The Three Uses of the Law

500 years ago, on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg.

The Reformation that Luther and others started led to a whole new way of thinking about God, church, and the proper use of the law. In the Formula of Concord, the Lutheran Statement of Faith, the three uses of the law are summarized as follows:

The Law was given to men so that (1) men may have knowledge of their sins, (2) wild men might be restrained, and (3) after they are regenerate they might have a fixed rule to live by.

According to the Reformers, the law is a mirror, a restraint, and a guide. Since this is the quincentennial anniversary of the Reformation, it is a good occasion for us to discuss these three purposes.

Is the law a mirror?

Yes. The law is a mirror that reveals our true state apart from God. It shows us our sin. Paul the former chief of sinners said, “I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law” (Rom 7:7).

We may think of ourselves as decent people, but the good and holy law reveals that we all fall short of God’s perfect standard. Thus, the person who most needs the law is not the lowly “sinner” – he already knows his state – but the moral superstar who thinks of himself as better than his neighbors.

This is why Jesus preached the law to religious people. They were lost but didn’t know it. They needed the mirror of the law to the cancer that was already there. “Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died” (Rom 7:9).

Sin is fatal but you won’t know it if you don’t see it. The law helps you see.

Is the law a restraint?

Not really. The law does not change the hearts of men, but through fear of punishment it can restrain the outbreak of sin.

If you knew that you could be stoned for adultery, you might think twice about breaking the 7th Commandment. But that won’t stop you thinking about it and since thinking about it is as bad as doing it (see Matt. 5:28), the law doesn’t really curb sin.

Indeed, the law actually inflames sin, and this is not widely understood.

I would not have known what coveting was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. (Romans 7:7-8)

Paul did not realize he had a problem with coveting until the law told him not to do it. It’s like those youth groups that rail against fornication until everyone’s thinking about the very thing they’re not supposed to be doing.

“The strength of sin is the law” (1 Cor 15:56). The law doesn’t empower you to overcome sin; it empowers sin to overcome you. This is why the church has no business preaching law as a restraint. Using the law to restrain sin is like putting out a fire with a bucket of kerosene.

Is the law a guide for Christians?

Absolutely not. Jesus said the Holy Spirit would teach you everything you need to know (John 14:26). He will “guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). The Christian is to be guided by the living Spirit of Christ, not the dead rule of law.

To say “the law is my guide” is to say “Jesus was wrong” or “the Holy Spirit cannot be trusted.” And don’t fall for that old chestnut that says the Holy Spirit guides or convicts us with the law. He’s the Spirit of grace not law.

We make an idol of the law when we turn to it for guidance and direction. There is nothing wrong with the law – it is holy, righteous and good. But try to live by it and you fall from grace and cut yourself off from Christ.

What are the three uses of the law?

According to scripture the law serves at least three good purposes:

  1. It is a mirror that reveals our sinful state (Rom 3:20, 7:7,14)
  2. It ministers death by inflaming sin (Rom 5:20, 7:7-11, 1 Cor 15:56)
  3. It reveals our need for a Savior (Gal 3:24)

Ultimately the law is a guardian (not a teacher) that leads us to Jesus so that we might be justified and sanctified by faith in him.

For Christ is the end of the law [the limit at which it ceases to be, for the law leads up to him who is the fulfillment of its types, and in him the purpose which it was designed to accomplish is fulfilled. That is, the purpose of the law is fulfilled in him] as the means of righteousness (right relationship to God) for everyone who trusts in and adheres to and relies on him. (Romans 10:4, AMP)

In short, the law is a signpost. And like any signpost, it only has value in that it points to a place we need to go.

So thank God for the law that does not restrain or guide us but points us to Jesus who is the way, truth, and the life.

Image: Luther Nailing 95 Theses, by Julius Hübner


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71 Comments on The Three Uses of the Law

  1. Thank you Paul for the History bit. And thank you Father for Jesus and for the liberty we have in Him.

  2. Brandon Petrowski // January 12, 2017 at 2:15 am // Reply

    I agree with your thoughts on this subject. I know a Lutheran pastor who says that the law serving as a guide does not contradict the Holy Spirit guiding or teaching us because the contents of the Bible came through inspiration of the Holy Spirit. They believe that the Law (10 Commandments) comes from the Spirit as a guide for how we should live. They separate the 10 Commandments from the rest of the Levitical laws. I understand his explanation, but for me when I am tempted, it is the HS inside me reminding me of my identity in Christ that guides me away from sin, not thoughts of the Law.

    • Brian Midmore // January 14, 2017 at 8:01 pm // Reply

      Yet at the same time it is by the Law that we realise that we are being tempted but as you say the Law does not provide the answer for this temptation. This is how the law can be a guide by informing us to what is and is not a sin and then we can trust in the power of the Spirit to free us from the temptation. If we do not know what temptation is how can we trust in God to deliver us from it? It is ultimately Christs law we follow, the law of love.

      • The law can be a guide (as can your conscience), but Jesus said we are to be guided by the Holy Spirit. The difference is the law finds fault and does nothing to help, while the Spirit gives life. The law condemns and leaves you wretched, while the Spirit gives liberty and transforms you into Christ’s glorious image. Personally, I would rather be led by the Spirit.

      • tonycutty // January 19, 2017 at 3:38 am //

        The problem with the idea of the Law ‘informing us to what is and is not a sin’ is that actually it doesn’t. Sure the Bible contains what looks like a set of Rules as laid down thousands of years ago, and then what looks like as a second layer of Rules laid down by Jesus. But it does not say, for example, that ‘smoking is a sin’, nor ‘going to the movies’ as some would teach are sins. Actually all things are permissible, but not all are beneficial, and those are the ‘sins’. But that ‘sin list’ is going to be different for everyone. Having a beer is no problem for me, but for my brother at Church, one sniff of alcohol and he’s toast (he’s an ex-alcoholic). And the other thing is that nobody even tries to follow the whole Law. We all make exceptions for those odd little Rules that we feel we can’t keep. Like the rules about unclean foods; I know that’s a cliche, but still we feel it’s ok to eat bacon if we’re not vegetarian 😉 Any Rule that says ‘this is always wrong’ is a road to legalism. Even ‘murder’, which Jesus said is what is actually happening when someone hates someone else, is more common than the crime statistics would have us know, becasue who can count the number of haters? It doesn’t leave a corpse but it’s still murder if you hate someone. The thing with ‘sin’ is to not be continually on the lookout for it, as this is actually how sin ‘so easily entangles’ – not by the commission of sins, but by the constant worry and sin-policing both in our own lives and in those of others. True freedom from sin is the state of not even thonking about it; a person led by the Spirit does not have to worry about it, much less worry about temptation.

      • I can’t imagine living all of eternity living by a law. I don’t think we can do it.

    • @Brandon petrowski
      2 Corinthians 3:7 ESV
      Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end,

      Which part of the law was “carved in letters on stone” ? That part- The Bible calls it “The ministry of death”. Talk about taking the prime essence of death and selling it as life , somehow differentiating it from other deaths!

  3. This article has made it so clear and to the point about law and grace that I don’t know how anyone could miss it. It’s so refreshing to read the truth about Jesus and the freedom He purchased for all of us. I was one who thought I just had to be good enough. When I first started to really understand God’s Grace through Jesus Christ, it made me angry because of all the work I had put into being good. As time went by I began to see how wonderful Grace is and how fruitless all of my so called “good works” were. Thank you!!

  4. Donald Black // January 12, 2017 at 2:53 am // Reply

    Very helpful and informative message

  5. We can go far too long before realizing the death that the law ministers because most churches mix in just enough grace to keep people on the hamster wheel of fruitless effort.

    • Amen! I think our (the church’s) difficulty to properly handle the Law as God purposed runs parallel to our misguided attempts to live the Christian life through the flesh. In other words, our mixture of Law and Grace is directly proportionate to our mixture of flesh and spirit living. The Life Jesus offers is a “new life” lived through the Spirit by faith. The fleshly life (or mode of operation) is to be discarded and a new way is established. The Law was indeed given by God, but it was given to the flesh – to expose it’s weakness, and it’s true state that can only be described as death. So, in as much as the Christian life is not lived in the flesh, it is not lived by Law. The flesh and Law are left behind all together to live in the newness of life – King Grace has us now! He is better than the Law, it’s that simple.

    • Richard Riley // January 13, 2017 at 12:05 pm // Reply

      The law is death? The word of God calls the law:
      The way (malachi 2:8)
      The truth (psalms 119:142)
      The life (proberbs 6:23)
      Holy (romans 7:12)
      Freedom (psalms 119:45)
      Sin causes death, not the law. Paul says, “is the law sin? God forbid.”
      The book of James says,Faith without works is dead. What does that mean to you? Martin Luther wanted to actually rip the book of James out. It actually means, faith with out works is dead. It means what it says. So the moral is, how can we claim to believe, and not Do? God himself said to love him, is to obey his commandments. Seems to me I see grace and the law here. Just to clarify, faith alone saves. If that faith isn’t producing fruit unto God through Christ Jesus, it’s dead. That’s what scripture says. Grace is being perverted on this post! Shall we continue in sin so that grace may abound? God forbid. What is sin? It is literally defined in 1john as breaking God’s law. Let’s read that again,
      “Shall we continue in sin(the breaking of God’s law) so that grace may abound? Absolutely Not.

      • Richard, you are correct in saying sin causes death, but since the holy law inflames and empowers sin, the Apostle Paul was equally correct in calling the law a “ministry of death” (2 Cor 3:7). Romans 7 provides an excellent explanation of how this happens.

        Indeed, mixing grace with law is even more deadly than living purely under law for while grace comes by faith the law is not of faith. They nullify one another. Faith without works is dead, but since the law is not of faith (Gal 3:12), any works done with law-keeping in mind are dead works that cut us off from Christ.

      • Well said Paul!

      • I love the way you explained, it is the work of the Holy Spirit! Grace sounds very basic for Christian life but to understand it, we really need a revelation of the Holy Spirit. Thanks again Paul for this beautiful article.

      • Richard. Brother. Allow me to clarify my comment above as I think it may have caused confusion resulting in your questioning comment: “The law is death?” That’s not what I meant. To clarify – The Law was indeed given by God, but it was given to the flesh. To expose the weakness of the flesh, and the flesh’s true state that can only be described as death.
        “how can we claim to believe, and not Do?”
        The answer to a sinful life, or a faith that isn’t producing fruit, or dead faith is not Law. If it was, Jesus never would have needed to come. The answer is to grow in the Grace in which we stand, APART FROM the Law (this, of course, is what the Church struggles to see and teach). When Grace and Truth start to flow through a person the fruits of the Spirit, in return, come forth rather effortlessly. Walking in the assurance of God’s loving grip, and not being attracted to sin, or comfortable with sin start becoming regular thinking patterns. Alternately, striving for Law obedience is not effortless or in any way a “REST”. Not to mention obedience to the Law is impossible. It’s like trying to teach a rock to swim…. Good luck with that. The enemy has us blinded to this truth so Jesus raised the bar of how we perceived the Law. We thought the Law was a path to life but He showed it was to be a burden to crush us. To help us see we are rocks that sink and need someone to save us from this state. In Christ, we cross over from death to life and walk by faith in the newness of life. Look down behind you… the Law is left behind in the grave with the “old man”. If we rebuild what we destroyed (Gal 2:18), a return to the Law, the same worn out record is ready to play over and over saying – you are a sinner. Or – you are a rock that can’t swim. “Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Christians are released from the Law, and bound to Christ.

      • Richard, I found it fascinating that the first three attributes of the Law that you posted were:

        “The way (malachi 2:8)
        The truth (psalms 119:142)
        The life (proberbs 6:23)”

        As you know, Jesus Himself claimed to be all these things too. I wonder if part of Him being those three things is another way of saying that He fulfilled the Law? I find this quite interesting…almost as if He replaced the Law. Which I think He did…

      • Amen tony. as Hebrews explains many times: through Jesus a better hope is introduced. Jesus is to the law what the Mississippi River is to your bathroom water spicket… you could compare the two but there really is no comparison. the enemy has suppressed this reality and it needs to be exposed

      • Richard F // August 31, 2017 at 5:56 am //

        Richard hi

        I’ve just commented way below on your topics, but to address one specific point, you rightly write above
        “If that faith isn’t producing fruit…, it is dead” Yes
        So what do we do to have a faith that is producing the fruit of works done with love and joy?
        We go to the Cross to be forgiven and to the gospel because only the gospel gives life.
        We do not go to the Law, roll up our sleeves, and ‘DO’ it
        Works done in faith – which means works done in the knowledge that all such works are unnecessary – are the ones pleasing to God.

  6. Brad Robertson // January 12, 2017 at 4:25 am // Reply

    Thanks Paul!

    • Yes. I went far too long. The mixture is infinitely more dangerous and almost universally prevalent.

    • Charlotte Stukey // January 17, 2017 at 3:14 am // Reply

      Outstanding…my church taught too much of the law & not enough of the gospel & power of Christ to not only save you from your sins, but empower you to live a Holy life… The outcome? Condemnation & judgementalism. Thank you Paul…very precise words of faith.

  7. Paul, can you clarify what you mean by a ‘new way of thinking’? i have shared your post in a group on FB and someone is challenging the word ‘new’. He says Luther was bringing people back to the original gospel teaching, that this wasn’t ‘new’ in terms of being totally different to anything that had gone before. I said it was new to those who had never heard it!

    • Luther’s new way of thinking was radical in the deeply religious context of his time, but the gospel he preached was not new. There has only ever been one gospel. Perhaps I should have clarified that in the article above.

      • Thanks, Paul.That is exactly what I said you meant but it’s good to have the clarification!

  8. Thank you Lord Jesus for the grace

  9. Thank you Paul for you continued work. Your posts, and books are light in the darkness. The enemy’s cloud of manipulation and deception is so thick. It’s not a light gray cloud, but dark black – creating blindness for those without the Truth. It’s obvious that pursuing the Law as a means of godliness can only take us in 2 directions – guilt or pride. We become like a ping pong ball in an endless game being bounced back and forth by the guilt and pride paddles. It’s like running in a circle, round and round trying so hard but going no-where. God gave the Law to help us see the prison and slavery of our existence apart from Him. Jesus came and spent His last 3 years exposing by word and deed this deceived, bound, slavery existence that everyone was oblivious to. Then He punched a hole in the prison and made (rather He became) the way out for anyone and everyone.

    Many of us are incredibly thankful for your work Paul. For revealing the way things really are, so we can escape to reality. Please, keep going brother! Keep going!

  10. Very well done Paul. I try telling people of the Laws purpose but you nailed it!! ” well Jesus nailed it to the cross!! But you explained it so well, thank you for your post. I am always looking forward to reading them. Much love

  11. I worked a few years as a cashier in a retail store, and there were a lot of rules (laws) governing coupons, refunds, exchanges, price-matching, check cashing, credit card payments, bagging, etc. Some of the policies were even posted on signs such as in the Returns Department and at certain cash registers (e.g. “20 Items or Less,” in the Express Lane or “Cosmetics Purchases Only,” in the makeup section). Let me tell you that NOBODY–not even management–followed procedure 100% of the time, nor was it expected. The die-hard stubborn ones would inevitably get in trouble for being unbendable and failing to see that the situation warranted an exception, and NONE of the customers liked those legalistic clerks. In fact, they never lasted long. I was easygoing, and people would seek out my checkout line, but this doesn’t mean that I gave the store away. I was just being “led by the Spirit.” Didn’t Jesus remind the Pharisees that although it was unlawful for anyone but the Priest to consume the holy bread, David ate it, with the priest’s permission, when he was on the lam, running from King Saul? And after Elijah healed the foreign general, Naaman, the latter asked that it not be counted against him when he accompanied his master to the temple of the national pagan deity, because even if Naaman bowed down for show, it didn’t mean anything to him in his heart. Elijah told him not to worry about it, and that’s OT.

  12. Excellent article Paul!
    I had to chuckle at the Moral superstar phrase.

  13. Paul, I love the way you rephrase things : )
    “The strength of sin is the law” (1 Cor 15:56). The law doesn’t empower you to overcome sin; it empowers sin to overcome you. This is why the church has no business preaching law as a restraint. Using the law to restrain sin is like putting out a fire with a bucket of kerosene.”
    Keep ’em coming. God bless you.

  14. Above three sin laws concepts well explained but how we will feel Christ and Holy spirit have controlled over us as believers/ followers of Christ.what link I’m missing reply please that I’m forgiven when discussed with our Jesus christ on my e-mail please to improve my faith.

  15. William Deyerle // January 15, 2017 at 10:06 pm // Reply

    When Paul refers to the law as a school master, he is not referring to a teacher, but rather to a slave or hired servant tasked with responsibility for ensuring that his employer’s (or master’s) son actually went directly to his teacher. This was common practice in the Hellenistic world. The school master would presumably guard the youngster, and protect him against attack, robbery or kidnapping etc. He would also quickly inform the Father if the student strayed off course for a day of fun.

    I think that your use of this connection is quite descriptive. The school master guarded the student by keeping him safe, and he guarded the missdiin by keeping on TGE patgtoiward the teacher. In this way the law directs us to the Greatest of Teachers.

    Thank you for your wonderful, enlightening and encouraging posts.
    Grace, peace and love,

    • richard elson // January 24, 2019 at 10:13 am // Reply

      Yes. I think “guardian” is the function we should understand.
      The use of the word “Guardian” in Paul’s current article (24/1/19) is so revealing of the function of the law.

  16. Here’s a question. I’m quite happy to go and stick some statements on the doors of some churches I’ve attended. Actually, really up for it. Probably use blutack rather than nails. But what should I put up there? I fancy something short and and to the point.

  17. As a fan of New Covenant Theology I heartily concur that the law has been FULLY accomplished in Christ. The tripartite division of the law appeared soon after NT times and was furthered by Thomas Aquinas, Calvin and most Reformed Christians in order to facilitate the keeping of the supposed «moral» aspect of the law while jettisoning the supposed «ceremonial and civil» aspects. Actually the OT law is of one piece and Christ is the end of that law. His Spirit has written Christ’s law on our hearts which is not contrary to Moses but is God’s perfect will in the New Covenant era.
    Happy New Year,
    René Frey, Shefford, QC, Canada

  18. Paul, it seems that Isaiah 2:3 speaks regarding the law being kept in the millennium after Jesus Christ returns in power and glory to earth. It says that “For out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” It repeats it in Micah 4:2. This has always been a challenge for me to understand if the law is done away with. Can you give your thoughts on this? Thanks!

    • Brandon Petrowski // January 19, 2017 at 5:27 am // Reply

      There is a difference between THE Law and “A” law. If you check literal interpretation and original language, those verses refer to “a law”. Not the same thing. Those verses refer to something new, not the OT Law.

    • The law of liberty in the new covenant is love. We fulfil all other laws by being Jesus kind of love to others.

      • richard elson // January 24, 2019 at 10:26 am //

        The law that demands “by one man’s sin all are condemned” is the same law that guarantees, “by one perfect man” sin is eliminated as the problem.

        The “law of sin and death” has a necessary flip side which is “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus”.

  19. Roshan J Easo // March 3, 2017 at 4:42 am // Reply

    I forget where I heard it but an illustration of workers on the Golden Gate Bridge was given. They were given a net on which they could keep from falling into the water abyss below as they worked on repairs. Is this an accurate way of describing grace rather than law?

  20. Scott Noble // June 23, 2017 at 5:56 pm // Reply

    Greetings. Regarding 3rd use of the law…for a Christian the offering of “Gospel and Law” is the same as “Christ and circumcision”. Beware the concision.

    In Christ, Scott – called to minister the truth and grace of God freely given in the offering of the body of Jesus Christ.

  21. Roshan J Easo // June 25, 2017 at 11:43 pm // Reply

    Paul, else where you say that Right Believing leads to right living. Is the law a daily pointer or is a one-time pointer? I was confused about the role of the bible. I have a copy of several different types of spiritual laws and principles and I wondered how those affect being a bully-free zone. Should I just keep a copy of the bible or go to those others? When I am lost I need those other books because I don’t see where we can keep the two little rules otherwise? (If steak-eating Christians can keep those. I don’t know.)

  22. 1. The word ‘law’ is used in different ways. In the OT, David says the ‘Torah’ is lovely. The ‘Torah’ is the first 5 OT books but contains gospel and well as the 613 Mosaic laws. It reveals the start of God’s redemptive plan
    2. The division of the (Mosaic) law into moral, civil and ceremonial is not scripturally based
    3. The use of the (Mosaic) law in 3 ways has also been put as ‘for the non-Christian’, ‘for society’ and ‘for the Christian’. We agree that ‘for the non-Christian’ can be rendered as ‘as a mirror’. It shows man his sins but within it one can also glimpse God’s character. The law’s use ‘for society’, aka the civil use, is to provide the common grace of external law and order so as to give time and space for men to come to an internal saving grace.
    4. The third use of the law is the controversial one, often described as a ‘guide’ to Christian living. I believe it can be shown that Luther did not subscribe to this third use but Calvin seemed to (at least within the context of the Christian’s unity with Christ).
    5. This is all open to confusion. The third use can certainly be a guide to what God is like, and the direction in which the Holy Spirit will be leading us, but it is not something we should be looking at as OUR action plan. That is to ignore, indeed grieve, the Holy Spirit. The law is HIS action plan. One might say it is the map of where we are going, but not the motor to get us there.
    6. At this point, a host of people usually pour in and scream ‘antinomianism’.!!
    7. Sadly Melanchthon undid most of Luther’s radical Reformational thinking, so it is no surprise that the third use of the law makes it into the Formula of Concord, or Reformed Theology’s Westminster Standards and is the norm in Christian churches now

  23. This post cleared up for me as we are under a watch for weather. “The law does not restrain or guide us but as with any sign post points us to where we can go – to Jesus who is the way, the truth, and the life.” Incredible. I believe it. It’s real. It’s as real as a blind man who can now see.

  24. What does the law do for the moral failure who thinks he’s worse or just as bad as everyone else? What does he need?

  25. “Ultimately the law is a guardian (not a teacher) that leads us to Jesus so that we might be justified and sanctified by faith in him.”

    The Torah was given _to the Israelites_ as a schoolmaster, to keep them in line while they’re taught right and wrong. It only applies to those under the old covenant. It doesn’t apply to Gentiles.

    Gentile believers, however, can still benefit from reading the Torah. It can teach them principles about right and wrong, just like it taught the Israelites to whom it was given. All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for training in righteousness.

    It’s only the man outside of grace – the unbeliever – who experiences the Torah as something that arouses sin and brings him into bondage.

    • If the Holy Spirit teaches us all things, what is left for the law to teach? The law is a poor teacher indeed for the Christian. Since the law inflames sin, there are ZERO benefits from reading it. “The law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers…” (1 Tim. 1:9).

      • If the holy spirit teaches us all things, what is left for the Bible to teach?

        If you think there are zero benefits from reading the Torah, do you also think children in Sunday School shouldn’t learn and memorize the Ten Commandments? Do children get zero benefits from that?

      • Correct. It infuriates me when children are taught law at Sunday School. How much better to learn about Jesus and how to walk in the Spirit. Living by principles and guidelines is the essence of dead religion, no matter how holy and good those guidelines are. Christianity is living out of relationship with the Author of Life.

      • Then you must get upset whenever you read Ephesians 6:2-3, where part of the ten commandments is quoted: Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”

      • Why not? I thought it infuriates you when children are “taught law”. “Honor your father and your mother” is one of the ten commandments, it’s in the Torah.

      • You seem to think I am opposed to the law. I am not. I said it infuriates me when children are taught law at Sunday School. They’ve got 45-60 minutes a week of Sunday School; that time is too precious to be spent learning laws. That time would be better spent preaching the gospel and teaching the children about Jesus. A child who is filled with the Spirit will keep all the laws effortlessly, without even knowing what they are. But a child (or adult) who is trained to be law-conscious, will soon find themselves captive to sin for the law inflames sin and the strength of sin is the law.

    • momzilla76 // May 9, 2018 at 1:01 pm // Reply

      Funny that is not what Paul said in Romans 7. The law revives sin for the godly man not just the unenlightened Gentile. That whole chapter is full of light. I suggest alignment with what scripture actually says.
      Yes all of scripture is for our learning benefit. But not as a moralizing rule book. It is the history, plan and acts of God. We have the living one who penned the written law dwelling inside of us. We are a new creation in Christ. Those two things impart the knowledge of right and wrong. One does not need to return to the pre-faith school master to learn how to be good and behave oneself.

      • //The law revives sin for the godly man not just the unenlightened Gentile.//

        No, in Romans 7 Paul is describing the condition of unredeemed man. The unredeemed man has sin as his master. The redeemed man is set free from his slavery to sin, and is empowered by the holy spirit to fulfill the righteous principles found in the Torah.

      • momzilla76 // May 11, 2018 at 1:16 am //

        Verse 22 says otherwise. The unredeemed do not care for the things of God at all. An unredeemed man would not say “I delight in the law of God”. The principles not the letter of the Law yet you are arguing that people follow the letter of the law or that the indwelling Holy Spirit cannot teach the correct principles without the letter of the Law. You are carrying around a lot of mixed baggage regarding the Law and the new covenant

  26. You say there has always been just one gospel. If you are talking from genesis to revelation, what would that one gospel be?

  27. Jenny Beauchamp // November 6, 2019 at 9:44 am // Reply

    I love this Paul. “It infuriates me when children are taught law at Sunday School. How much better to learn about Jesus and how to walk in the Spirit”.
    Even in Grace revealed groups, for many years, I have been told that the Law is good for the children to be raised under and I have totally disagreed. Jesus fulfilled the Law and removed it, as only He could. However, Jesus is much more than the Law described. The Law and the Prophets spoke of Jesus but, I do believe Jesus is that much and much more! I believe the Law (10 commandments + all the levitical laws) were not for the anyone but the Jews and even today, they are not for the Gentiles (anyone who is not jewish). If we (believers) read the OT and do not see Jesus, it’s pointless. And then there is the scripture that says…and the gentiles, who do not have the Law, make a Law unto themselves that either accuses or excuses them. Paul is very clear about this. So, the Law was never meant for the Gentiles, pre or post believing upon Jesus. Correct?

    • Hi Jenny, from time to time I have been heard to say “the law is for children.” This doesn’t contradict what I said above. Kids need boundaries. Toddlers are too young to freely walk by the freeway. But it’s a parent’s job to decide what boundaries are needed and when they can be relaxed. Like fences in rural Iowa, they only go up temporarily. Sunday School is a rare and precious hour to learn about Jesus. Let’s not waste it on lesser pursuits.

      I have written briefly about Romans 2:14 here.

  28. Jenny L Beauchamp // November 7, 2019 at 2:24 am // Reply

    Thanks Paul. This really pushes me over the edge with what our Lord has been showing me. We do have the knowledge of good and evil because of the tree that Adam/Eve ate from; however, now we eat from the Tree of Life, Jesus Christ Himself. Our hearts are established (by Him) and our minds need constant renewing that it is all good, because of the Perfect Covenant between the Father and Son that we are adopted into. Christ completed His work perfectly and now we can rest in Him, our Life! And to remember that other tree has been cut down! Blessings!

    • Amen Jenny. Well said. What Jesus accomplished is nothing less than our adoption into the Trinity. And we belong to a beautiful fellowship that has always existed between the Father and Son in the Spirit that is unlike anything else in the universe (Holy). Our union within this fellowship is not based on anything about us, but rather it is based on the Father’s love for the Son – the most indestructible thing there is. Our part is to believe… that’s Grace. When Christ became human he did not go the way of Adam and depart from his relationship with his Father but lived in harmony with the Father through the Spirit all the way to the cross where he took us with him into his death and raised us with him to NEW LIFE. God stooped and became human to reconcile us to himself. He is still human today as our representative forever. That is our God. The redeeming genius!

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