Many believe that Law is the opposite of Gospel. This is unfortunate because the Law is part of the Gospel.
Many throw around Paul’s phrase, “Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man” and conclude that Law is opposed to the Gospel or unnecessary.
Getting Greeky on ya, there is no definite article before law (for those of you who read the NIV, the definite article is the word “the”). Therefore, it is referring to law in general, not specifically the Mosaic Law, although that would certainly be included.
In other words: law in general is not for righteous people. Speed limits are not necessary for people who don’t break them. Telling non-murderers not to murder is unnecessary. You don’t punish kids who are quiet but those who are talking, etc.
Furthermore, the context helps us see what Paul is talking about. Is the Law chucked once we are saved? Is it of no further value? If we are made righteous in Christ is the law no longer edifying?
Paul goes on in 1 Timothy 1:9,10 listing various sinners who need the law and he wraps up his list by saying the law is lawfully used “if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.”
Hmm, wonder what Paul means by “sound doctrine?” Context will let you know (for those of you who read the NIV, “context” means “the next verse”).
1 Timothy 1:10b-11, “if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.”
Get it?! The law is lawfully used to correct people’s understanding of the Gospel that Paul preaches! The law will point out where you differ from Paul’s Gospel!
The law is part of the Gospel, they are not opposed. They help us understand what all is at stake, just how great the grace of God is. Oh, it’s a thing of beauty.