What I find interesting with most claims to not needing the law of God, as laid out in all of His word and correctly applied, is that most in seeking to avoid the law set up their own. They in essence create their own form of legalism that others are to be held to. That is what happens when we avoid and ignore God’s law as revealed in His Holy Word. We have an innate desire to uphold some form of Law. Paul in Romans 2:14-15 speaks of this law that is written on the heart of even the unbeliever. This creates a need in man for some form of law but apart from God we can only create the disaster we see today created by the avoidance of God’s law.
As believers, the elect of God, we have the law written on our hearts (Jer 321:1-34) not as some try to read into the passage such that we do not need God’s word. No, this written law on our hearts speaks to the God given desire to please Him in following His word by the power of the Spirit. This is not about a “Get out of the Law” card when we are called by God to Himself. Quite the opposite; as when God calls us and writes His law on our hearts our desire and affections are changed such that we will seek to follow His commands. 1 John 5:1-2 makes it clear that our changed nature will, by God’s design and power, love Him and obey His commandments.
Our natural desire is to be as God and create our own laws. We are by nature “antinomian” but only as it relates to God’s law or for that matter any law that is put over us but our own, or laws we approve of. We see this desire for being the law maker in the garden with the first Adam and this penchant is only broken by the Second Adam. God changes our desires at the cross in that we become a new creation (2 Cor 5:17) not an over hauled creation but a new one. Yes, we still struggle with the flesh such that the desire to still be as God exists in some form. However for the believer, by the power of God, we are not bound to the old desires and affections. That is why John, in 1st John, in speaking to believers can speak as he does and calls them to look at their lives as a testimony to God’s work in them.
I began this by asking “What Law Do You Love? As a Church we need to regain an understanding of God’s Law and its uses and purpose. It is not a means of salvation but a path to walk on due to salvation. The law does not stop working once it drives His people to the cross but once at the cross it is still of use. For too long the evangelism of the church has effectively made Christ’s efficacious work stop at the cross. But it does not. We are called to the cross not for our benefit but for God’s glory. We continue in life after the cross also for His glory and it is by living and walking in and by the light of God’s entire word that we continue to glorify the only one that is worthy of Glory
Whenever I read through the Psalm 119 I repeatedly asked myself how anyone can read the words of the psalmist and still deny our need to love and follow God’s law. The psalmist repeatedly speaks to his love for the law of God. This love is not for what we would term salvation but for its guidance and its glorification of the one who created it. Here are some examples:
Psalm 119:97 ~ Oh how I love your law!, It is my meditation all the day.
Psalm 119:113 ~ I hate the double-minded, but I love your law.
Psalm 119:163 ~ I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law.
Psalm 119:165 ~ Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.
Let us turn from our own law and turn to the only perfect law. The only law that leads us to live lives that glorify God, as God desires to be glorified. It is not for us, being imperfect as we are, to decide how we are to live and be the lights we are called to be. It is God in his infinite wisdom and righteousness that dictates our path. Not just in ordaining our steps but in lighting and directing their way by His word.
Charles Spurgeon put it this way with regards to God’s law:
For the Unbeleiver:
“The law is, so to speak, Jesus Christ's dog, to go after his sheep, and bring them to the shepherd; the law is the thunderbolt which affrighteth ungodly men, and maketh them turn from the error of their ways, and seek after God.”
For the Beleiver:
“What is God's law now? It is not above a Christian—it is under a Christian. Some men hold God's law like a rod, in terrorem, over Christians, and say, "If you sin you will be punished with it." It is not so. The law is under a Christian; it is for him to walk on, to be his guide, his rule, his pattern. "We are not under the law, but under grace." Law is the road which guides us, not the rod which drives us, nor the spirit which actuates us. The law is good and excellent, if it keeps its place.”
(Delivered on Sabbath Morning, March 2, 1856)
We must realize we are all submitting to some law. Either the law we create, a law another creates or to that of God. We also need to realize that no matter how we may fight against God’s law we are still held to it. God does not set His law aside simply because we do not obey it. He is not like a child who takes his ball and goes home because no one will play. No, God will be glorified and His law will be obeyed. It is just a matter of what God will do to bring this about. We should understand that the world will object to the law of God and resist it. Let not those who profess Christ do the same.
Let us love the only law worthy of being loved and obeyed, God’s law.