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Tuesday: Cursed on A Tree — 10 Comments

  1. One of the problems when translating from one language to another is that both the source and target languages have nuances of understanding that are often lost in translation. The issue is compounded even more when the translation is from a language used 2000 years ago into a modern language. Imagine translating a modern conversation in idiomatic English into New Testament Greek.

    I did a quick review of the word punish(ment) in the New Testament this morning just to get a feel for the extent of the issue. There are so many Greek words associated with the English translation "punishment" that it is going to take some time to sort them out in my head. Suffice it to say that often the Greek words used can also be translated as judgement, consequence, recompense, results, and so on. One thing I did learn in my short foray into translation this morning was that the words used to describe "punishment" for those who deliberately set out to destroy God's character are far stronger than used for those who are bearing the consequences of sin.

    Paul makes the point that since we have sinned we should expect to bear the consequences, but in Christ, we are freed from those consequences. That is not an invitation to do anything we like. I was going to quote Romans 5:12 here, but when I read it in context, I think the whole chapter is important. I extend the invitation to read it in a modern translation as part of your lesson study.

  2. This lesson says "The issue isn’t obedience to the law, but “relying on the law” — a tough position, if not an impossible one, for fallen beings like ourselves."

    Which raises the question in my mind - did the Israelites rely on keeping the law to stay in favour with the LORD and earn eternal life?

    I believe that they did. They also relied on being the "Chosen People"

    For example the rich young ruler asked Jesus "what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus replied - "you know the commandments" to which the ruler said: "I have kept all these from my youth up." Luke 18:18-21

    Even Paul talking about his belief before conversion considered himself - "regarding the righteousness in the Law, blameless"

    Jesus told the parable of the Pharisee and the tax-collector which revealed the way they thought.Luke 18:9-14

    As we have been discovering this whole quarter too many of the Israelites didn't understand that the LORD wanted to transform their hearts and minds to be like Him not only their actions. Although some did like David - He asked the LORD: Psa 51:10 MKJV  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

    It seems they didn't listen properly to Moses and only concentrated on keeping the commandments.
    Deut 10:12-13 "Now Israel, what does the LORD your God desire from you? Only this: fear him, walk in all his ways, love him, serve him with all your heart and in all your life,  (13)  and observe his commands and statutes that I'm commanding you today for your own good.

    Php 3:4-6 MKJV  though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other thinks that he has reason to trust in the flesh, I more.  (5)  I was circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews. As regards the Law, I was a Pharisee;  (6)  concerning zeal, persecuting the church; regarding the righteousness in the Law, blameless.
    See also Acts 22:3, Acts 26:5, 2Cor 11:22

  3. "Relying on the law" for what? Salvation? If that is the issue, then it is impossible. It is only by grace that we are born again and are empowered to keep the law. We cannot keep the law apart from Christ. We are evil by nature and can do no good thing. One may say they have not murdered or committed adultery. But, what says Jesus about these two sins? Outward obedience is not satisfactory. We must keep the law for the right reason. God looks upon the heart and cares about our motive for keeping the law outwardly. This ought to be easy to understand if one knows that he must love the Lord our God with the whole heart. And....he must love His neighbor likewise. It is impossible to do sin either sin if you truly love your neighbor. Thus, it is impossible to obtain salvation by keeping the law outwardly. And it is impossible to keep it inwardly unless we are born again of the Spirit and are filled with Him.If we do not love the Lord our God with the whole heart, then our sins will not be blotted out and we shall suffer for each sin.

    • Even if and when we accept Jesus by faith for our lives and our Eternal life, we will still fail "often" in Keeping "the law." And we will also still "fail often" in copying the "Divine Pattern" of Jesus too. So even here we have to accept "by faith" what Jesus is doing for us in heaven and at the right hand of His Father in our behalf, day by day, hour by hour etc.

  4. We have a lot of sayings in Christianity - but do we actually know what we mean by theses sayings?

    For example, from today's lesson, what did Jesus do for us at the cross - and what does it mean that this was credited to us by faith?

    • Hi Simeon

      I was just raising the point that we use a lot of sayings in Christianity - but do we really understand what these sayings describe? Have we studied and considered things like the two examples I mentioned and does our understanding actually reflect the reality of what is actually going on?

      If there is more specific information you are looking for, please ask further...

    • I see what Jesus did for me (as well as for every human that has ever lived and will live now and in the future) at "The Cross of Calvary 2,000 plus or minus years ago," is that He spilled His blood for my sins of the broken Law of God and the worlds sins for the same thing and secured, for me and them, eternal life with that event if and when I and anyone else accepts this fact, by faith.

  5. Gal.3:5KJV - ”He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”
    Gal.3:9 -
    ”So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.”

    What then is the curse?
    Gal.3:10, 11KJV - Is not the curse the demand of the law for man to be perfect, and his inability to be justified by the law through obedience to the law because man is an imperfect being, incapable of keeping the demands of the law perfectly?
    Did not Christ come to free us from the curse of this requirement of the law by offering us a new Covenant?
    Did He not offer us the new Covenant of Faith by which we remember the Law of God in our hearts?
    Does the Father and the Son not look into the heart of the believer, judging according to the condition of his heart?
    Has not the Father placed His Son to stand in the gap, providing the bridge from our earthly life to the life everlasting?
    Has not the Son's final, finishing work become the Father’s Grace and Mercy to cover our shortcomings with?

    I have a problem with the wording: “we are not saved by the works of the law but by Christ’s death on our behalf, which is credited to us by faith.” For clarity, I would rather say: ‘obedience to the law does not save us, but believing and acting on our believe, confessing that Christ Jesus has fulfilled the demands of the law by His Faithfulness to do the Will of the Father’, does.

    It is believing, having faith in the Son’s Word which He received from the Father, that saves us - believe Him, that is all He asks of us. If one believes Christ Jesus to be the Son of God, no problem, if one does not …. ?
    Our Savior asks us to believe, have faith that He fulfilled the law on our behalf. If we accept the New Covenant by/of Faith, the Son of God will share with us the spirit of the law - love and the desire to please the Father, directing our walk/live by His Way and so live.

    Yes, it is written: Matt.4:4KJV“Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Our living soul needs God's Word; it is our aspiritual food; whether we seek to be filled with His spirit through reading or studying the Scriptures, in our prayers, in our conversations, our deeds/acts expressing the spirit of the living Word – Christ’s spirit gives us and maintaines our life.
    Why would we ever want to neglect to be filled with Christ’s spirit of Life?

  6. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
    Romans 3:20 KJV

    Once I have transgressed the law, the consequence of the death penalty is earned through my thought word,and/or deed.
    From that point forward it is impossible for 'the law' to testify me righteous. The just penalty(death) has to be met by the perpetrator or a willing(voluntary) substitute.
    Praise be to God who saved us, in Jesus Christ who was willing and voluntary.

    24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
    25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
    26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
    Romans 3:24-26 KJV


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