by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 3 Paragraph # 2 Study # 6 January 15, 2012 Dayton, Texas
11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
1901 ASV Translation:
11 Now that no man is justified by the law before God, is evident: for, The righteous shall live by faith;
12 and the law is not of faith; but, He that doeth them shall live in them.
13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
14 that upon the Gentiles might come the blessing of Abraham in Christ Jesus; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
I. Paul's Linkage of the Gospel to the Methodology of God's Dealings With Abraham [See notes for Dec. 4, 2011(135)].
II. Paul's Focus Upon Abraham's "Believing" [See notes for Dec. 11, 2011(137)].
III. Paul's Interpretation of God's "Accounting" (KJV word, NASB uses "reckoned") [See Notes for Dec. 18, 2011(139)].
IV. Paul's Adamant Application of Genesis 15:6 to the Gospel [See notes for Jan. 1, 2012(141)].
V. Paul's Logic Regarding "the Curse".
A. Being "of the works of the Law" puts a person "under a curse" [See notes for Jan. 8, 2012(143)].
B. The biblical record simply declares that "the righteous by faith shall live".
1. The order of the words in Hebrew and in the Greek translations (Septuagint and New Testament texts) remains consistent: "the righteous by faith, shall live"; not "the righteous shall live by faith".
a. This word order is supported by Paul's use of the text in Galatians because the point of the quote in Galatians 3:11 is that righteousness is by faith, not that the righteous are supposed to live by faith.
b. The word order is critical in that the point in Habakkuk is the methodology of righteousness, not the methodology of "living".
2. This means two things.
a. The biblical record establishes that "life" arises out of "the righteousness that comes by faith" (Habakkuk 2:4).
1) Paul claims that this is "clear": combining Genesis 15:6 with Habakkuk 2:4. In neither text is there any focus whatsoever on the way the person is living his/her life. In both texts the issue is that there is a promise of God directed toward someone and that someone simply believes it.
2) Paul's use of Habakkuk 2:4 is deliberate.
a) This text is quoted by the New Testament at three critical junctures (Romans 1:17; this text; Hebrews 10:38).
b) At issue in that text are two very critical concerns.
i. The first is being subjected to the wrath of God in physical terms.
ii. The second is the emotional state of the person who has to endure the outworking of that wrath upon others because of its proximity to himself (Daniel had to go to Babylon; had to endure the Babylonian attack; etc.).
c) The difference between the settings in Genesis 15 and Habakkuk 2 couldn't be greater in one way (no threat of wrath in Genesis) but converge in the other (emotional state).
d) The salient point is this: when the Old Testament presented Life at the most basic level (joy), the declaration is always "justification by faith".
b. Law is not "of faith". Its methodology is declared by the biblical record to be "life by performance of its dictates". Thus, anyone who turns "faith" into a construct in which a person "must live by faith's dictates" is turning "faith" into "Law" and Paul will have none of this. This brings us full circle back to the curse.
2. This inclusion of Habakkuk 2:4, on top of the biblical argument from Genesis 15:6, simply means that the record is not ambiguous. The Bible has always taught that righteousness arises from faith and that Law demands perfection of performance.
C. Christ's redemption involved becoming "the curse for us".