Sunday we considered the first of two arguments Paul makes about how we come into God’s favor and receive the Holy Spirit. The first addresses how God dealt with Abraham, the great ancestor of the Jewish people. Abraham was counted righteous because he believed God. The sign of God’s covenant (circumcision) came after Abraham’s conversion. This established the principle of salvation by faith which God established and through it included the Gentiles.
This week, Paul goes after the law the people of God received through Moses. They built their lives around their reception of and adherence to the law of God. An interaction with the religious leaders says it all. They were debating who people thought Jesus was and one of them said, “But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.” (John 7:49) While they thought not knowing the law brought judgment, Paul says, “For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse.” (Gal. 3:10)
Paul masterfully undercuts their pride and self-righteousness as caretakers of the law of God. But he doesn’t stop there; he points them to Jesus, who redeemed them from God’s curse by becoming a curse for them. This is the gospel! Christ did this for you! Come Sunday ready to worship!