Today's Foundations Devotional: All or nothing

All or nothing

Memory verse

For the law was given through Moses,
but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

(John 1:17)


Yesterday we started our study on law and grace with the first of three basic facts about the law. We saw that the law was given to Israel as a complete system by God, through Moses. This leads us naturally to the next great fact which must be clearly established in relation to the keeping of the law: Every person who comes under the law is thereby obliged to observe the whole system of law in its entirety at all times.

There is no question of observing certain parts of the law and omitting certain other parts. Nor is there any question of keeping the law at certain times and failing to keep it at other times. Any person who comes under the law is necessarily obliged to keep the whole law at all times.

For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law (James 2:10-11).

This is both clear and logical. A person cannot say, “I consider certain points of the law to be important, so I will observe these, but I consider certain other points of the law to be unimportant, so I will not observe those.” Any person under the law must observe all of its requirements at all times. If he breaks only one point, he has broken the whole law.

The law is a single, complete system which cannot be divided up into some points which are applied and others which are not applied. As a means of righteousness, the whole law must be accepted and applied, complete and entire, as a single system, or else it is of no benefit or validity whatever.

For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them” (Gal. 3:10).

Notice that phrase “continue in all things.” This indicates that a person who is under the law must observe the whole law at all times. A person who at any time breaks any point of the law has transgressed the whole law, and has thus come under the divine curse pronounced upon all transgressors of the law.


Prayer response

Lord, thank You that in Jesus Christ I am completely free from the law as a means of righteousness. I praise You for salvation through the atoning work of Your Son Jesus, through which I may enter the full life, the riches of a pure, good life that glorifies Your name! Amen.


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