Answers 14 What Is “The Curse Of the Law”? – David Hibbert.
In this series called “Answers”, my goal is to help you, by sharing with you short, Biblical answers to questions that people have been asking me. Today’s question: What is “the curse of the law”?
When people hear that Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law, they often ask “what is the curse of the law”, and did Jesus overcome all curses on the cross?
Let’s start by looking at the curse of the law, that Jesus dealt with on the cross.
- What Is “The Law”?
The law, specifically speaking, is the ten commandments given by God in Exodus 20. But generally speaking, it is the Torah, the first five books of the Bible – Genesis to Deuteronomy – and all of the requirements of God found in those books. So disobeying the “law” is just another way of saying “sinning” against a command of God.
1 John 3:4, NIV – (4) Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.
And the ultimate consequence of breaking the law is death – which is eternal separation from God.
Romans 6:23, NIV – (23) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- What Is “The Curse Of The Law”?
The “curse of the law” is referred to in Galatians 3:13.
Galatians 3:13, NIV – (13) Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”
Let’s look at the full context of this verse.
Galatians 3:10-14, NIV – (10) All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” (11) Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” (12) The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, “The man who does these things will live by them.” (13) Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” (14) He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
So what is the Bible saying?
First, the penalty for not keeping the holy law of God, is the curse of the death penalty. The curse is NOT the law. The curse is the penalty for breaking the law.
Second, no one can completely keep the whole law, and so we are all under the curse of the law, which is the death penalty. And, if we try to gain forgiveness for our sins by doing our best to obey all of the law, we remain under the curse of the law.
Third, Jesus became a curse, meaning that Jesus took our penalty for breaking the law – which is death, and He hung on the cross in a public place to display that He was dying on behalf of those who broke the law.
Fourth, Jesus took OUR place, and paid the price of breaking God’s holy law, which is the curse of the law – death. He redeemed us from the curse of the law, by paying the price for our sins, and He offers us the chance of experiencing forgiveness of our sins, by accepting His payment on our behalf.
So, what is the curse of the law? The curse of the law, is the penalty of death for breaking God’s holy law. Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law, by taking the death penalty in our place.
And as a result, all who decide to follow Jesus, and accept His sacrifice for their sins, are no longer under the curse of the law. Instead, they are forgiven of their sins, and so will not have to suffer eternal death and separation from God.
Now, in another teaching, we will look at the other curses mentioned in the Bible, and see what the Bible has to say about them.