Summary: Two prevailing themes are knit together throughout the Bible, God's Law and God's Gospel. The law witnesses to the perfect character of God and the sinful character of man.
Law and Gospel: The Witness of the Law
“A recent survey by George Gallup Jr. revealed a startling trend in our culture. According to Gallup the evidence seems to indicate that there are not clear behavioral patterns that distinguish Christians from non-Christians in our society. We all seem to be marching to the same drummer, looking to the shifting standards of contemporary culture for the basis of what is acceptable conduct. What everybody else is doing seems to be our only ethical norm…The very word “law” seems to have an unpleasant ring to it in our evangelical circles.” (Article, “The Law of God, RC Sproul)
Definitions of Law
It is important to define what exactly is meant by the term, law, in the context of the Bible. In its broad sense, it refers to the Scriptures authored by Moses, the Torah- the first five books of the traditional Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Law, in its narrow sense, refers to the list of commandments and regulations placed upon Israel in a special sense and generally the expectations of God to the whole world . (Rom.2:14: Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law). The Ten Commandments are Definitely God’s expectations and requirements to the Whole World.
Christ's relationship to the Law is that He became the perfect fulfillment of the expectations foretold in the Mosaic Books, the requirements in the Ten Commandments, the Sacrificial mandates and regulations, 613 in all. In the Person of Jesus Christ, ALL OF THESE find their fullness. "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes" (Rom.10:4). That is, Christ is the "goal", fulfillment, and "purpose" of the Law's demands and direction. What the Law demands IS FULFILLED and ACCOMPLISHED in Jesus Christ alone, but the Law is not abolished in Christ! (Incidentally, there are actually 1050 NEW TESTAMENT expectations and commandments (LAWS) to Christians.)
An Experiment with God’s Law
Let’s try an experiment. I’m going to cite a few passages from Psalm 119 for our reflection. Try to sort of crawl into the skin of the writer and experience what he felt when he wrote these lines thousands of years ago:
• 97 Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. (v. 97).
(Ray Comfort said: “The psalmist didn’t say, “Oh, how I love Your ark! Or your tabernacle.” It was God’s holy Law that he loved and revered and when we give the Moral Law its rightful place, we will truly see the power of His presence—something that causes demons to tremble.”
• 111 Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.
• 112 My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end.
• 131 I open my mouth and pant, longing for your commands.
• 143 Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands are my delight.