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The Perpetuity of the Law

 

The Giver of the Law

 

How many lawgivers are there?

 

“There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you – who are you to judge your neighbor?” James 4:12.

 

What is said of the stability of God’s character?

 

“I the Lord do not change.” Malachi 3:6. 

 

How enduring are God’s moral precepts?

 

“The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy. They are steadfast for ever and ever, done in faithfulness and uprightness.” Psalm 11:7,8. 

 

Note – This rule is unchangeable because it is in harmony with the unchangeable nature of God. The rule of God among men is an expression of His holiness. It must be eternally what it has ever been.

 

Christ Fulfills the Law

 

Did Christ come to abolish or to destroy the law?

 

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.Matthew 5:17.

 

Note – As the word ‘law’ is used in various senses in the Bible we may well begin our study with a brief examination of its meaning.

The word torah is there used [that is, in the Old Testament] for the laws revealed through Moses, but these were of a threefold character.

“(a) The civil law was strictly applicable only to the chosen people, and was adapted to their peculiar circumstances both in the wilderness and in Canaan, but it has ever since formed the pattern for the legislation of all civilized countries.

“(b) The ceremonial law was also only for Israel and proselytes from heathendom, and it was preparatory and temporary (Galatians 4:3,9; Colossians 2:16,17,20,21; Hebrews 7:18, 19; 9:10; 10:1); yet it not only typified the gospel dispensation, but illustrated the perpetual principles of acceptable worship.

“(c) The moral law was given to Israel in trust for all mankind. It contains the elementary rules of moral right and wrong. It has never been abrogated but is as unchangeable as its author, being based on our essential relationships to Him [Christ] and our fellow men, and it is of perpetual and universal obligation  (Matthew 5:17-20).

Confining our attention now to the moral law, let us consider its essential character and its original proclamation.

“1. It may be regarded as the expression of the divine mind and will, universal in its scope, but individual in its application, for it addresses us in the singular number.

 

“2. It is strikingly compact, but singularly; covering every relationship in which we stand both to God and man, and embracing alike our religious and social duties.

 

It deals not only with our open words and actions, but also with our hidden thoughts and motives the first, second, and tenth commandments regulating our desires, the third and ninth our words, and the remainder our deeds. The commands imply a prohibition of the opposite conduct, and the negative involves the contrary positive duties as we see from the summary of both ‘tables’ in Leviticus 19:18; Deuteronomy 6:5; 10:12. 

 

What does “fulfill” mean when used with reference to law?

 

Carry each others burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2. (See Matthew 3:15; James 2:8, 9.

 

How did Christ treat His Father’s commandments?

 

“If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” John 15:10. 

 

If one professes to abide in Christ, how ought he to walk?

 

“Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” 1 John 2:6.     

 

Sin and the Law

 

What is sin?

 

“Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.” 1 John 3:4. 

 

Note – This text says that sin is, not was, the transgression of the law, thus showing that the law is still in force in the gospel dispensation. “Whosoever” likewise shows the universality of its binding claims. Everyone who commits sin transgresses the law.

 

In what condition are all men?

 

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23. “What shall we conclude then? Are we any better?” Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and gentiles alike are all under sin.” Verse 9.

 

By what are all men proved guilty?

 

“Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.” Verse 19.

Faith, Love, and the law

 

Does faith in God void the law?

 

“Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.”

Verse 31.

 

What, more than all else, proves the perpetuity and immutability of the law of God?

 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16.  “That Christ died for our sins.” 1 Corinthians 15:3.

 

Note – Could the law have been abolished, and sin been disposed of in this way, Christ need not have come and died for our sins. The gift of Christ, therefore, more than all else, proves the immutability of the law of God. Christ must come and die, and satisfy the claims of the law, or the world must perish. The law could not give way. The fact that the law is to be the standard in the judgment is another proof of its enduring nature. (See Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14: James 2:8-12.)

 

Who has the promise of being blessed in his doing?

 

“But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it – he will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:25. 

 

How may we know that we have passed from death to life?

 

“We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.” 1 John 3:14.

 

And how may we know that we love the brethren?

 

“This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands.” 1 John 5:2. 

 

What is the love of God?

 

“This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.”

Verse 3.

 

Note – In the moral government of the universe God acts in harmony with a rule…. Not only is it unchangeable with respect to places and races, to days and seasons, to conditions and circumstances, but also to ages. It has been unchangeable. It will be unchangeable. We cannot conceive of an age when the moral government of the universe shall be changed, because we cannot conceive of God becoming different morally from what He is now and ever has been… This Law of God is holy as He Himself is holy… It is a universal law… The Law of God is just and cannot be unjust – Its justice is universal…. It is more than just it is gracious… It results in welfare, in happiness, in blessedness. It is more than negative, prohibiting wrongdoing. It is more than positive, requiring right doing. It is linked with all the outgoing of God’s life towards man; and this means that it is linked with His great compassionate love. The Law of God is full of the love of God.

 

How are those described who will prepare for the coming of Christ?

 

“This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.” Revelation 14:12.    


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