If you read the last study about “Amazing Husband,” we studied how we were married to the law before being born again, but now we are married to Jesus. This study is going to focus on why God gave the law and how amazing it is and was. If we have been released from the law, then how do we relate to it?
According to Jewish law, it’s divided into two categories: The moral laws of God and the ceremonial laws of God. Gentiles then divide those two categories: Under the ceremonial laws, they put the dietary laws. Ceremonial laws would include the feasts and sacrifices. Under the dietary were the things that were clean and unclean to eat. Then under the moral laws of God, being the 10 Commandments, and then the Jewish laws.
When we add all these together, the moral, the ceremonial, Jewish, and dietary laws, there ends up being 613 laws. Please understand, the law is not bad. God wants us to live moral lives. We become married to Jesus, new husband, He writes His laws on our heart. The only way the Jews knew how to relate to God was through the law and law-keeping until Jesus showed up. And the Bible says that Jesus was grace and truth. He didn’t do away with the truth of God’s law, but grace showed up also. Jesus had to make some clarifying statements about the law.
Matthew 5:17 – “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. (Verse 18) “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. (Verse 19) “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
There is a trend in today’s society that each person believes what’s right for them is right concerning morality. That’s called “subjective morality.” If every person does what they believe is right in their own eyes, then we should be very afraid when someone thinks it’s alright to come to your house at night and rob and kill you. So we have to have “objective morality,” which is based on the Word of God. There were four purposes for the law:
1) The Law is a Master
Galatians 3:24, 25 – Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith (Verse 25) But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. (In the Old King James version, a tutor was translated “schoolmaster.”) So the law was to bring us to Christ. The law’s job, just like the schoolmaster, was to bring us to the Teacher. The tutor is not the teacher.
What does the law do for us after we are saved? It’s saying that we still need Jesus! All we’re doing is transferring from the law being our tutor to Jesus being our Teacher.
2) The Law is a Mirror
James 1:23 – For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; (Verse 24) for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. (Verse 25) But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
The one who reads and knows the moral laws of God through the eyes of grace, and does what’s in the word and continues to do what’s in the word, everything they do will be blessed by God! The law reflects the moral standard of God. If a person wants to know if something is good or bad for them, read the law. For instance: Is God for or against adultery? He’s against it! Why, because adultery hurts people and God is for people. We can put lying, stealing and murder in each of these and we will see that He’s against it.
Romans 7:7 – For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.”
The law reflects the perimeters or boundaries of God’s desires, but it does not reflect the perimeters of His love. Put another way: Does everyone in the world keep God’s law? No, but does God love the world? Yes. His desire is that people wouldn’t steal or commit murder or harm others, but He still loves the person who steals and so on and sent His Son for that person. It’s like when someone has an adult child that has a lifestyle that they don’t approve of. The parent doesn’t approve of what they are doing but they still love them.
3) The Law is a Map
The law will show a person which way they should go if they want to have a blessed life. Psalm 119:105 – Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Anything we need pertaining to life, how to live, it’s in the Scripture. God gives us a map, instruction on how to live a joy-filled life.
4) The Law is a Measure
It shows us how we are doing by keeping the moral standards of God. There is an internal compass that God gives us to walk morally. He writes His laws on our hearts when we become His.
A person knows when they are lying, but do they think exaggeration and embellishing is the same as lying? Ask a politician! They call it “miss spoke.” Lying is lying when a person doesn’t tell the truth. We all have areas we can take God’s truth and apply it to our lives and begin to walk a clearer path.
Law-keeping is not the measure of true spirituality though. If law-keeping had been the measure of true spirituality, then the Pharisees would have been the most spiritual! Remember when Jesus told them that they looked like a cemetery? Pretty green grass and nice flowers, but dead men’s bones on the inside.
Let me tell you one thing the law is not: The law is not a “machete.!” It is not something that is used to hack up other people.
The law was given as a tutor to lead us to the True Master Teacher! Think of law in this way: The law is a test, not to show others how well we are doing, but to show us how well we are doing!