not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have
not come to abolish them but to fulfill them"(Matthew 5:17).
sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under
grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under
grace? By no means!"(Romans 6:14,15).
What is the Law? What
is the Gospel? Law is a term to distinguish the Law of God from the law
of earth; it means the Law in the Bible, The Ten Commandments. Gospel
is a 'fortune word' in Korean. It means as written in the Chinese
letters 'fortunate words,' 'good news', it tells us that human beings
will be saved by the redemption of Jesus.
let's think of the law. Why do we need the law? Today we see many
traffic accidents on the news everyday. Why do they happen so often?
Well, because we don't keep the traffic rules. We need the rules to
drive and walk safely.
Not only traffic rules but also all
other rules are needed for us to live happily, therefore there is no
nation without laws and rules. Without it, nations can't be ruled
properly. God also gave us the Law so that we can live happily and
comfortably by following His word.
Since laws always refer to
the mind of the legislators, earthly laws show the minds of the
politicians, the Law of God shows the mind of God.
Laws that are made by human beings can be corrected or abolished
because they may have some contradictions and faults. But the Law of God
can't be changed, because we can't find any fault in it. It is the Law
that must be accomplished, the Law of love.
God taught our
forefathers this Law of love in the beginning and they have taught their
descendants, age after age. By this way this Law has been a common law
in the people's hearts. But people started to break it and sin, so it
was necessary to write this Law in physical letters so that humanity
would not forget it.
Therefore God recorded this Law on the
stone Himself and gave it to Moses to proclaim it in front of the people
of Israel so they wouldn't forget it.
Then what are the Ten Commandments, the everlasting law of His love, that God wrote by his own hand in stone?
You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall mot make for yourself an idol in the form of anything..
You shall not bow down to them or worship them.
You shall mot misuse the name of the Lord your God.
the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. For in six days the Lord made the
heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, but he rested on
the seventh day.
Honor your father and your mother
You shall no murder.
You shall no commit adultery]
You shall no steal.
You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor's house.(From Exodus 20:3-17)
can divide it into 2 parts. The first four deal with the relationship
between God and man. The last six deal with the relationship among men.
day, a Jewish rabbi tried to test Jesus. He asked pretending to be
gentle. "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus
replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your
soul and with all your might, this is the first and greatest
commandment. And the second is like it; Love your neighbor as yourself.
All the Law and the Prophets hand on these two commandments"(Matthew
22:37-40). This definitely shows the basis of the commandments is love.
It tells us how to love the Lord our God and how to love other people.
The First four commandments tell us how to love God and the others, how
to love our neighbors.
Christians think Salvation comes not by keeping the Law but by
believing in Jesus. The Law is abolished. So we need only believe. Why
do we have to keep the difficult Law? Is the Law really abolished and
done away with? Is it true that Jesus came to this world to abolish the
Okay, let's think of what Jesus said; "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. I tell you the truth until
heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least of
the stroke of a pen, will by ay means disappear from the Law until
everything is accomplished"(Matthew 5:17, 18).
If the Law
could be changed or abolished, He wouldn't have had to come to this
humble world and be crucified. But because it couldn't be changed, He
came in the form of a man and He fulfilled the Law completely. He died
for us who broke the Law. This fact tells us that the death of Jesus is
the biggest evidence to prove the unchangeability of the Law.
is hard to understand the people who insist that this important Law is
useless. They needed the Law two thousand years ago, why don't we need
the Law today? Our sin is not changed. It's even worse than before. We
can see a lot of crimes getting more cruel and increased. The worse this
world becomes, the more we need the Law. If all human beings had obeyed
the Law of God, what would the world be like now? It is an interesting
thought. There would be no crime that destroys our happiness. There
would be no war or anything like that. We must make the Law the standard
of our lives now more than ever.
The relationship between the
Law of God and humanity is the same with the one of a railroad and a
train. A train can run safely only on its tracks. If it runs off the
railroad, it can cause a big accident. In the same way, we as believers
have to base our lives on the God's Commandments. The apostle Paul said
"everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God and
everyone who loves the Father loves his children as well. This is how we
know that we love God: by loving God and carrying out his commands.
This is love for God to obey His commands. And his commands are not
burdensome"(1 John 5:1-3).
In other words, those who believe
Jesus, the Son of God and experience the rebirth can't think keeping
the Law is burdensome. But there is a phrase that seems to be opposed to
this; so many people misunderstand God's commandments. In Galatians
Paul says, "Know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but
by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus
that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the
law. Because by observing the law no one will be justified. I do not set
aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through
the law. Christ died for nothing"(Galatians 2:16, 21).
reading this we may think that there is no need to obey God's command if
we believe in Jesus. Is this true? Otherwise, do we have to obey them
according to word of John? First, we have to solve this problem.
people who say that we don't have to keep the Law take this phrase from
the Bible, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and
this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no
one can boast"(Ephesians 2:8-9).
If this is true, being
saved from our sin is not by keeping the Law or by doing right. It is
definitely a gift from God. But it doesn't mean that we can break the
Law. Paul who wrote the book of Ephesians said in Romans, "For sin shall
not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but grace? By no
'Under Law' doesn't mean that we
are under duty of keeping the Law but that we are under the judgement of
the Law. 'Under grace' means that the blood of our Savior, Jesus,
washes us as sinners. Therefore that phrase means that we are saved by
the death of Jesus and we are baptized after realizing His grace so the
Law does not judge us. Does it tell us that we don't have to keep the
Law any more? Paul said, "By no means!"
Let's assume that a
criminal is captured by the police. He is under the law of the country
now. He is sentenced and goes to prison. After a few years, he is
released under special amnesty. Now he is not under the law, he is under
the grace of the country. Then what? Can he commit another crime again
because he was set free?
If he commits another crime, he
will go to prison again. His freedom will be taken away. He can be under
grace only while he is keeping the law. His committing another crime is
betraying the grace that made him free.
The life of Jesus
is the same thing. It isn't a guarantee that we won't sin again. However
we can be free forever under His grace by living with obedience.
Therefore the Gospel is not opposed to the Law, they stand together. In
other words, the Law is a mirror that makes sinners become aware of
their sins and leads them to salvation. The Gospel makes the sinners be
free by their faith and it also gives them the strength to keep the Law
and do the right thing. So the Gospel does not abolish the Law, on the
contrary, it completes and establishes it. Paul said, "Do we, then,
nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the
Therefore Gospel and the Law must be together. They cannot be separated.
addition, the abolished law that people usually misunderstand is not
the Ten Commandments; it is the ceremonial law that symbolized the
redemption of Jesus. The symbol was abolished when Jesus came. When
Jesus was crucified, the curtain of the temple was torn in two: it meant
the abolishment of meaningless worship.