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Did You Get the Purpose of the Law?

When you really understand what Paul describes about the Law in the book of Romans, the beauty and wonder of God become more inviting. The law is given, not only to show us how to love and serve God and each other, but also to prepare us for our need for Jesus.

There was a time before the law was given (Romans 5:14). Death reigned from thetime of Adam to the time of Moses even though there was no law. Breaking theMosaic or Levitical laws of God is not what brought death to humans. We weredoomed to the sentence of death long before those were given—after Adambroke the only law God gave so he could enjoy paradise: do not eat from the treeof the knowledge of good and evil. After Adam’s sin, God’s presencewas felt on the earth by certain people; but by the time of Noah, sin had socorrupted the world that God saved the world by flooding it. From the time ofNoah to the time of Abraham, once again individuals would sense His presenceand try to live their lives to please Him. Finally, the Law was given to Mosesto reveal how to know God and how to have the best relationships here on earth.The Law was a gift.

The Law was never meant to make us righteous. I’m sure God had a littlesmile on His face after He heard the response of the people Moses led out ofIsrael about the Law He was about to give. In Exodus 19:8, they promised, Wewill do everything the Lord has said. A little ironic since these are the samepeople that traveled 40 years in the wilderness because of their disobedience.Nevertheless, God gave them the Law. The purpose of the Law was not to make themrighteous, but to put them in a position of blessing and to show the world whoGod is so they could believe too. Romans 5:20 reveals, The law was addedso that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increasedall the more…

The Law reveals the need for grace. All those silly Pharisees who thought theyhad obeyed the Law so perfectly missed the reality. They set up human standardsfor righteousness, which required great self-discipline but kept them in a prisonof sin and death. It is not the Law but grace that will set us free. God sentthe Law to show us that we are desperate in our trespasses of it.

Even though the grace that is poured over us and our sin by the death and resurrectionof Jesus Christ is greater than the Law, loving the Law of God should be ourresponse to this grace. Psalm 119: 61-62 explains this passion: Though thewicked bind me with ropes, I will not forget your law. At midnight I rise togive you thanks for your righteous laws. Through every generation sincecreation, God has been faithfully and lovingly revealing Himself to the peoplewhom He loves. The Law was one more step in that revelation of love. SendingJesus, His only Son, was the climax of God’s love.

Once we understand that the Law is given to reveal how to love God and others,and not to make us righteous, we are ready to embrace the revelation of the Law.We can receive it in the Spirit it was given, out of love and direction. Withthe power of the Holy Spirit living in us, we can finally fulfill the Law tothe glory of God our Father. I hope you will embrace the Law of God as the Psalmistexclaims.


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