THE PURPOSE OF THE LAW
Saturday, June 24, 2017
  Job 1-2 | Acts 7:22-43

“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ…” —Galatians 3:24 KJV

The ultimate purpose of God for humankind is that we might portray God’s moral image and thus reveal His character. The Ten Commandments were given to Moses as a revelation of God’s character. These were laws designed to be reproduced in us. They are not an arbitrary set of rules, but a portrayal of the image ?in which we were created.

Although obeying the law generates an environment where people can function best in harmony together, the true purpose of the law was to teach us what God is like. When the law says, “Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness and do not covet,” it is for a far more fundamental reason than simply because these are not good things. It is because God is always faithful. He does not steal, lie, murder or covet and we were made to be in His moral image.

When Jesus spoke about the law to His disciples in the Sermon on the Mount, He concluded by stating what could only have been a startling command: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). This is impossible to us, but Jesus was simply reiterating God’s statement, “Let Us make mankind in Our image, in Our likeness...” (Genesis 1:26).

The law exposes our failure and inability to portray God’s image. Paul writes, “I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law” (Romans 7:7). Without the law of God, we could be over our heads in sin, not only with an untroubled conscience, but enjoying our sin. We cannot detach what we do from what we are and treat what we do as something independent of what we are. What we do are ?symptoms of what we are, and the fact we are sinners is the real problem.

Sins are expressed in our behaviour while sin itself is our inherent nature, passed down from Adam. It is important we understand that it is not our sins that makes us a sinner, but our sin nature that produces sin. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus digs under the symptoms to get to the root cause of sin. He works from the inside out, replacing who we are with who He is, so that in Him the righteousness of God is revealed in us. This is only possible by the work of the Spirit of God. Our best efforts and disciplines can never change what we are, but we can allow Christ to fulfil the law in us by coming in humble repentance to the cross and allowing His Spirit the freedom to work in our lives.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I long for the righteousness of ?Christ to be reflected in my life. I pray for a deep work of ?Your Spirit to conform me to His likeness. Thank You, God.


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