20 Feb Understanding The Law Of God
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Pastor Vincent - 19 February 2023
Understanding The Law Of God
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- “…I delight in your law” <Ps 119:70>
- Be careful to obey all the Law my servant Moses gave you <Jos 1:7>.
- The Lord Jesus said: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets” <Mt 5:17>.
- Paul said: <Gal 2:21>: “…if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
Biblical expression of “The Law” refers to:
1) 10 Commandments
2) Mosaic Law (First 5 books of the Bible)
3) Instructive commandments given in the Old Testament
- Taken together, it consists of [Dietary laws, Ceremonial laws, Moral laws].
- Dietary and Ceremonial laws are replaced by Christ, but moral laws are still binding for Christians today (10 commandments are strictly moral laws in nature).
- Yet observing these laws and commandments don’t get us saved.
- <Ro 6:14>: “We are not under the law, but under grace.
Read <1 Ti 1:8-11>
8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9 We also know that the 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 the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.
“Threefold Use of the Law” by John Calvin:
1) The Law to be a mirror.
* Reflects perfect righteousness of God.
* Also reflects our fallenness and unrighteousness.
* <Ro 3:19-20>: 19 Now 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. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
* In this sense, the law brought the sinner to repentance.
* Yet, it also creates another conflict to the believer in their weakness against sin.
* <Ro 7:15-18>: 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.
* In reality, vestigial sins affect us as Christians.
* In this sense, the law is help us (Christians) implore the help of grace.
* St Augustine, “The law orders, that we, after attempting to do what is ordered, and so feeling our weakness under the law, may learn to implore the help of grace.”
* RC Sproul, “the law acts as a severe schoolmaster who drives us to Christ”.
* <Heb 4:16>: “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need”.
2) The Law to restrain evil
* The cannot change human hearts. But it can serve to protect the righteous from the unjust.
* John Calvin, “(The Law restrains evil) by means of its fearful denunciations and the consequent dread of punishment, to curb those who, unless forced, have no regard for rectitude and justice.”
* The Law provides a limited measure of justice till the final judgment comes.
* Relationship between rule of law and Christianity.
* Even for those who have received Christ, we need to be restrained by God’s law.
3) The Law to reveal what is pleasing to God (in terms of His nature).
* God desires a God-loving and man-loving heart.
* A Christian delight in the law because he delights in God.
* “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15).
* <Ps 1:2>: (Blessed is the one) whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.
* <Ps 119:18> Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.
* <Ps 119:92> If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.
<Ro 7:12,22> “So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good… For in my inner being I delight in God’s law”
* The Gospel first saves us from the curse of the law but in turn, it directs us back to the law to search its spirit, its goodness and its beauty.
1. How were you brought to understand your sins? Usually by your natural conscience or by God’s law?
2. Do you feel the conflict of God’s law in your life? i.e. Knowing and not being able to obey it? If yes, how do you deal with it usually?
3. When you serve the lord, how do you serve not by the obligations of the law but by grace?