Shut Up To Faith In Christ
The law of God has but one proper use. It was given for only one purpose. It was not given as a code of moral ethics to be hung on classroom walls. It was not given to be the believerís rule of life, to keep us from living like rebels. It was not given as a motive for Christian service so that unwilling servants might be constrained to mercenary missionary service. The law was not given as a measure of sanctification to promote self-righteous assurance based upon legal obedience. And it was not given as a basis for reward or the loss of reward in heaven.
††††††††††† The believerís code of conduct and rule of life in faith, in practice, in daily affairs of life, in personal matters, in domestic matters, and in civil matters, is not ten rules written in stone, but the whole revealed will of God in Holy Scripture. Believers are not rebels who must be ruled by law, but sons whose hearts are constrained by love. Godís servants are neither forced servants nor mercenary servants, but willing servants, motivated by gratitude, love, and faith. Our sanctification, like our justification, is found in Christ, not in ourselves. Our assurance is not based upon our works, but upon Christís finished work as our Substitute. And our inheritance in heaven is a matter of pure, free grace to us, though it is given to us, in all its fulness and glory, upon the grounds of strict justice as the reward of Christís obedience, death, and exaltation as our Representative.
The only purpose of Godís holy law is to identify, expose, and condemn manís sin, shutting him up to Christ alone for acceptance with God (Rom. 3:19; 5:20).
††††††††††† Before any sinner is converted, he must be convinced of his sin and guilt. Therefore we preach the holy law of God, not to convince sinners to start living right; but to convince them that they can never live right before God. We preach the law to convince men of sin, their own sin. Before any man is given the newness of life in Christ, he must be slain by the law. The law is Godís deep cutting plow by which he breaks up the fallow ground of a manís heart and conscience and prepares the soil for the gospel. As any farmer knows, plowing is a difficult work; but it is absolutely necessary.
The sinnerís only hope before God is grace, grace flowing freely to chosen sinners upon the ground of righteousness fulfilled and justice satisfied in Christ the sinnersí Substitute. This is the doctrine of Holy Scripture. Read Romans 3:19-31 and Galatians 3:19-21.
The law demands a weighty debt; And not a cent will it abate.
The gospel points to Jesusí blood, And says, ďHe made the payment good!Ē
The law provokes man oft to ill, And hardened hearts makes harder still.
The gospel shows Immanuelís heart And melts this hardened sinnerís heart!
ďRun, run, and work,Ē the law commands, But gives me neither feet nor hands.
Much sweeter news the gospel brings. It tells me Christ did everything!
††††††††††† That is my doctrine. That is my message. That is my hope. May God make it good to your soul for Christís sake.