Sunday, December 2, 2018

The Law of God is a Compass (Part 2): Safety

[This is part 2 of the Law of God is a Compass series. Find Part 1 HERE.]

The law of God is a compass that always points in the direction of safety.  There are myriads of ways we can sin, myriads of ways we can deviate from God's will. How do we know for certain if what we are doing is something the Lord wants us to do? How do we know for certain if what we are doing is pleasing to the Lord? How do we know for certain if something we are doing is sin or not? The law of God answers all of these questions for us.  

The law of God will always point us in the safe path, the path of God's will. When Paul defended the law in Romans 7 (yes - that is what he did there), he asks the question, What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, "You shall not covet." (Romans 7:7) 


What Paul is saying here is that there is nothing wrong with the law of God. In fact, it shows him when his behavior is sinful. What could be wrong with that? If not for the law, he would have coveted and coveted and coveted, not knowing that this was sinful behavior. Is the law sin? By no means. It was the law of God which taught him that coveting was wrong. (Romans 7:7)

The Psalmist also understood this and declared it over and over again in Psalm 119.  Psalm 119:117 Hold me up, that I may be safe and have regard for your statutes continually! You see, he knows that he is safe when God causes him to have regard for his statutes. 

But one might ask, what danger is there? Is there a danger of losing one's salvation if they don't keep the law of God?  The answer is absolutely not to the true believer. We are saved, made righteous in position and justified by faith alone in Christ alone, apart from works of the law. (See Romans 3-4-5)  [See our position on justification by going HERE.]

The danger, when we don't have regard for God's law, is that we will surely break it. And this should be grievous to any believer.

Why would we want to break his law (or sin) when he has shown us nothing but unlimited love, mercy, and grace? Why, if we love him, would we disregard what he wants us to do? Surely we can agree that we should not want to break his law. Pertaining to this, Paul asks, "Should we continue in sin that grace may abound?"  God forbid! (Romans 6:1)

The last thing the Psalmist, and Paul and every other writer of Scripture, want to do is to dishonor the Lord by breaking his law. Sinning brings shame upon the person and dishonors the Lord. The Psalmist is trying to avoid this and wants to be safe from doing it.  This is why he prays, "Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments." (Psalm 119:5-6)

Regarding love for the Lord, obedience to Christ is evidence of love for Christ. (See 1 John 5:1-3).  Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15)  Jesus showed the world that he loved the Father by obeying the Father (John 14:31). So, out of love for God, we should not want to sin. 

Because of Christ's death on the cross, the believer is forever safe from God's judgment (Romans 5:1, 8:1). What we are not safe from is sinful behavior. The law of God is a compass that always points to safety from sin. It does not provide the ability to avoid sinful behavior - only the Holy Spirit in us can do that. But what it does do is point us in the safe path of behavior. It always informs us as to what is the right thing to do, the godly thing, the holy thing, the loving thing. It always shows us the safe path to go to avoid sin.  

And for that, we should love it and thank God for it.

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The Law of God is a Compass (Part 2): Safety

[This is part 2 of the Law of God is a Compass series. Find Part 1 HERE .] The law of God is a compass that always points in the direction...