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No.63. (21) GALATIANS.
Galatians 3: 8 - 12.
"For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse" (3: 10).
pp. 226 - 228
The proofs just considered (Gal. 3: 6-8) are positive in nature, we now advance to a
negative argument, the impossibility of attaining to justification by law. Speaking of the
Apostle's method of reasoning, while sometimes it is closely akin to the Rabbinical
method that sees proof where a Western mind would see none, he does at times approach
nearer to the syllogistic form of argument, as may be seen from what has already been
"They of faith are the children of Abraham."
"The children of Abraham are blessed."
"So then they of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham."
We now consider the negative argument, and we can anticipate an objection. Is it not
jumping to a conclusion, of admitting prejudice, of damning a man before trial to make
so sweeping a statement that "As many as are of the works of the law are under the
curse"? The relative pronoun hosos allows no exceptions. Sometimes it is translated
"whatsoever" (Rom. 15: 4); when referring to time it is translated "as long as"
(Gal. 4: 1); or in the account of the woman of Samaria "He told me all that ever I did"
(John 4: 39). "As many as" are of the works of the law, "so many" are under the curse.
Such is the statement. Now for the proof.
The Apostle compels the objector to attempt to pass through the sifting meshes of a
passage borrowed from the O.T., each mesh in the sieve becoming smaller, and he
challenges any one successfully to pass the test, or to produce from history any one who
Here are the tests:
Cursed is EVERY ONE. No respects of persons must be expected, for none will be shown.
Every one without exception, without favour, must stand here.
First demand of the law is "continuance". No mere perfunctory performance can satisfy the
claim of the law. Here is no sabbath day observance, but a day by day, hour by hour
performance from cradle to grave.
The word here translated "continue" is emmeno, a compound of en "in" and meno "to
abide, remain or continue". The Apostle uses two other variants of the word in Galatians
thus, epimeno "to remain upon, or at", "to abide" (Gal. 1: 18), indicating that, for the whole
course of the fifteen days, Paul did not change his place of abode, but "remained upon" it.
Diameno "to continue right through" as the gospel did, in spite of all the antagonism of
Judaistic opponents, by the grace of God and the faithful witness of the apostle Paul, when
he stood alone against all "the somebodies and somewhats" at Jerusalem.
Emmeno "to continue in". It is used of the faith in Acts 14: 22 "exhorting them to
continue in the faith" and is used of the failure of Israel "they continued not in My
covenant" (Heb. 8: 9).