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Is the law intended to ‘curse people’?

Well it’s intended to curse people. That’s what’s so pathetic, so sad about people that want to mix law and grace today. They want to mix a curse with grace, that mix a curse with Jesus. It’s great that you’ve met Jesus now let me curse you with the law. It’s great that you’re saved, now let me put you in bondage. It’s great that you’re free from condemnation, free from guilt, free from punishment, but now let me put you under the yoke of slavery all over again, a slavery that not even the most devout Jewish forefather could ever keep anyway. Let me just hang that around your neck.

I think the quote above actually poorly presents what Andrew Farely believes about the law. He goes on to  say:

But it’s also very important in understanding that we here are not law bashers and we are not law haters. Watch what we do as grace errs watch what we do as new creations in Jesus Christ. We say 613 regulations that is perfect and impossible therefore I need Jesus. Now look what I just did in turning my back on the law – I turned my back because I recognized it is perfect, it is flawless, it is blameless, it is holy, it is good – and I can’t live up to it. I can’t keep it. So as I turn away from law and say yes to Jesus I have just established, I have just held up the law and established that it is perfect and impossible. No way, I need God’s grace. And so what Paul is saying is? Are we nullifying the law? Are we killing the law? No do you know that the law does not die. We die to the law.

The passages he has in mind are probably:

Deu 27:26 ESV  “‘Cursed be anyone who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

Gal 3:10 ESV  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.”

Gal 3:13 ESV  Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—

Rom 3:19 ESV  Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.

Gal 3:24 ESV  So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.

To say that the law was ‘intended’ to curse people is an unjustified extension of these verses. And to substitute the word ‘curse’ for ‘law’ as in ‘they want to mix curse with grace’ is to present the law in a very negative light that I don’t think is supported by the Bible. Farely’s comments at the end of the sermon recognise that. He observes that the law is ‘blameless and holy and good’. 

It is true that a consequence of the law is that people are cursed. But a consequence is very different to saying it was intended as a curse. A consequence of flying in a plane is that people die when they crash. But planes are not intended to kill people any more than the law is intended to curse people. 

As he points out in this message, the law is simply diagnoses our sin problem – but it provides no cure. 

The language he used has enough truth in it to deceive people about the goodness of the law. And he does try to remedy that later on.  

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