Monday: Faith and Law
avatar

Jesus With Ten CommandmentsPaul has argued strongly for the supremacy of faith in a person’s relationship with God. He has repeatedly stated that neither circumcision nor any other “works of law” are a prerequisite to salvation, “because by works of the law no one will be justified” (Gal. 2:16, ESV). Moreover, it is not the works of the law but faith that is the defining mark of the believer (Gal. 3:7). This repeated negation of the works of the law raises the question, “Does the law have absolutely no value, then? Did God do away with the law?” 1

Because salvation is by faith and not by works of law, does Paul mean to say that faith abolishes the law? What do the following texts tell us? Compare Rom. 3:31with Rom. 7:7, 128:3 and Matt. 5:17–20.



Paul’s argument in Romans 3 parallels his discussion about faith and law in Galatians. Sensing that his comments might lead some to conclude that he is exalting faith at the expense of the law, Paul asks the rhetorical question, “Do we then overthrow the law by this faith?” (ESV). The word translated as “overthrow” in Romans 3:31 (ESV) is katargeo. Paul uses the word frequently, and it can be translated as “to nullify” (Rom. 3:3, ESV), “to abolish” (Eph. 2:15), “to brought to nothing” (Rom. 6:6, ESV), or even to destroy (1 Cor. 6:13). Clearly, if Paul wanted to endorse the idea that the law was somehow done away with at the cross, as some people today claim he taught, this would have been the time. But Paul not only denies that sentiment with an emphatic no, he actually states that his gospel “establishes” the law!

“The plan of justification by faith reveals God’s regard for His law in demanding and providing the atoning sacrifice. If justification by faith abolishes law, then there was no need for the atoning death of Christ to release the sinner from his sins, and thus restore him to peace with God.

“Moreover, genuine faith implies in itself an unreserved willingness to fulfill the will of God in a life of obedience to His law. . . . Real faith, based on wholehearted love for the Saviour, can lead only to obedience.”—The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 510.

Think through the implications if Paul did, indeed, mean that faith nullifies the need to keep the law. Would then, for instance, adultery no longer be sin, or stealing, or even murder? Think about the sorrow, pain, and suffering you could spare yourself if you merely obeyed God’s law. What suffering have you or others gone through totally as a result of disobedience to God’s law?

Share Button

Comments

Monday: Faith and Law — 4 Comments

  1. I would think an easy solution to the problem of knowing what to do with the moral law would be to remember the texts which indicate that the law would be put in our minds and written in our hearts as Hebrews 8 tells us.

    Like(0)
  2. Romans 7:7 references the Ten Commandments, not any Mosaic Law here, confirming God's Royal Law. It says: 7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”[Exodus 20:17; Deut. 5:21]

    Like(0)
  3. As sinful human beings we cannot and will not atone for our sins, even if our sins are small like a mustard seed, only Jesus can deal with such violations. The law cannot save us, because it need a person to save us, and again this is incorporated in the Ministry of Christ. The purpose of the law then is to direct us to Christ, as we cannot do anything apart from Jesus. Without the law we would not know that we sin, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Finally, we confess our sins to Jesus who will give us a new lease on life. The blood of Jesus only will wash away our sins, by faith in him. If the law was not good for us, God would have done away with it.

    I thank you.

    Like(0)
  4. God meets the purpose of
    the law by saving people
    by faith. The principle of
    faith gives meaning to the
    true idea of the law.
    Justification by faith is
    consistent with the law of
    the Old Testament
    because it affirms God’s
    need to penalize sin and
    resolves that need by
    Jesus’ paying that penalty.Faith
    establishes the law by
    trust in the principle of
    death for sin. Sin requires
    death before we can have
    a relationship with God.
    God’s character demands
    a solution to the sin
    problem. God established
    the law by executing the
    penalty of the law. Faith
    in Christ’s death declares
    the believer free from the
    death penalty. God did
    not ignore the sin issue
    but treated it so seriously
    that He killed His Son on
    the cross so that we can
    have His heaven. He paid
    our debt in full. When we
    place faith in that, God is
    free to declare us as right
    as he is right.
    NB: Pardon me for da short lines, i use phone to type dats why

    Like(0)

What do you think? If you like a comment, just [Like] it or post a thoughtful reply. Please provide a working email address and your real first AND last name to have your comment published.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.