Updated: Feb 25, 2022
To take a close look at the History of Israel starting at Exodus 19 is to find that every time you turn around God was exacting judgment on them for breaking the covenant that they made at Mt. Sinai. (Exodus 19-24) This covenant was that He would bless them if they kept the law and He would curse them if they didn’t.
God did not find an error with the promises that He made to the Children of Israel. God always comes through on His end of the deal. This time was no different. However, the scripture is very clear. He found fault with the people under the law. His promises were great, and He performed in that covenant just like He said He would. The people, broke their promise in almost every situation. This is why God, carrying out His plan from the beginning and notwithstanding the people's pride at Sinai, enacted The New Covenant founded upon better promises (Hebrews 8:6). Promises that would not be broken.
“For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:” -Hebrews 8:8
Under The Law
Under the law, the people failed. Under the law, they were consumed with sin. Under the law, their flesh craved unrighteousness. Under the law, death and sin reigned.
God’s grace enters the scene under The New Covenant made in Jesus blood. (Ephesians 1:7 says In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;). Grace under The New Covenant was witnessed by the law and the prophets and this covenant had nothing to do with anyone's performance aside from that of Jesus. (Romans 3:21).
We do not answer to the law as New Covenant believers, but why? Isn’t the law good? Isn’t it perfect and holy just like Paul said in Romans 7:12?
Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. -Romans 7:12
Yes it is! The law itself is perfect, complete, holy and is a reflection of the perfect standard of a God who expects nothing less than absolute perfection. Did you read that? Absolute perfection. Does your behavior reflect absolute perfection? This is the standard by which you will have to live if you are going to be blessed by God for keeping the law (Romans 10:5, James 2:10).
Shut Your Mouth!
"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God." -Rom 3:19
Thankfully, whatever the law says it says to those who are subject to it. Believers are not under the law, but we are under grace (Romans 6:14). When a believer reads the law, He is reading someone else’s mail.
Grace is the means by which God has taken us and transformed our nature into a nature like His own (Eph 4:23, I Cor. 6:17). God has also shared His nature with us (2 Peter 1:4). These two occurrences are different but inseparably tied to one another. You are a new creature, and God's nature is within you; because He is in you. God leads us to righteousness behavior by faith in Christ in the same way that He made us righteous in our identity by new birth (Colossians 2:4). Our behavior is transformed and we are freed from addiction to sin led by none other than Jesus Himself, and by this new nature, not by The Old Covenant Law of Moses.
Those who think they are able to keep the law, saved or unsaved, are told to shut their mouths by the very law they think will justify them. Our justification (to be made righteous) does not come from what we do. It comes from our faith in what Jesus did. (Romans 5:1-2).
The Law Breeds Sin
Hear me out! I can hear someone saying out there, “I thought the law was good?“. It is more than good. The law is perfect!
The catch is: you and I still have the flesh. Though we are new creatures in Christ, the flesh still plagues us. The flesh isn’t who we are in Christ. It is a leftover mindset, or the former desires and lusts of the world. The flesh seeks to influence us.
Romans 7:7-8 “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.”
Paul was saying, “I looked to one of the Ten Commandments, thou shalt not covet, and what it did was produce in me all kinds of coveting.”
Apart from the law, sin is dead. Under the law, expect more sinning, not less. The power of sin in our members loves commandments. Sin takes it’s occasion by the commandment. It finds opportunities when you are focused on obeying or not breaking laws.
The law breeds sin in us. Our flesh is weak to it and cannot stand up to it. We needed Christ to condemn sin in the flesh because we couldn’t.
Romans 8:3 “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:”
There is nothing wrong with the law, but when it is combined with you and I it produces sin and death. The law reveals the problem and it increases sin but it offers no solutions. That is something only Jesus can do.
Instead, we lead people to the answer (Jesus) and then immediately say to them in our lack of understanding, “It’s great that you have Christ in you, and you‘re under grace, by faith. Now, we need to arouse sinful passions in your flesh by putting you back under the law.”
The Spirit was given to us and we are led by Him and not under the law. The reason for this is simple. The Spirit produces fruit that leads to righteousness (Ephesians 5:9). The law produces fruit that leads to sin and death (Romans 7:5).
Romans 5:20 “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound”
To be continued in part 2…