What is the real purpose of living by God’s laws? – Part 4
Written by Ken Murray
This is the fourth and final part of a series of blogs about the purpose of God's law.
In this blogs I consider 3 more purposes of living by God's wonderful laws.
* God's Laws were given for us in order to prevent sin.
* Keeping God's Laws saves us from being ashamed.
* God's Law has the purpose of showing us what is right and wrong - reward or failure.
1. God's laws were given for us in order to Prevent Sin
There's a crazy theology going around that the law was given by God so that it would create sin and then we would have something to repent of and then God could extend grace to us and so on.
But is this true, or untrue according to God?
As Psalm 119:10 -11 clearly shows, another purpose of why God's law was given to us by God, was to show and help us to prevent sin.
Psalm 119: 10 -11 tells us "With my whole heart have I sought You: O let me not wander from Your commandments. Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against You."
God's Law wasn't given to create sin. Obviously one of the purposes of why God's law was given to us, was to help us avoid and PREVENT SIN.
What is the simple Bible definition of sin?
Notice 1 John 3:4 "Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law."
What did the apostle Paul say about avoiding breaking God's laws and sinning?
In Romans 6:16 "Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin (breaking God's law) unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?"
Sin or the breaking of God's laws is destructive and ultimately leads to death. Sin is that category of activities that are breaches of God's good laws and stem from wrong thoughts, wrong words and wrong actions that destroy our lives.
The law is a mirror to help us see and avoid sinful error before we fall headlong into it, and get hurt, as well as hurting others and our loved ones.
2. Keeping God's laws saves us from being ASHAMED
One of the worst feelings that we can possibly experience as human beings is to feel ashamed.
Psalm 119:4-6 reads "You have commanded us to keep Your precepts diligently. O that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all your commandments."
Also notice Psalm 119: 21-22: "You have rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from Your commandments. Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept Your testimonies."
The purpose of the law is to spare us from reproach and contempt. Break God's law to your own peril, but surely nobody wants to be gossiped about as being a hypocrite or joked about as being a phoney Christian.
3. God's Law has the purpose of showing us what is right and wrong = reward or failure.
Every day, do we face questions of ethical issues in society? Yes we surely do! The questions are many, the bad consequences can be enormous. Should we follow God or man? Good thoughts or perverted thoughts? Truth or lying? Good actions or evil actions? On and on. Most people don't have a moral compass guide as to what is right and what is wrong. They simply foolishly do what comes naturally.
Psalm 119: 9 -10 tells us "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to Your word. With my whole heart have I sought You: O let me not wander from Your commandments."
To "take heed" enables a young person to clean up their act, paying attention to live by God's laws that keep them safe on the right path. God's law is the educator to keep him on the right way, and gives the spiritual powerful tools we need to choose right from wrong and be a success.
Hey!! In order to do right you have to know what is right!! RIGHT??
According to Winston Churchill "Those who don't learn from the lessons of the past are bound to repeat them".
How would we know for instance that it is wrong to tell lies or to steal, or that we should eat clean foods and not unclean foods, unless God's law reveals that knowledge and understanding to us?
Psalm 19: 11-13 "Moreover by them (God's laws) is Your servant warned (of what is right and wrong): and in keeping of them there is great reward. Who can understand his errors? Cleanse You me from secret faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression."
God's Law teaches us how we can avoid wasting our lives on foolish mistakes and how we can teach others in the world tomorrow in God's Kingdom how they can avoid mistakes and have a prosperous happy fulfilling life.
Plus, we are promised physical blessings for keeping God's commandments.
Deuteronomy 11:13-15 "And it shall come to pass, if you shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your corn, and your wine, and your oil. And I will send grass in your fields for your cattle, that you may eat and be full."
God tells us in the bible that perseverance will be rewarded. It may take you one year or 10 years or your whole lifetime but it will reward you, if you keep God's law, as surely as the sun rises in the east.
The law shows us to "do this and do that" because it is good for us and we will be rewarded. God's law warns us "don't do this and don't do that", because it is destructive and dangerous to us and others.
Otherwise how would we know what is going to be harmful to us? Well, we wouldn't would we?
Some of God's laws we could learn the hard way. You can go about learning about these things by experience if you must, but that's very painful and it's sometimes more expensive than we can afford because it can sometimes cost you your life and eternal life.
So, it's just a whole lot better not to have to go that way. Choose life. Choose to live by God's laws which lead us in the right way of conversion and rewards.
Many religious people embrace the idea of loving others as themselves but remain blissfully unaware of how the Bible defines love. As a result, they do not understand the necessity of putting into practice the biblical principles that determine the success or failure of their relationships.
We hope this booklet will inspire you to so appreciate the wisdom of God that you will look to His commandments as your standard for behaviour. This is the example set for us by Jesus Christ (John 15:10; 1 Peter 2:21; 1 John 2:6).
Are you desiring a closer relationship with God? If so, where do you start? What tools can you use to grow spiritually and build that all-important relationship with your Creator? This important study aid will set you on the right path. Read and begin implementing these important elements today!
Lesson 1 Why the Bible is the Word of God
Our secular society has come to the point where it basically ignores the Bible as the instruction book for personal character. Truth has become relative in this age. In the energetic pursuit of material possessions, humans are ignoring spiritual development. This lesson addresses the questions of God's existence, why humans were created in the first place, and an overview of the Bible itself.
This guide first lists a summary of each belief from the Constitution of the United Church of God, an International Association, then explains and expands on each of those beliefs. Additional booklets on these topics are available free of charge.
The New Covenant Does It Abolish God's Law?
"This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds" (Hebrews 10:16, New Revised Standard Version).
Does the New Covenant negate Old Testament law and do away with God's direction to obey His Ten Commandments and other laws? The belief that it does has long been a popular teaching in traditional Christianity. We'll thoroughly examine this question in this booklet.