The Galatians, having accepted the gospel, were led astray by false teachers who presented to them "another gospel," a counterfeit gospel, since there is but one for all time and for all men.
The counterfeit gospel was represented in these words: "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved." Now, although there is in these days no question as to whether or not a man should submit to the specific rite of circumcision in order to be saved, the question of salvation itself, whether by human works or by Christ alone, is as alive as ever.
Instead of attacking their error and combating it with hard argument, the apostle begins with an experience which illustrates the case in hand. In this narrative he shows that salvation is wholly by faith for all men alike, and not in any degree by works. As Christ tasted death for every man, so every man who is saved must have Christ's personal experience of death and resurrection and life. Christ in the flesh does what the law cannot do. Galatians 2:21; Romans 8:3,4. But that very fact witnesses to the righteousness of the law. If the law were at fault, Christ would not fulfill its demands. He shows its righteousness by fulfilling or doing what it demands, not simply for us but in us. We do not "nullify the grace of God." If righteousness could come by the law, "then Christ died to no purpose."
But to claim that the law could be abolished, or could relax its claims and thus be of no account, is also to say that Christ is dead in vain. Let it be repeated, righteousness cannot possibly come by the law, but only by the faith of Christ. But the fact that the righteousness of the law could be attained in no other way by us than by the crucifixion and resurrection and life of Christ in us shows the infinite greatness and holiness of the law.
O foolish Galatians, Who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?
"Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry." 1 Samuel 15:22, 23, KJV. Stubbornness and rebellion are rejection of God. And he who rejects God puts himself under the control of evil spirits. All idolatry is devil worship. "The things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils." 1 Corinthians 10:20, KJV. There is no middle ground. Christ says, "He who is not with Me is against Me." Matthew 12:30. That is, disobedience, rejection of the Lord, is the spirit of antichrist. The Galatian brethren were, as we have already seen, departing from God; consequently, they were inevitably, although perhaps unconsciously, relapsing into idolatry.
The Safeguard Against Spiritualism
Spiritualism is only another name for ancient witchcraft and soothsaying. It is a fraud, but not the kind of fraud many people think it is. There is reality in it. It is a fraud in that while it professes to receive communications from the spirits of the dead, it has communication only with the spirits of devils, since "the dead know not anything." To be a spiritualist medium is to give one's self to the control of demons.
Now there is only one protection against this, and that is to hold fast to the Word of God. He who lightly regards God's Word, severs himself from association with God, and puts himself within Satan's influence. Even though a man denounce spiritualism in the strongest terms, if he does not hold to God's Word he will sooner or later be carried away by the strong false-christ delusion. Only by keeping close to the word of God can men be kept from the temptation that is coming on all the world. Revelation 3:10. "The spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2) is the spirit of Satan, the spirit of antichrist; and the gospel of Christ, which reveals the righteousness of God (Romans 1:16, 17), is the only possible salvation from it.
Christ Crucified Before Us
Jesus was set forth before the Galatians, when Paul preached to them, as openly crucified before their eyes. So vivid was the presentation that they could actually see Christ crucified. It was not only skillful word painting on the part of Paul and imagination on the part of the Galatians. Through Paul the Holy Spirit enabled them to see Him crucified.
The experience of the Galatians in this matter cannot be peculiar to them. The cross of Christ is a present thing. The expression, "Come to the cross," is not an empty form of words, but an invitation that can be literally complied with.
Not until one has seen Christ crucified before his eyes, and can see the cross of Christ at every turn, does one know the reality of the gospel. Let those scoff who will--the fact that a blind man cannot see the sun and denies that it shines will not deter one who sees it from telling of its glory. Many there are who can testify that it is something more than a figure of speech when the apostle says that Christ was crucified before the eyes of the Galatians. They too have had the experience. God grant that this study of Galatians, before it is finished, may be the means of opening the eyes of many more!
Let me ask you, Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing with faith? Verse 2.
The question, "Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law, or by hearing with faith?" admits of but one answer. It was by hearing with faith. The Spirit is given to those who believe. John 7:38, 29; Ephesians 1:13. The question also shows that the Galatians had received the Holy Spirit. There is no other way of beginning the Christian life. "No one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit." 1 Corinthians 12:3. In the beginning the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, begetting life and activity in the creation, for without the Spirit there is no motion--no life. "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts." Zechariah 4:6. The Spirit of God alone can carry out the perfect will of God; and no works that a man can do can bring Him into the soul, any more than a dead man can manufacture the breath by which he can be made to live and move. Those to whom Paul addressed this letter had seen Christ crucified before their eyes and had accepted Him through the Spirit. Have you also seen and accepted Him?
Are you so foolish? Having begun with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh?
"Foolish" is but a feeble term for it! The man who has not power to begin a work, thinks he has strength to finish it! He who has not strength to put one foot before the other, or even to stand alone, thinks he has strength enough in himself to win a race!
Who has power to beget himself? No one. We come into this world without having begotten ourselves. We are born without strength. Therefore all the strength that ever manifests itself in us comes from another than ourselves. It is all given to us. The newborn babe is the representative of man. "A man is born into the world." All the strength that any man has of himself is found in the infant as it utters its first cry with its first breath. And even that feeble strength is not of itself.
Even so in things spiritual. "Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth." James 1:18. We can no more live righteous lives by our own strength than we could beget ourselves. The work that is begun by the Spirit must be carried to completion by the Spirit. "We are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end." Hebrews 3:14, KJV. "He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6. And He alone can do it.
Verses 4, 5.
Did you experience so many things in vain?—if it really is in vain. Does He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by the works of the law, or by hearing with faith?
These questions show that the experience of the Galatian brethren had been as deep and genuine as would be expected from those before whose eyes Christ was openly crucified. The Spirit had been given to them, miracles had been wrought among them and even by them, for the gifts of the Spirit accompany the gift of the Spirit. And as the result of this living gospel among them they had suffered persecution; for "all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." 2 Timothy 3:12, KJV. This makes the case the more serious. Having shared the sufferings of Christ they were now departing from Him. And this departure from Christ, through whom alone righteousness can come, was marked by disobedience to the law of truth. They were insensibly but inevitably transgressing the law to which they were looking for salvation.
Thus Abraham "believed God," and it was reckoned to him as righteousness."
The questions asked in verses 3, 4 and 5 suggest their own answer. The Spirit was ministered, and miracles were wrought, not by works of law, but by "hearing with faith," that is, by the obedience of faith, for faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Romans 10:17. Thus Paul's labor, and the first experience of the Galatians, were exactly in line with the experience of Abraham, whose faith was accounted for righteousness. Let it be remembered that the "false brethren" who preached "another gospel," even the false gospel of righteousness by works, were Jews and claimed Abraham for their father. It would be their boast that they were "children" of Abraham, and they would appeal to their circumcision as proof of the fact. But the very thing upon which they relied as proving them to be children of Abraham was proof that they were not; for "Abraham 'believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.'" Abraham had the righteousness of faith before he was circumcised. Romans 4:11. "So you see that it is men of faith who are the sons of Abraham." Galatians 3:7. Abraham was not justified by works (Romans 4:2, 3), but his faith wrought righteousness.
The same trouble still exists. People take the sign for the substance, the end for the means. They see that righteousness reveals itself in good works. Therefore they assume that the good works bring the righteousness. Righteousness gained by faith, good works wrought without working, seem to them impractical and fanciful. They call themselves "practical" men and believe that the only way to have a thing done is to do it. But the truth is that all such men are highly impractical. A man absolutely "without strength" cannot do anything, not even so much as to raise himself up to take the medicine that is offered him. Any counsel for him to try to do it would be impractical. Only in the Lord is there righteousness and strength. Isaiah 45:24. "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass. And He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light." Psalm 37:5, 6, KJV. Abraham is the father of all who believe for righteousness, and of those only. The only "practical" thing is to believe, even as he did.
Verses 7, 8.
So you see that it is men of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying "In thee shall all the nations be blessed."
These verses will bear much reading. An understanding of them will guard one against many errors. And it is not difficult to understand; simply hold to what it says, and you have it.
(a) The verse shows us that the gospel was preached at least as early as the days of Abraham.
(b) It was God Himself who preached it. Therefore, it was the true and only gospel.
(c) It was the same gospel that Paul preached. Therefore we have no other gospel than that which Abraham had.
(d) The gospel differs in no particular now from what it was in Abraham's day. God requires just the same things now that He required then and nothing more.
Moreover, the gospel was then preached to the Gentiles, for Abraham was a "Gentile," or in other words, a heathen. He was brought up as a heathen, for "Terah, the father of Abraham," "served other gods" (Joshua 24:2), and was a heathen until the gospel was preached to him. So the preaching of the gospel to the Gentiles was no new thing in the days of Peter and Paul. The Jewish nation was taken out from among the heathen, and it is only by the preaching of the gospel to the heathen that Israel is built up and saved. See Acts 125:14-18; Romans 11:25, 26. The very existence of the people Israel always was and still is a standing proof that God's purpose is to save people from among the Gentiles. It is in fulfillment of this purpose that Israel exists.
Thus we see that the apostle takes the Galatians (and us), back to the fountainhead, to the place where God Himself preaches the gospel to us "Gentiles." No Gentile can hope to be saved in any other way or by any other gospel than that by which Abraham was saved.
Verses 9, 10.
So then, those who are men of faith are blessed with Abraham who had faith. For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, "cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, and do them."
Mark the close connection between these and the preceding verse. The gospel was preached to Abraham in the words, "In you shall all the nations be blessed." The words "heathen" or "Gentiles," as in the Revised Standard Version, and "nations," in verse8, come from the very same Greek word. This blessing is the advantage of righteousness through Christ, as we learn from Acts 3:25, 26, KJV; "Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities." Because God preached the gospel to Abraham, saying, "In you shall all the nations be blessed, those who believe are blessed with faithful Abraham. There is no blessing for any man except the blessing Abraham received! And the gospel preached to him is the only gospel for any people under heaven. The name of Jesus, in whom Abraham believed, saves. "There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12. In Him "we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins." Colossians 1:14, KJV. The forgiveness of sins carries with it all blessings.
A Contrast: Under the Curse
Note the sharp contrast in verses 9 and 10. "Those who are men of faith are blessed," but "all who rely on works of the law are under a curse." Faith brings the blessing. Works bring the curse, or, rather, leave one under the curse. The curse is on all, for "he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." John 3:18. Faith removes the curse.
Who are under the curse? "all who rely on works of the law." Note that it does not say that those who do the law are under the curse, for that would be a contradiction of Revelation 22:14, KJV: "Blessed are they that do His commandments that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." "Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord!" Psalm 119:1.
So, then, they who are of faith are keepers of the law; for they who are of faith are blessed, and those who do the commandments are blessed. By faith they do the commandments. Since the gospel is contrary to human nature, we become doers of the law not by doing but by believing. If we worked for righteousness, we would be exercising only our own sinful human nature, and so would get no nearer to righteousness, but farther from it. But by believing the "exceeding great and precious promises," we become "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4, KJV), and then all our works are wrought in God. "The Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. for they stumbled at that stumbling stone; as it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumbling stone and rock of offense: and whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed." Romans 9:30-33, KJV.
What the Curse Is
No one can read Galatians 3:10 carefully and thoughtfully without seeing that the curse is transgression of the law. Disobedience to God's law is itself the curse; for "sin came into the world through one man and death through sin." Romans 5:12. Sin has death wrapped up in it. Without sin death would be impossible, for "the sting of death is sin." 1 Corinthians 15:56. "For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse." Why? Because the law is a curse? Not by any means: "The law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good." Romans 7:12. Why, then, are all who rely on works of the law under a curse? Because it is written, "Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, and do them."
Mark it well: They are not cursed because they do the law, but because they do not do it. So, then, we see that relying on works of the law does not mean that one is doing the law. No! "The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." Romans 8:7, KJV. All are under the curse, and he who thinks to get out by his own works, remains there. Since the "curse" consists in not continuing in all things that are written in the law, therefore the "blessing" means perfect conformity to the law.
Blessing and Cursing
"Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; a blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day: and a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God." Deuteronomy 11:26-28, KJV. This is the living word of God, addressed to each one of us personally. "The law brings wrath" (Romans 4:15), but the wrath of God comes only on the children of disobedience (Ephesians 5:6). If we truly believe, we are not condemned, because faith brings us into harmony with the law, the life of God. "Whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." James 1:25, KJV.
The Bible does not disparage good works. On the contrary, it exalts them. "This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable." Titus 3:8, KJV. The charge against the unbelieving is that they are "unto every good work reprobate." Titus 1:16, KJV. Timothy was exhorted to "charge them that are rich in this world," "that they do good, that they be rich in good works." 1 Timothy 6:17, 18, KJV. And the apostle Paul prayed for us all that we might "walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work." Colossians 1:10, KJV. Still further, we are assured that God has created us "in Christ Jesus for good works," "that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10.
He has Himself prepared these works for us, wrought them out, and laid them up for all who trust in Him. Psalm 31:19. "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent." John 6:29. Good works are commended, but we cannot do them. They can be performed only by the One who is good, and that is God. If there be ever any good in us, it is God who works in us. There is no disparagement of anything that He does. "Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen." Hebrews 13:20, 21, KJV.
Verses 11, 12.
Now it is evident that no man is justified before God by the law; for "He who through faith is righteous shall live;" but the law does not rest on faith, for "He who does them shall live by them."
Who Are the Righteous?
When we read the frequent statement, "He who through faith is righteous shall live," it is necessary to have a clear idea of what the word "righteous" means. The King James Version has it, "The just shall live by faith." To be justified by faith is to be made righteous by faith. "All unrighteousness is sin" (1 John 5:17, KJV), and "sin is the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4, KJV). Therefore all unrighteousness is transgression of the law, and of course all righteousness is obedience to the law. So we see that the just, or righteous, man is the man who obeys the law, and to be justified is to be made a keeper of the law.
How to Become Just
Right doing is the end to be obtained, and the law of God is the standard. "the law worketh wrath, "because "all have sinned," and "the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience." How shall we become doers of the law and thus escape wrath, or the curse? The answer is, "He who through faith is righteous shall live." By faith, not by works, we become doers of the law! "With the heart man believeth unto righteousness." Romans 10:10, KJV. That no man is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident. How? From this, that "the just shall live by faith." If righteousness came by works, then it would not be by faith; "if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace." Romans 11:6. "To him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." Romans 4:4, 5, KJV.
There is no exception, no halfway working. It is not said that some of the just shall live by faith, or that they shall live by faith and works; but simply, "the just shall live by faith." And that proves righteousness comes not by their own works. All of the just are made just and kept just by faith alone. This is because the law is so holy. It is greater than can be done by man; only divine power can accomplish it; so by faith we receive the Lord Jesus, and He lives the perfect law in us.
The Law Not of Faith
"The law does not rest on faith." Of course it is the written law, no matter whether in a book or on tables of stone, that is here referred to. That law simply says, "Do this," or, "do not do that." "He who does them shall live by them." That is the sole condition on which the written law offers life. Works, and works only, commend themselves to it. How those works are obtained is of no consequence to it, provided they are present. But none have done the requirements of the law, and so there can be no doers of the law; that is, none who in their own lives can present a record of perfect obedience.
"He who does them shall live by them." But one must be alive in order to do! A dead man can do nothing, and he who is "dead in trespasses and sins" can do no righteousness. Christ is the only one in whom there is life, for He is the life, and He alone has done and can do the righteousness of the law. When, instead of being denied and repressed, He is acknowledged and received, He lives in us all the fullness of His life, so that it is no more we but Christ living in us. Then His obedience in us makes us righteous. Our faith is counted for righteousness simply because our faith appropriates the living Christ. In faith we yield our bodies as temples of God. Christ, the Living Stone, is enshrined in the hearts, which become God's thrones. And so in Christ the living law becomes our life, for "out of the heart are the issues of life."
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, "Cursed be everyone who hangs on a tree"—that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.Verses 13, 14.
The Real Question at Issue
In this letter there is no controversy over the law as to whether or not it should be obeyed. No one had claimed that the law was abolished or changed or had lost its force. The letter contains no hint of any such thing. The question was not if the law should be kept but how it was to be kept. Justification--being made righteous--was admitted to be a necessity. The question was: "Is it by faith or by works?" The "false brethren" were persuading the Galatians that they must be made righteous by their own efforts. Paul by the Spirit was showing that all such attempts were useless and could result only in fastening the curse more firmly on the sinner.
Righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ is set forth to all men in all time as the only real righteousness. The false teachers made their boast in the law, but through breaking it caused the name of God to be blasphemed. Paul made his boast in Christ, and by the righteousness of the law to which he thus submitted, he caused the name of God to be glorified in him.
The Sting of Sin
That death is the curse is evident from the last part of verse 13: "Cursed be everyone who hangs on a tree." Christ was made a curse for us in that He hung on a tree, that is, was crucified. But sin is the cause of death: "By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Romans 5:12, KJV. "The sting of death is sin." 1 Corinthians 15:56. So we have the substance of verse 10 thus, that those who do not "abide by all the things written in the law" are dead. That is, disobedience is death.
"When lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." James 1:15, KJV. Sin contains death, and men out of Christ are "dead through trespasses and sins." Ephesians 2:1. It matters not that they walk about seemingly full of life. The words of Christ are, "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you have no life in you." John 6:53. "She that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth." 1 Timothy 5:6, KJV. It is a living death—a body of death--that is endured. Romans 7:24. Sin is the transgression of the law. The wages of sin is death. The curse, therefore, is the death that is carried about concealed even in the most attractive sin. "Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, and do them."
Redemption From the Curse
"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law." Some who superficially read this rush off frantically exclaiming, "We don't need to keep the law, because Christ has redeemed us from the curse of it," as though the text said that Christ redeemed us from the curse of obedience. Such read the Scriptures to no profit. The curse, as we have seen is disobedience: "Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, and do them." Therefore Christ has redeemed us from disobedience to the law. God sent forth His Son "in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, . . . in order that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us." Romans 8:3, 4.
Someone may lightly say, "Then we are all right; whatever we do is right so far as the law is concerned, since we are redeemed." It is true that all are redeemed, but not all have accepted redemption. Many say of Christ, "We will not have this Man to reign over us," and thrust the blessing of God from them. But redemption is for all. All have been purchased with the precious blood—the life—of Christ, and all may be, if they will, free from sin and death. By that blood we are redeemed from "the futile ways inherited from your fathers." 1 Peter 1:18.
Stop and think what this means. Let the full force of the announcement impress itself upon your consciousness. "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law" -- from our failure to continue in all its righteous requirements. We need not sin anymore! He has cut the cords of sin that bound us so that we have but to accept His salvation in order to be free from every besetting sin. It is not necessary for us any longer to spend our lives in earnest longings for a better life and in vain regrets for desires unrealized. Christ raises no false hopes, but He comes to the captives of sin and cries to them, "Liberty! Your prison doors are open. Go forth." What more can be said? Christ has gained the complete victory over this present evil world, over "the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life" (1 John 2:16), and our faith in Him makes His victory ours. We have but to accept it.
Christ Made a Curse for Us
That "Christ died for the ungodly" (Romans 5:6) is evident to all who read the Bible. He "was delivered for our offenses." Romans 4:25, KJV. The Innocent suffered for the guilty, the Just for the unjust. "He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:5, 6, KJV. But death came by sin. Death is the curse that has passed upon all men simply because "all have sinned." So, as Christ was "made a curse for us," it follows that Christ was "made to be sin for us." 2 Corinthians 5:21, KJV. He "bore our sins in His body" to the tree. 1 Peter 2:24. Note that our sins were "in His body." It was no superficial work that He undertook. Our sins were not merely figuratively laid on Him, but were "in His body." He was "made a curse" for us, "made to be sin" for us, and consequently suffered death for us.
To some this truth seems repugnant. To the Greeks it is foolishness, to the Jews a stumbling block. But to us who are saved, it is "the power of God." See 1 Corinthians 1:23, 24. Remember that He bore our sins in His own body—not His sins, for He never sinned. The same scripture that tells us He was made to be sin for us, assures us that He "knew no sin." the same text that tells us that He carried our sins "in His own body," is careful to let us know that He "did no sin." The fact that He could carry our sin about with Him and in Him, being actually made to be sin for us, and yet not do any sin, is to His everlasting glory and our eternal salvation from sin. All the sins of all men were on Him, yet no person ever discovered a trace of sin upon Him. No sin was ever manifested in His life, although He took all sin upon himself. He received it and swallowed it up by the power of the endless life in which He swallows up death. He can bear sin and yet be untainted by it. It is by this marvelous life that He redeems us. He gives us His life so that we may be freed from every taint of the sin that is in our flesh.
Christ, "in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications and strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death," "was heard in that He feared." Hebrews 5:7, KJV. But He died! No one took His life from Him. He laid it down that He might take it again. John 10:17, 18. The cords of death were loosed, "because it was not possible for Him to be held by it." Acts 2:24. Why was it not possible for death to hold Him, even though He voluntarily put Himself in its power? Because He "knew no sin." He took sin upon Himself but was saved from its power. He was "in all things" "made like unto His brethren," "in all points tempted like as we are" (Hebrews 2:17; 4:15, KJV), and since He could of Himself do nothing (John 5:30), He prayed to the Father to keep Him from being overcome and thereby falling under the power of death. And He was heard. In His case these words were fulfilled: "The Lord God will help Me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set My face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. He is near that justifieth Me; who will contend with Me?" Isaiah 50:7, 8, KJV.
Whose sin was it that thus oppressed Him, and from which He was delivered? Not His own, for He had none. It was your sin and mine. Our sins have already been overcome--vanquished. We have to fight only with an already defeated foe. When you come to God in the name of Jesus, having surrendered yourself to His death and life so that you do not bear His name in vain because Christ lives in you, you have only to remember that every sin was on Him, and is still on Him, and that He is the conqueror, and straightway you will say, "Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:57, KJV. "Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of His knowledge by us in every place." 2 Corinthians 2:14, KJV.