I originally posted this as a facebook note. God bless :)
The Law - Is it for Christians?
I've lived for 28 years. About 8 of those have been as a Christian. And about 7 and a half of those years have been as a pretty obnoxious Christian too. As a young Christian, I quickly became involved in a lot of outreach and things, even though I was afraid, but through the teachings of Ray Comfort (yep, I was into Comfort before he was cool), I figured if I wasn't doing something for God, well, He hadn't done something for me. I started off pretty strong, preaching the law to sinners and telling them to repent and so on and so forth. I thought I was pretty good you know. I gave out the good test, knowing full well I failed everytime, and that according to the WOTM standards, I was not a Christian by any means. Sins I still struggled with, fought, always got the better of me.
Anyway, like that quote says - the law breeds two things - defeat, or hypocrisy. Well, it first started to breed hypocrisy in me. I was constantly making demands of friends and family that I wasn't keeping myself. Demanding that they wear certain things, go to this or that church event, pray at this or that time, read a certain amount of the Bible. I figured that they weren't doing these things because they were "carnal" or even lost. So I became a total hypocrite.
Then, after a while, God showed me my hypocrisy. You see, all the time I was actually trying to be rid of my sins, to be a better person, I never actually knew how. For me, the law was everything. I thought "If I am truly saved, I will want to keep the law, God will make me keep his law". And I would fail at it everytime. There is a reason for this and Paul tells us:
Therefore 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
Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, [there is] no transgression. Romans 4:15
Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. Romans 5:20
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. Romans 6:14
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. Romans 7:5
But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin [was] dead. Romans 7:8
If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that [it is] good. Romans 7:16
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:
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.Romans 8:2-4
The sting of death [is] sin; and the strength of sin [is] the law. 1 Cor 15:56
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness [come] by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. Gal 2:21
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. Gal 3:10
[Is] the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. Gal 3:21
Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? Gal 4:21
For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Gal 5:3
That's a lot of verses. I skipped a few where Paul is specifically talking about the law of Christ, which is this: "For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself". Gal 5:14
The above verses are talking about the Law of God, the commandments written in stone, and recited by Moses to the congregation. It is not just the 10, but all 613. How do I know this? Galatians is a warning to the early Christians about not going back to the law, and freedom in Christ. It's main contention point is that of circumcision, which was not in the 10 commandments, but was one of the other commandments under the law of Moses.
To sum up, Paul says that the law
i) Give the knowledge of sin
ii) Works wrath
iii) Makes offences abound
iv) Puts us under the dominion or power of sin
v) Works in us to bring fruit unto death
vI) works in us all manner of concupiscence
vii) is a law of sin and death
viii) is the strength of sin
iix) puts men under a curse
ix) frustrates the grace of God
x) cannot give life
xi) makes men debtors to do the WHOLE law (not just what they think is good to do)
xii) Righteousness does not come by law
Wow.. what Christian would want to put themself under that? Dear Christian, when you read that, does it honestly sound like the law is a good thing for you to be under? It is the STRENGTH OF SIN! It works sin. It frustrates grace. It is a curse. It gives sin power over you. Do you seriously think that the law is even a good thing to try and live by? Because you don't obey it all. You don't obey all 613. You might be in a church that demands you obey maybe eleven out of 613. Maybe they even modernise a few (ie, Sunday is the Christian Sabbath).
What Christian or any person in their right mind, but Christian especially, would want to be under something that places them in a position whereby God's grace is frustrated and that sin has power over them?
But hold on.. I was always taught that if I had no law to guide me, I would just delve into sin. I wouldn't care about anything and I would just sin it up and hate God and whatever. When I was under law (unsaved), I did all those things. And as a Christian, when I was under the law, I still struggled with all those things. In fact, as a Christian, the Law only did what it promised to do... put me under a curse, bondage and sin.
Now, consider what Paul says about grace - These are all from Romans - Philemon, and it's really slow process to put in the references, but you can do a search.
But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
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:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
But not as the offence, so also [is] the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, [which is] by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
And God [is] able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all [things], may abound to every good work:
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness [come] by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
According to Paul,
i) We are justified through grace
ii) We stand by grace
iii) The grace of God and the gift of salvation abounds by grace
iv) Grace abound where sin is
v) Grace reigns through righteousness and eternal life
vi) Sin has no dominion over those under grace
vii) Christ became poor to make us rich (eternal life), through grace
viii) Grace in us abounds unto every good work
iix) God's grace is sufficient!
ix) God called us by grace
x) Righteousness comes by grace
xi) We are accepted in His Son by grace
xii) We have forgivness and redemption by grace
xiii) We are SAVED by grace
xiv) Grace teaches us to deny ungodliness!
So there it is.
Law = sin and death
Grace = righteousness and life
There is no "but" here. The Christian is not under a single one of the 10 commandments, or the greater 613. As soon as this is said, did your inner voice just cry out and say "but then I'll just sin and not care" or "you just want to sin and not care". Well, then you are not under grace, do not understand grace but are still under law. When you are under grace, THEN and ONLY then, will you not bother with sin. Then and only then will it not be a battle, or a fight, but a victory that God already won.
So, to the young man who said on my profile (I deleted the comment and won't reveal his name :) )
"The laws (not just ten commandments) are still good principles and guidlines to live by. At least the ones still in effect. It doesn't mean they will get you to heaven, but when you love God, you want to do his will and strive to be more like him each day. Just because we are 'freed from the law' doesn't mean we can be sinful to our hearts content, sitting on our salvation till the rapture."
you are confused about law and grace. There are no laws (of Moses) in effect for the Christian, and for those under law (unsaved and legalists working for salvation), ALL of them are in effect.
For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Gal 5:3
If you want to keep one, you keep them all.
Now, go back and read up those verses on law and grace and tell me what will stop the Christian from sinning? Will it be the law, which Paul says only breeds sin further and further, or will it be grace, which Paul says frees from sin.
Remember those sins I said I struggled with way back in the intro. Through grace, I have found freedom from them. I am still tempted to sin, but I don't even fight it anymore. I just accept I am a sinner, God is my Saviour, and He has freed me from it. Knowing that my old man is dead, and that I am dead to sin, I see that I don't have to sin, and I found freedom from those specific sins. That's not to say I don't sin, lest anyone think I am promoting sinless perfection. When I do not reckon myself dead to sin, then the law gets a hold of me, and I start to struggle and fail. But freedom is found when I see that I am not under the law, and that sin has no dominion over me.
In conclusion - the Law has no place in the Christians life. It only serves to bring him back under bondage and sin will have dominion over the Christian who lives by law (weakness of the flesh) as opposed to living in the spirit (and thus by grace).