Christ Made a Curse for Us
Charles H. Spurgeon
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree (Galatians 3:13).
The apostle had been showing to the Galatians that salvation is in no degree by works. He proved this all-important truth in the verses which precede the text, by a very conclusive form of double reasoning. He showed, first, that the law could not give the blessing of salvation, for, since all had broken it, all that the law could do was to curse. He quotes the substance of the twenty-seventh chapter of Deuteronomy, "Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them"; and as no man can claim that he has continued in all things that are in the law, he pointed out the clear inference that all men under the law had incurred the curse. He then reminds the Galatians, in the second place, that if any had ever been blessed in the old times, the blessing came not by the law, but by their faith, and to prove this, he quotes a passage from Habakkuk 2:4, in which it is distinctly stated that the just shall live by faith: so that those who were just and righteous, did not live before God on the basis of their obedience to the law, but they were justified and made to live on the ground of their being believers.
See, then, that if the law inevitably curses us all, and if the only people who are said to have been preserved in gracious life were justified not by works, but by faith, then is it certain beyond a doubt that the salvation and justification of a sinner cannot be by the works of the law, but altogether by the grace of God through faith which is in Christ Jesus. But the apostle, no doubt feeling that now he was declaring that doctrine, he had better declare the foundation and root of it, unveils in the text before us a reason why men are not saved by their personal righteousness, but saved ...
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