The Berean Expositor
Volume 38 - Page 97 of 249
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Man can, theoretically, be justified by a perfect obedience, but practically he can be
justified only through the offering of Christ. There is no middle course, and no other
In Gal. 3: 11 "law" as such is now set aside. Not merely "the law", there is no
article here, and "by" should be rendered simply "in". "The more inclusive en is thus,
perhaps, chosen designedly, as the Apostle's object is apparently to show that the idea of
justification falls wholly out of the domain of the law, and is incompatible with its very
nature and character" (Ellicott). The argument now adopted by the Apostle may be stated
"It is written that justification is only of faith" (verse 11);
"But the law admits not of justification by faith" (verse 12);
"Consequently, no man under law is justified" (verse 10). (Gwynne).
Throughout this sustained argument the initial question "received ye the Spirit by the
works of law, or by the hearing of faith?" is never dropped. It is in view in each step of
the argument.
Blessing is the inheritance of those who are justified by faith (verse 9).
Secondly. As many as are of the works of the law (primarily Jews but including all
others who place themselves under law) are subjects, not of blessing, but of
the curse (verses 10-12).
Thirdly.  This curse has been lifted from all those who were under the law, by
redemption, this being accomplished by Christ coming under a curse in their
room and stead; the fact that He died by being "hung upon a tree" revealing
the character of His sacrificial death.
This third and last member of the present argument is too important to occupy the
few remaining lines at our disposal, so will accordingly be given fuller consideration in
our next study.