The purpose of the Law Part 1
Recently I was involved in both a small group discussion and later was directly questioned about a sometimes very puzzling biblical issue. How does the Old Testament law apply for Christian’s today? Are we to obey all the laws, or does grace abolish the laws?
Let me begin by making some definitive statements about what Paul tells us repeatedly throughout his letters, especially Galatians and Romans, then I will attempt to tie all those aspects together to make some definitive statements about the New Testament treatment of the Old Testament Law.
- Works of the Law do not save because no one can obey the law perfectly.
- People would be saved if they could keep the law in its entirety, but no has or can, except Jesus Christ… the second person of the Holy Trinity, the incarnate virgin-born son of the living God.
- Since it is impossible to be saved by works of the law, right standing with God (being justified) comes only by grace (alone) through faith (alone) in Jesus Christ (alone).
- Paul vehemently resisted any attempt to impose food laws, circumcision and the observance of Jewish high days to the Gentiles, yet he was passionate in sharing the gospel with them that they might be numbered among the “children of Abraham”.
- We are also told in Gal. 3:10 that those who do not keep the whole law are cursed.
o The Law was given to increase sin.
o Part of the power of sin is that it will degrade and twist things that are good for evil ends.
- Does this mean that God is unjust to give a law that people cannot keep and only serves to increase sin? NO!
o We humans are justly condemned because when we sin we are only following the desires of our heart (Eph. 2:1-3).
o The victory of grace over sin is more spectacular when seen in the full light of human depravity (Rom. 5:20-21).
o We cannot really understand how much we have been corrupted until we measure ourselves against the sure standard of the law and when we try to obey and discover that we cannot, we understand just how deeply imbedded those sins are.
Much more on this in the next post.
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