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SBS     Sermon Notes     Note 04/05

Yahweh's Vital Law

Reading: 1 John 3

1. The Need for Laws

Anarchy and chaos would take over if all laws were abolished. Imagine for a moment a single country without laws: Just everyone doing exactly as they pleased. Now imagine, if you can, the universe run along those lines. No gravitational law to control the movement of galaxies, stars and planets, no magnetic laws, no heat, light and sound laws - no laws at all. Every thinking person will immediately see that the result would be unimaginable chaos. In other words, without law there can be no order, no health and certainly no happiness. Lawless societies, lawless organisations and lawless individuals are, as most authorities know, the biggest threat to peace and happiness they face. I need not elaborate on this obvious fact.

2. The Purpose of Law

Today I want to speak about moral laws, laws which define human behaviour. Moral laws tell us what is right and what is wrong. Governments the world over struggle daily with the repercussions of the behaviour of their citizens: These are all moral issues and they must be controlled by moral laws. And yet, strange as it may seem, it is extremely difficult to legislate on moral issues. Parliaments around the world are unable to formulate moral laws. No sooner have they passed one law, which even remotely relates to a moral issue, when a few years later they amend, update or even scrap it. Why this dilemma? The answer is: because moral issues are spiritual territory, the prerogative of Almighty God! He created the human race; so He alone has the ability and the right to legislate on moral behaviour. We humans may fool ourselves into thinking that we can enter the territory of morals and make laws as to how people should live: what they should do, and what they should not do. But we deceive ourselves, because we just do nothave the wisdom, the knowledge or the authority to legislate on moral issues. We may try, God knows we try, but the world's present chaotic state is proof that we have miserably failed. The fact is, only Yahweh can dictate as to moral behaviour. His commandments are the final word in moral matters. By them we are able to determine what is right and what is wrong.

Any attempt to ignore or change Yahweh's laws will end in disaster. Sooner or later this vital fact will become evident to the whole human race. Till such time as it does, people and governments will blunder along vainly attempting to define their own moral codes; and the cost to the public purse will rise year after year. Better that we go straight to Yahweh's Word and accept His laws before we bankrupt the human race.

Yahweh's Law Defines Sin

Yahweh's law defines sin. It tells us what is right and what is wrong. The Bible says:
1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
Romans 3:20 ... for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

In other words, you have committed a sin when you break one or more of Yahweh's commandments. "Rubbish!" I hear someone say. "I am a free moral agent, and I can - and will - do as I please."

My answer to that is: Don't be hasty, calm down and read this passage slowly. It says that if the wicked person turns from his/her wickedness he/she will not die - but live! It also say that if a good person turns to a life of sin, he/she will die.
Ezekiel 33:17 Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal.
18: When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.
19: But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.

3. The Limitations of the Law

Nevertheless, much as we recognise the need for moral law to define sin, much as we need Yahweh's law to tell us what is right and what is wrong, the Bible makes it perfectly clear that the law has limitations. It cannot empower you to do right. It cannot stop you sinning if you want to sin. For example consider the traffic laws; they lay down speed limits, they point to various places, they inform the motorist as to how to use the road. But traffic laws cannot make you a good driver. They cannot make you go right if you are determined to go left (or wrong). It is exactly the same with Yahweh's law. It is a spiritual signpost; but it is unable to move you to the destination of righteousness, holiness. It can only point the way. That is its purpose.

Read Romans chapter 7. This chapter tells of the sinner's awful condition. Much as he wants to obey the law of God, there exists in the human mind another law - the law of sin and death. And this law of sin and death is in conflict with Yahweh's law of life. And so we have these two laws set before us; each pointing to a different objective.

  1. The FIRST to salvation through Jesus Christ
  2. The SECOND exerting a downward pull to disobedience and eternal death. Which law are you going to obey? Yahweh's law which identifies sin and points to Yeshua the Saviour? Or the law of sin and death which will ultimately consign you to eternal annihilation?
    Yahweh's law of life
    Gal.3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
    The Law of Sin and Death
    Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    The Lord Jesus Christ (Yeshua the Messiah) came to earth to save mankind from sin and death - eternal death. Though perfect in every way, Yahweh's law cannot cancel your past sins. It cannot save you from punishment. It cannot turn you into a good person. It can only point the way to perfection - Jesus Christ. And that is where the Saviour's power comes into the picture. He can save. He can purify. He can give you the power to keep his Father's law. This is what the Scriptures are all about. God's law points out our sins. It also points to the only One who can save us from sin - Jesus Christ. It is then the power of Saviour which makes it possible for the righteousness of the law to be fulfilled in us.
    Romans 8:3 For 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:
    4. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    In short: The law of God is a pointer to Yeshua the Messiah: and it is in Yeshua that the sinner finds forgiveness, peace, obedience and love. When this beautiful state is reached Yahweh's law has found fulfilment in you. It is doing its job. It has brought you to Christ who produces righteousness (obedience) in your life.

    4. An Instrument of Judgement

    Every judgement is based on law and all laws are instruments of judgement. Go into any courthouse and you will see judgement being applied according to law. I am not saying that all laws are good. Everyone knows that some laws - even in this country - are not good. What I am saying is that laws are instruments of judgement. That is why laws are sometimes referred to as "judgements" because people are judged by them. Sentences are handed out by judges in accordance with law; and even the judges themselves are guided by what the law says. Here we can see the importance of law. Visit any courthouse and you will appreciate this fact. On the great Day of Judgement the whole universe will recognise the value and weight of Yahweh's holy law. By it men and angels will be judged.
    Romans 14:10 ... for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
    11: For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
    12: So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

    At that Judgment we will be weighed against Yahweh's law. All judges act according to existing laws. Indeed their very judgement must be in accordance with law. It is the same with Jesus Christ. On the Day of Judgement he will judge mankind according to his Father's law. At the moment he offers to be your solicitor. But one day he will be your judge. The Almighty God has already appointed the time and the judge for that great day.
    Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
    31: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

    In this day and age, Yahweh's law is mostly used to identify is, to point to Christ, to 'convert the soul' (Psalm 19:7) But on the terrible Day of Judgement it will be used as an instrument of justice. The Bible says:
    2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
    Romans 2:12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
    13: (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

    James 2:12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.

    5. Summary

    Much has been written and spoken against the law of the Most High. Next to His own holy character Yahweh's law is the most misunderstood thing in the universe. Sad to say even millions of Christians are under the false impression that Yahweh's law is done away with, abolished and no longer of any practical use to the believer. This error has paved the way for sin and confusion too terrible to describe. From the highest to the lowest rank, iniquity is rampant in all countries: and Yahweh's name is blasphemed every time sinners (who were made in His image) break it. What then should the true believer's attitude and outlook be towards Yahweh's law? What must we remember?

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    Elder: David B Loughran
    Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland
    Placed on Internet Dec.1995 ... Updated with KJV references July 1999