31 July 2008

Wrapping Up – 2.5.08

Before wrapping up this study on the right and proper use of the law, let's summarize what we've learned to this point.

  • By definition, the law is that body of commandments which constitute an amendment to the covenant God made to Abraham given for the purpose of governing the life of the Israelite nation in the land of promise.
  • The NT says that the law is a good thing because it points to Jesus Christ by (1) convincing man of his guilt and need of a Savior, and (2) by way of typology (Passover lamb, Day of Atonement, cleansing of the leper, etc.)
  • God never intended for any man to be saved by keeping the law…because He wants all men to be saved, and no man can do it.
  • However, the NT Christian is subject to certain commandments from God (including the 10 given on Mt. Sinai) and is enabled and empowered by the Holy Spirit to carry them out.
  • The most powerful motivation for adherence to God's commandments is love – love for God and love for others.

In concluding this study, I would like to answer a question that you may or may not be asking.

Based on the above facts, we have stated that the law is a necessary and effective tool in witnessing. However, we have also taken note that the law was only given to the Hebrew people. The question is this: how and why am I to use the law in witnessing to a Gentile, when technically that man is not subject to the law?

I believe the answer is given in Romans 2:11-16:

For there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

According to Romans 1 and 2, every man is given a basic understanding not only of the existence of God, but of our accountability to Him. God puts in every man's conscience a basic understanding that there is right and there is wrong. If you'll read verses 1-3 of Romans 2, you'll find that this truth is proven by the fact that a man can recognize when another man has done him wrong.

Though God has only given "the law" to a select group of people, He has written some form of "the law" in the heart of every living and breathing human being. All men must be convinced that they are guilty before God (Romans 3:19). The law is the tool that God has given us to that end. For there is no difference: For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:22-23).

Hope this all makes sense. Hope something we've studied has been a blessing. Pray we'll not only learn this truth, but put it into practice.

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