Hebrew Roots/Restoration/Faith & Works/The Function of The Law
THE FUNCTION OF LAW & GRACE
It has been taught that Yahweh's law has been done away with, made obsolete, a veritable burden and of little practical use to the new-covenant believer. The doctrine that Yahweh's law is abolished and no longer of any practical use to the believer is a pervasive one based on Replacement Theology. But, the moral, ethical, spiritual laws of God have never been annulled. suspended, cancelled or done away with. It is an erroneous teaching that "the Law has been done away with" and that now we are "under grace".
THE BASIS OF THE NEW COVENANT
The new covenant is "BY FAITH - that it might be by grace" as Paul teaches in Romans 4:16. However it is taking what Paul said out of context to say we are "not under Law but under grace". This teaching amounts to a license to sin, to not having to attain to the standard of holiness of Yeshua's life.
"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? (Romans 6: 1-2)
If the Law was done away and grace was extended to abound and cover all our shortfall, then Yeshua died in vain, for Paul teaches that we were buried with Him in baptism to arise and walk in "newness of life". "For if we have been united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection." (Romans 6:3- 5)
Our old man was crucified with Him, that "the body of sin might be done away with" (Romans 6:6)
Because He died once for sin for all mankind, death now no longer has any dominion, because sin, which is the cause of death, has been atoned for - in Him. Paul then says, "Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God through Yeshua the Messiah" (Romans 6:11)
Dead to sin - but alive to God!
"Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts." (v.12)
It is a question of what we yield to as to the quality of life which we live, and not that we are functioning under a "grace" principle that covers all. See verses 13, 16-19
"For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace" (v.14)
This is the context of being "under grace" -- sin not having dominion over us, because we are under the covenant enacted through His grace. We are not under the Law covenant which was made at Sinai which we could not keep. It is the covenant that was established on the basis of grace. His "grace" is His enabling power through the Holy Spirit and was extended toward us who were unrighteous, and who did not qualify for righteousness by having obeyed the Law. By His grace He imparted righteousness to us.
It is the entrance into the covenant is based upon grace. We accepted the sacrifice of Yeshua by faith to atone for our sins. Instead of taking an unblemished lamb to the priest, we now, in the new covenant, take Yeshua as the Lamb of God and present His sacrifice to the Father, on the basis that He made atonement for us. So now IF we should sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, who officiates on our behalf, when we present His blood as a token of the covenant. See 1 John 2:1; 1:7-9
BEING DEAD TO THE LAW
Paul goes on in his discussion in Romans 7 to say that we have become "dead to the law through the body of Messiah" (v.4) and that we have been "delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter" (v.6)
We have been delivered from the law because we have died to that which held us bound in it. What did we die to that held us bound under the law? It was the old nature!
We buried the 'old man' in baptism, which was our fallen nature, and we became dead to the Law through the body of Messiah. By all that His body which was sacrificed for us represents, we were set free from the Law's penalty. The Law requires one to keep it entirely. If you offend in one point you are guilty of all, so no one born after Adam could keep it in their fallen state except Yeshua. He kept the Law and then He paid the penalty for us breaking the Law, and substituted both His death and His life for us. His death paid the price for our default of the Law, and His life is given to us at baptism to enable us now keep the Law. e are now joined in union to Him by the Spirit and thereby have been delivered from the obligation to keep the "letter" of the Law. We fulfill it by the Spirit of Messiah living through us by our 'marriage' union to Him. We are serving God now in the "newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter" (Romans 7:6) This is how we are delivered from the Law, by His body which was given for us.
This is verified in Paul's earlier statement, "Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law." (Romans 3:31)
The law is established because we can keep it. It is not abolished or made useless or ineffective. VOID -- KATAGEO usually translated 'abolish'. Vines expository Dictionary says "to reduce to inactivity" and Youngs Concordance gives "to make thoroughly useless or idle" i.e. it is not abolished or inoperative.
"For not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified"
"in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Yeshua the Messiah according to my gospel." The gospel Paul was preaching was of doing the Law in regard to which all shall be judged. Rom.2:13,16
We shall be judged by the Law (Romans 2:12). So our being dead to the Law is in regard to walking according to the letter of the Law and the retribution that it brings when broken. We died (the old nature), and now Messiah lives in us to enable us to keep the law by His Spirit.
THE FUNCTION OF THE LAW
A knowledge of the Law is necessary because Yahweh's law defines sin. It tells us what is right and what is wrong. The Bible says: "What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not. On the contrary, I would not have known sin, except through the law: for I would not have known covetousness, unless the law had said, You shalt not covet." (Romans 7:7)
Paul is questioning "Is the Law sin?". To sin is to fall short of the standard, in this case, does the Law fall short of God's standard? Is it inferior? The answer is "No!"
Paul says that the Law is holy and the commandment holy and just and good. (Romans 7:12) He also says that the Law is spiritual (Romans 7:14). In no way does the Law itself fall short of being pure, holy, justified and also being spiritual in nature. The problem is not with the Law, it is with us and our sinful nature which is not pure and holy and good - see Ch.7:8-20; Psalm 19: 7-8
"What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels in the hand of a mediator" (Galatians 3:19) The promise was made to Abraham and fulfilled in the Messiah, and until He came, the law was given to reveal sin, as sin to us.
"But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law is our tutor to bring us to Messiah, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor." (Galatians 3:23-25) TUTOR -- PAIDAGOGOS Youngs Concordance - "child conductor" Vines Expository gives - "a guide, a guardian or trainer of boys, lit. a child-leader" rendered sometimes as 'instructor'. It was the role of a boy-servant who took children to school and taught them how to live.
The Law was our instructor of God's principles, of how to live. Without it we would not have the knowledge of sin, and without its revelation of sin we would not be conscious of the need of salvation. "For by the law is the knowledge of sin" (Romans 3:20)