7 Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. 8 Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” 9 So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” 11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person 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 pole.” 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.
We’ve mentioned the fact that some of the Galatians are now seeking to be saved by works, and not Christ. So Paul opens up what that really means. He starts by reminding them that whoever has faith IS a child of God (child of Abraham phrasing). He reminds them that through this faith all the nations of the world would experience the promise Abraham was given which he trusted by faith. It’s like a full bodied summation of the truth BEFORE telling the Galatians what the biggest pit fall is with legalism.
So then he says it: if you think you’re justified by the law then you better be keeping ALL of it. IF you feel you will be justified by legalism then you better be perfect because according to that philosophy you are required to keep each part. Just as with a citizen who is being obedient to the law ANY infraction of ANY part of the law makes them guilty and worthy of being punished. We seem to ignore this truth when it comes to legalism. We jump into that boat of “earning” our salvation and think that God changes His standard to ours or something. We choose a list of “prioritized” do’s and don’ts which don’t reflect God’s character at all. He gave us the list He wanted us to live by and we were unable to.
All of that to say: live consistently. Either 1) you’re justified by faith and therefore you receive grace and mercy abundantly or 2) you’re justified by works and keeping the law therefore you receive judgement and wrath when you disobey it. Maybe it’s time to see if your “standard of truth” matches Gods?
God keep me from legalism. I know it is a dangerous disease that lays waste to so many saint’s lives. Help me to stay far from it and be reminded constantly that You are gracious and have saved us by grace through Faith alone!
Help to remind people about God’s grace. There are many people who are afraid to come to God because their lives don’t line up with what the law says. They look at themselves, look at the law, and decide they are unworthy. It is your job to remind anyone who will hear you: God graciously accepts EVERYONE! All it takes is faith. It’s that simple, not easy, just simple. Go and share the Gospel 🙂