Galatians 3:11-15
Gal 3:11 (KJB)
But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
Justified - (Middle Voice) which means man having input into his own justification
Evident - Clear or certain
Paul continues on from verse 10 where he spoke about the curse of the law. In this verse we see another aspect of the curse of the law and that is no person can ever contribute anything toward their salvation. A person may think they are pleasing God and earning favor by means of some works, but the Bible is clear that in the sight of God, no person will ever be justified by keeping the works of the law. Paul goes on to give the major life’s principle for the believer. He states “the just shall live by faith.” Notice, the passage states that the just shall live by faith, it does not include the unbeliever whether they are trying to keep the law or not, only the just can live by faith because it is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
In Habakkuk, there is a tremendous verse which really was a precursor of the Christian living by the faith of Christ. (Hab 2:4 KJV) Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. What a statement to make when the law was still being required to be kept by Israel. This shows us plainly that that Faith was required of the believers in Israel and that is how they lived. Faith was how Abraham lived and how the Old Testament Saints lived. Their salvation was not contingent upon keeping the law but they too were saved by grace. Remember in ancient Israel there was the Elect line which led to the appearing of the Messiah and Abraham was in that line as well as David and others. So we see in the Old Testament that grace was how the Old Testament Saints became saved, just like the New Testament Saints. God has only one salvation plan from the beginning of time to the end and that is justification by grace alone without the works of the law.
Gal 3:12 (KJB)
And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
Here is the crux of the matter concerning the law. The law is not of faith because everything a man does to keep the law is by sight (2 Cor 5:7 KJV) (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) plus he is not exercising any faith when performing the law because it is all by sight. Then not only is the law not of faith, the man who chooses to try to attempt salvation by circumventing the cross and trying to keep the law must live in those laws. It is not a one time event for they must keep every tenet of every law perfectly continuously. The law was a different system than grace and therefore the two could not be combined, so either you held to the law or you held to grace alone. When a person becomes saved, they are eternally under girded with grace which means they live in it for eternity. So you either live in grace or law but only grace can bring salvation, never the keeping of the law.
Gal 3:13 (KJB)
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
(Deu 21:22-23 KJV) And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: {23} His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance. The above quote is taken from Deuteronomy 21:23 where it teaches that if someone in ancient Israel had committed a crime worthy of death and they were hanged on a tree, their body was not to remain on it all night but that person who hung on that tree was accursed of God. This is exactly what happened to the Lord Jesus Christ at His crucifixion. Christ, who was sinless, had to take on the sins of all the Elect He came to save. (2 Cor 5:21 KJV) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Therefore, even though He committed no sin, yet He took on all the sins of the elect which made Him guilty before God and He had to go to the cross to pay for those sins as our substitutionary atonement. When He was hanging on the cross paying for our sins, He became a curse fulfilling the Scripture of Deuteronomy 21:23. So instead of us being under the curse of the law, Christ became that curse for us so we could be redeemed of the Lord. Paul is conveying this important information to those who still think they are able to deliver themselves from the curse of the law when it took the Son of God to deliver His elect from that curse. It is very arrogant for someone to think they can keep the law fully.
Gal 3:14 (KJB)
That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Now we are being told why Christ became a curse for us so that the blessing of Abraham, which was salvation by grace, would be granted to the elect among the Gentile world in addition to the elect in national Israel. Not only would the elect receive justification by faith, they would also receive the promised Spirit. (Luke 24:49 KJV) And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. The indwelling by the Holy Spirit of the believers would provide them with all the power they needed to send forth the gospel to the utter ends of the earth. The Holy Spirit was also the earnest or a pledge of what was to come. (2 Cor 1:22 KJV) Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. The Holy Spirit would guide and lead the believers into all truth. (John 16:13 KJV) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. There are many Christians today who believe that the Holy Spirit did not indwell the Old Testament Saints before Pentecost but this verse is linking the blessing of Abraham with the promise of the Holy Spirit which comes through faith and not the keeping of the law. No matter when a true believer was saved, everyone has been indwelled by the Holy Spirit, if not, then they are not of Christ meaning they are unsaved. (Rom 8:9 KJV) But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Those who choose to keep the law are in the flesh.
Gal 3:15 (KJB)
Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.
After the manner - According to
Covenant - Last will and testament or contract
Confirmed - Ratify or validate
Disannulleth - Reject, disregard, or make void
Paul now interjects an illustration from the secular world. When a man makes a last will and testament, he is ensuring that all his possessions would be handed down to the right persons, which would be the named persons in the will. Once that will is written up and becomes a legal document, it cannot be changed by anyone except the original creator. When the man dies, that will is now in force. A power of attorney is in force while a person lives but when they die, the power of attorney becomes null and void and the will is now in force. When the will is read, only those who are named in the will are invited to the reading. The lawyer is not going to stand in the marketplace and scream out, “We are reading a will, if anybody wants any part of the estate, then follow me.” That would violate the intent and purpose of the will. Only those named in that will are going to be called and receive something from the estate. Nothing can be changed or altered in that will after the person dies.
It is interesting to note that God Himself made a last will and testament. (Heb 9:16-17 KJV) For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. {17} For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. This means that all those that God named in His will would become saved. Now as with a legal document, it cannot be changed once the testator has died. When the Lord Jesus Christ went to the cross, upon His death, He ratified His last will and testament and only those named in that will would become saved. This means that there is definitely limited atonement because as with the human lawyer who cannot change the will and go to the marketplace, neither will God go to the marketplace. The will contains the names of all those who are to become saved and no one else. Just like a legal will, which is a very narrow document, the last will and testament is also a very narrow document, with only the names of those who are elect from the foundations of the world. (Rev 13:8 KJV) And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Therefore, those who think they have free will to “accept Christ” are violating a legal principle. Just as no person can come off the street and place their name on someone’s legal will, the same situation is that no one can place their name on the last will and testament of the Lord Jesus Christ because the names are already set and cannot be changed or added to, because the testator had already died.