For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. (ESV)
This passage of Scripture really doesn’t hit home until we are tested as Nik and Ruth Ripken did in thier book called “The Insanity Of God: A True Story Of Faith Resurrected.” However, I am going to give you a talk I gave to a small home group on this past Sunday due to the Coronavirus epidemic, how the U.S.A is dealing with it, and United States government has put forth safety measures where it is recommended that any type of social gathering be limited to tem people or less. So here we go:
“For those who rely on the works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all the things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”
Let’s go back to Adam & Eve in Genesis 3 when they were tempted for the first time by the most crafty of the animals, the serpent.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.” And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life. (ESV)
Think about that. Satan disguised as a serpent in which he had arms and legs was able to talk to to tempt Eve into sin and eventually Adam. Just like Dr. Dolittle was able to talk with the animals, this incident got Adam and Eve banished from the Garden of Eden. Yet, God foreknew all of this, and He allowed it to happen knowing that it would eventually cost Him His Son’s life as He tells us in John 3:16-21.
Then you have Cain and Abel in Genesis 4:1-10 where the first murder took place on the part of jealousy. See Cain was jealous of Abel’s sacrifice. Abel’s sacrifice was more pleasing to the Lord. This was the first case of murderous jealousy. More than likely, Abel’s sacrifice involved blood from an innocent lamb (representing Jesus Christ), rather than Cain’s involved his own personal effort in growing the fruit. Nevertheless, I have been thinking about this for a long time-“Why was Abel’s sacrifice more pleasing to God than Cain’s?” The Scripture in Genesis doesn’t tell us. You can look in your Bible, so let’s do so.
Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord .” And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.” Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. (ESV)
Several hundred years later there is the true story of Moses. Everything about Moses’ life was a miracle. Not not only have the story of his incredible journey down the Nile river where the the princess of Egypt took him in as her own child, but then you have his sister and mother offering to wean Moses. Then after 40 years, Prince Moses killed an Egyptian taskmaster for severely mistreating an Israelite slave. Moses flees in fear for his life for 40 years because not only did he have the Egyptian Pharoah (which was his begrudging stepfather), but now he had the Israelite people who couldn’t trust him since Moses killed an Egyptian slave master. It was a miracle that he didn’t get caught by either side.
And after another 40 years, Moses was taking care of his father-in-law Jethro’s sheep, and the famous incident with the talking burning bush happened. Another miracle, but Moses did not want to accept the call of the Lord since he would have to face his adoptive brother, Pharaoh Ramses. Moses put the other objections up to God like if I go the elders won’t believe me. Although God is a patient God, Moses tested his patience as you can read in Exodus 3. God was just a bit ticked and assured him that his older brother would be there to talk to the Israelite people. Moses did not have a way around delivering the Israelite people from the tyrannical hands of his little adoptive brother who was now the Pharoah of Egypt.
Then the 10 plagues happened, with the last one being the most dreadful one in the bunch. If Egypt did not have blood painted across the sides and the top of their doorway, the angel of death would take the first born son’s life. Pharaoh Ramses, in the midst of ultimate grief, decided to let the Israelites go under the leadership of his older adoptive brother Moses. I am sure that right there burned in pharoah’s craw. Just think how you would feel if you were confronted with the same situation.
Then came the parting of the Red Sea in which Pharoah’s Army was consumed by the waters as they tried to make it across the parted sea. Although the Lord had delivered the Israelites once again in dramatic fashion, shortly they began to complain to Moses about their lack of food and water, and how they wished they could go back to Egypt where they were assured of their scraps for the day.
Then you have the giving of the Ten Commandments and all the the incidences that took place. But they couldn’t be satisfied with just that so additional rules were added until it became The Book of the Law. The Americans, however, and maybe other countries across the world are just like the Israelites in wanting a rule or a law for every misnomer that happens.
“Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”
So we all know that “The Righteous shall live by Faith”, but what does that mean? It can only be experienced once we have accepted what Christ has done on the cross for us, and that we believe that Jesus Christ is raised from the dead to life. We, then, are supposed to live like Him to our physical death by faith (have someone read Luke 9:23-27, 1 Peter 2:21)
“But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.”
As of people of this world, they have no hope; however, Christians are supposed to be constant, steady, not fearful of “things” of this world but only fearful of God, which apart from Jesus Christ we have no hope in accomplishing.
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree” *Deuteronomy 21:22-23*— (ESV)
Since Christ Jesus was and is the only human being free from sin though being tempted from satan himself, Christ Jesus was qualified to take on the whole conglomerate of sin by dying on a tree, taking on the past, present, and future sin of the world according to John 3:16-21 which resulted in this prayer:
When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (ESV)
I know the epidemic of the Coronavirus is surrounding the people in the whole world causing them to go into a panic. I get it. But our job as Christians is to have faith that the Lord Christ Jesus is still on the throne of our particular lives, and by that we can live like Him as examples to those who haven’t accepted Him yet (1 Peter 2:21). Let me remind you True Life Christians that it is our job to be missionaries for Christ through the thick and the thin, through good times and bad, through health and disease. For to be examples of Christ we must persist on being everything that Jesus Christ was:Jesus Christ has said in John 14:27:
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (ESV)
It is my opinion that suffering for the name of Jesus Christ is the essential part of being a TRUE LIFE CHRISTIAN; and I have Scripture to back me up like Matthew 16:24-25, Luke 9:23-27, 1 Peter 2:20-25, etc… So I beg of you who are TRUE LIFE CHRISTIANS- have faith in God! And just remember:
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (ESV)
The Righteous Will Live By Faith Even In The Face Of Coronavirus Epidemic…
~Darren Beattie, Soul Blogger