the merits of the law
Is the law of Moses good or bad? This question seems to be an inexhaustible subject for debate amongst Christians. I believe we can end the debate among ourselves if we define a few terms.
Romans 3:20 By the keeping of the law no man will be made righteous, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Abraham’s descendants were slaves to Egypt for over four hundred years, they knew about God but none of them knew Him. God gave Moses the law in order to impart to them a sin conscience, they did not know right from wrong. Israel did not know what sin was, they lived by their own laws and the laws of Egypt. Before God could have any kind of relationship with Israel, He had to deal with their sins. He ordered animal sacrifices to cover the sins of the people, they believed the blood of animals made them righteous. We could use a mirror to explain the law. If you look in a mirror you could see a problem but the mirror couldn’t do anything about your issue.
1 Timothy 1:8 We know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully (correctly).
If the law convicts a man of his sins, then the law is good, if that man turns not to the blood of animals but rather to the blood of Jesus, then the law has merits. The blood of animals made men self righteous, but the blood of Jesus makes men the righteousness of God.
1 Timothy 1:9 the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and all sinners.
Once a man becomes born-again he is exempt from the law. It has done its job by delivering a sinner to the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus. The law is not removed from mankind, only those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior. The law still serves an important mission, it is here to convict men of their sins. Most nations want nothing to do with God and yet “their” laws are fashioned after the laws God gave Moses.
Romans 6:23 The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is external life through Jesus.
Sinning has consequences, it is called “spiritual death” which can lead to eternal separation from God. A man’s conduct is largely influenced by his spiritual Father. If the devil is your father you will shun the law and excuse your own behavior. If the living God is your Father then doing righteousness is important to you. When all men die they will be gathered to their spiritual father for all eternity. The devil does not solicit men to come to him in hell, he simply leads them into a temptation to do whatever “feels” good. Man’s laws are fashioned after the laws of Moses, so they know there are consequences for violating these laws. Just because we don’t get caught violating a law, it doesn’t mean we won’t be punished later. Thank God for grace, it protects us until we have time to repent. The law and the curse, it brought us to Jesus and we must need abide with Him forever.
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I know the will of my Lord,
He takes pleasure in my prosperity.
He died to make me rich,
He became the curse for me.
If I yield to poverty and lack,
I will disappoint my Lord.
Now I got my mind right,
I am ready to prosper,
spirit, soul and body.