cross Christ took upon Himself the curse pronounced on those who violated the law.

There’s something in us that wants to create a system of religion that we can wrap our heads around – that we can accomplish by living well – doing right – serving others – etc.. It’s appealing because it doesn’t require us to give up control – and it gives us a sense of security about our eternal destiny.  The thinking is that if we just go to church every week – pray every day – read a devotional or a few verses of the Bible in the morning – participate in a “Christian” activity during the week – that we’re “good with God.”  Some people add other items to that list – mostly in the form of “don’t’s” – don’t smoke – don’t drink – don’t wear makeup/jewelry – don’t dance – etc. – and as long as we’re not doing any of those things we’re “good with God.”  GOD says that these systems don’t satisfy Him – all it takes is for us to mess up one time – break one commandment – and we’re guilty of breaking them all.  What HE wants from us is everything – He wants us to surrender our lives – to accept that Jesus has once and for all paid the full price for our sins (HALLELUJAH!) – and give Him control of our lives!  As we yield to Him, we will change – we will be conformed into the image of Jesus – we will become more and more like Him until that glorious day when we will be face-to-face with our Savior!  There are no check lists to keep track of our spiritual progress – it’s a moment by moment surrendering to the will and direction of the Father, trusting that He will guide and direct us into a satisfying relationship with Him that will culminate with spending eternity in His presence!  Jesus has bought us back from the enemy of our souls – we have been redeemed from the curse of the law by His blood – that should motivate us to strive to live in closer fellowship with Him every day!

Sharon Pearce, Director
Silent Voices International
355 K Street, Suite H
Chula Vista,  CA  91911

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