What’s it all about? The curse of the Fall (Genesis 3) is revealed and illustrated in our inability to perfectly adhere to the Law. Therefore, any attempt to remove the curse through adherence to the Law is futile. The curse was removed only by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Thus, faith in the redemptive work of Christ is the only means of reversing the curse and overcoming its primary effect: separation from God.
For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall 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 hanged on a tree”—so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:10-14 ESV)
So what? Only those who have been redeemed from the curse have received the promise of the Abrahamic covenant: The Holy Spirit. Any attempt to come to God on the basis of one’s own alleged righteousness or abilities will end in failure. Consequently, we must reject the idea that we can redeem ourselves through self-effort or moral improvement and fully trust in the blood of Christ to redeem us from the curse.
Questions from the Text:
1. What will be the end result for those who attempt to redeem themselves through good works and adherence to the Law (3:10)?
2. According to both the Old and New Testaments, how is a person made right with God (3:11, cf. Hebrews 11)?
3. What does it mean to be redeemed from the curse of the Law (3:13-14)?
4. How did Christ redeem us from the curse (3:13)?
Now, what? Although Christians have been redeemed by the death and resurrection of Christ, we are still tempted to cling to (trust in) our own perceived goodness or alleged obedience as validation of our salvation. Nothing could, however, be further from the truth. At every moment we must cling to the cross of Christ alone for our salvation.
Small Group Questions
Scripture: Galatians 4:4-5; Titus 2:11-14; Revelation 5:9-10
1. What role did Jesus’s life, that is, being born under the Law and perfectly keeping it, play in our redemption? (cf. Galatians 4:4-5)
2. How does the imagery of a slave market illustrate the doctrine of redemption? (cf. Galatians 4:4-5)
3. In Titus, Paul listed some of the implications for living as redeemed people. List the ways in which the redeemed are to live. (cf. Titus 2:11-14)
4. What is the significant event we are to live in anticipation of daily? (cf. Titus 2:11-14)
5. John’s view of heaven revealed that the effects of redemption would go far beyond one ethnicity. How should John’s view of the redeemed from all nations motivate believers to take the gospel to every ethnicity? (cf. Rev. 5:9-10)