“For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.’”
in all things
The law demands perfection. If we break one point of the law, we break it all. Since God is perfect, His law is perfect. If a person sets out to keep the law for salvation, he must do it “in all things” without exception.
“For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10).
God did not give the law to save sinners but to prove we are sinners.
The person who tries to keep the law never knows when he has done enough. “Do I have enough works to qualify for salvation?” “Do my works carry enough quality for me to be acceptable to God?”
God labels us sinners because we have not complied with all of the laws all of the time, all of our lives. All of us come short of the glory of God. That is why the Saviour came – to save us from sin.
Imagine a person hauled into court for grand larceny. He says to the judge, “But judge, I don’t beat my wife.” That is incidental and irrelevant to the case at hand. By breaking one law, we become a law-breaker. This shows the impossibility of keeping the law. God does not accept 99.9% righteousness. He expects perfection. Because God is perfect, so He demands perfection from us. We cannot find perfection in ourselves. However, we can have perfection in Christ.
God did not give the law to save sinners but to prove we are sinners. If we try to use the law to get to heaven, we abuse the law. We cannot make up for the sins we have already committed. The fact that we do not commit a given sin anymore does not erase the fact that we have already committed it in God’s eyes. There is no way we can get out from under God’s verdict – God’s curse–by our own means. God will not wipe away our sins unless we come to the cross. No one can look back over his life and say, “I kept the law every second of my existence.”