What Is The Law?
When you hear the words “rules” or “laws” what do you think of? Usually, children think of “rules” as something stopping them from having fun. When I think of the word “law” I usually picture the Constitution or even the White House and some members of Congress. I think of things like speed limits and road laws. And usually the other side comes to my mind as well… like “breaking the law”. I think of fines, speeding tickets, and crime. But is that really what law is? If this is the same mental image you picture in your head, I am going to tell you that it is not what law really is.
Law was originally given by God, not the government. All the way back to the earliest times in Genesis, there were laws, created by God. In Exodus, God gives the 10 commandments. Many will think that these are just a list of “rules” or suggestions that believers in Christ should abide by. But in all reality, it’s not just a list of rules. If you want to talk law, think of the Bible as a whole. It is the law. It is God’s word: The Law of God. We are commanded to follow it; all of it.
We let ourselves believe that laws are made to take the fun out of things, or sometimes to even hurt us. But if we take a look at a few recent laws (i.e. not using electronic devices while operating a vehicle), they were created to keep us safe. When we text and drive we put our life, and the lives around us, in danger. When we sin, we put our lives, and the lives of others, in danger (Galatians 5:25-26). That’s why God gave us the law. To protect us, keep us safe, and most of all, bring us grace.
“The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:20-21)
When we break the law that God gave us, we know that there will be consequences, but we can also know that there is a hope in contrast to our sin. We are freely given the Grace of God. Through believing in Jesus Christ, we are made right. Romans 10:4 says, “Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes”. Other translations say, “Christ is the end of the law”; in other words, there is nothing beyond Him, and there is no law higher than Him. We can only receive grace through Him, and we can only receive eternal life through Him.
What we fail to realize is that grace is free to us, but very costly to God. God sent His Son to die for our sins so that we can receive grace and have eternal life. We sometimes take that for granted. We need to be thankful for what God has done for us. Put another way, sometimes we think that we are “too far gone” to be saved. We think that we’ve broken the law so much that there is no hope for us. This is actually offensive to God. God paid such a high price for grace and we just reject it like it’s a 25 cent gumball out of a machine. It’s not a 25 cent gumball, it was someone’s life. Someone gave up everything so that we can have grace after we break the law God gave us. That someone is Jesus Christ, and only through Him can we be redeemed from our sins. To learn more about this in depth, check out Painesville Assembly of God’s podcast, “A Study In Romans: Who’s Representing You?”, by Lead Pastor, Aaron Taylor.
Remember, the cross empowers you to now live life God’s way, you don’t have to live a life of rule keeping that continues to enslave you. You can be made righteous through Christ.