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Justification and the Law

Justification and the Law | July 31, 2010 Order Info

Scripture: Genesis 15:6; 2 Samuel 11, 12; Romans 3:20-23, 31; 4:1-17; Galatians 3:19; 1 John 3:4.

There have been laws to obey ever since the creation of the human race. Throughout history, laws have been made for social, cultural and religious reasons. They were made to create additional order so that we can coexist safely and happily. Many laws have changed with the times. But there are some laws that have remained and no one knows why. Some of them make sense and we can trace their backgrounds; others seem absurd. Consider some of the world’s strangest laws: 1, 2

It is illegal for a cab in the city of London to carry rabid dogs or corpses.

It is an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British monarch upside down.

In Florida, unmarried women who parachute on Sundays can be jailed.

In Vermont, women must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth.

It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament.

In France, it is forbidden to name a pig Napoleon.

In Alabama, it is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while driving a vehicle.

In Victoria, Australia, only a licensed electrician is allowed to change a light bulb. 

In Eureka, Nevada, it is illegal for men with moustaches to kiss women.

In Maryland, it is illegal for radio stations to play Randy Newman's song “Short People”.

In Oklahoma, it is illegal to make faces at a dog, a crime that could result in a prison sentence.

In Baltimore, Maryland, it is an offence to take a lion into a cinema.

In Kentucky, it is illegal to carry an ice cream cone in your pocket.

In Romania, Mickey Mouse was banned in 1935 because the authorities thought that the sight of a 10-foot high rodent on screen would terrify the nation's children.

In Arizona, it is illegal to hunt camels.

Just as most would believe that these laws shouldn’t pertain to us in this day and age, many don’t believe that God’s laws given in the Old Testament times need to be followed today. They say that because of Jesus’ death, we are under the “New Covenant”. And since we’re saved by grace, works don’t matter.

Yet Paul clearly tells us in Romans 3:20, “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.” We can’t be declared righteous by observing the law because it’s not possible for us to keep it perfectly—only Jesus could do that. Rather, the law makes us conscious of sin—it warns us of the things that can separate us from God.

One of the clearest scriptures telling why we should obey God’s law is found in 1 John 2:3-6: “We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.”

So this is why we take God’s law into our hearts: It’s proof of our love for God; it’s proof that God’s love is made complete in us; and it’s proof that we are truly in Him. If we want to be Christians—followers of Christ—John says we must walk as Jesus walked. Yet try as we might, this will never save us. We are justified by faith alone. Faith that Jesus paid it all.


1. Times Online
Daily Telegraph

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