Galatians 3:11-14 – Faith Tops Law – Did Paul Say That?

The last time I wrote we looked at Galatians 3:10 and the curse for those working for their salvation.  Hopefully, you gained some insight in that we are justified by faith and are obedient to G-d after we have entered into the covenant.  We are not going very far with the next analysis – v11-14.  It reads:

Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “The righteous man shall live by faith.”  However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, “He who practices them shall live by them.”  Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”— in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Hopefully, you see what Paul is saying here, but just in case.  As I have already explained previously, there is only one way for us to have salvation and that is through Yeshua.  The next verse comes with a lot of confusion – “However, the Law is not of faith”.  Is Paul saying faith tops Law?  Not in the sense that the two compete.  No.  Paul is saying the covenant that brought the Law (Covenant of Torah, Law of Moses, etc) was not of faith.  It is not a covenant that saves.  That covenant was with Avraham.  Please understand the covenants build on each other and do not cancel each other out.  For instance, most Christians believe the Avraham Covenant applies to them and it does!!!  Please see that it was not canceled by the Torah.  The covenants should be a post by itself and may one day I get there.  Let’s move on.  The Torah did not replace the Avraham Covenant and one must enter into the Avraham Covenant to have salvation.  Following Torah by itself gets one nowhere fast.  Once you enter into the Avraham Covenant one must know how to relate with G-d.  G-d is holy and to have any relations with Him we are to be holy people.  The Torah is a covenant showing us how to have a relationship with the one and only almighty G-d.  One more thought on v11 and that is Paul is quoting Habakkuk 2:4 here which says “but the righteous will live by emunah (faith).”  The circumstances for salvation did not change from the Tanach to the Renewal Covenant.  Salvation has always been about emunah (faith).  The Torah helps show us how much we need a savior because we cannot be saved with our own effort.  Living by emunah though means living out your faith by being obedient.  Yeshua taught the same concept many times.  John 14:15 is one example and says “if you love Me,you will keep My commandments.”

Paul continues saying “he who practices them shall live by them”.  In continuation of what Paul has been saying if you depend on the works of the Law to be saved…  Throughout Leviticus and Deuteronomy we are told there are blessings for following Torah and curses for not following Torah.  Everyone who sins has a curse upon them yet Yeshua redeemed us from the curse of the Law.  Is the Torah (Law) causing the curse?  No.  Not following the Torah causes the curse.

We have received incredible blessing and life through the work of the Messiah. Does receiving this blessing mean we are free to walk in disobedience to G-d’s commands? Now that we have been set free from the curse of the law, are we also free to continue in the very sins that put us under the curse in the first place? As Paul says in Romans 6:2, “By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” Or we might say in this context, “How can we who have been redeemed from the curse continue to walk in disobedience?”

I hope this helps you see what Paul was intending his message to say.  What do you think?  Disagree…tell me why.

Until next time…kadosh, kadosh, kadosh is HaShem!