Concerning The Law

20 Oct

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:

Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted. (1 Timothy 1:8-11)

The law is good. I won’t be the one to deny that statement, that’s for sure. But, there needs to be a distinction made about who it’s good for. There are many religions, not the least of which is Catholicism, that still teach that the law is necessary for believers. (When I say “law”, I am of course referring to the Ten Commandments as they are defined by the New Testament, not any Earthly law). Now, while I believe we should strive towards obedience of the law through the strength that Christ gives us in order to live a more pleasing life to God, I believe Paul makes it very clear that the law was intended for unbelievers. As Paul puts it in the above couple of verses:

“understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient,”

Unbelievers need the law, not so that they can be saved by it, but so that they can realize that salvation through obedience to the law is absolutely impossible. Thus, hopefully leading them to Christ, who has already obeyed the law and lived a perfect life so that our short comings can be forgiven. However, does this mean that the law is useless for the believer? I wouldn’t say so. However, first someone needs to get a correct understanding of how they can, why they should obey, and the actual significance of obedience to the law as defined by the New Testament.

We’ll start with the last point first, because I believe its most important. The significance of the law for the believer is nowhere near what many would make it out to be. In other words, it is not (as I’ve already pointed out) a means of salvation. However, (this is the second point of the three here), I believe that since Jesus has given us grace and strength enough to do so (that’s the first point of the three), we really ought to try to obey the law. This is because. when we are saved, we are given a new nature: a nature that wants to serve God, and it is my understanding that obedience to the law is one of many ways in which we can serve God. We have to understand, of course, that we cannot hope to always obey or to serve perfectly. Only Jesus could ever do that. However, it ought to be in our new nature to try. The alternative is living a life of sin, which would be a rather clear indication that we may not be quite as assured of salvation as we once believed.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland


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2 responses to “Concerning The Law

  1. ansuyo

    October 27, 2012 at 2:19 AM

    Well said 🙂

    • Joshua Cleveland

      October 28, 2012 at 12:02 AM

      Thank you Angie. I often find it hard to put into words what I’m trying to say, so it’s always encouraging to know that someone understood it.


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