Today's Foundations Devotional: Purpose of the Law - to reveal sin
Purpose of the Law - to reveal sin
Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ,
that we might be justified by faith.
This week we will study why God gave the Law. The first main purpose of the law is to show men their sinful condition.
Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin (Rom. 3:19-20).
Notice, first of all, the very emphatic statement “by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight” (Rom. 3:20).
In other words, no human being will ever achieve righteousness in God’s sight by the observance of the law.
Side by side with this, Paul states twice, in two different phrases, the primary purpose for which the law was given. He says first that “all the world may become guilty before God.” An alternative translation is “that all the world may become subject to the judgement of God.” Second, he says, “by the law is the knowledge of sin.” We see, therefore, that the law was not given to make men righteous but, on the contrary, to make men conscious that they were sinners and, as such, subject to the judgement of God upon their sin.
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 shall not covet” (Rom. 7:7).
Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful (Rom. 7:12-13).
Paul uses three different phrases which all bring out the same truth.
I would not have known sin except through the law (Rom. 7:7). But sin, that it might appear sin... (Rom. 7:13).
... so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful (Rom. 7:13).
In other words, the purpose of the law was to bring sin out into the open – to show sin in its true colours as the subtle, destructive, deadly thing that it really is. Thereafter men were left without any excuse for being deceived as to the extreme sinfulness of their condition.
In the practice of medicine, when treating diseases of the human body, first of all, the doctor examines the sick man and tries to ascertain the nature and cause of his disease; only after he has done that does he attempt to prescribe a remedy. God follows the same order in dealing with man’s spiritual need. Before prescribing the cure, God first diagnoses the condition. The basic cause of all human need and suffering lies in one condition common to all members of the human race: sin. No satisfactory remedy for human needs can be offered until this condition has been diagnosed. The Bible is the only book in the world which correctly diagnoses the cause of all humanity’s need and suffering. For this reason alone, apart from all else it offers, the Bible is invaluable and irreplaceable.
Thank You, Lord Jesus, that through Your glorious work on the cross the sinful state of all mankind has been fully dealt with. But not only that, also with the utter imperfection of my existence. In You Lord Jesus, I am pure, without blemishes, spots or wrinkles! Thank You Lord! Amen.
Click on the link below for the Derek Prince book that these daily devotionals are based on: