“Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.” (Romans 3:19-20)

It is important for us to understand the purpose and intent of God’s Law in the Old Testament. After the Israelite nation went into the wilderness on their journey to the Promised Land Moses at Mount Sinai was given the Ten Commandments. Soon after during the forty years the Israelite nation spent in the wilderness, Moses wrote the remaining Law of God. Other nations of the day had their laws but this law, the Mosaic Law was the Law that God had given to His Chosen People. “These are the statutes and ordinances and laws which the LORD established between Himself and the sons of Israel through Moses at Mount Sinai.” (Leviticus 26:46)

The Law of God to His people comes to them in three parts. The Ten Commandments, the ordinances, and the worship system. Inclusive to the worship system was the Tabernacle, the offerings, and the festival holidays. (Exodus 20-40; Leviticus 1-7. 23) There is a purpose to everything that the Lord God Almighty does and let us look at the purposes of the Law of God.

God is holy and He wanted His people to know the character of their holy God. “Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.” (Leviticus 19:2)

God wanted His people to be set apart from the other nations of the world. They were to be an example that other nations could see and follow after. He is a holy God and He wanted His people to become a holy nation, a nation of Priest. “Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine, and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.” (Exodus 19:5-6)

We have to realize that before Moses wrote the Law of God there was no copy of God’s Word that people could read. Without knowing God’s Law people would not know if they were living in righteousness or wickedness. The Law was given that sin could be revealed in the lives of the people. “Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made.” (Galatians 3:19)

God’s Law is a reflection of the character of God and He wants His people to be of the same character. The Law that God gave them was righteous and holy. “So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.” (Romans 7:12) The Israelite people were not able to keep the law and therefore the law could not save them. “Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses.” (Acts 13:38-39) Transfer of their sin to the animal sacrifices and their faith in God’s promise was a pathway to forgiveness of their sins. (Leviticus 1—7)  As the nation prospered the sacrificial system became less of a sacrifice and more of a tradition. Less of faith in God’s promise and more of a process that could be seen.

The festivals were part of the worship system. While feasting they were to be in praise for the bountifulness of the blessing God had poured out upon them. (Leviticus 23) The Law was to aid in providing direction for their physical and spiritual health as a nation. (Exodus 21—23; Deuteronomy 6:4–19; Psalm 119:97–104) The Law was a guide for the people to see that they could not keep the Law and therefore needed a Savior. Yet when Jesus came as their Messiah the Israelite nation rejected Him.

When Jesus came to minister to the Israelite nation He also brought on a New Covenant between God and man. We must never think that the New Covenant abolished the Law of God. His law is holy and righteous and is the reflection of His character. God is everlasting and does not change.

The New Covenant was established by our Lord to be a remedy to the flaw that we each have in our battle to live a righteous life in the example of our Savior. That is our battles with the evil desires of the flesh. It is a battle that will last until we leave this corrupted flesh that has desires for the things of this world. The Prophet Jeremiah spoke of God placing His Spirit within us. (Jeremiah 31:33-34) The Jews rejected their Messiah and therefore rejected the New Covenant even as the Prophets had promised it in the Old Testament. “For finding fault with them, He says, “Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, When I will effect a new covenant With the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.” (Hebrews 8:8) The gospel was then given to the Gentiles and the Church age had begun and will last until Jesus meets His saints in the clouds.

At conversion, the Christian receives the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is direct counsel from God Himself coming from within us to guide us. When the Christian lives in the guidance of the Holy Spirit he will have the power to fight the battles of the flesh by obedience to the counsel of the Spirit of God. Jesus overcame the world and by our obedience to His Spirit, we can also. “For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8-3-4)

The Holy Spirit empowers us to live in righteousness and become worthy and to present ourselves as a proper sacrifice for worship unto our God. The Spirit sanctifies us to become godly by renewing our minds that we think of the higher things of God than wallow in the mire of this dying world. “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2)

How do we approach a deity as the Lord God Almighty? We really do not know as no man has seen God. How would we react with Him, what would we say, and how can we as men kneel in the light of His judgments? The benefit the Christian has is that his Savior came in the likeness of a man and knows our humanity. Our Lord prays for us always and by the Spirit of Truth, our prayers are discerned. “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27)

Are you placing your eternal destiny upon yourself that you could keep the Ten Commandments perfectly? You know that you have already failed. Jesus came to fulfill the law by His life and has fulfilled the commitment on your behalf. Jesus came to pay your sin debt and paid it for you by sacrificing His life on the cross. Jesus has redeemed you with His blood and through Him God the Father sees you as righteous. Jesus is the only way to walk the streets of gold in Heaven. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6) It is your choice, choose wisely.

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, June 12, 2019

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