This past week in our study on the book of Galatians we were looking at chapter 3 and Paul's six arguments why we as Christians are now to live by faith in Christ and no longer under or by the law, rules or even principles. I found it so good, I had to share it with you.
One of Paul's arguments, found in verses 13-14, is based on Christ having redeemed us from the curse of the law by Himself becoming a curse for us, in order that we might enter into the New Covenant and therefore have a relationship with Father.
And you read that right, the Law of God, while it is holy and righteous and good, is a curse to all believers today. Not because the Law is bad, but because the purpose of the law is not to instruct us on how to live, but to expose to all how much of a failure we are when we try to live out of the flesh.
That means, whenever we try to measure up to standards and expectations (be they spiritual, religious, my own or the worlds) to judge our well being (to determine if I am acceptable enough), the law does what it's supposed to do, namely to condemn and kill (2 Corinthians 3:7, 9) and point out what an utter failure you are. That's because the law demands us to be as perfect as God is, all the time. And that is a great tool for the unbeliever, to show the need for salvation (1 Timothy 1:8-11). But it makes for a miserable and condemning life with Christ after salvation.
So Christ came to release us from trying to live better to become better. To set us free from trying to measure up to standards and expectations, by taking onto Himself the curse of the Law. He took all our failures and shortcomings, our mistakes (past, present and future) into Himself on the cross and died the death the Law demanded of you and I, in order that we could now have access to the Father through faith. And it's a good thing He did, otherwise we would never be good enough or strong enough.
To illustrate this work in our class, I showed everyone one of my favourite movie clips. It's from the 1998 version of Les Miserables starring Liam Neeson. (You will have to find a copy as YouTube won't let me post the clip, or better yet, come visit me and I will show the clip to you.)Near the beginning of the movie the criminal named Jean Valjean has been released after 19 years of hard labour. And after a bishop shows him some hospitality, Jean assaults the bishop and steals the silver cutlery, only to be captured by the police soon afterwards.
But instead of sending Jean back to prison (which he deserved), the bishop shows grace by freeing him and then says these powerful words to Jean. "Jean Valjean my brother, you no longer belong to evil. With this silver, I bought your soul. I've ransomed you from fear and hatred. And now I give you back to God."
This is what Jesus has done for you and me. He has redeemed us, bought our soul with His life, ransomed us from fear and hatred that He might restore us to Father.
And now that salvation has come, and we have been redeemed from the curse, we no longer need the Law or any other formula to try to live by because we have something much better - Jesus Christ living in us (Galatians 3:23-25). Now can live by trusting in Jesus to live His victorious life in and through us.
Praise the Lord for His redeeming work!
In Christ who is our Life,