Understanding The Bible Definition and Purpose of the Law of Moses! PT 1
(Ver 1.3) This is Part 1 in a series of Bible lessons on Understanding the Purpose for the Law. Why was it necessary for God to give Moses the Old Testament Law? The reason for these spiritual rules of do’s and don’ts are critical for Christians to understand. While Christians do not rely on keeping the law to be saved, they should still be intimately familiar with what they mean and the underlying reasons for God giving them to the natural nation of Israel. God says my People are destroyed for a lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6), so the more we learn and understand the less likely we are to being destroyed in this world. So let’s learn about the O.T. Law and determine what it is and why it was given using the Bible:
Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
God declares a truth about the law that is essential to understand. The O.T. law is based upon “Works”. Works is man’s attempt to do something that they think pleases God by doing without something that they really want to do. I hope you understand what I just said. Every religion in the world is “works” based. Man trying to achieve a state of self sacrifice in order to appear pious or worthy in the eyes of God. In some religions men beat themselves with whips and chains until they bleed. They think through this self inflicted pain and suffering that they have achieved favor with God. They have been deceived into stupidity and foolishness. This religion also teaches that life is like a balance scale and the good deeds that you do will be weighed against your bad deeds and if the good deeds outweighs the bad, you have earned your salvation. This is just another example of Satan’s deception. In Galatians 2:16, we see works being contrasted with true Christianity. True Christianity is based upon Faith in Jesus Christ and what He has done and provided for us. That is completely different than the law of works and the works of the law. This verse clearly tells us that nobody will make it to heaven based upon their works. That is not good news for natural Israel or the other religions of the world.
Rom 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
We can clearly see one of the primary reasons that God gave the law. God declares that No flesh will be saved by obeying the law. So we immediately discover that the law was not given to save us. We can take this reason off of the list of potential reasons for the law. Then God says that by the law is the knowledge of sin. What does that tell you? Before the law was given into the world, no one really knew what sin was. It was only because the Bible said “Thou shalt not commit murder” that you would know that this is not an acceptable thing to do. To know that there is a law that has consequences for doing something and then to do it anyway is the act of a fool. However, to do something that is still not right, but there is no law against it is still sin, but yet God said how would you know it. So one of the primary reasons for God giving the law is to teach everyone what sin is and that these sins have consequences. With the Law comes the Knowledge of Sin!
Rom 7:7 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.
Here is another witness to what I just said. This verse clearly tells us the same thing and gives us another example. By God saying “thou shalt not covet”, we know it is a sin to lust after what our neighbor owns or possesses. So the Law is not an evil, bad or negative thing, but a good thing. It helps us to learn and know what is good and what is evil. The law helps to guide us into what are the right things to do.
Rom 7:12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
So the Bible again confirms what I just said about the law. The law is Holy, the law is good and just. The law is a positive thing meant to teach us the difference between right and wrong. God gave us the law to show us that we cannot make up our own rules and think that we are good in our own sight. That is exactly what most people in the world do, they reason in their own minds what is good and what is right and they follow their own desires and God says that is wrong.
Rom 4:15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
The word “transgression” means violation. If you get arrested in our world, it is usually because you violated some law that was passed by the lawmakers of the city, state or federal governments. So again we see a principle being established for why the law was necessary. Without law there is no “violation” being committed. People in the world usually pass laws to make people stop something that is potentially harmful or hurtful to themselves or others. For example, driving too fast in a car can cause loss of life and property. So people have developed laws to limit the speeds that cars can go in certain areas. The speed limit varies depending on where the area is located, like it is slower in front of school zones. If you are caught speeding you are charged and if found guilty, you pay fines and there are consequences such as points on your license. So without laws, people could go 100 MPH through a school zone and cause great damage and loss of life and there would be nothing that the government could do to them. This is a key lesson of why God gave the law, so take note of it.
Rom 5:13 For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
Without laws in the world (physical, natural, spiritual and governments), the world would be in a state of chaos. Everybody doing whatever they felt like, whenever they wanted to, to whoever they wanted to and there would be no consequences legally speaking that they would ever be faced with. I do think that without law we would also see a vigilante retribution being enacted and people would be forced to come up with their own definition of justice. But, Romans 5:13 informs us that sin has been in the world, before the law existed. But, then it says that these sins would not be charged to their account without the existence of the law. When you read and learn verses from the Bible like these you should automatically think how do these apply to me? How does this apply to Israel? How do these apply to Satan? How do they apply to all of the other spiritual entities in God’s spiritual realm? If you do not think in these terms you will miss out on what God is trying to teach you. Let me ask you a question and get you to thinking. If it is as the Bible says and Satan was found with sin in him from the beginning, what can God do about this, if there is no law against it? I believe you can start to understand the problem that God had. Legally speaking there is nothing that God can do with Satan, unless he is put under the law. That is an amazing thing to consider and probably a key reason for why the law was given. Learn to think while you read and to ask questions and you will learn so much more than just reading it. I’ll get into this more later.
Rom 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
This is an interesting twist and is highly informative. God tells us that the law applies to the spiritual realm and not just the natural realm. We know that God gave Moses the law on Mt Sinai and that it was written down in the natural realm by a man. But, think about it, God is a Spirit and the words that He spoke to Moses came from the spiritual realm. God is clearly telling us that these words found in the law apply to all spiritual beings, including God himself, the angels, you and I and Satan and his demons.
Gal 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
Here is a very scary statement about the O.T. Law. God says that anyone under the law is under a curse, if they do not obey all of the law. Do you know of anyone that has obeyed all of the law? For one thing I do not think you know all of the law and the other thing is you certainly can’t do it all consistently, I do not believe anyone on earth is capable of it. The law is more than following 10 simple commandments, the O.T. law is 5 large books of rules, commandments, instructions, and it is vastly not understood even by the Jews who read it every day. I may be wrong but I believe that this is one of the reasons for God giving the law, to show man that he is incapable of making a perfect score. It is impossible to bowl a perfect score in the game of life playing according to the rules of the “works of the law”. I assume natural Israel has not yet gotten the news yet, they must still think they are able to save themselves.
Jas 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
Here is a second witness to the reality that man is required to keep all of the law. If any man offends or violates a single commandment, this verse in James says that he is found guilty of violating every commandment. I am certainly glad that is not the way our courts work. We would have to have everybody in a prison cell and there would be no free people in the world. If you drove your car too fast you could be sentenced to life in prison. That is what God says about his law in the O.T. Too many times people like to rate and compare sins. This sin is bigger, or greater than another. This sin is just a little one and that isn’t as bad as doing this or that. But, God says every sin is equal, there are no big ones, and no small ones. These are very tough rules to follow. In fact they are impossible for man to follow.
Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
So God says that the Law was designed to be a teaching tool for mankind. An instrument that was intended to point them to Christ. Is this the way the nation of Israel views the law? Obviously not! Is this the way you should view the O.T. law, absolutely. You should use it as a teacher who is pointing you to a savior, the Messiah.
1Ti 1:9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient,for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
God tells us who the law was given for. To me every human would potentially qualify, but also this sounds more like Satan’s resume than anything else. You do realize that this is why our government passes laws, don’t you? If nobody did bad things you wouldn’t need any laws against doing them. So we pass laws to keep people from doing stupid, foolish things. This is another one of the key purposes of the O.T. law. Because, there are bad, evil people in the world, because there is a bad, evil spiritual force in the world, God was forced to enact spiritual laws. I hope you are getting what I am saying.
Let’s review briefly what we have learned so far and make a list of the key items concerning what the Bible says about the law:
- Sin will always Sin with or without the existence of Law.
- God’s Law is a Positive Thing that Helps us to see.
- The Law is Works Based. Obeying the Law is man’s attempt at earning Salvation.
- No Flesh can achieve Righteousness by the O.T. Law.
- Therefore, no one can be saved by observing the O.T. Law.
- However, Sin is not put on your account, if there is No law.
- Without the Law, no one knows what Sin Is.
- Without the existence of the Law there is no legal consequences for Sin.
- If you violate even one Law you are guilty of violating EVERY Laws!
- The Law given in the natural realm is Applicable in the Spiritual Realm.
- The Law was designed to teach us we need a savior and to point us to Christ.
- The Law was given because of the evil that existed prior to the law.
That was a quick synopsis of the information we have learned from the few verses about the law. We start to begin to understand what the law is and why it was given by understanding these verses. There is of course much more to learn about the law. There is different types of laws. Human laws, laws of nature, laws of science, and spiritual laws, just to name a few types of laws. Let’s continue this lesson with another verse found in Romans:
Rom 3:19 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.
This is one of the most outstanding and revealing verses in the Bible about the Law of Moses. It reveals some hidden spiritual principles that are critical for Christians to understand. The principle is given to us that the law only applies to them that are under the law. In other words Mexico cannot pass a law that affects me, because I live in the USA. Now, if I go to visit Mexico, then I am under that law system, but as long as I stay in the USA, nothing they do can affect me personally. That is what Romans 3:19 is saying. God tells us that the law is only effective over those that are under that system of spiritual government. USA laws do not affect Chinese citizens or companies unless they come to America. Think about that and ask the questions that I asked you to think about earlier. Does the O.T. law affect you? Does the O.T. law affect the natural Jews? Does the O.T. law affect Satan or any other spiritual entity? Is God bound by the Laws of the O.T.? These are all important questions to consider. You see if Satan is not under the O.T. law, then there is still no punishment for his sins that God can convict him of in any heavenly court. You need to consider these questions and determine, did God somehow put Satan under the Law in order to convict him of his sins? If you do not realize that God is a legal minded God who does everything in a fair and just way, you do not know God very well. God will not throw Satan into hell without him being found guilty and being convicted for his crimes of sin. If God did this, then he would be more like a foreign country that throws people into prison because they just don’t like the way they look. Think about the character of God and realize that God is the supreme judge of all spiritual matters. In the heavenly judicial system, there must be laws that can convict someone like Satan or God would be unjust. God says in Romans 3:9 that the law was given, so that every mouth could be stopped. You see if Satan was unjustly accused of God, he has a legal defense against such actions. However, if Satan is under the law and can see clearly that he is in violation and guilty, he no longer has a defense against such charges.
I think I will end this lesson on that note. I hope and pray that you learned something that was of benefit to your walk with Christ. I’ll try to continue this lesson in a future blog.
If you would like to continue reading this lesson, you can go to “Part 2“.
Posted on May 14, 2010, in Bible Study, Law, Understanding and tagged Bible, Christianity, Church, God, Holy Spirit, Interpretation, Israel, Jesus, Law, Prophecy, Religion, Revelation, Satan, Truth, understanding. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.