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God’s Laws are for the Greater Good
While gravity contributes to the deaths of thousands of people every year, mankind could not exist without it. God’s purpose for gravity was to enable and protect life, not bring death. We would not exist without it nor would our universe. Yet, gravity contributes to the death of tens of thousands each year.
Considering what we see in the world and how mankind often ignores and tries to circumvent God’s moral law, can you imagine what the planet would look like without the moral law? Would mankind still exist? Like the law of gravity, God’s moral law, and our conscience were given to us for the greater good. So mankind can exist. Like the law of gravity, all laws must have consequences if violated or they will never be heeded, especially by mankind’s rebellious and fallen Adamic nature.
Created for the greater good, mankind’s very existence, gravity, and God’s moral law have an unintended consequence of death.
Death is not the author’s intention of these laws, the purpose for which they were created. Death is an enemy of God.
For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 1 Cor 15:25-26 ESV
Fear protects us from the unintended consequences of death when it comes to gravity. This is obvious when we come close to the edge of a high cliff. Fear is also designed to protect us from the unintended consequence of death with God’s moral law. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7 ESV
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom… Psalm 111:10a ESV
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Heb 10:31 ESV
Unbelievers (fools in Psalm 53:1) shun wisdom and do not fear the Lord which would lead them to turn, repent (change their mind) and be saved. They blindly proceed towards the cliff of eternity.
Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof, therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices. For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them; but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.” Pro 1: 29-33 ESV
In Romans 13:8-10 we learn that the the only thing that fulfills all of God’s law, is love. This tells us the intent of the author for writing the Ten Commandments, all of God’s law, is love, not death. The intent of the author is also called the Spirit of the law.
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Rom 13:8-10 ESV
In Gal 3:23-25 we learn that the law was given to be our guardian and schoolmaster. Guardians protect and schoolmaster’s lead us into truth.
Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian/schoolmaster until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. Gal 3:23-24 ESV (Greek word can be translated as guardian or schoolmaster.)
We can easily see how the law guards us against each other’s fallen nature. In this next verse, Paul explains how the law was his schoolmaster bringing him to the knowledge of sin. The knowledge that he had violated God’s law and was now liable for its consequence of death.
…Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” Rom 7:7b ESV
Paul rightly calls the law, the Ten Commandments - holy, righteous, and good; but he also explains that the commandments, the very thing that God created for the greater good, has also brought the unintended consequence of death to mankind through Satan's deception.
What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. Rom 7:7-12 ESV
As a warning to all who will hear, Paul also calls the Ten Commandments the ministry of death and condemnation for all who choose to remain under the law.
Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. 2 Cor 3: 7-9 ESV (ministry of righteousness is the New Covenant of grace and truth Jesus brought)
Reliance on the law severs a person from the grace of Christ.
You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. Gal 5:4 ESV
Further down in Romans 7, Paul tells us the only way to be set free from the unintended consequence of death the law brings.
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. Rom 7: 24-25 ESV
Our faith in Jesus has set us free from the guardian/schoolmaster, the law of sin and death.
But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian/schoolmaster, Gal 3:25 ESV (the law was the guardian/schoolmaster we are no longer under – Gal 3:23-24)
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. Rom 8:1-2 ESV
There is no longer a need to fear death.
Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. Heb 2:14-15 ESV
Why did we fear death? We rightly feared God’s consequences for violating the moral law. But now in Christ, we are a child of God placed under grace.
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Heb 8:15 ESV
For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. Rom 6:14 ESV
By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 1 John 4:17-18 ESV
Apart from the law in Christ and under the New Covenant, God who cannot lie has made these promises to believers.
then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. Heb 10:17-18 ESV
For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. Heb 8:12-13 ESV (the old covenant is what Moses brought – this verse shows it has been replaced)
I believe God’s promises. What about you?
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