FIRST Thoughts

The Law. Have you ever heard someone use the term, "he really laid down the law?"

When human beings hear those words, many instantly think someone is being judgmental, even intolerant. And that is the natural response of the natural man who resists the law. This attitude began long before the law was given to Israel through Moses.

Ever since Adam decided his way was better than God's, the natural tendency in the heart of man is to question whether something else, something better, something more satisfying lies beyond the boundary of what is deemed acceptable according to the word of God; the law. Satan used that seed thought as bait to draw Eve away from what she knew to be right and acceptable. Satan used Eve to encourage Adam to join her in the exercise of living beyond the boundaries of God's Word. And we know that Adam made a conscious choice to step over the boundary of God's blessing. We are living with the result daily. The Psalmist said in Psalm 19:7--"The Law of God is perfect converting the soul. The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple." The issue with the law of God and salvation is not the law itself, but rather our ability to keep it. The law of God is perfect because God is perfect. He is thrice holy and without sin. The problem is not with God. The problem is with man, those created in His image who decided to follow another way instead of His. Romans 3:20 says, "By the deeds of the law no flesh shall be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." The NLT version says, "For no man can ever be made right by doing what the law commands. The law shows us how sinful we are." If the law is perfect for converting the soul, then how is it impossible to be justified in His sight by the deeds of the law? Isn't that contradictory? Not when you have a firm grasp on the truth that the problem is not with the law, but rather the problem is with 'me'. The law could save me providing that I could keep it perfectly 24/7, 365 for the duration of my life on earth. James clears up any apparent contradiction or confusion when he states under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in James 2:10, "whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, becomes guilty of all." An example might be this, "If I live one-hundred years on earth and during my entire life tell one lie, have one impure thought, or one self-seeking desire, just one, then in God's sight, I become a law-breaker. I may only have broken His law once in my whole lifetime, but God says I have broken the whole law. One sin makes me lawless before Holy God. As one put it, I'm not a sinner because I sin, I sin because I'm a sinner. God would say, "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God"

(Romans 3:23). My problem is not sin, my problem is 'me' and my desire for stepping and sometimes choosing to live outside the boundaries of God's word; God's law. Therefore, in matters of the law of God, the point has never been nor will it ever be about how 'good' or how 'bad' I am. The point is rather how 'good' I am not. Romans 3:10-11 says, "There is none righteous, no not one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God..." The law has a perfect purpose because the Law was given by a perfect God. The Law reveals the nature of God to man. The Law provides a standard of life for men to follow. The Law reveals sin in the soul. The Law leads us to Christ. If it is not possible to be saved by keeping the Law, then how may anyone be saved? Great question! The only acceptable answer is grace through faith in the only One who could and did. His name is Jesus Christ! Jesus becomes Savior and Lord when through understanding given by the Holy Spirit, I acknowledge that I am a sinner in need of salvation because of the perfect standard of the law of God revealed to me. I must then confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9-10). In so doing, I am saved from the penalty of sin and death and made secure in His eternal promise to save to the uttermost those who place faith in His word (Hebrews 7:25). From that moment on, in His strength and power, I desire to walk within the boundaries of His Word knowing that is best for my soul to experience the fullness of His blessing. I no longer 'have to' for salvation, I 'want to' because He loved me as a sinner and saved me because I no longer desired to be one and the same as before. When someone mentions the law in the future, there is no need to recoil with pride having fallen short of keeping it. Let it be a time to remember the grace that God provides for us to walk with Him in this journey through life with the hope of a perfect future in glory. Now there is motivation to stay within the guardrails of the law of the Lord and be satisfied in His salvation! For His glory and our good! Pstr K Psalm 27:1