“For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life” (Proverbs 6:23, ESV).
Many Christians see the Law as outdated, that it has outlived its usefulness. Before Jesus it was God’s tool to teach His people that they are sinful and could never live up to His righteous standards. But even now it teaches us that same lesson. Both then and now mankind is pointed to the cross as the only way to restore the sin-broken relationship between us and God.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus made it clear that the Law was then, and is now, important. “‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished’” (Matthew 5:17-18, ESV).
To be clear, the Law is a tool, and not a means of salvation! We find salvation through Jesus alone. “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6, ESV).
So, what is the Law to you and me? The Law is a lamp. When we look to it, it reveals the path on which we walk. It reminds us of the heart of God. When Jesus told us to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 5:43), He wasn’t divulging some secret wisdom that He and the Father had kept hidden. He was speaking the Law (Leviticus 19:18).
We are so concerned that God’s commands in the Law are going to rob us of our joy and freedom in Christ, and turn us into Pharisees, that we spend very little time learning them and meditating upon them. In doing so, we deprive ourselves of the wisdom of God which “leads us in paths of righteousness” (Psalm 23:3).
I have walked the dark path of a Pharisee, stumbling blindly looking to my “goodness” to produce salvation. I didn’t see that when I looked to my myself I couldn’t see the light of God’s Word.
Legalism is dangerous, but the Law is good (Romans 7:12).
Think mindfully on these things; and blessings on your day!