HOME  |   1st Angels Menu  |    About Us   |   Contact Us   

THE PURPOSE OF THE LAW

                                WHAT is the purpose of the law?

                            "By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." Romans 3:20.

How particular is God concerning Christian conduct?

"Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." James 2:10.

CHRIST SAVES MAN, MAGNIFIES LAW

What is the gospel declared to be?

"I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth." Romans 1:16. What is the significance of the name Jesus? "Thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins." Matthew 1:21.

In whom is this power to save from sin revealed?

"We preach Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God." 1 Corinthians 1:23, 24.

How was Christ's attitude toward God's law foretold?

"It is written of Me, I delight to do Thy will, 0 My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart." Psalms 40:7, 8.

What does Christ promise of the new covenant?

"But now hath He obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also He is the mediator of a better covenant." "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put My laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts." Hebrews 8:6, 10.

What must we do in order to benefit by Christ's work?

"With the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Romans 10:10.

For what did the apostle Paul trust Christ?

"I count all things but loss . . . that I may win Christ, and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith." Philippians 3:8, 9.

What relation does the law sustain to this righteousness?

"The righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets." Romans 3:21.

Does the faith which brings righteousness abolish the law?

"Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law." Verse 31.

    NOTE.—In the gospel, the law, first written in the heart of Christ, becomes "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus," and is thus transferred to the heart of the believer, where Christ dwells by faith. Thus the new covenant promise is fulfilled. This is righteousness by faith—a righteousness which is witnessed by the law, and revealed in the life in harmony with the law. Such faith, instead of making void the law, establishes it in the heart of the believer.

"The law demands obedience, but cannot produce it; it is holy in itself, but it cannot make us holy; it convinces of sin, but it cannot cure it; it reveals the disease, but it cannot provide the remedy; while the gospel both requires and enables, saves and sanctifies (Rom. 3:19-22; 4:15; 5:20, 21; 7:7-13; II Cor. 3:7-9; Gal. 3:21-24; I Tim. 1:8-11). . . .

"While it is in the very nature of all law to provoke opposition to itself in our wayward minds and wilful hearts, it is the essence of the gospel to appeal to the two strongest motives that actuate men and women—gratitude and love (contrast Rom. 7:5, 7-11; with 6:1-15; II Cor. 5:14, 15)..

"The gospel shows us the Saviour whom we need, and declares that He has fully obeyed the precepts of the law by His spotless life as our great representative, as well as completely exhausted its penalties through His aton- ing death as our great substitute (II Cor. 5:21). . . . Divine justice and righteousness have been more entirely vindicated through His work for men than they could have been by the obedience or sufferings of the whole human race!

"It is the aim alike of the law and of the gospel to secure obedience, but the law compels us to it as a duty, making it irksome and distasteful, while the gospel constrains us to it as a privilege, rendering it easy and delightful. The law sets obedience before us as a means of salvation, and makes blessing strictly conditional upon it. The gospel reveals it as the natural consequence of redemption, and enjoins obedience as the necessary result of blessing."— WILLIAM C. PROCTER, Moody Bible Institute Monthly (Copyrighted), Novem- ber, 1933, pp. 107, 108. Used by permission.

What did Christ take away?

"Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." John 1:29.

What has Christ abolished?

"Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." 2 Timothy 1:10. Nom.—"Man .  needs to be solemnly reminded that the law of the spirit of life in Christ sets him free from the law of sin and death, but not from the law of God."—G. CAMPBELL MORGAN, The Ten Commandments (Revell, 1901 ed.), p. 12.

What change is brought about through the gospel?

"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Corinthians 3:18.

    NoTE.—It is sometimes claimed that Christ changed, abolished, or took away the law, and put the gospel in its place; but this shows a misapprehension of the real work of Christ. The individual believer is changed by beholding the glory revealed in the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4; John 1:14); death has been abolished through the death of Christ; and sin has been taken away by the great Sin Bearer; but the law of God still remains unchanged as the very foundation of His throne. (See note on page 95.)

What spiritual interpretation did Christ give to the sixth and seventh commandments?

"Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: but I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment." Matthew 5:21, 22.. "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not com- mit adultery: but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." Verses 27, 28.

Of what prophecy was this teaching a fulfillment?

"The Lord is well pleased for His righteousness' sake; He will magnify the law, and make it honourable." Isaiah 42:21.

NoTE.—Christ not only gave a spiritual interpretation to the law, and Him- self thus observed it, but He showed the holiness and the immutable nature of the law by dying on the cross to pay the penalty of its trangression. In this way, above all, He magnified the law.

GRACE AND THE LAW

In what promise was the gospel preached to Abraham?

"And the scripture ... preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed." Galatians 3:8.

On what basis was Abraham accounted righteous?

"For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness." Romans 4:3.

What scripture cuts off all hope of justification by works?

"By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." Romans 3:20.

In what way are all believers in Jesus justified?

"Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." Verse 24.

Is the believer expected to go on in sin after this?

"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" Romans 6:1, 2.

What was Christ's personal attitude toward the law?

"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. "If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love." John 15:10. What scripture shows that God's remnant people will under- stand the proper relation between law and gospel? "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Revelation 14:12. -

    NOTE.—"God has not left men enmeshed in their own disobedience—He has provided a way of restoration. This is not by pulling the heavenly standard down to the level of our guiltiness and weakness, but by lifting men up to the level of the eternal standard of his holiness. . . . This restoration is restora- tion to a state of obedience to the Law. . . .

"The atonement of Jesus Christ . . . bears an eternal relation to the Law of God, the Law which is holy, just and good. . . . [As the believer is] de- livered by the work of Christ from the penalty of a broken law, and given a new heart by the Holy Spirit, by which he loves the way of obedience that once he shunned, the Law and the gospel are seen working in glorious har- mony for the blessing of the redeemed man.

"To achieve this is the one great purpose of the proclamation of the gospel." —0. C. S. WALLACE, What Baptists Believe, pp. 83, 84. Copyright, 1934, by the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Used by permission.

 

                                                                                                    Contact |   SiteMap

 

                                                                                          - Alpha and Omega © Jesus Christ