New American Standard Version
10 For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them." 11 Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, " The righteous man shall live by faith. " 12 However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, "He who practices them shall live by them." 13 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" — 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
The sad truth is that everyone who is living under the delusion that they can be made right with God through a system of laws and rules have brought a curse upon themselves. For Scripture itself says, “Anyone who does not live a perfect life, never failing to keep every law written in the Book is under the penalty and curse of sin.” It is absolutely clear that no one solves this sin problem by trying to be perfect because once again Scripture testifies, “Those who are right with God are those whose life and hope are built upon faith.” A life of trying to keep religious rules as the main focus is not the same thing as a life of faith – not at all!
The former (rules) means that you can’t ever slip or fail, not even once or you are doomed. The latter (faith) means that you already know that you’re going to mess up. You don’t want to or mean to, you just know that’s still part of your nature. But the difference for the person of faith is that they know that what Christ did for them at Calvary will always be more than sufficient to cover every failure. Christ conquered our failures and rescued us from punishment for them by taking the punishment for us in advance. That’s what His suffering and sacrifice on the cross was all about.
The necessity of His being punished in our place on the cross was prophesied in the Scripture when it said, “All who die from hanging on a tree have come under the curse of punishment for sin.” This wonderful plan of redemption – His being punished for our sin though He Himself had never sinned – was so that all of the wonderful promises that God made to the Jewish people through Abraham would be made fully available to everyone – whether they were Jewish or not! Anyone who will put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ has the promise of God that the Holy Spirit will enter their heart and fill their life.
“How does this help me become more like Him?”
Some people grew up with parents who could never be pleased. No matter what they did, no matter how good their grades or achievements were, they should have always done better and their parents told them so. This inability to live up to expectations became a curse.
People often view God like that. No matter what we do – in our minds, God could never be pleased. Nothing could be further from the truth! Grace means that He already knows all our weaknesses and failures before they ever happen. He loves us anyway!
Understand that when you do well, He is beaming with pride and takes delight in your success. When you mess up, He’s not waiting to scold or punish you. His heart is to love you and encourage you and to help you do better next time. What a joy to serve a God Who is pleased with even our smallest successes and loves and encourages us through every failure.
“How should I pray for Him to change my life?”
Thank the Lord today for His grace and unconditional love. Ask Him to help you understand that He knows your weaknesses, stands ready to help you grow through them and loves you with all His heart in spite of them. Pray that you will fully realize that He is there to love and encourage you and not to condemn you, for you are His child and you bring Him joy and delight.