Romans 5:20,21 “The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase.<sup class="crossreference" value="(AB)”> But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death,<sup class="crossreference" value="(AD)”> so also grace<sup class="crossreference" value="(AE)”> might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life<sup class="crossreference" value="(AF)”> through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

     I have often said to my students in physics class that there are three laws that can’t be broken  – Newton’s laws of motion. “However,” I tell them, “these laws may break your car and you if you’re not careful on the road.”  It’s a great lead in to the the study of dynamics.  The body of law that Paul was taking about wasn’t the same.  It seemed to be made for breaking!

     The law is also made to keep people within it.  So the law makes a boundary.  And a boundary shows not only those within the law but those on the ‘wrong’ side of it. So, no law – no trespass.  In this way, what Paul says is so true.   The law brings a kind of cold hard clarity.  However, there is no love in the law just harsh judgement.  The law separates.  The law judges.  The law condemns.

     The law was  made for lawless people; “We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers,  for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers . . . ” (1 Timothy 1:9,10)  The law was made for us!  Maybe we aren’t murderers but what about unholy or irreligious or lying.  The Bible tells us: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” (James 2:10)  Paul sums up; “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)

     The only thing that covers sin is grace – grace free and available to all.  As the law shows sin, so also does it show grace.  Not as a consequence but rather in contrast – as dark calls for light so sin calls for grace.  A world of lawlessness alone would be mute towards grace!  We must realize that ‘available to all’ does not mean ‘acceptable to all.  Grace is not free, a terrible price was paid for it. We didn’t have to pay that price;  “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

     To accept grace we must acknowledge our sin, acknowledge the price and be desperate for grace.  Only then are we prepared to accept the King of grace as our Lord and Saviour.  Self-righteousness is the contentment that slides a person down to  hell.  The self-righteous are a law unto themselves and have no need of grace because they are beyond the law.  It is not that they live by the law, rather they delude themselves into believing they keep all of it by multiplying doctrines that keep none of it;  “This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men . . . ” (Mark 7:6,7,8)

     Satan has made empty religion into his weapon of  mass destruction.  Without Jesus there is no grace.  Without grace, the contrast to perceive sin fades in the mind – sin fades.  If there is no sin, the law and its boundaries become invisible to us.  And in this world of materialism – what is invisible doesn’t exist.  Jesus upholds the law just as sin upholds lawlessness.  And our society has gone so far down the road away from the Bible that there is no one to teach us;  “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”  (Galatians 3:24)

     Life comes out of the law because the law comes to its conclusion in Jesus.  We cannot find our righteousness in the law but we find our sinfulness in it.  The only way out of that terrible doom is Jesus’ sacrifice and our acceptance of His death for us.  Jesus said; “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”  (Matthew 5:17)

     Some think that the law doesn’t exist because they can’t see it – yet it operates just like Newton’s three laws of motion on the highways of life.  Others think that they aren’t lawbreakers – they can’t see their predicament because they are self-righteous.  The very law they believe they keep completely, condemns them completely.  A few see their doom and grab onto Jesus and never let go.

     The Bible tells us: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”  (Romans 8:1)

     Praise the Lord!

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