Summary: God has given us a perfect law. It still speaks God's will and word to us and if we will hear it, we will be called to follow God's perfect Son.
The Law of the Lord is Perfect
I was thinking about our legal system in America. (slide 1)
I looked up some information that I thought would set the stage for our sermon today. Here are some of the “Statutes at Large” 123 volumes, which make up all the laws passed by Congress. My question was: How many laws do we have? The answer is: no one knows for sure. Some of the new laws change the old ones, but not always. Counting them is really hard. Lawyers have to specialize because none of them knows all of the laws either.
(slide 2) This set of volumes should help. It constitutes what is called the “United States Code” and it gathers the laws into categories, 51 to be exact, and it should make it possible to know how many laws we have, but again, and this comes from the government web site: no one knows for sure exactly how many laws we have.
(slide 3) So I thought I would make is simpler by just going to one category to see how many laws are under that category. I selected on that many of us need to know something about. Tax laws. If you think the Bible is complex, try reading and understanding our United States Tax code. And if you think your Bible is thick (mine has 1048 pages) listen to this: our 2013 tax code is over four million words. That’s 73,954 pages of tax laws.
And here’s the clincher… (slide 4) Ignorance of the law… is no Excuse!
The Week Magazine, Dec. 19, 2014, page 18 has an article stating this: Legal scholars say that "more than 70% of American adults have committed a crime that could lead to imprisonment."
(blank slide 5)
American legislation has lost its way. Our judges differ on what is "Constitutional and Unconstitutional" regarding such matters as the meaning of marriage. What happens when the foundations and authority basis for our laws become confused?
Is there any such thing as a perfect legal system?
Yes. The Law of the Lord is perfect. The word of God is true. The Scriptures are God breathed. We have a solid place to stand. God has given us a book that we can base our lives on and know what is perfect and true and right and just... and eternally so.
The Bible. The longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119, and the middle and shortest chapter is Psalm 117. The middle chapter of the Old Testament is Job 29 and the middle chapter of the New Testament is Romans 13. The middle verse of the Bible is Psalm 118:8. The middle verse of the Old Testament is 2 Chronicles 20:17, and the middle verse of the New Testament is Acts 17:17.
The Bible consists of law, history, poetry, proverbs, prophecy, gospels, letters and other literary genre.
Let’s look at some scriptures that tell us some positive things about God’s law.
(slide 6) Psalms 1
(slide 7) Psalms 19
(slide 8) Matthew 5
(slide 10) 1 Timothy 1:8-10
Now let's explore this...
When God gave Israel the law through Moses, did they always keep it? What happened to them when they failed to obey the law? They were punished! But if they repented, they were forgiven! Ezekiel 18:21-23.
When Jesus gave us “the law of Christ” do we always keep it? (Galatians 6:2, 1 Corinthians 9:21) What happens to Christians when we fail to obey the law of Christ? We are disciplined! But if we repent and confess our sins we are forgiven! James 5:16, 1 John 1:9.
Paul wrote to the Romans and Galatians and said, “Sin shall not be your master because you are not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:14-15
What then, shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!!! Sin is lawlessness! Being saved by grace does not reduce our need for the law to guide us, it removes the sting of death that the law must administer and places that sting on our representative, Jesus Christ. But we who have received God's grace also receive God's gift of new life in Christ and freedom from sin. To go on sinning willfully or to run to the law in self-righteousness are heads and tails of the same selfish coin.
Living by grace does not mean living lawlessly. Living by law means depending on that law to save us. Living in Christ means this: