The Purpose of the Law
The law of God has too often been disregarded in our contemporary culture, even among Christians. The following is to help elucidate the role of the law in our lives. These 6 purposes are taken from Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s great work, ‘Israelology’.
1.Reveal the holiness of God, and to reveal the standard of righteousness which God demanded for a proper relationship with Him (Lev19:1-2,37; Lev11:44; 1Pet1:15-16). The law is holy, righteous, and good (Rom7:12)
2.The second purpose of the law was to provide the rule of conduct for the Old Testament saints (Lev11:44-45; Lev19:2; Lev20:7-8,26). For the Old Testament believer, the law was the center of his spiritual life and his delight (Ps119:77,97, 103-104,159).
3.The next purpose was to keep the Jews a distinct people (Lev 11:44-45; Deut 7:6- Deut14:1-2). This was the specific reason for many of the laws. The Jews were to be distinct from all other people in a variety of ways, as in the worship habits (Lev1,7,16,23), eating habits(Lev11:1-47), sexual habits (Lev12), clothing habits (Lev19:19), and even the way they cut their beards (Lev19:27). Other passages for this point include Exodus 19:5-8; Exodus 31:13.
4.The fourth purpose of the Mosaic Law was to reveal sin. Three passages in the book of Romans point this out. The first is Romans 3:19-20, where Paul emphasized that there is no justification through the law; by means of the law, no Jewish person will be justified. What is the law if not a way of justification, or a way of salvation? The law was there to provide the knowledge of sin; to reveal exactly what sin is.
The second passage is Romans 5:20: the law was given so that trespasses might be made very clear. How does one know he has sinned? He knows because the law spelled out in detail what was permitted and what was not. The law with its 613 commandments revealed sin.
The third passage is Romans 7:7. Paul again emphasized the fact that the law was given so that sin might be made known. Paul became aware of his sinful state by looking into the law and knowing that on the basis of the law, he fell short
5.The fifth purpose was to increase sin (Rom4:15, Rom 5:20) or to make sin undeniable in our lives. The picture Paul gives is that the law came in to cause more sin, to actually make one sin more. How does this work? Paul explained in Romans 7:7-13; and 1Corinthians 15:56. Basically, what Paul taught is that the sin nature needs a base of operation. Furthermore, the sin nature uses the law as a base of operation. This is so very necessary because the human propensity is to justify ourselves, to mitigate our own sin!
6.The sixth purpose was to drive one to faith, according to Romans 8:1-4 and Galatians 3:24-25. This final purpose of the law was to bring one to saving faith, faith in the Messiah.
As you can see, the law is still important, we need it…especially considering the culture in which we now live has no understanding of sin—the fourth purpose of the law above.
I do not know how much of the Lord you have in your life, but you have as much as you want in your life. -James O Davis
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