If people knew how good God is, they would love Him and live for Him.
The Law, if it is not properly understood, gives a wrong representation of God. Jesus was the perfect representation of God (Heb. 1:3). Jesus showed us that God is love (1 John 4:8). He’s the only One who ever truly kept the Law. The mercy and grace Jesus extended toward people was radically different from the “eye for an eye” of the Old Testament Law.
A wrong understanding of the Old Testament Law leads to misunderstanding the nature of God. Most people believe God gave the Law to show us what we need to do to obtain a relationship with Him. The Law was intended to show us our sin, and our need for God. It was to turn us from self-righteousness to a faith-righteousness that could only come through a Savior (Rom. 10:3-4).
Scripture says the Law:
- Strengthened sin (1 Cor. 15:56)
- Was a ministry of death and condemnation (2 Cor. 3:7, 9)
- Brought guilt and knowledge of sin, not salvation (Rom. 3:19-20)
- Made sin come alive, and killed us (Rom. 7:9)
- Magnified sin and produced hopelessness (Rom. 7:13-25)
Why would God give us something with all these negative effects? Because we were already beaten by sin and didn’t know it. We needed to be convinced that we couldn’t save ourselves. Religion has taught us that we have to fulfil the demands of the Law in order for God to love us or use us. That’s totally wrong!
For 2,000 years after Adam’s fall, God dealt with mankind through mercy and grace, which wasn’t evident when the Law came. God wasn’t imputing man’s sin unto him until the Law was given. God’s display of His wrath against sin forever changed the way man thought of sin. Now he had graphic evidence of how much God hated sin, so this served as a deterrent to sin.
Such a perfect standard of performance did the Law outline that those who understood it clearly saw that they could never be good enough. It took away any deception that God owed us anything, and it made us throw ourselves on God for mercy. Once we come to Jesus and receive salvation as a gift (Rom. 6:23), we are no longer under the Law but under grace (Rom. 6:14). God always wanted to relate to us by grace. Those who receive salvation as a gift by faith in Jesus don’t have any more wrath against them. The Lord will never be angry with us or rebuke us (Is. 54:9). Hallelujah!