The law could not offer salvation. It only condemns.
12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.
The “Law” is the commandments that the Lord gave to Moses on Mount Sinai. And when Moses came down from the mountain to present the law to the Israelites, they all declared “We will do everything the Lord has commanded.” (See Exodus 19:7-8.) The people then added many laws to the original ten.
The law was not based on faith. The law required action. It required obedience from the people. Initially, they had enthusiasm and a hearty intent to obey the law. However, their enthusiasm quickly wore off. Our loving Father knows our nature. He knows all about each of us. After all, He made us! So I’m sure that He was not surprised when the people fell off the bandwagon and started living their self-centered lives once again.
So what was the purpose of the law?
19 Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. 20 A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one.
21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22 But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
The law was a time-filler to control the lawless. It stood in the gap until the time came for Jesus Christ to come on the scene to rescue us. Do you see that in this Scripture from Galatians? The intent of the law was good. It was given to handle transgressions. However, the law could not offer life. It could only point out sin. The law was unable to atone for the penalty of sin.
But what replaced the law is so much better!
I thank God every day that I was born in this Age of Grace. This time after Jesus came and paid our sin-debt in full. We no longer have to live by the law. Paul sums it up in one verse:
Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.
Then why do we try so hard to put the law back into our salvation? We try to put rules and regulations on our faith where there should be none. We are saved by the grace of God. It is only through our faith in Jesus that we have eternal salvation. Jesus is Grace. Jesus is Life.
Eternal Salvation = Faith + Nothing
I hope that’s clear for you. To understand Scripture, this is one of those principals that we need to understand. When Jesus Christ died on the cross, He paid the penalty for all the acts that were declared sin by the law. The penalty for the sin was paid. Once for all. Jesus fulfilled the law for each of us.
So let me address a concern that people have when they hear they are no longer under the law. What controls sin? Paul again provides the answer for us:
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
The God who lives in us teaches us to live sinless lives.
The Holy Spirit is our constant One to bring conviction to our hearts when we make bad choices. He corrects us and keeps us on the right path. God’s ways are so much higher than our ways. His ways are amazing and great is His love for us.
As children of God, we need to be careful that we don’t allow the law to enter our hearts. It is not a combination of law and grace. It is law or it is grace. The law brings death and grace brings life. It is our choice.
When we listen to the Holy Spirit within us and live our lives for Jesus, it is grace.
Stay in the Love and the Light Always,