The Purpose of the Law

Do you ever wonder why God instituted the Law?

 

Have you ever noticed that when someone tells you not to do something, suddenly that’s the very thing you want to do? It’s our human condition, and it’s no surprise to God. In this short clip, Paul explains that God didn’t give the Law just to watch mankind fail over and over, He knew exactly what He was doing, and it was all part of His plan to rescue us.

 

In Romans 5:20 (NASB) it says, “The Law came in so that the transgression (or sin) would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.”

The very nature of the Law makes people want to break it.  

So, why did God bring in such a thing?

The moment you tell someone not to do something, suddenly that’s the very thing they want to do. You see this in children all the time. The moment you tell them, “Kids, don’t eat the freshly baked cookies.” What do they want to do? Suddenly, they just have to have a cookie! 

It’s not just unique to kids. Adults, you’re in a park and you see a sign on a park bench that says, “Wet Paint. Don’t touch!” Immediately, you want to go touch it to check if it’s still wet. Or you see a sign on a door that says, “Do not enter.” What do you want to do? You want to find out what’s behind that door! It’s the human condition.      

God gave Moses the 10 original commandments. Could the people keep the 10 commandments? No. They failed miserably. To try to protect themselves from breaking the 10 originals, they created more laws surrounding the original laws! By the end of the Old Testament, they had 613 religious laws! And yet, they were still failing at them all.  

Was it a surprise to God? No. Did God give the Law just to watch mankind fail over and over? No, He knew it would happen. The Law had a purpose - to rescue us! 

God wanted mankind to discover for ourselves that we couldn’t live up to the Law on our own.  

In Romans 5:6b (NASB), it says, “...at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” God knew it was just the right time in history to send Jesus to Earth. He would not only rescue us, but also bring about a new system, a better system. Now, as believers, we are no longer under the Law system. 

Folks, here’s the good news,

Through Jesus, God brought in the grace system! Now, there’s no more trying to measure up to the Law standard.  

No more trying to be obedient. No more trying to be righteous by performing well. No more living up to that Law standard. Now under grace, you and I have been completely accepted, infinitely loved and highly valued, with the very life of Jesus living in us! 

This new system of GRACE enables us to be what we could never be on our own! 


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Paul O'Brien