The Law and the Good News
By Michele Rayburn
“But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully”...(1 Timothy 1:8)
As I was reading some blog posts and comments on another blog, about the law and the gospel, the thought came to mind that Jesus died under the law which was composed of God’s law but also of man’s laws. And Jesus was subjected to man’s faulty interpretation of both God’s law and their own laws. As a result, Jesus was wrongly accused of breaking the law and was wrongfully put to death.
The Bible says “For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God.” (Galatians 2:19) In this case, we were righteously judged by God to be unable to keep His law, and would be condemned if it were not for our faith in the Lawgiver, Jesus Christ.
But Jesus died under the law which was implemented by sinful men, so that they could not be trusted to implement the law perfectly. Then as now, the law is often, accidentally or on purpose, used to either judge an innocent man to be guilty or to judge a guilty man to be innocent.
If even Jesus can be found guilty under the law by men, then who could ever expect to be judged righteously by men?
If we as believers should ever attempt to be perfect law-keepers on this earth, it would do great harm to us, mentally, spiritually and even physically, because we could never “measure up” to God’s law. But more than that, the law as interpreted by sinful man will always have us falling short, because so often our lawgivers and “spiritual leaders” are misguided as to what is lawful and what is not, and what is sinful and what is not. And so, if we trust in men, and look to them for acceptance and assurance, we will always find ourselves under a cloud of guilt and condemnation.
But thank the Lord, it says in Romans 7:6, “But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and *not* in the oldness of the letter.”
Paul the Apostle cries out in despair and asks, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”
And then he answers his own question, “I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So, then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Romans 7:24-25)
And Paul goes on to say, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1)