What is the Purpose of the Law?

This is Joshua, a student at Bethel Supernatural School of Ministry in Redding, CA

                    We are saved by grace through faith, right?

“For Christ is the end of the law, that every one who has faith may be justified.” (Romans 10:4  RSV)

So then, what purpose does the law have?

What do you make of this young man’s attempt at teaching us about what Jesus would do…or did?


*There is no relationship between this video ‘Way of the Master’  and  Lutheran Church of the Master, Corona del Mar, CA

127 Responses

  1. This kid was so incoherent, that I never got what he was trying to say. I am unsure if this guy thinks that the “Jesus video” is the Bible or what. And I don’t know what he is trying to communicate. Even the video editing was jerky and not very good.
    But putting all of that aside. The law has a clear function. For those who know the law, “19Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.” (Romans 3:19-20)
    And for those who are not aware of the law, “for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. ” (Romans 5:13)
    It is the verification that God is right from Romans 3:4.
    It points us to Christ and who He is. That is why He is said to fulfill the law. Where we missed the mark and fell short of the law, Christ instead hit the target in the bullseye.

  2. What purpose does the law have? Law has no purpose in a believer’s life…

  3. That pesky LAW…just what DO we do with it? Aren’t we under grace? Just what’s it’s purpose anyway? Should we be teaching it to our children? What IS it’s proper use?
    1 Timothy 1:8 (NIV)
    8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly.

    1 Timothy 1:9-11 (NIV)
    9 We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers

    —and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

    Hmmm, so the law IS “good” so we’ll know what “bad” IS! So, do you know what Good IS?…Do you know what Bad IS?

    Discerning between true good and true evil is simply beyond the mental capacity of man because we are NOT omniscient. Left to his own intellect, without the guidance of the Living Word of God and the Indwelling Holy Spirit, who is the Author of that Word, man would consistently choose death. Our Heavenly Father, who loves us has given us the standard for choosing life in His Living Word and then calls from His Father’s Heart…Choose Life!

  4. This second question is a bit more difficult…Jesus did point out her sin….just between the two of them…He told her who He was…told her what to do…She almost did it…In the pursuit of the natural, she looked away from her sin; no repentance, no belief…no belief, no repentance…He did use her to bring others who became believers and possibly she did as well later…I agree with Joshua, Jesus doesn’t do things our way…He planted the seed and then let it be…Hmmm…infant baptism?

  5. Nancy- Excellent explanation.

  6. I’ll be honest…….I could not listen to the who thing.

    The air of arrogance from his “exegesis” was too much for me to handle.

    But I’ll answer your question using Scripture –

    What is the purpose of the Law?

    Galatians 3:23-25

    But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

    Plain and simple!

    I can’t remember who said this so I hope I don’t butcher it up too bad…..The Law can only bring us to the foot of the blood stained cross..and no further.

    Hope that makes sense.

  7. WayneDawg,

    Well said! yes, it’s that plain and simple!

  8. So the law is gone?

    We Christians can ignore the law?

  9. WD

    Yep, that’s what it is for…to show us we need Jesus!

    It was pretty hard to listen to Joshua all the way through…Sometimes, it’s not so much what someone is saying, as their delivery….The evil Mr. D (Satan) is great a using our lack of attentiveness to set us one against another…*: (

  10. Steve – Why do you need law?

  11. It was very hard to listen to him.

    I found his pseudo ‘gangsta rap’ delivery extremely annoying, to say the least.

    The Law.
    But didn’t Jesus say that not one jot or tittle of the law will be taken away until the Kingdom comes?

    As creartures of God are we not responsible for keeping the law? But as children of God we are not?

    The law is still in effect…is it not?

  12. Bino,

    If God gave the law, and if it is still in place, as Jesus said, there must be a good reason.

    How about looking at it like a fence that God has set up for us, to protect us and our neighbors from harming ourselves and others.

    And to the extent that we can keep the law…we have a much better life and do not hurt each other.

  13. Steve,

    God gave law to those who are under the law. We needed law to see our condition (sinful) and it lead us to Christ. Once you are in Christ, you are lead by Him, not by the law.

    Law is still in place, but not for us but for unbelievers.

    If law can keep us safe and God wanted us to be under the law, what is the significance of Christ dwelling in us?

  14. Bino,

    Good question, Bino.

    St. Pauls tells us that we ought keep the law.

    We still sin, and when we do, we pay the price for that sin in the here and now. We will not pay a price in the next life for we are forgiven our sins.

    But we also want to be a light to the neighbor and not have our sin cause them to stumble. St. Paul says that the strong should bear with the failings of the weak.
    Another reason for us to keep the law to the best of our ability.

    So, while we are no longer under the condemnation of the law, we as believers have a responsibility to still keep that law. Lest we once again become slaves to sin.

    With freedom, comes responsibility.

    Does that sound right?

  15. Steve – Apostle Paul asked to keep law to the ‘best of our ability’?

    Honestly, can you keep the law?

  16. Bino,

    No more than you, but that does not mean that I shouldn’t try.

    We should endeavor to keep the law at all times…and when we fail…we have an advocate.

  17. But James says,

    ‘For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.’ (James 2:10)

    So unless you/I can keep the ENTIRE law, let’s not even try it…

  18. You don’t try and live within the rules? Do you just drive as fast as you want? Do you not pay your taxes?

  19. Steve – Let’s stick the law of God…

  20. One of the reasons that we try and keep the law, aside that it is a benefit to ourselves and our neighbors, is that when we fail we are keenly aware of it (at least a lot of the time) and we are once again driven to the foot of the cross.

    So our doing our best also helps keep our repentance and forgiveness going in an active relationship to God…instead of the one time, I was forgiven way back when type of attitude.

  21. The laws of government are ordained by God.

  22. When you drive over the speed limit…you are sinning against God (believe it or not).

  23. Steve – But Apostle Paul says,

    All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” – Galatians 3:10

    I don’t want to be under a curse!

  24. The curse has been taken away by Jesus. There is no condemnation for those who live by faith.

    You are correct on that score. Absolutely!

    But, out of gratefulness to God, and out of love for the neighbor, we WANT to keep the law.

  25. We need the principles of the law…not to be saved…it can’t do that! Proper use of the law is to, like TOA said…keep us in bounds…If we were not to make use of it…we would live in chaos, even the natural man without Christ knows that.

    While it is true that we must heed the Indwelling Holy Spirit and His guidance…Without the Living Word of God, both OT and NT confusion would reign The written word of God includes the law…His Word is eternal…even if heaven and earth were to dissolve before your eyes…His Word would still remain..

  26. I wouldn’t call it ‘keeping law’ (because I know that I can’t keep law). So I would call it ‘walking by Spirit’… The new heart God created in you rejoices in righteousness (not because there is a written code) but because your very nature is righteous.

    I haven’t seen a person living out of their identity in Christ, harming their neighbor. the nature of Jesus is love, so as He love in and through us, the natural outcome is love…

  27. Nancy,

    Unfortunately, Bible says:

    All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” – Galatians 3:10

  28. Bino,

    Jesus Himself says the law must not be abrogated.

    The law is in place and the gospel is in place.

    Law/Gospel Repentance and forgiveness Death and Life

    The next time you get pulled over, try telling the policeman that you were walking in the Spirit, and see how far that gets you.

  29. Nancy,

    I think you are spot on, here.

  30. Steve – Again, we are talking only about God’s Law, not traffic rules…

    Jesus said, the law is there till the end because law is what causes an UNbeliever to see his/her need for Jesus… So in that sense, it’s good. But law was NEVER meant for believers.

    by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. – Romans 7:6

  31. Bino,

    Can you, as a Christian, do anything you want?

    YES! You can.

    St. Paul tells us that all things are lawful.

    But he then goes on to say that all things are not expedient.

    You are free! But in your freedom, don’t you want to live within the limits that God has given you?

  32. Bino,

    Read Romans 13:2

    Traffic laws are God’s laws..and I was just using them to make a point.

  33. Steve – I did not say, we can indulge in sin as much as we want. I am saying we are free from the law. It’s not my opinion, I am quoting Scriptures…

  34. Bino,

    The point is that when we violate God’s law we pay a price ourselves and we harm others.

    So would we not want to keep God’s laws…even though we DON’T HAVE TO ?

  35. We are free from the law, and yet we keep it.

  36. Steve- If you don’t obey traffic rules, you get ticket. You are entitled to obey the rules of the government (and that’s all the verse is saying). But why are you mixing it with obeying the law of God, when it is a mere fact that you can’t…

  37. What do you think I am quoting…the phone book? 😀

  38. Not entitled…but obligated.

    And with God it is just as much a sin (for righteousness sake) as if you murdered someone.

    I’m not mixing anything. That’s what I’m trying to help you realize is that they are one and the same.

  39. Steve – 🙂 I just gave you my answer for the scripture you quoted…

  40. We are obligated?

    by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. – Romans 7:6


  41. Yes we are obligated to drive the speed limit and obligated to pay the fine when we are caught.

    Try quoting Romans 7 to the officer when you get pulled over.

    Try as you might, Bino, you can’t escape God’s law here on earth.

    For righteousness sake you are free from it. But for the sake of yourself and your neighbor here on earth, you are under it.

    A paradox…no?

  42. I am under it?

    No… I am not!

    you also died to the law through the body of Christ – Romans 7:4

    I died to the law.

  43. Steve – What you think of ’10 commandments’?

  44. Prove it to yourself.

    Spend all day today running red lights.

    Seperate the two, Bino. God’s laws for righteousness sake…and God’s law intended for our own good and safety.

    They are the same…yet different.

    It ‘s just digging a little deeper into the understanding of the Christian faith.

  45. Christ fulfilled the Law, every jot and ti tel. He lived the Law, He was the Law. The Law was nailed to the Cross. The law is dead. Yeshua arose but not the Law. Jesus explained the Law, Love God, Love your neighbor. Christians end up following the law out of love, not fear of divine retribution. With Christ as your Lord and Savior letting Him down, or being separated from Him is enough to bring us to repentance. There is now no more powerful motivator to our behavior than love. Any other way to look at it becomes legalism.
    STEVE,”The laws of government are ordained by God.”
    You are taking ” Render unto Caesar” way to far, look up “pol pot ” or Hitler or something. God ordains Governments to rule, and some are really really bad. What it means is all are subject to God. Some will have a lot to answer for. That comment scares me!

  46. The 10 Commandments?

    Terrific! I thought Heston was awesome as Moses! 😀

  47. I don’t have to prove it my friend! Bible says, I believe! 🙂

    Again, What you think of ‘10 commandments’?

  48. God’s law.

    Meant for our protection (to restrain evil) and to accuse us (convict us)..and drive us to Christ.

  49. Steve –

    the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone – 2 Cor 3:7

    What was engraved on stone? 10 commandments!

    And Bible says, 10 commandments was a ministry which brought DEATH!

    Do you believe this?

  50. Got to go for a lunch meeting… until then bye.

  51. Willohroots,

    Do you not take Romans 13:2 seriously?

    Was Paul off base?

    When governments laws are not in oppostition to God’s laws…they are God’s laws.

    Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao…did many things in opposition to God’s law.

    But Hitler’s law to go stop at stop signs or pay X amount of taxes was a legitimate extension of God’s law and was to be taken seriously…even by Christians…especially by Christians!!

  52. Bino,

    Have a good meeting. Thanks for a great duscussion!


  53. This is exactly where I was hoping this discussion would go (in spite of the goofy video clip I posted).

  54. Bino makes a good point.

    The law which was carved on tablets of stone brings death.

    It’s perfect demand can never be fulfilled by sinful man.

    The wages of sin is death. So the 10 Commandments is (as St. paul tells us)” the ministry of death.”

    That is FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS SAKE. (point 1)

    For the sake of NOT HAVING CHAOS REIGN (Nancy’s point) God has given us the law that we might live and uphold our neighbor and his/her welfare to the best of our ability. (point 2)

    Do we have to do the law for point #1’s sake? NO…we are agreed.

    Do we have to do the law for point #2’s sake? NO… we don’t have to do anything…but do we not want to???

    Isn’t St. Paul exhorting us to keep the law for the sake of others? Knowing full well that it is not for our salvation that we do it?

  55. You know Bino, you are in fact living by the law…even if you are using other words to describe it. For God promised with the Holy Spirit to write His laws in our heart…He(the Holy Spirit) will and was to point us to all truth. If and this IF is indeed a large one…we teach ourselves by reason of use to listen to the Holy Spirit. we don’t have to continue to revert to the “play book”. But God, knew that all of us would not follow as closely as we ought, and that there would be many who would engage in deceit… purposely or unintentionally. The law…in the natural… also know such and so requires for the most part written contracts as proof of agreement…When Jesus returns, and we are then like Him and we all see eye-to-eye…this written agreement will no longer be necessary.

  56. I thought I would interject this into the discussion. The Bible makes clear that the Law of God is perfect and hasn’t disappeared, so the question always comes to what “law” is a Christian obligated to and what ones are ok to ignore. I did this when preaching on Romans 13 ironically.
    1. Love is the summation of God’s Law – v. 9-10 (Matthew 22:34-40)
    2. A simple checklist for OT laws
    1. Is it required to show love to God that I obey _____?
    2. Is it required to show love to my fellow man to obey ______?
    3. If the answer to either is yes, then I must obey it. If the answer to both is no, then Christ’s sacrifice has taken care of it.
    This is why we limit our freedom (and keep a law that otherwise doesn’t limit us) when it would cause a brother to stumble for instance. We do it because it would violate our command to love them.

  57. What consideration did Paul bring forward as the basis or motivation for making such a total commitment? He did not appeal to a sense of “duty” but to the mercy of God (“in view of God’s mercy”). He asked for a response based not on obligation but on heartfelt gratitude.

    Now, the fact is we do have a duty and obligation to God. He is the Sovereign Ruler of this world, and in that capacity, He has “laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed” (Psalm 119:4). But He motivates us to obedience, not on the basis of His sovereign rule, but on the basis of His mercy to us in Jesus Christ.

    Martin Luther wrote on Romans 12:1, “A lawdriver insists with threats and penalties; a preacher of grace lures and incites with divine goodness and compassion shown to us; for he wants no unwilling works nd reluctant services, he wants joyful and delightful services of God.”

    Submission to the lordship of Jesus Christ should be in response to the love and mercy of God. In view of God’s mercy, Paul urged the Roman believers to offer their bodies as living sacrifices. We must respond with a similar motivation to His lordship in our lives today!

    God searches the heart and understands every motive. To be acceptible to Him, our motives must spring from a love for Him and a desire to glorify Him. Obedience to God performed from a legalistic motive-that is, a fear of the consequences or to gain favor with God-is not pleasing to God. Abraham Booth (1734-1806), an English pastor and author, wrote, “To continue a work truly good, it must be done from a right principle, performed by a right rule, and intended for a right end.”

    Mr. Booth defined a right principle as the love of God, that is, our love for God. He defined the right rule as God’s revealed will as contained in Scripture. The right end-or as we would say today, the right goal-is the glory of God.

  58. Jeff,

    I answered both your questions ‘No’.

    I did so because nothing is “required” from our side of the equation for God to love and forgive us.

    I like what you said about us limiting our own freedom that we would not cause a brother to stumble. We would also not want to cause an unbeliever to stumble over our sin and relfect badly upon our Lord.

    God’s command to love our neighbor is also law.

    Do we obey Him out of fear of the law or out of love for Him and inspiration of the Spirit?

    Anything done apart from the Spirit is sin.

    We don’t have to worry about the scorecard. “It is finished”, means “It is Finished.”

    But the Law is still in place (thanks again Nancy) untill Jesus comes back and takes away the need for it.

    Thanks Jeff!

  59. Ok. I am back 🙂 The lunch was great.


    Steve – I was thinking about you talking the government law…

    Here is a question for you,

    If it was lawful (in America) to engage in Polygamy, would you do it?

  60. Ike,

    I like that Martin Luther quote, Ike:

    “A lawdriver insists with threats and penalties; a preacher of grace lures and incites with divine goodness and compassion shown to us; for he wants no unwilling works nd reluctant services, he wants joyful and delightful services of God.”

    And the quote from Abraham Booth was also instructive.

    I have never met a pure motive yet. (I borrow that one from my pastor)

    That poison which is sin, has tainted the whole galss of water. There is now no part of it which is fir to drink. No part of it is acceptable to God, aside that which is the holy Spirit at work in us.

    There was a n old Lutheran pastor, at the time of the Reformation, who said on his deathbed that “he had never in his life done a good work.”

    We know that this is true, since “all our righteous deeds are as filthy rags.”

    So, as you rightly say, Ike, “…He motivates us to obedience, not on the basis of His sovereign rule, but on the basis of His mercy to us in Jesus Christ.”

    The law demands good works…the Holy Spirit inspires them.

    Thanks, Ike!

  61. If you love me you will keep my commandments.John15:1

  62. Bino,

    Glad you had a good lunch!

    I wouldn’t engage in anything that was against God’s law or morally wrong…even if it was legal by decree of government.

    Audultery is legal. But I don’t engage in that practice.

  63. Nancy – You are coming to almost to the point I wanted to get to (little later). But since you brought it up the issue of new heart:

    We have a new heart (heart of flesh) where the laws are written. So in that case, do we need a written code to follow? or should we just follow our good heart?

    When God says I am holy because of my standing in Jesus, it motivates me to live a righteous life… What is motivating me? The love of God, not the law…

  64. James,

    You had to throw that one in!

    Good one! 😀

  65. Steve 🙂 now you seems to get the point that government laws are not same as God’s laws…

  66. There are two purposes of the law.

    Civil righteousness.

    And the theological use…to accuse and condemn.

    We cannot escape either one.

  67. Hey Bino……sound to me like you are commenting on company time!!!! Just joking buddy!!

  68. Jesus has freed us from both. But they are still in effect.

  69. Steve – Do you think, if you are driven by the Spirit of God, you would speed in a school zone and possibly put the lives of kids into danger?

  70. Ike – I am a freelancer, buddy! 🙂

  71. Bino,

    Govt. laws are God’s laws when they do not contradict God’s laws.

    Most govt. laws are for our good or the common good and therefore we have a duty to obey them.

  72. Steve – You didn’t answer my previous question?

  73. Bino,

    I regularly break the law and go over the speed limit.

    You? Never?

    No love of God in your heart?

  74. if you are lead by the Spirit of God, would you speed in a school zone and possibly put the lives of kids into danger?

  75. So it looks like the fact that law is there is NOT helping you to obey it?

  76. Sure it helps, otherwise I would break it all the time and by a lot worse than I break it now.

    The point is that it is there and we are to obey it , whether we do or not.

  77. You answer my question now.

  78. Do you EVER go over the speed limit…if so…does that mean you do not have Jesus, or the Spirit in you?

  79. I’ll beat you to the punch. Of course it doesn’t mean that!

    It just means that you are a sinner!

  80. It does not mean that I have no Spirit living in me, but it does mean that I am not walking by that Spirit at that moment (remember, I still have the potential to walk by the flesh)

  81. Steve,
    I think you misunderstood what I was saying, which means I probably worded it badly. Maybe by using the word required. I am not saying that obeying the law earns us anything. I am saying that obeying the law demonstrates (shows) love. If obeying a law doesn’t demonstrate love for either God or neighbor, why would we do it at all? If on the other hand obeying a law or command shows love to either God or man or even both, then we should do it by all means in love.

  82. OK…so we are sinners and often do not want to walk by the Spirit (otherwise we would)…so that is why we need the law…because we are sinners.

    That is why God gives us the law, to protect us from our flesh and the flesh of others.

    That is why we try and keep it (even though it is not necessary for our salvation).

  83. Jeff,

    “If obeying a law doesn’t demonstrate love for either God or neighbor, why would we do it at all?”

    To avoid punishment.

    We should always remember that our motives are not pure, because that ‘old Adam’ still lives!

    That little %$##&@!!

  84. so that is why we need the law…because we are sinners.

    There is a big problem, Steve!

    I will tell you.

    Do you know what the problem of law is?

    Here it is:


    the law gives sin its power. – 1 Cor. 15:56

    Law empowers me to sin, my friend. That is the problem. That is why, when you are free from the law, you sin less.

    How cool is that?

  85. “That is why, when you are free from the law, you sin less.

    How cool is that?”

    How much less? Are you sure?

    If you are totallt free from the law, then you should not sin at all.

  86. Don’t misread what I said. I said we sin less when we are free from the law… I didn’t say we don’t sin at all…


    the law gives sin its power. – 1 Cor. 15:56

  87. A Law/Gospel paradigm keeps the believer grounded in reality.

    Keeps him in a relationship of repentance and forgiveness.

    That’s a good thing, for then the relationship isn’t static.

  88. The longer that I am in Christ, the more I see what a sinner I really am.

    Sin is not something that we step into and out of…it is our condition.

    To have the law kept in front of you, in life and in preaching, helps us to understand that we are in bondage to sin and that we do not want to be freed from it. If we really wanted to stop sinning we would…but we don’t.

  89. If we really wanted to stop sinning we would…but we don’t.

    A very true statement.

    That is exactly why Jesus had to die in order to take away our sins. If the law helped us to live a holy life, Jesus wouldn’t have died because law was already there.

    He died. Took AWAY our sins from the sight of God, never to see them again.

    And thus, He freed us from the law.

    Good news of Gospel is amazing, isn’t it?

  90. And lastly, Steve,

    One more amazing truth:

    For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age – Titus 2:11-12

    So, what is teaching us to say ‘No’ to unrighteousness?


    NOT Law…

  91. That is the Good News, and that is the hope that we have (the sure hope), but the fruition of the promise is not yet. The Kingdom is not here yet.

    We must still live, in the earth. We are IN it still. Not OF it…but yet still in it.

    And that being true, we must get along the best we can and a large part of that is obeying the rules of society anf government and keeping the Commandments as best we can.

    Not as a fullfillment of the law…Jesus has done that…but as a way to engage our humanity in the world which God has given us…to be good stewards…to be good citizens.

  92. …to be good stewards…to be good citizens.

    Of course!!! And how do we do that?

    For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age – Titus 2:11-12

  93. Bino,

    My turn to split…for awhile.

    Thanks for a great discussion!

    I’ll be back.

    I’m sure there are others with some more good thoughts on the subject.

    Ciao…for now.

    – Steve

  94. Thanks, brother! Enjoyed it!

  95. Many Christians fail to understand the function of the Law because they view it through the eyes of the Pharasee and Judaiser rather than the Psalmist. As a consewuence, they miss the graciousness of the law. The New Testament polemic against the law has in mind the hard, unloving, insensitive outlook of the legalist, not the law itself. The Psalmist, on the otherhand, captures the outlook of the godly as he enthusiatically exclaims,

    “O how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day (Ps.119:97).

    This is to be our perspective. Listen to him delight in the commandments:

    “They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold” (Ps. 19:10).

    It is customary in many Reformed churches to read the Ten Commandments each Sunday in worship. Why is this done? Because ‘through the law comes the knowlege of sin’ (Rom. 3:20). Why is it important to be aware of our sin? The conviction of sin leads us to Christ to save us from our sin. It is a tutor, or schoolmaster, that leads us to Christ (Gal. 3:24). But that’s not the end of the story. Having come to Christ, He sends is back to the law again to show us our duty. Thus, in Calvin’s Geneva, they read the law after they had confessed their sins, driving home the point that the law was given primarily to guide us in our Christian walk.

  96. “The longer that I am in Christ, the more I see what a sinner I really am.
    Sin is not something that we step into and out of…it is our condition”.


    God justifies (saves) the UNGODLY – that certainly sums us up.
    Whilst we were YET SINNERS, Christ died for us.

    The ‘us’ or ‘me’ in the redemptive equation is always in the negative field – drowning because of who and what I am. The ONLY thing that changes that is God’s rescue in the redemptive work of His Son. I CANNOT add ANYTHING to that side of the equation whatsoever – sin totally KILLS me from doing so – and the only thing you can do with a corpse, is bury it!
    In HIM alone is the life, and that makes us FREE, to now begin to taste the first-fruits of our adoption – LIFE!
    Full Redemption is coming – that’s all taken care of – now we need to LIVE in the wonder of His mercy, His imputed RIGHTEOUSNESS. That truly is AMAZING Grace.

  97. i would never go to the church where this kid is pastor and i dont follow the law.

  98. Bino

    I’m on board for grace that’s for sure…but how do I know that your grace scale and my grace scale aren’t at odds?
    What defines our common grace? Anything better than “bad” is good….anything worse than good is “bad” Where are we on this scale? It is certainly a relief to me to be able to look into the Word of God to find there written what the Holy Spirit has placed in my heart….By this…the book…I can see if I’m out of bounds and where I need adjustment.

    If we have such a problem coming to agreement while holding on to God’s laws/commandment when they are written in a book…I certainly would feel quite unsure if I didn’t have the Living Word and the Holy Spirit…The Holy Spirit never works on His own, but always with the Word.

  99. Nancy,

    how do I know that your grace scale and my grace scale aren’t at odds?

    The thing is, there is no scale in grace. Grace is grace. Period.
    You are out in the equation of grace… You only put faith in what Jesus has already accomplished…

    You use Bible to see God’s love, You don’t use Bible to find rules, regulations and laws. Pharisees did just that and Jesus had to rebuke them:

    You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, 40yet you refuse to come to me to have life. – John 5

    There is no LIFE in Scriptures. Life comes from Jesus and Scriptures only point to Him as the source of LIFE.

  100. The spiritual life in Jesus, is very powerful. If you don’t have that then you have no other option but to try your best to keep the ten commandments. Either be a good Jew, or a born again, Spirit filled, mover and shaker.

  101. I am really glad Bino and Jeffurry are here! While Steve is gone, let’s straighten this out.
    Steve, The old Adam was to go to the Cross with Christ. We are to mortify the flesh. I know it creeps back in , but we are to kill it daily in prayer. The old skin just can’t hold new wine. The seed must die before the plant can spring forth. You must be reborn, of water and of blood.
    I think we need to hold an old school tent revival , toss some sawdust on the floor [any body know why?] preach the Word , sing the old songs, and get Steve dunked! …sorry my Baptist flared up..
    We are to be Davids in the world, singing “I love your law” but we are held to a different higher standard. Now even contemplating breaking a law is against our law. Steve, you just can’t write that kind of obedience down, it is a heart thing. the old flint heart is gone, a new heart loving God and suitable to be His tabernacle is within us! How much higher is that than cold stone tablets and walls of stone.

  102. And back to the original post;
    what kind of school is this kid in?
    I hope he is a first sem. frosh
    Jesus pointed out sin Constantly!!!
    Writing in the sand, “Woe to you Pharisees!”
    “Do you not know, have you not read?”
    “Ye sift out gnats.. You tithe dill and cummen”
    knotting a scourge, that is all He did!
    Why does this kid think they wanted to kill Him?
    nobody likes to deal with sin anymore.
    Jesus pointed out my sin. Praise the Lord.

  103. “We are to be Davids in the world, singing “I love your law”

    We can sing along with those psalms (on saw dust tent floor if that makes you happy), but we’ll still be the ones who think its OK to do our version of the Ox Cart scenario as and when it suits us (and be angry at God when we don’t get our way), or maybe fall foul of our desire to just get lethargic when there’s more important things to do – and that could lead to all manner of actions that ‘righteous’ people just don’t do.
    David was a child of God (as were all those listed in the hall of faith), but scripture makes it plain what these men were in themselves, whatever came from their lips. The ONLY thing that made ALL the difference was the unmerited grace and mercy of God (the Law just confirmed that they were indeed, condemned by their own sin). We can pray as David did in Psalm 51, and receive mercy, because GOD broke down the wall of partition between us and RECONCILED us to HIMSELF. Are we getting this? It is Gods work which saves us, Gods work which will resurrect us, Gods work which will bring about the day which is coming, and God’s work that allows us to walk, by faith, each day we’re here. Where the Spirit of the Lord is at work, there IS Liberty, because that work ALONE enables us to look to the FINISHED work of Jesus Christ, and trust SOLELY in that!

    We can mess around with the saw dust (or Ox carts) all we like, but He requires us to eat and drink of Him.

  104. Eric,

    Is there a difference between keeping the law (keeping the Commandments) for righteousness sake, and keeping them (or trying to) out of love for the neighbor?

    Thanks, Eric.

    – Steve

  105. Willohroots,

    Get me dunked, huh? 😀 I did work the dunk tank at a carnival once…does that count?

    I’ll ask you the same question as Eric, is there a difference between trying to keep the law for the sake of the neighbor as oppossed to trying to keep it to justify oneself?

    Thanks, Willohroots.

  106. Graceshaker,

    Do you follow any law at all?

    I wouldn’t go to a donut shop where this kid was making the donuts!

  107. Willo…you lost me with the sawdust…I think i’m old enough to get it…I just don’t…

  108. Ike,

    The flip side of the demand of the law, is the promise.

    That which God intends for us and our neighbors.

    As you say, we love the law, for it points out our alck of righteousness and our need of a Savior.

    We Lutherans use the law (it really uses us) , a bit differently than Calvinists.

    It is used for civil righteousness and it is used to kill (us). The Law/Gospel paradigm in preaching.

    While there may be Lutherans and others would subscribe to the Law/Gospel/Law paradigm…we believe that is a formula leads, or could lead, to legalism and a lack of Christian freedom.

    Very good points, Ike!

    – Steve

  109. Howard,

    I always love it how you bring us back to the sacraments. Eating and drinking of HIm!

    That always takes the baton out of our hands and places it where it belongs…in His and His alone.

    Thanks, Howard.

  110. Nancy, old Southern Baptist thing, Sawdust on the ground in the tent.
    TOA, big, huge, honking , difference in keeping the Law for the sake of a neighbor and keeping the Law to Justify yourself…self justification is impossible.

    Working the dunk tank is as close to being baptized as dumping beer all over yourself at the bar and saying, “Jesus!”. You are wet, you said the right name, but………

  111. Willohroots,

    I think you are right!

    Thanks be to God that my parents brought me to the font before I could even remember, so I don’t have to worry about it. 😀

    Thanks, Willohroots!

  112. and Howard, Amen! I love what you are saying, what do you think of the “even higher standards than the written Law”? Just wondren’

  113. no. i dont follow any law. not a single one.

  114. Graceshaker,

    “no. i dont follow any law. not a single one.”

    Let me know when you’re going to be on the road.

  115. “even higher standards than the written Law”?

    There is only one standard that true righteousness is measured by –
    the person of Jesus Christ,
    and by grace alone, I have been clothed with HIS righteousness,
    so that the highest standard is met, not by me,
    but in HIS life, His nature and His unmerited gift.

    What more is needed?
    By that same precious gift, we are able to trust in all He is and all He has done, that God may be both just and the justifier of the one who has received this faith in His redeeming Son.

    He has set us free indeed!
    Nothing can sever us from such love if we stand fast in this freedom – the task now is to live in a manner which can allow the fragrance of this wonder to savor our days here, that we express to all creation the marvel of His astounding work.

  116. Yeh, Howard, exactly.

  117. “Let me know when you’re going to be on the road.”

    why? do you think that not following the law and breaking it are equivalent?

  118. That’s an interesting question.

    I do know that a lot of people do not follow God’s law and yet every single one of them breaks it.

    As do all that think they follow it.

    I have never met one person that has ever gotten past the 1st Commandment.

    If that makes any sense to you.

  119. Steve – Why are you still hanging on to the law when the Bible says,

    Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. – Gal 3:25


    What is supervising you?

  120. Bino,

    The law is still in place.

    Jesus said that not one jot or tittle shall be removed until the new Kingdom is brought about.

    For righteousness sake, we need no law. But, as St. paul tells us, we still obey the law…not because we have to, but because we are good stewards.

    Do you not want to be a good steward?

  121. St. paul tells us, we still obey the law.

    Are you sure?

    My above quote was from Paul:

    Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. – Gal 3:25

  122. Bino,

    I think what is missing here, and because of it we are like twi ships passing in the night, is the same understanding of the purposes of the law.

    You are speaking to only one purpose (the theoogical use) and I have been concentrating on the civil use, and also touching upon the theological use.

    We Christians keep the law, not out of necessity, but out of desire to help our neighbor and not be a stumbling block to them, and for our own well being.

    In that effort to do what is right, we find that we aren’t as good at it as the law (God’s law of perfection) demands. And that is where we are convicted and killed that we might repent and be forgiven.

    If we jettison the law altogether, there is no conviction of sin, no need for forgiveness, and no dynamic relationship. It becomes static and dead.

    I’m not asking you at this point to agree with me, I just want you to understand why I believe what I believe.

    – Steve

  123. Steve – Ok. You are bringing up the ‘civil use’ of the law again.

    Even in that case, it is NOT law what motivates me to be a good citizen.

    Law only stirs up sin.

    the law gives sin its power. – 1 Cor. 15:56

    For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It (GRACE) teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age – Titus 2:11-12

    It is the grace (not law) what teaches me to say ‘No’ to ungodly living…

    Law can ONLY stir up sin… Again, my question is why you want to hold on to something which stirs up sin in you?

  124. Bino,

    Do you not have any rules in your home?

    Your church?

    If you went to a Christian college, would you not expect to find rules?

  125. Yes, there are rules in churches and colleges, that is one I don’t I do not attend either of them 🙂

    Now, at home, there are rules for little kids, not for grown ups.

    As long as you are under the law, you won’t grow.

    You need meat, just not the milk. (milk is for kiddies)

    Law stirs up sin in me, grace teaches me to say ‘No’ to ungodliness. I embrace grace! Which one you choose?

  126. Well, For righteousness sake I choose grace.

    For the sake of getting along in a society made up of laws…I choose to keep the law.

    I find life works much easier that way. 😀

  127. Steve – I wasn’t talking about using grace for only righteousness sake, I was talking about using grace in practical life – Grace teaches me to say no to unrighteousness. It teaches me to live a self-controlled life. It encourages me to live an upright godly life…

    Law strengthens sin in me. So I dump law, embrace grace!

    If you still don’t belive this, I will suggest an exercise.

    If you have fence around your home, put hole in it and next to the hole write ‘do not look through this hole‘. I bet people will peak through it in every chance they get.

    If you put a hole and don’t write anything next to it, no one cares.

    That is why Apostle Paul said, when law said ‘do not covet’, sin sized the opportunity and ‘produced in me every kind of covetous desire.‘ – Romans 7:7

    Was that a problem of the law? No. Problem is that there is sin in us and law stir it up…

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