Romans 3:20; Romans 5:13; Galatians 3:19
Gal 2:16; Romans 7:7; Romans 4:15;
Who is a good doctor? A good doctor is the one who will first seek to examine the patient to determine the root cause of suffering, before prescribing to him the appropriate or the required drug.
The disease must first be identified and exposed in order to bring its removal. It is not a good practice for a doctor to prescribe drug to a patient without pre-examination. To remove sin from man, it must first be exposed; Hence the Law. The Law was needed in order to expose the root cause of Man’s Suffering (Sin). It came not to remove sin but to reveal it. It came to examine man and to reveal to him the root cause of his suffering, according to Romans 7:7, 3:20. Moreover, it also prescribes to man the required drug for his healing (Christ, the healer) according to Galatians 3:24
“For until the law, sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law’. Moreover, the law entered that the offence must abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.” Romans 5:13, 20
“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, ‘You shall not covet.”
“What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions till the seed (Jesus) should come, to whom the promise (Genesis 3:15) was made.” Galatians 3:19
The above quotations indicate that the law came not to remove sin but to expose it. It came to make sin more sinful. It came to reveal man’s suffering (sin) and to prescribe an appropriate medicine (Christ) for him.
Let us use this analogy below to understand the situation:
Doctor = The Law
Patient = Man
Medicine = Christ
Disease = Sin
As much as the patient needs the doctor he also needs the medicine to cure the disease. The discovery of the root of sickness by the doctor does not constitute healing, so the doctor afterwards prescribes medicine to the patient. It is only when the patient takes the medicine that he can receive healing.
From the above illustration, we can see that the doctor is not the one who heals but the medicine; though he plays his part in the healing process. As the doctor is required to examine the patient to expose the root cause of his/her suffering in order to prescribe an appropriate medicine, so also the law was given to examine man and to expose the root causes of our suffering (sin) in order to prescribe the appropriate medicine (Christ).
The law came to convince us of our inability to govern ourselves without God and to point us to see our need for Christ who is the promised seed. He is the appropriate medicine for our suffering (Galatians 3:19; Genesis 3:15). Christ is the only answer to our crisis.
The law is like a debt collector who demands total and absolute payment. Part payment means no payment but interest received. It was assigned to demand total obedience from man in order to vindicate God’s holiness. But man is unable to meet that demand. In Galatians 2:16 we see how it is impossible to obtain the righteousness of God by the deeds of the law.
Bear in mind that, even though the law is a debt collector, Christ is the debt payer for everyone that believes. As the Law demands total perfection, Christ gives us God’s perfection. The law says you must pay all, Christ says He has paid all.
‘And by him (Christ) everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the Law of Moses.’ Act 13:39
We cannot satisfy the requirements of the law because of the sinful passion of our Adamic nature. As a result of this nature the law is unable to bring righteousness. The Bible declares that what the law could not do because of its weakness in regard to our sinful nature, God did it through Christ so that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the sinful nature, but according to the spirit which God has given us through His son Jesus Christ (Romans 8:3-4).
This means the law only leads us to Christ but Christ leads us to God (Galatians 3:21-25).
This is the mystery the world needs to discover. We need to know that the law is weak through our sinful nature but strong through the divine nature of God. And to attain this divine nature, one needs to be born again. We must know that true peace does not come by peace Treaties but it comes only through Christ the Prince of Peace. For when they say peace, peace, then sudden destruction shall come upon them.
Although we have a zeal for peace, this is not according to the knowledge of the truth, for we are being ignorant of the true peace that comes from God. And turning everyone to his own way, we have not sought for God.
It is time we turn to the knowledge of God’s word. We cannot be wiser than the only wise God. We need to admit our failure and turn to Him for instructions and guidance in order to obtain real peace.
The time has come for us to listen to the voice of the law, for ever since it has been saying, ‘the answers are not with me, the key to the prison door is not with me, I, the law, only brings you to the door but do not hold the key to the door, so seek the one who holds the key’. For long we refuse to seek the key holder (God).
The law (the doctor) keeps prescribing the medicine (Christ) for man but man always refuses to accept Him. We refuse to turn to God thinking that we can do without Him.
We seemed to have agreed with Satan who said man could do without God. But the law is saying, Let God be true and every man and Satan liar. It condemns us that we are sinners and we need God.
The answers we need for the problems we face in our world today are not implementation of new laws but a return to God. This increase of law and the innumerable increase of sin in the world today, all bears testimony of man’s failure to rule himself without God. The failure of law does not necessarily means the law has failed. But it means man’s failure to do without God. It is not the law which is wrong and needs changing but it is man’s nature that needs treatment (Romans 7: 14-24).
It is a changed heart that brings a changed world and not a changed law. We must accept the fact that we are helpless without God with regards to sin. If we could do anything at all to remedy our sin then Christ’s death on the cross is nothing but a complete tragedy. But since it is impossible to do it by ourselves, God sent His son to die for us. (John 3:16)
The law came to bear witness that we are prisoners locked in our sins. It brings us before the ‘mirror’ of God (God’s word) to see the true reflection of our nature in order to acknowledge our need for God.
Its duty was to bring man to the prison door where Christ stands ready to open and set man free. It came to tell us that we need a new birth; Man must be born again.
The law is like a satellite in a war zone. As the satellite only expose the enemy and his weapons but cannot destroy them, but only the missiles, so also the law only exposes sin but has no power over sin. It is the spirit that upholds the law. To live by the law in the absence of God’s spirit is dangerous.
No attempt by man to bring himself to the perfection that God seeks can succeed. Education, the improvement of living standard, the implementation of new laws and the signing of peace treaties may be good, but they do not solve the problems of mankind. They only serve as ‘Make-ups’ or ‘Cover-ups’. Nothing less than a remolding, a recreation, a New birth, a New heart, will solve the problem of humanity. This is why we must be born again.
The bribery and corruption, lies, hatred and killings, selfishness and greed which are evident in today’s world, all are beyond man’s power to control. The spiritual forces of darkness which are behind these things cannot be confronted with any human power. We are dealing with powers which are beyond our control. This compels us to recognize our inability to live without God and to see our need of Him. We must know that the battle is God’s and without Him we remain powerless.
‘But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father.’ (Luke 15:17-19)
We need to arise, and we must! I believe it is time for us to come to ourselves and arise and come back to our father (God – the creator of all things) and say to Him, ‘Father, we have sinned against heaven and before you, so please forgive us. And He will do as He did for the prodigal son. We need to be born again and regenerated. We need power from on high, and to receive it, we must be born again.
Many people become uncomfortable when you mention the word ‘Born Again’. But it is something that came out of Jesus Christ himself.
What is unique about being born again?
The Bible declares that because of sin man is separated from God. What is this separation the Bible is talking about? It is not a distance separation but separation between the eternal spirit of God and our human spirit. It is this very spirit (the Holy Spirit) which makes communion possible between God and man, without his presence communion is broken. His absence has brought emptiness in man. It has created a vacuum in man that needs to be refilled.
We remain like a lamp without oil. We can no longer burn to give light. But when one becomes born again the person receives back into his/her spirit the eternal spirit of God which takes residence in his/her human spirit, this human spirit now received life and the person is able to live as God desires. (Galatians 5:16-23)
It is like putting oil inside an empty lamp. It brings fire to the lamp for it to burn to give light.
This is why Jesus referred to Christians in Matthew 5:14 as the light of the world; because we are the very people who have received oil in our lamps and able to burn to give light to the world. But it is rather unfortunate that many of us our lamps are gone off and therefore could not shine to the world for them to see the true way (Christ).
We must always remember that for a lamp to be able to function as light, it needs the oil. So also for us to be able to shine as light we must depend on the Holy Spirit. Our lamps go dry when we drift away from the Holy Spirit.
In Exodus 27:20 we read:
‘And you shall command the children of Israel that they bring you pure oil of pressed Olive for light, to cause the lamp to burn continually.’
With the help of the Holy Spirit, we shine brighter and brighter everyday. For we receive fire that keep our lamps burning continually. Jesus testifies of John the Baptist being the ‘burning and shining lamp’ (John 5:33-35).
In His parable about the ten virgins, Jesus talked about the five foolish virgins who took their lamps without oil with them. These foolish virgins represent the Luke-warm Christians who are living anyhow. Their lamps are dry because they have cut themselves off from the source of oil. They are no longer staying in the word.
The Bible declares that no one can say Jesus is Lord except by the spirit. This means one cannot be a true witness of Christ to the world without the help of the Holy Spirit. We cannot be effective witnesses without the power to witness. As it is written; ‘But you shall receive POWER when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the World.’ Acts 1:8
If we have a genuine desire to know and to do what pleases Him, He will never allow us to go astray. The great shepherd knows how to protect the flock against the wolf.
But if our motives of following Him are wrong, then we must know that we are like sheep without a shepherd. (Read John 6:24-27)
God wants us to take delight in serving Him. He delights to see His Laws written in our hearts which bind us to do His will. If we were left to follow our own inclinations just to go where our carnal mind would lead us, we shall fall as victims to Satan.
In Psalm 40:8 we read; ‘I delight to do your will O My God, and your Law is within my heart.’
The awareness of His Law within me gives me protection against the deception of the enemy of truth (Satan).
God’s Law within me subdue my own will, thereby creating in me the Love for Him, the zeal for His glory and Love for fallen humanity. These are the marks of a true witness of God.
A true Christian will exercise a restraining influence upon sin. He will desire for that righteousness which is found in Christ. (Matthew 5:6)
It is written, ‘In your hearts enthrone Him.’ But Christ is only enthroned when self is dethroned. There must be an exchange of position between self and Christ. Christ must be brought to the throne while self is hanged on the cross.
As Apostle Paul put it, ‘Walk in the spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.’ (Galatians 5:16). The battle between the spirit and the flesh will continue to rage, but the true Christian always will make the conscious effort to overcome the flesh by setting his/her mind on the things of the spirit. (Romans 8:5-6; 1 Peter 2:11)