Pristine Grace

What the Law Cannot Do
by Jim Byrd
What the Law Cannot Do

    The Word of God tells us that the law of God was given to shut our mouths and pronounce us guilty before God of indescribable wickedness (Romans 3:19).  It was not given, however, as a means of justifying the sinner or sanctifying the child of God.

  1. The Law cannot save a sinner.  There is no question but what the law of God must be honored before anyone could be saved, but it cannot be honored by any sinner.  “By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20).  None can be declared righteous by God except through the obedience of Christ unto His death.  He who kept the law perfectly in His life, died to meet the demands of the law in His death.  “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4); the Savior’s death was a penal sacrifice.  “Christ hath once suffered for our sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18).  “What the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh” (Romans 8:3).  “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness, to everyone that believeth” (Romans 10:4).  
     
  2. The Law cannot sanctify a child of God.  The believer finds his or her sanctification in the same place as justification: Christ crucified, buried, and risen again.  “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2).  God has made Christ to be our “wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption: that, according as it is written, he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (1 Cor 1:30-31).  Many believe the law is the believer’s rule of life, but the Word of God clearly tells us that is not the case.  “Ye are not under law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14).  To the Galatians Paul wrote, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled (brought to slavery or servitude) again with the yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1).  Don’t let anyone put a harness of enslavement to the law on you!  Christ says to those who come to Him for rest, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30).  The Galatians were warned that to go back under the law means slavery, whereas in Christ there is a blessed freedom.  “Knowing this, that the law was not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient” (1 Tim 1:9).  Believers are not under the law in any way, shape, or form for that would be bondage.  We do not fear punishment by the law when we sin, and we do not seek to obey the Lord as mercenaries who labor for hire.  We are dead to the law’s threats and rewards.  As saints of God, we seek to obey, honor and please the Lord, not out of fear if we don’t nor out of desire to gain something if we do; “the love of Christ constraineth us” (2 Cor 5:14).  He is our good Shepherd who laid down His life for the sheep.  He is our Savior and Lord.  We love Him and therefore desire to honor Him in our bodies, which is “our reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).  Love for the Lord is our motivation to please Him.  We seek to obey Him, not as bondmen under law, but as sons under grace.