Read verse 8
“ We know that the law is good if one uses it properly”
This verse is important as it implies that we can use the law unlawfully and misuse the law. It’s not the law that is the issue, but the way in one uses it.
Read verse 9-11
“We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.”
Q. What is the law?
The 10 commandments – a set of rules that God gave to Moses to give their people to adhere to.
A set of rules to govern a set of people.
Noun - the system of rules which a country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and which it may enforce by the imposition of penalties.
Reference: Read Acts 15:1
Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.”
By the verse above, we would say that this is legalism.
Read Acts 15:24
We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear?
In conclusion, the Gentiles weren’t obligated to be circumcised but they were saved by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The law is good, but in terms of our salvation, it’s not relevant.
Q. What is the purpose of the law?
Read Galatians 3:19-24
“Why, then, the Law [what was its purpose]? It was added [after the promise to Abraham, to reveal to people their guilt] because of transgressions [that is, to make people conscious of the sinfulness of sin], and [the Law] was ordained through angels and delivered to Israel by the hand of a mediator [Moses, the mediator between God and Israel, to be in effect] until the Seed would come to whom the promise had been made. 20 Now the mediator or go-between [in a transaction] is not [needed] for just one party; whereas God is only one [and was the only One giving the promise to Abraham, but the Law was a contract between two, God and Israel; its validity depended on both]. Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a system of law had been given which could impart life, then righteousness (right standing with God) would actually have been based on law. But the Scripture has imprisoned everyone [everything—the entire world] under sin, so that [the inheritance, the blessing of salvation] which was promised through faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe [in Him and acknowledge Him as God’s precious Son]. Now before faith came, we were kept in custody under the Law, [perpetually] imprisoned [in preparation] for the faith that was destined to be revealed, with the result that the Law has become our tutor and our disciplinarian to guide us to Christ, so that we may be justified [that is, declared free of the guilt of sin and its penalty, and placed in right standing with God] by faith.”
Summary: Moses gave these laws to the Jewish people. They Jews followed them. Then there was Christianity when Jesus came. They were saved because they believed in Jesus, but the Jews still followed their Jewish law. But did we need to do that for us to be saved?
As Christians, unbelievers will challenge and question us about law and salvation. But you could answer them by saying:
The law is a guide and a teacher which it leads us to Christ. Legalism is a strict adherence to rules and regulations. The law is good, but it depends how you use it; if you use it to preach that law brings salvation, then that’s correct doctrine. We believe in grace (God’s riches at Christ’s expense). So overall, we need Jesus.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for your word and that you are our teacher. We pray that you continue to guide us to live our best Christian life. In Jesus name, Amen.