Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Law used lawfully

I don't really understand why one would use the Ten Commandments while witnessing.  After all, they were not given to all nations, just the nation of Israel.  Now that Jesus paid for all the sin of the world when he was on the cross, Sin has been dealt with and is no longer the issue.  One is judged by God solely on whether they believe Paul’s gospel [1Corinthians 15:3-4].  Why would a believer want to put on a gentile something that doesn't belong to him in the first place (i.e., the Ten Commandments)? 

Why do I use the Law (10 commandments...the "moral" part of Moses' law) when dealing with a lost person? Because our Apostle Paul says that that is what we should use it for, and he did it himself!

In 1 Timothy 1, our Apostle tells Timothy that God gave the law, not to be put on the "a righteous man," that is, a believer/saint, but to use it to condenm a sinner!

1 Timothy 1:8-11
But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; 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, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

Here the Apostle tells Tim to use the law to condemn the lost. Why? So that they may know for sure that they were lost sinners who need a Saviour!

Paul knew that until a person knew that they were lost (i.e., that their "works" were not good enough to earn them heaven), that they would think that they were okay.

Just because you tell someone the gospel from 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, that Christ died for their sins, doesn't mean that they will truly, and fully understand their sinfulness!

You need to explain to them what sin is. You need to define sin to their understanding, and the penalty of it! And the only way to do that is to use the bible, particularly, the law/10 commandments.

So Paul says that the lawful use of the law is to condemn people.

Remember, the reason that Paul calls his message the "Gospel" is because the word gospel means "good news." Why did God call it "good news"? Because there was some "bad news"—man is separated from God because of sin, and when sharing the gospel, you have to define sin to them! That is where the Law comes in. So, in order for you to explain to a person just exactly what sin is, you have to use the Law.

The bible defines "sin" it is defined as breaking the Law of God.  Look what John tells the nation of Israel..

1 John 3:4
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

Why did I start with Israel? Because they had God's word first! Paul would say to the "Jew first, and also to the Gentile." Just because Israel had God's written word first, did not mean that God did not desire the gentiles to have it as well, and the gentiles did know about God's word because Jews were scattered among them, although the Law was written to Israel. There were all types of gentiles in the synagogues (proselytes), so God's word was all around the then known world, just like it is today...

Acts 15:21
For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.

So just like in Paul's day, even heathens around us today know that adultery, murder, lying, etc. is wrong!

Romans 1:32
Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Look what Paul says about the Law and why he gave it to Israel first...

Romans 3:19-20
Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law [Israel]: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world [both Jew and Gentile] may become guilty before God. 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.

Paul goes on to say that without the law, we cannot know sin...

Romans 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.

God, thru Israel's scriptures, and now thru Paul's epistles makes his righteousness thru the Law of Moses clear to everyone on earth today!

But what about when Paul says that the gentiles "had not the law?"

He says that although they did not have God's written Law like Israel, God did give it to them in their hearts/inner man! (Remember that all sons and daughters of Adam now have a "knowledge of good and evil" because our father ate of that sinful tree. For example, when a child lies or steals, or cheats on a test, no one has to tell them to hide it or feel ashamed because they feel that way naturally!)...

Romans 2:14-15
For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

In fact, there is not an area on earth that does not know of God's standard of righteouesness in their culture! Why? Because God, in and thru his divine Providence wants all men to know! But he won't just use their conscience...he will also send someone to give them His word. He wants their sin to be "exceedingly sinful." He wants them to know for sure!

Romans 7:12-13
Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

In Acts 17, our Apostle in sent by God to some ignorant heathens to tell them about their sin problem...

Acts 17:22-31
Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

He goes on to talk to more heathen later in chapter 24, and reasons with them of God's righteous standard in the Law...

Acts 24:25
And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.

So in conclusion, yes, God originally gave his written law to Israel, to show them that they were sinners, and needed a Saviour. But He also got his word out among the gentiles thru Israel. And the past almost 2,000 years us gentiles have had access to God's entire written word (all 66 books) so that we may all be without excuse and know about His righteousness!

Today, in our modern world, with T.V., internet, news, etc., hardly anyone on earth does not have access to God's word. And even that .00001% of heathen that might not, we can trust our righteous, holy, just God to deal with them justly can't we?

Genesis 18:25
…Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

So our job is to get the gospel of Grace out so that people can get saved!

2 Timothy 2:2
And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

But to get saved, they must first know that they are lost. That is why Paul says to use the law to condemn them, so that the "good news" can be that much more glorious!

Hopefully this helps...Maranatha!

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