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By Curtis Pugh

            “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,” (Galatians 3:13). Five times the New Testament specifies that Christ was hanged upon a tree. God had pronounced a special curse upon those executed in this way.

            This verse tells us how God made Christ a curse for “us.” That plural pronoun “we” includes the writer (Paul) and all those who were in the same condition or situation as he.  Paul did not write as a lost man to other lost men. Therefore we must not include lost people in that “we.” To do so is to violate the rules of grammar and logic. To do so is also to “wrest” the Scriptures which brings destruction according to 2 Peter 3:16.

            Paul quotes the Old Testament pronouncement of this curse that is upon those left hanging on a tree. Christ was hanged upon a tree and thus suffered this curse on behalf of His sheep. We know this because He said so. His words are: “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep,” (John 10:11). And again in verse 15 of that chapter He said, “As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.” The natural or fleshly mind which is “enmity against God,” (Romans 8:7) hates the idea that Christ has some people designated as “sheep.” Men with such a mind hate the idea that it was for the sheep that Christ died, being made a curse for His sheep.

            The Bible does not teach that Christ has any spiritual goats or that He died for any spiritual goats or that He changes goats into sheep! The Lord Jesus said about His sheep: “But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand,” (John 10:26-28). So then we know that Christ's sheep “believe,” “hear,” “follow,” receive “eternal life,” “shall never perish,” and cannot be plucked out of Christ's hand. Such is the security of those who were given to Christ by the Father.

            After all the Lord Jesus spoke of the men designated as His sheep, saying: “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word,” (John 17:6). They that are Christ's were first the Father's who gave them to Christ so that He might suffer the curse of the law on their behalf. And by suffering so, the sheep are redeemed – bought back – never to suffer their just condemnation and punishment prescribed by God's holy law.

Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726

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