God's law is still the moral standard

 

May 8, 2019



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

Many Christians have been taught to fear or even despise God’s law. Generally, this fault can be laid at the feet of a particular, false theology that developed in England and America in the mid-19th century, called dispensationalism.

It is true the Bible warns us against using the law in an unlawful manner; that is, using it in a manner the law never intended. This is the great burden of the whole book of Galatians, for instance. We cannot be justified (made right) with God by our performance of the law’s requirements. And, once justified by faith apart from works of the law, we can’t go back and hope the law will bring us to spiritual perfection. Through the ministry of Jesus Christ, we are no longer “under the law” (i.e. subject to its condemning power) but are members of a better covenant, founded on better promises.

We don’t keep the law to go to heaven when we die. Our obedience to it doesn’t make God like us. Also, as the book of Hebrews makes clear, the ceremonies, sacrifices and rituals contained in the law all have been fulfilled and put out of the way, having fully served their purpose by pointing forward to Christ.


Having said all that, I ask you look again at the verse quoted at the top here. The universal attitude of both Testaments of the Bible to the law given through Moses is positive, not negative. Can the same be said for your own attitude?

It is difficult, in fact, to think of a more law-positive evaluation than the one given by Jesus. He said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:17-19)

I believe that the clear teaching of the Scripture is the law of God remains the one, authoritative definition of righteousness vs. sin. It’s the gold standard, if you will. Along with the Gospel of Jesus, the law is to be taught to the nations; and, will be before it’s all said and done. (Deuteronomy 4:5-8; Isaiah 2:1-4; Matthew 28:18-20)

This grand enterprise is not helped by believers who are fundamentally ignorant of the message. This is why our own, individual Bible reading is so important. The first step in sharing the message is to know it.

A helpful resource in this regard is the book, “The Bounds of Love: An Introduction to God’s Law of Liberty” by Dr. Joel McDurmon.

Gordan Runyan is the pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Tucumcari. Contact him at

[email protected]

 
 

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