Old Doxoblogy

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

What's Wrong With The Law? Part Two

The Law Can't Help Me With My Problem

As you may have noticed in the last psot, I don't have a very high view of humanity. Actually, I do, but not when it comes to sin. We, although originally created inthe image of God, are now twisted, perverted, and sinful. We have broken God's law. Breaking God's law is the worst thing you can do. It's also the very first thing we do. But our problem goes even deeper than that. It's not jsut that we have all individually broken God's law, it's that in Adam, who represented us at the dawn of creation, we all broke God's law. (Rom 5:12-14) So we have two problems, and they both involve the law. Surely there is a solution for this problem from the law. Nope. Sorry. There's not.
Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. (Rom 3:19-20)
For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them." Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for "The righteous shall live by faith." But the law is not of faith, rather "The one who does them shall live by them." (Gal 3:10-12)
Those should be sobering words for the world. To know that God's law judges us in every sin we commit is a staggering thought to me. The law is given to show men our sinfulness, and as a result of that sinfulness, to pronounce a guilty sentence and God's curse upon us.
This is where we start looking for the legal loopholes, but there aren't any. The law can't help me now. No defense attorney can twist the words of God's commandments to make them adapt to needs.

See, this is where everyone more or less agrees. Apart from Christ there is no hope for lawbreakers. We can't be justified by the law, so Christ keeps the law for us, and then dies for us, and through faith in Him we are counted righteous and just. We are regarded as though we had lived Christ's perfect life of obedience to God's law. Then everything gets messy, because I'm going to tell you that you won't, that you can't be sanctified or glorified through lawkeeping either. The law can't do it. It is not equipped or designed to do it.

Even after I'm justified, I still have a problem. I am positionally righteous, but I'm also practically sinful. The law isn't going to help me become less sinful. You know why? Because it still has the same basic purposes that it had while I was lost. It reveals and excites sin, and it deters the outward manifestation of that sin. Something has to happen on the inside of me and you. And it's not as simple as saying, "I'm justified and regenerated now, so I can keep the ten commandments now." I wish it were that simple, but it really isn't.

8 comments:

John D. Chitty said...

Lex Semper Accusatos!

The Law exposes our sin and condemnation, drives us to the Gospel of Christ for justification, which points us back to the condemnation-free law for sanctification! This, I call the "Law/Gospel" Cycle! Check out my most recent post at "The Misadventures of Captain Headknowledge." After, of course, you've given Sith Lord Jeremy plenty of reading and commenting!

Peter D. Nelson said...

You seem to be concentrating on the a usus elenchticus or pedagogicus use of the law. But I haven't seen the civilis or didacticus portion discussed.

To fully discuss the law the threefold use of it must be examined.

Jeremy Weaver said...

You seem to be concentrating on the a usus elenchticus or pedagogicus use of the law. But I haven't seen the civilis or didacticus portion discussed.

That's because I follow Luther's view of the law and not Calvin's. But don't worry, I'll discuss the 'third use' soon.

bluecollar said...

Where in scripture are we taught to divide the law up into three parts. The scriptures teach no such thing. When Christ came there was a change of law, see Heb. 7:12. Christ is the new lawgiver - Gen. 49:10; Deut18:15,18-19; Isaiah 42:1-4. What ever proceded from His mouth and those that wrote the New Testament is what is binding on the Christian today.

These debates were caried on between Richard Barcelos (Covenant Theology) and John Reisinger ( New Covenant Theology) a couple years ago. To be sure, this is a very complex issue.

In Hebrews 8 - 10 we see the contrast betweene how the Old Covenant law was treated by those who could not keep it. It was holy, and man was weak, too weak to walk therein. In the New Covenant God's laws are written on the heart and mind and His Spirit put within causing us to walk in His ways (in the Law of Christ)as Christ was God's final, and most glorious Mouth Piece - again, refering back to Is. 42:4 and Deut. 18:15, 18-19, and Gen. 49:10.

To walk in Christ's ways is to walk in the way God the Father would have us to walk. As it is written "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God" - Romans 8:14.

bluecollar said...

I am thankfull that Gal. 3 teaches that the OT law was a school-master to lead me to Christ. Without that OT law I would not have seen my sin nature, my love to transgress God's laws. I would not have seen my love of sin over my love of God. The OT law shows me my sinfulness, I am convinced that I am a sinner, thanks to the OT law.

Sojourner said...

I'll wait to see where you go from here, but I think that we disagree a little. I think that the law is a wonderful thing, and I believe that God has used it to further my sanctification. I believe that He used it to bring me to faith.

Steve Weaver said...

e plubirus unum! et tu, Brute! ex nihilo! sola fide, sola gratia, solus Christus, soli Deo gloria! post tenebras lux! tolle legge! semper reformanda! ex nihilo, nihil fit! Pater noster! gloria en excelsis Deo!

Peter D. Nelson said...

Steve you forgot sola scriptura. Of course if you had posted it in esperanto I'd be more impressed.