In this sermon, Pastor Babij begins teaching on the relevance of the Ten Commandments for Christians today. Pastor Babij explains that there are two main bodies of law described in Scripture: the law of Moses and the law of God (moral law). All men are obligated to keep God’s moral law, while the law of Moses was designed to show men that they cannot obtain God’s favor except through the gospel of mercy in Jesus Christ.
Let’s read Exodus 20:1-17:
Then God spoke all these words, saying, 2“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 3“You shall have no other gods before Me. 4“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. 5“You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. 7“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain. 8“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9“Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. 11“For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy. 12“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you. 13“You shall not murder. 14“You shall not commit adultery. 15“You shall not steal. 16“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 17“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
Father, as I come before You and as we come before the word of God in the Old Testament where You gave Your people the law, give us an understanding of how the law works in Your people’s lives both in the past and also in the present. Lord, as we look at each one over the weeks to come, I pray that You would impress upon our heart the centrality of these commandments and the need for us to understand them, know them, and see where they fit in our lives. I pray, Lord, that it would bring us to the end result. We know the end result of You blessing Your people with commandments is so that we would love the Lord, our God, with all our heart, with all our mind, with all our soul, and with all our strength, and that we will love our neighbor as ourselves. I pray, Lord, that would always be the goal of the commandments of God. I pray this in Christ’s name, Amen.
In this passage of Scripture, there are ten words. Some have referred to it as the Ten Commandments of God. The word of God tells us that the last days will be characterized by lawlessness. Lawlessness has always been a designation given to people who disregard the Creator God, His laws, and decide to live as they please according to their own passions and desires.
It has been a tragic fact down through history. Both individuals and nations have dashed themselves against the law in their attempts to disregard them and finally break them. However, the law of God cannot be broken. In fact, people have thought they could transgress the moral law of God with impunity. We find passages of Scripture like Matthew 7:22-23 where the word of God tells us:
Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’
Then, 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 says:
or the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. 8Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;
Behind all this lawlessness is the evil and lawless one, who is causing more lawlessness in the land. A clear definition of lawlessness is found in 1 John 3:4:
Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.
Sin is breaking God’s law and it is disobedience to God’s will. Then, Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:1-5:
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.
In other words, they have broken all the commandments. In these days, we see that all around us. These Scriptures reveal that we live in such an age where people have kicked off any traces of the law of God. As a result, they have thrown off all the restraints that goes with keeping the law of God almost everywhere. We see the moral law of God abandoned while people have plunged themselves into all manner of debauchery, unrighteousness, lawlessness, and wickedness.
In 1995, there was a ministry called Faith and Action who launched a project to try to get the Ten Commandments into the hands of politicians. In fact, their motto was:
Bring the word to bear on the hearts and minds of those who make public policy in America.
One of its goals was to restore the foundations of our American culture by placing the Ten Commandments in public places and buildings. This commandment project had given over four hundred plaques depicting the Ten Commandments to members of Congress and other high-placed officials including former presidents. In 2009, fortune years after they started this, one of the Faith and Action’s granite sculptures of the Ten Commandments was ordered by the court to be removed and relocated.
Actually, the three-foot by three-foot granite sculpture of the Ten Commandments, which weighed eight hundred and fifty pounds, is one of four monuments removed by federal court order from the front of public schools in rural Adams County, Ohio.
Whether written down or not, the monument was relocated to a prominent position and on private property. One thing is clear, our society has been pushing out anything that would remind them that there are divine moral, absolute standards, and timeless principles that all people are held responsible for by God, their creator. Whether it be written down or not, they are responsible because they have conscience, and they are confronted every day with creation where God is telling us that He is God and His glory is displayed all around us.
Disregard for the moral law has fostered an acceptance of moral decay in our society. What was once spurned as sin is now considered a matter of personal preference or choice, which no one should question.
When you read through the Scriptures, it’s talking about the law of God, and some of the things I want to look at is what it is talking about and which law should we, who have trusted Christ as Lord and Savior, be concerned with. If anybody should be concerned with the law of God, it should be believers who have the word of God in their hand. As Christians, we must take very seriously the law of God, which is what I want to really look at over these weeks to come.
I want to look at what the Bible is telling us about the law of God both in the past in its context up to the present. As I do that, I want to look at Old Testament passages of Scriptures as well as New Testament passages of Scriptures that give us an indication on what we are to do. Probably, I will be going on for several weeks on this particular topic.
To start off, I want to look at the first thing, which is the revealed law in Scripture. In Scripture, the revealed law is the Law of Moses. Actually, the Law of Moses is the second, but I’m looking at it as the first. The Law of Moses is referred to, in the Bible, as the book of the law. Also, it is referred to as the Book of the Covenant and the Mosaic Law.
For our information, there are certain things I want you to notice. The distinctions between the Law of Moses and the Law of God will be very important for you as you put all these things together in your mind throughout this particular series. In Deuteronomy 31:24, the Law of Moses was written in a book:
It came about, when Moses finished writing the words of this law in a book until they were complete.
In other words, God had Moses write down, on parchment, the things that he wanted the people of Israel to know. Secondly, in Deuteronomy 31:26 says:
Take this book of the law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may remain there as a witness against you.
In the first passage, Moses writes it in the book. Once he’s finished with the book, he places the book alongside the ark of the covenant. Just remember that as we go along.
The revealed law is distinguished in three different parts. The first two parts are the civil law and the ceremonial law, which was based on The Mosaic Law. Israel was a theocracy, which is a nation governed by God. It was not a democracy governed by people or a monarchy governed by a single person like a king. It was a theocracy governed by God.
There was no legislature. There was no senate. There was no house of representatives. There was no group that made laws. The only lawgiver was God; therefore, He gave laws to His people. The judicial law or the civil law was directed at the management of Israel under God as God being the principal ruler with respect to its encampments, it’s marches, it’s wars, it’s inheritance, it’s marriages, its punishments, and rulers as it related to national Israel.
For this reason, the civil law has been nullified. In other words, we are not under the civil law as believers. We are not under a theocracy as Israel was, but the Bible does say we are to obey governing authorities. God has ordained for us to live righteously and holy as aliens on the earth, so we can be His representative.
Thus, the Law of Moses was only for Israel and any proselytes who would connect themselves to the nation of Israel. That was the civil law. The second part of the Mosaic law was the ceremonial law, which prescribed the rights of worship under the Old Testament economy and it was grafted upon the second and fourth commandment.
Now, these were the various religious ceremonies that were given to the people through which they were to worship: the Passover, the day of the atonement, the sin offering, the trespass offering, the wave offering, and various other sacrifices that were commanded under the Mosaic law.
All these offerings were simply foreshadowing’s of Christ, the Messiah, who was to come. It was the shadow of the Cross extending backward through the centuries before He came. They are all designed to point to the Messiah’s coming and what the Messiah would do when Christ, the substance of all those sacrifices, finally came.
The Shadows faded away, so that means the ceremonial laws were abrogated and nullified by the coming of the One whom they foreshadowed namely, Jesus Christ. For example, we no longer keep the Passover or the day of atonement for the Scripture clearly declares to us in 1 Corinthians 5:7:
Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.
In other words, when Christ came, He fulfilled all the major sacrifices in His person and in the fleshly embodiment of Christ on the earth. In living a perfect and a holy life, He came. Thus, the ceremonial law has been nullified, so there are no more sacrifices for sin. Hebrews 10:10 says:
By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
There are not many sacrifices anymore. Jesus performed everything that needed to be accomplished and finished in His one-time sacrifices, so it nullified everything that went before that time. In the book of the law, Moses recorded approximately 640 separate ordinances in his own handwriting. We should be thankful that the civil and the ceremonial laws of the old covenant are not in effect today.
In fact, the law of Moses demanded an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but Jesus clearly demonstrated the civil laws written in the law of Moses were to be set aside. In Matthew 5:39, He says:
“But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
In other words, Jesus is putting Himself as an authority over the commandments as the one who gives the commandments. This is mind-blowing, and because of these kinds of statements that He made, He was accused of really turning over the law of Moses. However, He was just demonstrating that He was the Lord over these commandments. He is the One who gave them, which means that the law of Moses is only for Israel.
Now, that’s important to understand because that brings me to the second thing revealed in the law, which is the law of God. Of course, the law of God is the Ten Commandments. It’s also referred to, in Scripture, as the two tablets of testimony, the memorial law, the law of love, and the decalogue, which is what we read in Exodus 20:1-17.
Remember, there’s a clear designation we need to make between the law of Moses and the law of God. In Exodus 31:18, we see that the law of God was written on stone:
When He had finished speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, He gave Moses the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written by the finger of God.
Here, we notice that it was not written on parchment nor written by Moses. Rather, it was written by the finger of God on stone, so the law of God was meant to be permanent. Also, it meant to be central to the plan of God’s Redemption. Again, look at Exodus 40:20, and notice where this law was placed. Remember, the law of Moses was placed beside the ark:
Then he took the testimony and put it into the ark, and attached the poles to the ark, and put the mercy seat on top of the ark.
In other words, the law of God, the Ten Commandments, were placed inside the ark of the covenant. If you never understood that, it was the box that God had Moses make where inside the ark of the covenant was the Ten Commandments, the rod of Aaron, and the manna that God gave the people in the wilderness. On top of that was put the mercy seat.
Remember, the mercy seat was the place where the high priest came once a year into the Holy of Holies. As the people sacrifice their animals, and as the priest sacrifices an animal for his own sin and then the sins of the nation, then he would go in with that blood sacrifice and he would pour it on the mercy seat, which pictures what would come in the future when Jesus Christ would die in the place of sinners by becoming the ultimate atonement and sacrifice for sin.
So, the Ten Commandments – the law – were to be permanent and central to the plan of redemption of what God was going to do with His people. Then, the moral law given by God, summed up in the ten commandments, is actually a reflection of the very nature of God and is the declaration of God’s will, which directs and binds all men in every age and place to their whole duty to Him as God, themselves, and to their neighbors. You see all those things contained in the Ten Commandments.
Someone had mentioned that the Ten Commandments were not given in Jerusalem. Rather, it was given in the wilderness indicating that these Commandments would not just be for the people of Israel, but they would be for all men and people from all nations and tribes. Thus, there is a centrality and importance of the Ten Commandments that we cannot miss as believers, so you can see the difference between Mosaic law and the law of God.
The civil and the ceremonial law are for Israel, and we are not responsible for those even though in Israel, the Orthodox still carries those things out in many ways except for the sacrifices. In Scripture, we see that they are Central and important. Arthur Pink, a Bible student extraordinaire as I would call him, said this about the Ten Commandments:
The law of God expresses the mind of the Creator and is binding upon all rational creatures. It is God’s unchanging moral standard for regulating the conduct of all men. This law was impressed upon man’s moral nature from the beginning. Though now fallen, he still shows the work of it written in his heart. This law has never been repealed, and in the very nature of things, cannot be. For God to abrogate the moral law, it would be to plunge the whole universe into anarchy. Obedience to the law of God is man’s first duty.
There are many today who would say that having been redeemed by Christ, we now have nothing whatsoever to do with the commandments of God. That it does not matter whether we keep them or not because they have been nullified or aggregated. Well, that is true for the Mosaic law, but it is not true for the law of God.
Some people have the idea that in the Old Testament, God tried to save people by getting them to keep the law, but then He found that they couldn’t do this and so He came up with a better way of saving people through Jesus Christ. Thus, people conclude that the Old Testament has nothing to do with us because we’re not under the law or under Grace. You have heard that, have you not? This is a complete misunderstanding of the Bible and the moral law of God.
God had plans for His people in Israel when He rescued them from the slave camps of Egypt. He was going to give them their own land. He was going to make them a great nation. However, Israel could not be a truly great nation without a clear understanding of God’s holiness and His high standards. Before Israel entered into the new land of Canaan, God supplied, in the wilderness, the Ten Commandments to give them a basic concept of God’s holiness and His standards.
The Ten Commandments hold the people with what God expects of them. Also, it showed them when they committed sin against God. The Commandments told Israel what to do and what not to do in their travels through life. When any Israelite broke one of the commandments, he was guilty of a serious violation against the will of God.
In saying that, did you know that for 2,500 years, man lived without the Ten Commandments written by the Finger of God on stone on Mount Sinai where God handed down these rules to His servant Moses? Then, the question would be what governed men before Sinai?
To figure that out, take your Bibles to Genesis because in Genesis are all the foundational doctrines that you’re going to find in the rest of the Bible. If you get Genesis wrong, then you will get the rest of the Bible wrong. In Genesis 3, God put Adam and Eve in the garden and gave them one restriction. In Genesis 2:16-17, it says:
The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
That’s pretty clear in Scripture. Well, let’s put it this way: I’m calling this next one, for an outline purpose, the law of conscience. In Genesis 3, Satan tempted them with a promise by using God’s word, and he promised them:
If you just listen to me, God will give you a conscience, and when you get a conscience, you’ll know the difference between good and evil. Don’t you want that?
Genesis 3:5 says:
“For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Now, doesn’t a conscience inform whether something is good or evil? Yes; it does. As soon as they disobeyed God, they became aware of their sin against their Creator. This inner monitor called the conscience accuses them of something they did not experience before. Genesis 3:7 says:
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.
They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and the woman hid themselves from the presence of the Lord. Genesis 3:9-11 says:
Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” 11And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
Thus, the commands of God are in the book of Genesis. In fact, their conscience told them they were naked. In order to hide their guilt, they tried to cover their nakedness to avoid meeting with God, and this is what happens when people sin. They cover their sin and hide it, and rather than running toward God, they run away from God.
The conscience tells us that we’re responsible when we have done something wrong, so the voice within the conscience told them they had done wrong. Their sin brought in curses and separation between them and God. Genesis 3:17 says:
Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.
Some have called this the law of conscience, which condemned those who did not have the written revelation of right and wrong. This is what I believe Paul was referring to in Romans 2:14-15:
For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them.
The Scripture tells us God has created human beings universally with an innate knowledge of truth about the character of God, the basic knowledge of right and wrong, and a sense of good and bad. Paul says in Romans 1:19:
because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
God makes it evident to people that he’s God, that there is a God, He is powerful, and that they have a sense of responsibility before the Creator, but what did they do with that? The Bible tells us in Romans, they hush it, or they suppress it. They hold that knowledge down, and then they replace that knowledge with full speculation and the death of common sense by corrupt religion, self-deification, uncontrolled lusts, and sexual perversions.
In other words, once you suppress the law of God that you know of, then you just do what your passions and desires dictate. The Bible tells us that the evident knowledge of God is suppressed and withheld, and then in Romans 1:28, it says:
And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.
They just did what they wanted, and they did not listen to the truth that was evident to them. Regarding the conscience, John MacArthur said:
The conscience entreats us to do what we believe is right and restrains us from doing what we believe is wrong. The conscience is not to be equated with the voice of God or the law of God. Conscience is knowledge together with oneself. That is, conscience knows our inner motives and true thoughts. We may rationalize trying to justify ourselves in our own minds, but a violated conscience will not be easily convinced.
The conscience is not infallible because it is informed by many things such as different types of traditions that people are born into, philosophies, teachings, societal factors, and religious doctrine whether true or false. For the conscience to operate fully and in accord with true Holiness, it must be informed by the word of God.
When somebody becomes a believer in Jesus Christ, what God begins to do with the word of God is to bring your conscience to a place where you do become more sensitive to sin and to breaking the law of God even listed in the Ten Commandments, especially since the Ten Commandments are teachers to us about what we should do and should not do.
In fact, if you’ve been a believer for a while and the more you grow in truth, then the more sensitivity you have towards your sin. Before you even act on your sins, your evaluating your very thoughts and you’re very imaginations, and you are asking:
Is this pleasing to the Lord if I say this thing? Is that something that would honor God?
We begin to ask questions like that, which is very appropriate, and it’s exactly what should be happening as a believer who is growing in Christ Jesus. We want to please the Lord, right? The ultimate transgression or sin is disobedience to God. Now, when a Christian is being informed by the word of God, what do they do? They want to obey and please God.
On the day of judgement, your conscience will side with God, the righteous judge, and the worst sin-harden evildoer will discover, before the Throne of God, that he has a conscience that testifies against him. Romans 2:16 says:
on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.
Even when the written law was not available to men, the law of God was still there right in the beginning, and it was right there in God telling what he demanded to be true, what God said to do, and not to do. When man does not obey that, then of course they get into grave trouble.
Next, there are three functions of the moral law. The first function is a civil function. The Ten Commandments is also known to have a civil function within a society and group of people. Though we do not have a theocracy, the laws of God are used to guide the nations in the information that it provides about people making laws.
In other words, many of the Ten Commandments are mirrored in many near Eastern texts. For example, a text called the Declaration of Innocence from a book called The Dead, an Egyptian text from the New Kingdom 16th Century BC in chapter 25, we find the confession of a recently deceased individual who stated that he did not violate specific laws. In the document, these laws are similar to The Ten Commandments. The laws are bearing false witness, disrespecting parents, theft, adultery, and murder. All are mentioned in his statement.
Our own founding fathers and the documents they produced to form our government and country are heavily influenced by The Ten Commandments and by the word of God. The Declaration of Independence of the Second Continental Congress reads:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
To secure these rights, governments are instituted among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the government. In other words, God, not man, is the giver of religious freedom, and many of these documents throughout the world are influenced by the Ten Commandments.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that they’re following them. It just means that their documents have been influenced by them. So, this first function is that of a civil function. The second one is that of a pedagogical function, which simply means that it is revealing something, and in a sense, leading somewhere. It is a forming some truth to be explained to whoever is listening and wanting to learn.
Meaning, the law, in Scripture, reveals sin. In Galatians 3 and in Romans, you will find several passages of Scripture that indicate the purpose of the moral law of God. God is Holy, and He sets the standards for His people. Under the law of conscience and the law of commandments, people could not live up to God’s standard. They found that they were sinners under the sentence of death. All the law did was condemned them. Then, why was the law given? Galatians 3:19 says:
Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made.
Transgressions is another way of going past the boundaries. Also, it’s another way of saying sin. In this case, it was breaking the law of God. The law, after the 2,500-year period, was added because sin was rampant. Why did God send the flood? He sent the flood because the evil in people’s heart was continual.
Without the law of God being present among the people, sin becomes rampant. So, the law reveals sin, but it could not remove sin. Romans 3:19 says:
Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may become accountable to God.
The law pronounces guilt, and when we are convicted in our heart, we find ourselves guilty for doing something that has broken the law of God. We have transgressed, sinned against God, and we sense the weight and guilt. Unresolved guilt is very troubling to people. It causes many other problems in people’s lives.
Nonetheless, the law was given to produce guilt, but it could not provide Grace. It wasn’t designed for that. The law carries a curse of death. Galatians 3:13 tells us:
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”
Martin Luther said:
The law is a hammer, which smashes our self-righteousness and leaves us prostrate before God in our sin.
The law was designed by God to shut everyone up under sin. Galatians 3:22 says:
But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
You may be thinking: if people are sinners in every period of history and the law of God and the Ten Commandments can’t save them, then what hope is there for me? Well, there is something very good that’s contained in the law of God that is a very unique and special design. If you and I were to take a test and say:
Do you love the Lord? – F. Are you being faithful to worship God and rest one day a week? – F. Do you honor your parents all the time? – F. Have you ever coveted? – F. Have you ever murdered anybody? Jesus says it’s not murder, but anger, so have you ever been angry with anybody? – F.
See, we all flunk. The law was made to show us that we could do nothing to save ourselves. That we were under the guilt of our own sin before the law. We were shut up under sin. Then, what were the laws designed for? The law is a schoolmaster. Galatians 3:24-26 says:
Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
It cannot save us, but it can bring us right to the foot of the Cross. It can bring us to the one who is the Savior of sinners. If somebody could be convicted of their sin, they can come under the curse of the law, and yet they can be looking right at the Cross, hear the message of the Gospel, and never believe it. They are still in their sins.
This is not about being religious. This is not about coming under some kind of system of good works. This is about being led to Christ. Again, Galatians 3:24 says:
Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.
We cannot be justified by keeping the law, but by faith. Then, Galatians 3:25 says:
But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
In reading that whole passage, Galatians 3:21-26 says:
Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. 22But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. 24Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
In other words, it leads us to a place where we, by faith, receive the free gift. God is offering His grace and mercy to us and we believe it and we take it as our own. As a result, God justifies us, and He makes us right before Him based on His righteousness, not our own. Our righteousness is as filthy rags before God. Martin Luther again said:
The law is a mirror which reveals to us our uncleanness and causes us to fly to the laver to be cleansed by the blood of Christ. The law is a whip, which stings our back and drives us to the Cross for redemption and for salvation.
That’s exactly what it was designed to do. If somebody says to you, “I’m trying to be good and keep the law of God”, then what they are actually saying is that they’re under condemnation because they are trying to make the law do what it was never designed to do. You cannot be good enough. In a million years, you could not offer up to God good works that would equal would Christ did on the Cross.
You are a sinner, you will always sin, and I will always sin. Christ is the sinless one, who dies in the place of sinners as an acceptable sacrifice before God. All who believe in Him will be saved because He is the one who died in the place of sinners.
Many Christians have a gross distortion of Christianity, which supposes that in keeping of the law, there may be obtained a Salvation of God. This has been and continues to be the most widespread heresy that has ever played the church and the world. If anyone’s hope for heaven are based on keeping the Commandments, the golden rule, the Sermon on the Mount, the teachings of Jesus, or any other set of rules in order to be right with God, then they will surely perish in their sins. James Kennedy says:
No one, on this planet, has ever kept all the Commandments of God other than Jesus Christ.
He’s the one we have to run to. He’s the one who saves us. Being under the burden of guilt and sin should bring us right to the very place The Cross is at. We can look up and see what Christ did on that Cross and how He is the one who can save. A person is made right with God and comes into the family of God only through faith in Christ. Again, Galatians 3:26 says:
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
How do I get born again? How do I get into the family of God? How am I made right with Jesus Christ? Not by anything you and I do, but by what Christ has done and that’s what we believe by faith, right?
So, the law brings us to hunger for someone to save us. That’s what the law does. That’s how God designed it, and that’s why it’s so important. When we’re doing evangelism part of it is presenting the law of God to someone, so it bypasses the arguments and goes right for their conscience. When it does, when you show them the Ten Commandments, and when you lay it out before them, you’ll find that if they’ve broken one, then they’re guilty of it all.
When we look at the Ten Commandments, we have to admit that we probably have broken all of them at one time in our life. If we have broken the Commandments or even one of them, who’s going to pay for that? Who’s going to satisfy the justice of God for that transmission and broken law? Are you going to do that? Am I going to do that? No; the only one who could satisfy the justice of the Father is Jesus Christ, and that’s what He did.
Jesus rose from the grid of the dead and the Father accepted His sacrifice on behalf of all who believe. Isn’t that tremendous news? That’s good news! I hope you know that today. I hope that you have come to a place that you have trusted and believed in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you are saying that I’m trying to be good, I’m trying to do what’s right, then you are already under condemnation.
Swing that off, run to Christ, and receive our Lord and Savior, and you know what He’ll do? He’ll save you because He came to save His people from their sin. Let’s pray:
Lord, thank You so much for what You accomplished on behalf of sinners. Thank You, Lord, that we now know, from the word of God, that the law of God was never designed to give life and to save. It was only designed to convict us and magnify sin, so that when we saw the perfection of the sacrifice and the love of Jesus Christ on the Cross, it would cause us to run to Him knowing that we could not save ourselves, we could not be good enough to appease God, or please Him. By faith, we embraced Him, He saved us, and He forgives us of all our sin, and He makes us right with the Father. Lord, that’s why we have the promise of eternal life. When we die, we have eternal life, and, Lord, there is hope beyond this life where we live with God in His presences without sin and without the curse that were under now. Lord, that is a day where a place of righteousness dwells and people love You, obey You, and joyfully and happily perform the very reason the law was given, which is to love our God, to be with Him, and Him to be with us. Thank You, Lord. I pray, Lord, that You work this in our hearts. If there is anyone who does not know You, who has never trusted You as Lord and Savior, who has been confused by what it means to be right with God, then I pray You would clear things up, and they would come and confess You with their mouth and believe in their heart that God raised Him. Please do that, Lord, and bring joy to the Christians heart that has trusted You and knows that the law can no longer condemn us anymore. All that condemnation has been taken by Christ when we’re in Christ. There is no longer condemnation. Thank You, Lord, for that, and for freeing us up from that burden. We give You praise, Lord, for all the things that will come. I pray this in Christ’s name, Amen.