The Curse of the Law
Our purpose in this Learning Activity is to discuss the law and its curse as we see it in the Scriptures. In specific, we would like to address the question that often arises when this subject comes up: What does the Bible really teach about the law being done away with?
1. Romans 3:21
2. Romans 6:14
3. Romans 6:15
4. Romans 7:4
The notion that the law was eliminated usually finds its roots of understanding in passages such as the those listed above. Perhaps the most often quoted verse in this respect is the following:
5. Colossians 2:14
At first examination it would appear that the law was annihilated at the cross and therefore it is no more! But lets look at some additional scripture on the subject.
6. Romans 3:31
7. Romans 7:12
8. 1 Timothy 1:8
9. What do the verses above say about the law?
We also need to look at what Jesus Himself said about the law.
10. Matthew 5:17
11. What does Jesus say about the law in the verse above?
The key word in the verse above is “fulfill,” which is the Greek word “plerosai,” meaning to do, carry out, bring to full expression, show forth in its true meaning, complete. Jesus also said He did not come to destroy, which is the Greek word “kataluo” meaning to destroy utterly, to overthrow completely. By understanding what Jesus was saying by using the word destroy we are given insight into what He meant by “fulfilling the law.”
12. Galatians 3:13
13. What is it that Paul says we are immune from insofar as the law is concerned in the verse above?
Now we can see that the law is not the issue at all because we have already seen that the law is good and holy! It is the curse of the law that is the issue!
If a person did not keep the law then they were under its curse, and we know that no one could keep the law except Christ.
14. Romans 7:6
Being delivered from the law in the verse above is to be delivered from its curse. The law, which no one could keep, requires the curse of death. But since Christ died no one who believes in Christ is under the curse of the law. The requirement of the curse of the law has been fulfilled by Christ!
15. Matthew 5:18
16. In the verse above Jesus states that the law would stand in full effect with not one jot nor one tittle passing away until some other event took place. What is the event mentioned by Jesus?
If heaven and earth have not yet passed away, then by the above scripture we would presently be bound to every jot and title of the law! On the other hand, if the old heaven and earth have passed away then we are no longer under the binding influence and curse of the law in the New Covenant. On this web site in Learning Activities #35 and #36 we have already established as fact that the old heaven and earth (Old Covenant) have passed away and the new heaven and earth (New Covenant) is here! The destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 did away with the binding aspects of the law through the elimination of the Old Covenant (the old heaven and earth). Grace, as is now present in the New Covenant (the new heaven and earth) has replaced that previous system.
17. Hebrews 7:12
18. What does the verse above tell us about the subject we are studying?
19. Hebrews 7:11
20. What does the verse above tell us about this change in the priesthood?
21. Hebrews 6:20
22. The identity of this Melchisedec priest is given in the verse above. Who is he?
The Old Covenant priesthood, temple, system of sacrifice, and the law gave way (because these were but types and shadows, see Learning Activity #66) to the better spiritual things of the new heaven and earth that we of the New Covenant are in today!
In conclusion, the Old Covenant law was perfect and holy. This is true because the purpose of the law was to bring people to Christ! Because the believer in the New Covenant is in Christ we are no longer under the curse of the law. That is very good news!
But what of us who live today under the New Covenant?
23. Romans 10:4a
24. What does the verse above say about New Covenant believers?
When the above is understood then it begins to make sense that when Christ comes into the believer at the instant of believing, He (Christ) writes His law on the heart of the believer. Is this a list of codified laws similar to the Mosaic Law? I think not. What is involved here is something on the order of we having the mind and character of Christ living within us. Because of this fact and by the personal ministry of the Holy Spirit within us we know right from wrong. So, in effect, the law written on our hearts is not so much a “what” as it is a “person” and that person is Christ!
Click on Self-Check below to check your answers.