Today's Foundations Devotional: The law is not made for the righteous

The law is not made for the righteous

Memory verse

For the (...) was given through (...) ,
but (...) and (...) came through Jesus Christ.

(John 1:17)


Yesterday, we’ve seen that the religious observance of the Sabbath day was included among those ordinances which had been wiped out. This confirms what we have established: the law, including the Ten Commandments, is a single, complete system. As a means of achieving righteousness, it was introduced as a single, complete system by Moses; and, as a single, complete system, it was done away with by Christ.

For He Himself [Christ] is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of division between us, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace (Eph. 2:14-15).

Paul here tells us that Christ, through His atoning death on the cross, has abolished (that is, made of no effect) “the law of commandments”; He has thereby taken away the great dividing line of the law of Moses which separated Jews from Gentiles, making it possible for Jews and Gentiles alike, through faith in Christ, to be reconciled both with God and with each other.

The phrase “the law of commandments” indicates as plainly as possible that the entire law of Moses, including the Ten Commandments, was made of no further effect as a means of righteousness by the death of Christ upon the cross.

In 1 Timothy 1:8-10 Paul again discusses the relationship of the Christian believer to the law and reaches the same conclusion.

But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.

Here Paul defines two classes of persons: On the one hand, there is a righteous man; on the other hand, there are those guilty of the various sins enumerated in Paul’s list. A person guilty of these sins is not a true, believing Christian; such a person has not been saved from sin by faith in Christ.

A person who trusts Christ for salvation is no longer guilty of such sins; he has been justified, he has been made righteous – not with his own righteousness, but with the righteousness of God which is through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all who believe.

Paul affirms that the law is not made for a righteous man such as this; he is no longer under the dominion of the law.


Prayer response

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the wonderful freedom of the law that I may enjoy in the Lord Jesus. By His immeasurable sacrifice on the cross every law that is against me, because I did not comply fully with the provisions of the Law, is wiped away once and for all! Thank You Jesus, and thank You Father! Amen.


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