No-one should think that they can separate the law from the gospel.On many occasions the Pharisees in their hypocrisy were roundly and rightly rebuked by Jesus for thinking that by keeping the law they would be saved; on one such occasion Jesus said:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.
So obedience is good, and ought always to be done, but there are more important aspects of life in Christ, as Jesus put it ‘weightier matters of the law’, which have a greater priority. Love, mercy, faith, justice. That Jesus said they are a part of the law is significant. There are those who claim the law was nailed to the cross: they have to reconcile the fact that love, justice, and mercy, that is the gospel,is part and parcel of that very law which they claim is of no further relevance to the Christian. How can ‘thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart etc’ be no longer of any significance to the Christian life? Is this not the very essence of the law? That upon love for God as paramount and impartial love for neighbour hang all the law and prophets? How then can the law and the gospel be separated? They cannot. They intertwine and overlay each other intimately, having different purposes yet they run parallel to one another. And please, enough of this nonsense that claims that the law was done away with but reinstituted by the church through the writings of Paul. Far out, God didn’t need Moses to establish law, nor did He need Paul. God’s law was established in the heavens, since eternity past and into eternity future. His law is His nature, His character. His righteousness. To do away with His law is to do away with God Himself.
It is as we take a hold of Christ and cleave to Him in faith and love, that His law ceases its claims upon us because of two things. First and foremost, we are dead to the law, (note well, it is us that are dead, not the law) in Christ. This means that God the Father considers us as having died with His Son, Jesus. Because Jesus died as an innocent man, God can include in Him the guilt of humanity, that includes you and me. God considers the debt paid. What claims the law has upon us as far as guilt is concerned is eternally dealt with.
Secondly, we are gifted with His righteousness. Not just accounted righteous like a book-keeping entry, but changed, sanctified, made righteous each day and made a new creature that lives, breathes, loves, obeys, cherishes the good and despises the evil. Sin no longer has an attraction to us. Grieving the Holy Spirit that abides in us becomes a detestable consideration. And as we hunger and thirst after righteousness we come to the point when we would rather die than tell a lie. We would rather burn than deny our love for our Maker. We would rather be tortured than be found to be a thief, or an adulterer. We would rather suffer ridicule, abuse, and slander than to compromise truth, reduce holiness to a human standard, or behave in such a way that brings disrepute upon He who saved us.
What a wonderful God who through the power of His word and the work of His Spirit can fulfill in us His promises as laid out in His law. But it takes faith. You must believe that God has the power, and the willingness to accomplish this. You must also decide if you want this. Jesus said that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled. Do you believe His words, His promises? Below are a set of promises, that as you surrender your life to Him, fully trusting in Him and allow Him to work in you His righteousness and holiness, and that if you believe that what He promises will assuredly come to pass, these will become real for you in this life.
You shall love the Lord thy God with all the heart, with all the soul, and with all thy strength.
You shall worship the Lord thy God and you will only serve Him.
You shall not have any other god before Him, nor shall you make any graven image.
You shall never take the name of the Lord in vain.
You shall remember to keep holy His Sabbath day.
And you shall love thy neighbour as thyself.
You shall not dishonour your parents.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not lie.
You shall not covet.