Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | July 13, 2021

Lay Down The Law

“For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.   Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, The person who does these things will live by them. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us…” Galatians 3:10-13

I don’t know about you, but I’m generally a rule-follower. And I prefer that other people follow the rules as well. (In fact, I can get pretty frustrated by rule-breakers—and those simply not doing “what they should.” I recognize this is a problem, and I’m working on it.) But laws are there for a reason—am I right?

Yes, they are! Laws are made to maintain civil order and to keep people functioning in society in a prudent, mutually respectful manner. You may have heard the oft-shouted phrase, “You can’t legislate morality.” But every law, from speed limits to murder statutes, is based on moral law. (This, however, is a long-winded discussion for another time.) My point here is to say that all law is made to reveal our offence. If there was no speed limit, then driving 110 mph on the highway wouldn’t matter. However, the speed limit sign that says 70 mph shows that driving 110 mph is wrong.

Friend, the same is true of God’s laws. Let’s take the Big 10. The 10 Commandments allow us to recognize our transgression from them. For instance, when we turn green over jealousy of what our neighbor has, we can acknowledge this is an offence to God (“Thou shalt not covet…”). And this is a very good thing. The problem arises when we believe that abiding by all the laws is what saves us—that being a good rule-follower gets us to heaven. It does not, and it cannot.

Firstly, no one can keep all of God’s law any more than we can keep every civil law on the books. Humanity, in our sin nature, is simply not capable of it. Secondly, as previously noted, the law is designed to make us conscious of our sin. “No one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law” (Romans 3:20).

More than that, the law cannot change us. Whether you’re a rule-follower or rule-breaker by nature, laws may alter our outward behavior, but they won’t change us inside. Think back to the speed limit. Many of us may sustain 73 mph in a 70 mph zone, knowing the law but breaking it just enough not to get in trouble. Some of us are driving 70, according to the speedometer, but our burning desire is to go 90—hence, we’re breaking the law in our heart, as Jesus would say (for instance, Matthew 5:27-28).

So, since no one is perfect (without sin), how do we meet the requirement of the law—that is, God’s standard of perfect righteousness? Well, we need to lay down the law. We need to stop trying to impeccably uphold the law (which is impossible) or do just enough to not get “in trouble” (which won’t cut it). We must turn to Jesus and accept the gift of His pure righteousness imputed to us on Calvary’s cross. Only through surrendering to Jesus can we be truly changed—transformed within by the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 5:17). Not only are we made new, but the penalty for all our sin and lawlessness has been paid by Jesus, so we can stand before the ultimate Judge (God) with a completely clean record.

“Lord, thank You that I can lay down the law—of my efforts and “good enough”—and simply accept the work of Christ for my salvation.”


For His Glory

Julianne Winkler Smith
TRBC Women’s Life


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