THE RELEVANCE OF THE LAW TO TODAY'S CHRISTIAN
Elder David Green
today's world, many will search out to find the answer to this
question. Unfortunately, many are mislead and deceived into
believing the wrong idea about this question.
Before I begin, I want to define a couple of words to try to set forth what people mean when they use these words. The first big word you may hear is antinomianism. Antinomianism is the belief that the Gospel frees Christians from required obedience to any law, whether scriptural, civil, or moral. This is heresy came from the devil himself, and is not taught in the Scripture.
Another word you may hear being tossed around is legalistic. Someone who is legalistic is someone who believes that the law will save you. This doctrine is another idea that came from the Devil. The law of God was never intended to save anyone.
If both of these ideas are wrong, we must ask ourselves, “What does the Bible teach?” Please consider each of the references from the Bible that are given and take the time to turn to them. I believe this to be a very important article.
LORD'S FULFILLMENT OF THE LAW
When the Lord came to the earth, a few people thought he came to destroy the law. A few people still think that today. However, our Lord answered them by saying, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” (Matthew 5:17). He came to fulfill the ceremonial law. Thus, the sacrifices are done away with...the veil of the temple was torn in two. He did not destroy the law, but he fulfilled it!
PURPOSE OF THE LAW
There are some who claim that in the Old Testament, men were saved by the keeping of the law and that the law is void in our age of grace because we are not saved by the law. In Romans 3:27-31, we read “ Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” The law of God was NEVER intended to save people, but it is the schoolmaster to teach us that we are sinners. (See Galatians 3:24).
FREE FROM THE CURSE OF THE LAW
A verse that is often misused when dealing with the law is Romans 6:14, which reads “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” Men and women run to this verse the second that they realize that God has said something (usually in the Old Testament) that they do not like. Some folks do not understand the Word of God. Others are in pure rebellion. After all, it is easy to break a law if the law is gone. The truth of the matter is, the moral law of God has not disappeared!
Continue reading in Romans 6 and you'll find that in verse 15, the Holy Spirit directed Brother Paul to write, “What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” This passage cannot be used as a ticket to sin!
A careful study on sin will bring to light the fact that there would be no such thing as sin if there were no law. I John 3:4 says “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” Romans 4:15 tells us that “...where no law is, there is no transgression.”
In light of these two passages, we must come to the conclusion that the law he is writing about in Romans 6 is not a matter of having no responsibility to the moral law of God, but it must be something else. We have already seen that sin is the breaking of God's law. Let's look at Romans 6 in that manner: “...shall we [break the law] that grace may abound? God forbid.” We still have a responsibility to God's law!
For the sake of continuity, let's just go over to Romans 7:1-7: “ Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet." Paul is not preaching the lawlessness that some believe in today. The moral law of God is not gone like some men say it is. We have been freed from the penalty of sin! In that sense, yes we are dead to the law.
In Galatians 3:13 we read “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:”
Here it is...we have been redeemed from the curse of the law! Not from the law itself, but from the curse of it. The law says “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Jesus has brought life! Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” We broke God's law, and as lawbreakers God still demands punishment (eternity in Hell). Yet, Christ came and paid our penalty for us.
FROM THE LAW OF SIN
The Bible does also speaks of us being free from the law of sin. Look at how the Holy Spirit defines the differences in Romans 7:14-25 “ For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” The Apostle Paul recognized this law of sin. Every child of God has it within his flesh to serve that evil law. Yet, he also had the responsibility to serve and obey the law of God.
Continuing on into Romans 8:1-3, the Word of God brings it together. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:” There is no condemnation (freedom from the curse of the law) and we are freed from the law of sin and death.
LAW FULFILLED IN US
“That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Romans 8:4-8).
Here we read that we fulfill the law. Now, wait a minute...We read that Jesus came to fulfill the law when we read in the book of Matthew earlier. Is there another contradiction in the Bible? Absolutely not! What is the difference? Jesus fulfilled the ceremonial law. We fulfill the moral law of God when we live according to the moral laws of God.
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” (Psalm 1:1-2)
Is your delight in the law of God? Do you meditate upon it? Or do you try to get away from the law. If God's people looked at the law of God in the correct manner, we would have a moral influence on the world. We need to remember that just because we have been freed from the curse of the law does not mean we have no duty towards it. It is still very relevant to today's Christian.
RETURN TO PREVIOUS PAGE