Cover Story Good Advice Feature Video Hot Topics

Most Commented Video

Hot topic of the week

Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

What do YOU think?

Click here join in the discussion.

Most Commented Articles

Angels With Brussels Sprouts (3)

The Interview (3)

Camp Meeting Ambush (1)

Hard to Be Good (1)

Carrying Calvin (1)

Steve's Picture
Meet Steve


If we’re saved by the grace of Christ, why are some people still interested in the law?


I’ve heard that the law was “done away with” at the cross. If we’re saved by the grace of Christ, why are some people still interested in the law?

Steve Answers:

It seems that many Christians today react strongly against “the law.” But that hasn’t been true for God’s people throughout most of this earth’s history.

We often think of God giving His law on Mount Sinai to the children of Israel after they left Egypt (see Exodus 20:2-17). But before this, Israel’s father, Isaac, received a message from God that his descendants would be the conduit for God’s blessings to the whole world. Notice the reason God gave Isaac: “I will do this because Abraham listened to me and obeyed all my requirements, commands, regulations, and laws” (Genesis 26:5, NLT).*
For God’s people “the law” has been whatever God has revealed to us. The longest chapter in the whole Bible is all about “the law.” Here are just a few of the 176 verses in Psalm 119: “Happy are people of integrity, who follow the law of the Lord” (verse 1, NLT).
“I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (verse 11, NLT).
“Give me an eagerness for your decrees” (verse 36).
“You made me; you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands” (verse 73).
“Oh, how I love your law! I think about it all day long” (verse 97).
“Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path” (verse 105).
“I’ve promised it once, and I’ll promise again: I will obey your wonderful laws” (verse 106).
“Those who love your law have great peace and do not stumble” (verse 165).
For the Jewish people the word “law” is used the same way that Christians use the word “Bible.” Christians like to refer to 2 Timothy 3:16, 17 to point out the origin, purpose, and value of the Bible: “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do” (NLT).
Do you think Jesus “did away with” that when He died on the cross? Did Jesus “do away” with the Old Testament and leave the New Testament for His people? That may sound like a clean way to start over, but then why is so much of the New Testament directly quoted from the Old Testament?
Here’s the mistake or misunderstanding that many Christians have about the relationship between the Old Testament and the New Testament: They think that the Old Testament is only for Jews, and that salvation came by obeying God’s laws. They also think that the New Testament is for Christians, and that believing in Jesus is all that matters (no law).
That’s all messed up. Look back three paragraphs and read 2 Timothy 3:16, 17 again. Check out the very first word! That certainly doesn’t fit with the Old-Testament-is-for-Jews-and-the-New-Testament-is-for-Christians perspective, because there was no “New Testament” when Paul wrote 2 Timothy. When Paul wrote “All Scripture . . .” he was referring to the Old Testament!
Actually, the first verse in 2 Timothy gives the purpose of the entire letter: “This letter is from Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will, sent out to tell others about the life he has promised through faith in  Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:1, NLT). Does that sound like it has anything to do with Jesus Christ or Christians? If it does, then commending the entire Old Testament for Christians is reason to go back to the Old Testament even more!
So why are some people reticent or even resistant to the Bible (or “the law”)? It’s actually possible to love the Bible more than you love God. It sounds crazy, but that happens sometimes. It would be like having a photo of your sweetheart as a fond memory when the two of you are apart. But when your sweetheart is in the room with you, it makes absolutely no sense to hang on to the photo! But that’s what some people do—they hang on to the Bible, and they miss Jesus!
Here’s how Jesus described this situation in John 5:39, 40: “You search the Scriptures because you believe they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me so that I can give you this eternal life” (NLT).
Those who worship the Bible instead of the Jesus of the Bible actually don’t really understand the Bible.  Quoting Jesus again: “Yet it is not I who will accuse you of this before the Father. Moses will accuse you! Yes, Moses, on whom you set your hopes. But if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me because he wrote about me. And since you don’t believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?” (John 5:45-47, NLT).
Allow me to explain my answer in four statements:
1. The law (the Bible) is a good thing, because it tells us about God.
2. Sin is so bad and so strong that it distorts and overpowers the law (the Bible).
3. Jesus Christ triumphed over sin when He died on the cross.
4. Now you can have Jesus in your heart through the Holy Spirit.
Where is the law in all of this? Either sin overpowers it, or else God places it inside your heart when the Holy Spirit dwells there.
Here are a few verses from Romans 7 and 8 that support my four statements:
“Sin used what was good to bring about my condemnation. So we can see how terrible sin really is. It uses God’s good commandment for its own evil purposes” (Romans 7:13, NLT).
 “The law is good, then. The trouble is not with the law but with me, because I am sold into slavery, with sin as my master” (Romans 7:14, NLT).
“God destroyed sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the requirement of the law would be fully accomplished for us who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit” (Romans 8:3, 4, NLT).
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. For the power of the lifegiving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death” (Romans 8:1, 2, NLT).
“You are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them are not Christians at all.)” (Romans 8:9, NLT).
“You have no obligation whatsoever to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you keep on following it, you will perish. But if through the power of the Holy Spirit you turn from it and its evil deeds, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God” (Romans 8:12, 13, NLT).
What did Jesus “nail to the cross”? Any attempt to be saved apart from Jesus.
Why are some people still interested in the law? Either because they think they can obey it perfectly in their own strength and earn salvation or because the Holy Spirit lives inside of them, they actually obey God now. Which answer describes you?
*Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

Submit Question :: Add Comment ::Send a to Friend!

Top | Home