“Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law” (Romans 3:31).
Christians are not called to live according to the ceremonial laws of the Old Covenant, and even less are we to uphold the Mosaic dispensation. When it comes to the moral law it is our duty to live by its teachings, but we must remember that justification cannot come by fulfilling it. If justification came from the moral law then no one could be saved, for all transgress it.
Upholding the moral law
We teach and preach the spiritual message of the moral law in the same way that Christ and His apostles did. It is right and good to declare the whole counsel of God to those who will listen.
We must not water down any part of the word of God to make it acceptable to sinners and the disobedient. This means, just as the Lord Jesus taught from the moral law, we too should proclaim, for in doing so we are preparing the ground for them to come to Him.
Most people today do not have the slightest understanding of what the Holy Bible teaches. There are those who know the words but fail to realise the significance of them. Many preachers, just like the Pharisees of old, misrepresent and misinterpret God’s infallible and inspired word. They think that their outward acts of humanitarianism can atone for the lack of inner holiness. Because they do not really love God the spiritual meaning of the law is completely hidden from their eyes. As a result their lives are impure. The outward form of religion may be there but there is no desire, let alone power, to live according to God’s righteousness … “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” (2 Timothy 3:5.) Is it not true that those who reject the law take the greatest offence when the purity of the gospel is preached?
No matter who is offended, we must speak the truth as Christ taught it. Whether they listen or not, they must be warned. We are not here to be pleasers of men but to please God. We know that, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16.) Let us never apologise for standing firm on the solid rock of God’s truth. Let us never be ashamed of the one who saved us.
Faith and love
Faith can never replace holiness, but instead it produces holiness in all its fullness. Holiness has its positive and negative aspects. Most people do not want to consider the negative aspect because they want holiness without obedience.
Faith is the servant of love. The purpose of the law is to give guidance on how believers should love and serve the Lord. This is why love is eternal. Faith will cease, but love never ends … “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity” (1 Corinthians 13:13.)
Faith is wonderful virtue to have, for without it we cannot please God (Hebrews 11:6,) but faith is only strong if it is rooted in love for Him. Some exaggerate faith until it has eclipsed everything else. Adam would have continued to be blessed in Eden if he had not failed in his love for God. Love reigned in his heart, and it had no rival, until the fall. As soon as he disobeyed God he stopped loving Him in the right way. Once the relationship was broken by sin faith was added. Faith was introduced to restore mankind to the love from which it had fallen. Faith has no independent value until it works to re-establish love in our hearts.
A faith that upholds the law
It is good to uphold the law through preaching and teaching, but is it truly established in our hearts? If it is not we are simply ‘gongs and cymbals’ (1 Corinthians 13:1.) Indeed, if it is not, we are multiplying our damnation. To uphold it in our hearts we must have its full effect in our lives.
Our faith is in the pardoning God who establishes His law in our hearts. It motivates us to ever increasing love for Him, because He poured His love and mercy upon us through Christ. This grateful love for God enables us to love our neighbour, and even or enemy, too.
Because we love God we do not want to do those things which He prohibits … “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15), and “love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10.) True faith, working by love, purifies the heart and cleanses it from all evil affections. We ought not to live by the letter of the law, for loveless obedience is of no use to God, instead we should live by the spirit of the law, fulfilling it by faith because we love our heavenly Father (2 Corinthians 3:6.)
The slightest transgression of the law is an offence to God, but because He loves us He shines the light of His mercy into the darkness of our hearts. This, the searching rays of His law, reveals sin and directs us to the Saviour. By exercising faith in Him we begin to love and serve the Lord. The more knowledge of God’s moral law we receive the greater will be that love, until it is no loner written on stone tablets but deep in our souls.