Stan Cox


Email Author
Return to this issue
Return to Current Issue
Tell a friend!

Grand Themes of Scripture

Law


The concept of obedience to law is rather controversial among the religious today.  Because of the Holy Spirit’s teaching regarding the Law of Moses, as contrasted with salvation by Grace through Faith, some equate the idea of obedience to God’s law with the concept of meriting salvation.  This is not so.

Under the Old Covenant, or Old Law, salvation was not available.  Salvation can not come through Law, it must come through Grace.  As Paul stated in Romans 3:20, “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”  As “all have sinned” (vs. 23), and as redemption can not come through law, it was necessary that Christ give himself as a ransom for all.  This is grace.  This is why Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

It must be understood that the call to obey Christ’s law is not the equivalent of an attempt to be justified by the “deeds of the law.”  When we say there are things we must do to be saved, we do not believe that we have the right to “boast” before God because we have completed an act of obedience.   Nor do we intend to in any way deny the truth that salvation is the gift of God to man.  But, claims are made that such is so.

An illustration serves to establish the point.  A man, before dying, establishes in his will certain prerequisites which must be met before the gift of his assets will be given.  It may be that a loved one must reach a certain age, or do some task before they qualify.  If they do the task, or fulfill the qualification, they are given the proffered gift.  They did not earn the gift, but they would not have received it, if they had not obeyed.

So it is with God.  He has granted the gift of life to all men through His Son’s sacrifice.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).  But, not all men fulfill the requirements which God has established before the gift of salvation is given to each individually.  “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).

The fact that The Law has been nailed to the cross by Christ does not mean that we today do not have laws that God demands we obey.  In fact, the apostle wrote about fulfilling “the law of Christ” (cf. Galatians 6:2).  The difference is that those who follow the requirements and limitations set forth by Jesus Christ are then eligible to access the grace of God extended through the Messiah.

Those libertines today who believe that we are free to do as we wish would do well to heed the warning of the apostle Paul.  “What shall we say then?  Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?  Certainly not!  How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Romans 6:1-2).  When the question is asked, what is sin? — the answer, given by the apostle John, is simple, “sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4, KJV).  To put the principles established in these two verses together, we note:  We are no longer to continue in sin, (in transgressing the law!)  Those who say we are free from the bondage of the law or obedience clearly misunderstand the scripture!

Some people do not like to be limited.  They desire to do what they want, when they want, how they want.  In areas of morality we call these people libertines.  Fornication, Homosexuality and Adultery are characteristic of these people.  They stand condemned before God.  Paul said that those who practice such things, “will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:21).

It should be understood that this desire to do what you want, when you want, and how you want is commonplace among the professed “pious” as well.  The use of an instrument in music is an example of this.  There is no authority for the use of a mechanical instrument of music in New Testament worship.  Such is practiced because men want it, not because God authorized it.  It is lawlessness, or sin.

Some religious groups create holidays, such as Christmas, because they want to worship God in this way.  God did not authorize it.  It came into existence because men wanted to do it, and do it when and how they wanted, rather than obeying God.  Note what God says about such men:

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.  Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?  And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:21-23).

Law is necessary, and we must obey it in order to have the hope of everlasting life!

Tell A Friend About This article!
(If you want a friend to read this article, fill out the form below, and he will be sent an email, with a link back to this page!)

    Your Name
     
    Your Email
     
    Your friend's email

Do you want to add a short message to the email?


  Confirmation email sent to you?