Old Testament Law in the life of New Testament Christians

Thursday, May 16, 2013

“Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.” (Romans 7:12)

IDEA: The Law is holy, just, and good.

PURPOSE: To help listeners appreciate the positive nature of the Law.

When people think about the Law of God, what kind of feelings do they have?

Do they think of it as good or bad?

Positive or negative?

Helpful or destructive?

I. Why do people tend to think of the Law negatively?

Because the Law condemns us, we think that the problem is with the Law, not with ourselves.

Because the Law is often in contrast to grace, then it is thought of as something destructive whereas grace is thought of as something constructive and positive.

II. Paul writes in Romans 7:12, “The Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good.” What does he mean by that?

The Law (and each commandment in the Law) is holy.

It comes from God who is holy and bears the mark of His authority. That’s true for the Law as a whole and for each part of it.

The Law (and each commandment in the Law) is just or righteous.

One reason the law is just or righteous is that it requires righteous conduct among people and therefore is merciful and not burdensome. Deuteronomy 4:7-8: “For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the Lord our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him? And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day?”

They bear witness to God’s own just character.

The Law (and each commandment in the Law) is good. They are intended for our benefit.

We often think that the Law is given only to condemn us:

Two guys driving a truck came to an overpass with a sign saying 11’7″. They got out and measured the truck at the highest point and it was 12’5″. They looked around to determine if there were any policemen. Seeing none, they drove the truck through the underpass and got stuck.

The Law was good, but we often think that the Law was given to condemn us. Those men were in trouble because they disobeyed the counsel of the sign. It was good but they were not.

Conclusion:

The Law is good and we are not.