Galatians 3:10-14


In the preceding argument Paul established justification by faith

Here he shows the counterpart: justification by law.


He is going to quote from the Law itself to teach that even the Law of Moses did not teach justification by works.


He will make three points:

            1) Those living under the principle of law are under the curse that is attached to the law.

            2) No one is justified by law, since the law itself teaches that men are justified by faith.

            3) No mixture of these principles is possible, for they are mutually exclusive.


There are two ways of approaching God:  Law or Grace


3:10     quote from Deuteronomy 27:26

Putting yourself under a law is putting yourself under a curse (James 2:10)


The Greek is “ ’upo kataran     and means “under a curse.”

            “Katara,” or “curse,” in the OT begins in Gen. 3:14-19 and ends in Malachi 2:2.

            The curse is related to the personal reaction of God to human sin.

            In Deuteronomy 27:26 the failure to keep the Law results in the same curse.

            So,       Sin - - - - -produces the curse

                        Failure to keep the Law - - - - produces the curse


Judiaizers taught they were under the law and so entitled to the blessings attached to the Law.

Jesus spoke of this in John 5:39,40

This was Israel’s sin:  Ignoring the righteousness of God (Christ) and establishing their own righteousness

Romans 10:1-4

            (The generation that Moses spoke to had heard the word.  It was near them, it could be in their mouth, and they could respond by faith in their heart. Dt.30:12)

            (The generation of Paul did not need to wait for the Messiah to come from heaven, or wait for him to be raised.  This had all happened and was testified to in            Paul’s words.)


There was also a  curse attached to the law,  since no one is righteous enough to attain the blessing of the law, you get the curse of the law.


“Curse” can refer to

            a) banishment of the sinner from God’s presence

            b) present condition of alienation from God caused by violation of his law


“Continue” is a figurative expression.  It speaks of the law as the “district or domain in which one remains or out of which one goes.”

            It is in the present tense.         It is continued action or the state of incompletion

            It is in the indicative mood.    It is in the mood of reality

            It is in the active voice.           The subject produces the action

The present tense indicates the meaning “to remain in, to continue in” is needed for unbroken and continual observance of the whole.


3:11    “by the law” is “en nomoi” or, “in law” and corresponses to the “book of the Law” I verse 10.


The reason obedience to the law can not justify a sinner is that his obedience can not pay for his sin.


Only in Christ (his death, his blood) can our sins be paid for.

Only in Christ, then, can we be justified.


“Justified” is a legal term of a position, not an ethical term of behavior.

            It refers to the man approved by God and acceptable because of faith.

            It does not refer to the man’s character as exhibited by what he does.


1 Corinthians, Colossians 2:20-3:17; Hebrews 2:1; 4:1-3, 6, 11, 14; 6:9.


“The righteous will live by faith.”   Habakkuk 2:4

“will live” –

            a) is not referring to the impartation of new life

            b) is referring to the act of God in justifying.

Meaning:  “The righteous will live in a new relationship to God by faith.”


3:12     Law and Faith are opposites

Leviticus 18:5 is quoted.


See Romans 10:5, Moses said if you are going to be righteous in the law you will live by the law.


Living by the law, is like living by the beams of a skyscraper.


You can live by the law, if you were perfect.

But, it would still be a different righteousness than the righteousness of Christ.

The Law can give you the righteousness of the Law


3:13     “Redeemed” means to redeem from slavery,  “to buy up,”  the deliverance involves cost of some kind.




Three Greek words for “bought” or “redeemed”

a)  agopazw 1 Corinthians 6:20, “to buy in the slave market”

            We are slaves to sin.

            1 Peter 1:18 says we were bought with His blood.

            This shows the believers become “doulos” (douloV), “one born in slavery” and translated, “servant” (Romans 6:18) or “slave, bond slave”

b) exagorazw (as used here) “to but a slave out of the market place.”

            Not only are we bought to be slaves of Jesus, but we are bought out of the market for eternity

c) lutpoo (1 Peter 1:18; Titus 2:14)

            The noun root refers to “ransom money used to liberate a slave.”

            This word, a verb, means “to set free by payment of a ransom.”

            This refers to the servant of Jesus being set free to become what God created him to be.


The Law had a blessing and a curse but no one could touch the blessing.

The blessing was barren since the Law did not take sin into account.


3:10 – under a curse

3:13 – made a curse for us

3:13 – redeemed us out from under the curse


“curse on the tree” refers to Dt. 21:23

The curse of the Mosaic Law descended on Christ.

Christ delivered us from the curse of the Law, the blessings were never really an issue.


3:14     Two purpose clauses in this  verse introduced with the word “that” or “in order that.”  (’ina –“hina”)


Two things resulted from Christ delivering us from the Law:

            a)  Blessing of Abraham – Justification by faith.

            b)  Holy Spirit might be received (Joel 2:28)