Live Different

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Galatians 3:10-14 10 All those who rely on the works of the Law are under a curse, because it is written, Everyone is cursed who does not keep on doing all the things that have been written in the Law scroll. 11 But since no one is made righteous by the Law as far as God is concerned, it is clear that the righteous one will live on the basis of faith. 12 The Law isn’t based on faith; rather, the one doing these things will live by them. 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us—because it is written, Everyone who is hung on a tree is cursed. 14 He redeemed us so that the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, and that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

How do you like the idea of living under a curse? I don’t. We can, if we’re not careful, focus on the first part of this passage and negate the second part.

I have read this passage many times and have thought, “how can someone be under a curse if they follow the Law?” One day it made sense to me. When we watch people in movies or on TV who have had a curse placed on them, they are not able to control what they are doing. This is a similar kind of thing that happens to people when I read this passage.

If our lives are lived in a way in which we are trying to please everyone (especially God), then we begin doing routines, superstitious that if we don’t we will have something bad happen to us. Following the Law to the letter is like us trying to earn God’s favor, and we forget God’s grace is absolutely free…to us.

Our challenge is to not let our lives revolve around rituals and acts to win approval, because we are already approved by God through Jesus Christ. Have you accepted this? We “receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” So it is through faith that we are accepted by God. It is through faith that we are free from “having” to do certain rituals. It is through faith that we accept God and “receive the promise of the Spirit.”

Faith means that we believe without seeing and without trying to earn God’s favor and love. Many of us, though, still try to complete our daily check-list of items and still do not accept God’s great gift. We are still unchanged and calloused. But Christ comes in the picture and we have the opportunity to see what God has done for us. God’s grace is absolutely free, to us; but it cost God greatly.

Jesus Christ was nailed and hung to a cross. The Law says that anyone hung to a tree (in other words poles from wood), they become a curse. Jesus paid the price of every sacrifice in the Hebrew Law so that would would not have to. He was able to do this because he lived the perfect life and willingly became a curse so that we would not have to give anymore payment for our sins, our transgressions. All we have to do is have faith it is completed.

Do you believe this? Has Jesus Christ changed your life? If so, then don’t worry about trying to earn his love and acceptance. Just allow his life to live through you. We can stay “cursed” if we do not demonstrate the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) in our lives. We won’t live completely joyful, peaceful, grace filled, etc lives if the message of Jesus Christ does not change us.

This is how we are free from the curse. We don’t need to worry about how other looks upon us. We know that God loves and even likes us (with faith) and that we are free to be loving, patient, generous, graceful, kind, good, gentle….

#LiveFreeInChrist

Published by

Ryan Stratton

Ryan Stratton is a pastor in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He serves with his wife, Amanda, along with their children. He writes about life, faith, and leadership through his blog.

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