Monday, February 4, 2013

Is the Law for Today?

One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Monday, February 4, 2013:  Exodus 19:16-21:21

Then the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.  Exodus 19:20 (NKJV)

And God spoke all these words, saying:  “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.  “You shall have no other gods before Me.  Exodus 20:1-3 (NKJV)

God Himself came down on Mount Sinai and inscribed on tablets the laws which we call the Ten Commandments.  From these original ten spring seemingly endless chapters of details and applications.  The law speaks to every area of life.  It also brings up some very important questions.

Every Christian in some way struggles with question of how the law applies to our lives today.  The first response to this question is usually that we are to KEEP THEM!  But then we read portions of the law that don't seem to apply to us today.  On one end of the spectrum, we find lawlessness that teaches that we are no longer in any way "under the law" and may do as we please.  At the other extreme is the teaching that the law is the mearuring rod of righteousness -- the means by which we become right with God. 

What is the place of the law in the life of the Christian?  This is a very important question.  The great Reformation teacher John Calvin addressed it in his Institutes of the Christian Religion.  There we find that there are three purposes for the law of God.

1.  The first use of the law is as a MIRROR.  The law shows us what God is like.  The law also reveals the nature of man.  Quite a contrast.  The result of this is to DRIVE US TO THE SAVIOR.

2.  Second, the law RESTRAINS EVIL.  The law cannot change our hearts, but it can direct our conduct.  If man were left to his own devises, the evil man would constantly triumph over the innocent.  In this sense, the law is very practical. 

3.  Lastly, the law shows us the WILL OF GOD.  It teaches us the best way to live. In the law, we learn how we can bring glory to God. 

David wrote, "Oh, how I love Your law.  It is my meditation all day long" (Ps. 119:97).  The law cannot save.  But the law is holy.  It shows us what God is like.  It teaches us how to live.  It shows us our need for a Savior.  When we view the law through the eyes of the Gospel, it is a lamp unto our feet.  Let's walk in that light today.

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