I received a question on my study on generational curses that I’ve heard before, and feel should be addressed. My position, which is clearly biblical, is that Jesus became the curse for us; therefore, all curses of the old life were buried with Christ. This is clearly stated in Galatians 3:13-14

 13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree “),

 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

The question posed was, “What harm can it do to go through the process of breaking the generational curse? If it’s true, then our prayers can break the curse. If it’s false, then what harm would it do to say a few renunciation prayers?”

If you have seen these ‘renunciation prayers’, you know that it is a lengthy ritual of addressing every possible curse. It is a ritual based on what we must do to free ourselves, instead of what Christ has done to set us free. But what harm can it do to go through this ritual? Let’s answer that question.

Let me start by saying that anything that takes our focus off the completed work of Christ, and places it on anything else, is a denial of the completed work of Christ. There are two specific examples in the New Testament that address this very question. The Bible does not pull any punches on this question.

Let’s look at the most blatant of these examples. The book of Hebrews was written to the Hebrew (or Jewish) Christian. These believers had come out of the law, and were now putting their faith in Christ. One thing the Bible makes clear is that all the Old Testament rituals were ordinances that pointed to the coming work of Christ. The Bible calls them shadows or images of the true work of God – Jesus Christ. Once Christ had come, there was no longer a need for the shadow that pointed to Him. In fact, to worship in the shadow was now sin, for it was a denial of God’s final provision.

These new Jewish believers were under pressure to continue worshipping through the shadow. They were being treated as if they were disobedient to God because they no longer participated in the sacrifices of the Passover lamb. This was the main feast the Jews celebrated. Not keeping the traditions of Moses was looked upon as a violation. Many leaders began teaching others that it was fine to trust in Christ, but they must also keep the law as well. This became a point of contention that we see in the book of Acts. Abstaining from this feast put them at odds with those who still held to the Old Testament traditions. Therefore, some Christians began compromising. What would it hurt? They would trust in Jesus, and also do the sacrifice that pointed to Him. That way they could cover both sides – just in case. Look at how the Bible addresses this in Galatians 5:4

You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

This wasn’t considered acceptable. Hebrews 10 treats this in the same way. To those who hedged their bets between the old law and the new covenant of grace by participating in the sacrifice, were harshly rebuked. This chapter says that there remains no more sacrifice for sin, but now they are only gaining a fearful expectation of judgment. In fact, the Bible calls this a ‘willful sin’ to participate in an ordinance that denies Christ’s finished work.

Then the issue came up about circumcision. This became a point of contention among the non-Jewish Christians. The Gentile people were never under the law, but many Christians who came out of the law were teaching them that they had to trust in Jesus, plus keep this ordinance of the law. Their thinking was also, “What would it hurt?” They were being taught that this ordinance was necessary in order to be fully under God’s blessing. Why not just do it to be on the safe side? Let’s let the Bible answer this. Look at Galatians 5:2-3:

 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.
 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.

In their attempt to follow this erroneous teaching thinking they were earning a blessing, they were actually stepping outside of the blessed life. Once they decided to step into human effort-based religion, they were stepping out of the blessed life. Christ now profits nothing. Instead of finding freedom, they put themselves under the debt of the law – a law they had never been under before. When these teachers came in, the Apostle Paul stood against them. He said, “We didn’t give them submission – not even for one hour.”

And what they were dealing with was actually in the Bible. It was a misinterpretation of the Bible and a lack of understanding of the complete work of Christ, but at least they could point to the Old Testament. The generational curse ritual is not even remotely biblical.

One of the complaints the apostles leveled against legalistic teaching (such as circumcision and keeping the law) was that it was a false teaching that put people under bondage. We were called into freedom. Jesus said, when He makes us free, we are free indeed. He has broken every chain and released us from the bondage of the flesh, and the sin which controlled it. These teachers were empowering sin and the flesh. They were teaching things that would make people debtors of the very sin that Jesus died to free them from.

The generational curse teaching does this very thing. The ritual I was sent with this question has dozens and dozens of prayers that must be declared. What if something is missed or said wrong? What if this person didn’t think of every curse? Some teach that we must confess the sins of our fathers and forefathers. We can’t remember our own sins, much less can we think of every possible sin our ancestors committed. Another form of this teaching says that if we had any previous relationships, we are bound to that person’s curse unless we go through the process of breaking that spiritual tie with the other person. This is nothing but bondage and trusting in our efforts instead of Christ.

Now let’s look at why the generational curse is impossible. Let’s start with what I previously referenced – John 8:36

Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

Do we think we know more than Christ? Are we going to say, “No, no, Jesus. We are free from everything except the generational curse? I have to do what you failed to complete?” Let’s look at three more passages from three different books of the Bible that explain why the curse cannot be in the new life of faith. Look again at Galatians 3:13-14

 13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree “),
 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

You have been redeemed from the curse of the law through Christ. I don’t see anywhere in this passage that says, ‘you have been redeemed from the curses you confess or renounce’. Jesus became the curse for you, and you enter the blessed life through Him. The curse is of the flesh and cannot enter the life of the Spirit. The curse cannot go where the blessing has been established. You can only be lured out of faith and back into the flesh. You either receive the promise through the Spirit by faith, or step out of faith by disbelief, and willfully enter into the flesh and claim the curse.

This is what you are doing when you turn to a ritualistic curse breaking attempt. You are claiming the curse, and then trying to eradicate what God has already removed.

One of the problems is that Christians do not understand that they are no longer of the flesh. All sin was bound to your old life, and that was buried with Christ. Why then, do we dig into that grave and try to resurrect the flesh so we can try to fix that dead corpse. The old man is dead and buried. No one should be doing surgery on a buried corpse. Carefully read Colossians 2:11-15

 11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,
 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.
 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,
 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

The reason circumcision became a sin after Christ is that it was a foreshadow of the true circumcision. The image of circumcision was that the flesh was cut away from a male child so he could enter into God’s promise. It was given as a word-picture through the physical act of circumcision, but this was just an illustration and not the real thing. Now that Christ has removed all the written requirements of the law that condemned us, and then taken the sin that the law revealed in us upon Himself, He nailed it to the cross. But that is not all He nailed to the cross. He also took upon Himself our sinful flesh. When we enter Christ’s work by faith, the Spirit circumcises away our old nature. The fleshly nature is cut out of us, so that a new nature can be given to us. That old flesh (old man) is taken away, when we enter into Christ by faith.

The curse can only be applied to the old nature. So are we going to declare our disbelief in this work and say, “No Jesus. I have to dig up that old, cursed nature and try to fix it. You shouldn’t have buried it. I need to revive it?”

Of course we would never say that like this, but we are making this declaration when we try to un-curse the fleshly nature He has removed and nailed to His cross. You have a new nature that cannot be cursed. Look at 2 Corinthians 5:17-18

 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.

How many things have become new? All? Do we believe the promise, “Now all things are of God?” Or do we say, all things are of God except the curses we want to fix ourselves? Has God given us the ministry of calling others into the reconciliation of Christ that transformed us from the flesh to the Spirit? Or are we going to push grace aside and follow the ministry of the generational curse? Either Christ has reconciled all things, redeemed all things, and made all things new, or He has not.

Like the first century church, we must decide if we are going to believe in the completed work of Christ, or push grace aside and follow religions and teachings that depend on what we do instead of what Christ has done. Either our faith will be in Christ, or in our works. There is no middle ground. Once we trust in works, we are debtors to do all of the law and try to fix the curse of sin by human effort. As the Bible says to those who fell into this trap, it says to us today, “You who try to be justified by your efforts, you have fallen from grace.”

Anything that isn’t received by the Spirit through faith in what Christ has already done, is an act of the flesh and can never inherit the promise. So, what do we do if we have fallen from grace? Turn our hearts back to grace. Live according to the promise that all things are gifts of grace received through faith. Stop looking at your personal efforts. Stop looking at any religious teaching that makes the promise dependent upon you. Trust in Him, not religion or human effort. As the Bible says, it is either by grace or by works. There is no mixture between these two.

Eddie Snipes

April 2024

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