January - 13 - Sunday

Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.
Romans 3:31

Thoughts on the Epistle to the Romans (74)

Law-abiding Jews attempted to produce objections to the gospel that Paul preached: the law of Sinai had been given by God irrefutably. Therefore the gospel of God's free grace could not be true, since it annulled the law. The answer is: no, we do not invalidate the law, we do not deprive it of its effect. The law is in fact confirmed by believing the gospel.

The law sets out God's holy and righteous demands for mankind. The gospel confirms the justice of these demands.

The law shows that God is holy and must punish sin. The gospel takes God's wrath over sin seriously.

The law reveals man's sinfulness. Proceeding from man’s guilt, the gospel presents him with a joyful message.

The law states that forgiveness is impossible without a substitutional sacrifice (Hebrews 9:22). The content of the gospel is Jesus Christ, who became the true substitutional sacrifice.

To sum up: God's law was never honoured and so clearly confirmed as in the death of Jesus Christ. All its demands were there acknowledged as just; and Jesus Christ gave His life to settle fully the debt of our guilt.

How a born again Christian stands with regard to the law is an entirely different matter. This question is dealt with in detail in chapters 6 to 8 of the epistle to the Romans.

(to be continued next Sunday)