Friday, 11 September 2009


There is real benefit in reading through a book of the Bible all in one sitting. When reading Galatians recently, I noticed the repetition of the world 'cursed' in chapter 1 and chapter 3 (all quotes from TNIV):

Even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let that person be under God's curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let that person be under God's curse! (Galatians 1:8-9)

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." Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because "the righteous will live by faith." The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, "Whoever does these things will 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 hung on a pole." (Galatians 3:10-13)
I think that maybe this explains why Paul explodes with such emotional intensity in the way that he does at the beginning of the letter. Paul explains that Christ 'gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age.' To walk away from Christ is to place oneself under curse, because only he can deliver anyone from that curse. To wilfully teach others, then, in a way that draws away from trust in Christ is not only to place oneself under curse - but others under curse too. Christ alone is able to deliver anyone from their curse; we can turn to no other.

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