What is the Law of God?

Faith and God’s law are on the same team. Being opposed to faith or law means you are in sin (see yesterday’s post).

“Law” can be a confusing word when trying to interpret the Bible. Law can refer specifically to the Mosaic Law, which was given by God to the people of Israel as the conditional part of their covenant to remain in the Promised Land.

But you must not assume that every time the Bible uses the word “law” it is referring to the Mosaic Law of Israel.

Law can also mean something more “generic.” Psalm 119, the largest chapter of the Bible, is all about God’s Word. Nearly every verse uses a synonym for God’s Word, and frequently the synonym is law, precept, commands, etc.

Basically, whatever comes out of God’s mouth in our direction is a law!

When God told Adam and Eve not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil: this was His law for them
When God told Noah to build an ark: that was God’s law for him.When God told Abram to get up and move: that was God’s law for him.

Hebrews 11 recounts all manner of lawful commands God gave various people. Each person in Hebrews 11 did what God said. Why? Because of faith!

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God, and the word of God is law.

Today we have the law of Christ–summed up in faith in the Gospel, a faith that works by love because love is the fulfilling of the law!

Faith does not cancel law; faith establishes law. Law is what God says. Faith is hearing what God says, which results in doing what God says.

6 thoughts on “What is the Law of God?”

  1. Yesterday and today are over my head. Can you please make it simpler? Also, in John 5:28-29 it sounds like Jesus is saying salvation is based on works, but a friend explained that it was because if we do truly have faith in Christ, we will “do good.” Is that right?

  2. The underlying point I am trying to refute is the idea that law is somehow bad and that faith is merely a mental state with no practical results. There are many who think that now that we are under the Gospel we no longer have to obey.

    I find this to be wrong.

    Although we are not under the Mosaic Law that God gave Moses on Sinai as part of the covenant with Israel, we are not a lawless people. Faith is hearing God’s Word and biblical hearing always includes the concept of obedience. In fact, many times the Bible uses the words disobedient and unbelieving as synonyms.

    Every judgment of God is based on our works. When you get to my sermons on Romans I will cover this in Romans 2. Romans 2:6ish-10ish are the most ignored verses in the book of Romans. But they are consistent with the Bible’s point about judgment being based on works–faith without works is dead.

    Many attempt to look good to others, to do good works to be seen of men, to look spiritual and good. But God’s concern is internal, where is the heart? Salvation, which is by grace through faith, is not based on works (Ephesians 2:8,9). We must be born again, given a new heart.

    Salvation is being made new in Christ so we can do good works (Ephesians 2:10). If there are no legitimate good works in God’s judgment (the only judgment that counts) this means there was no faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God.

    There are two more posts coming that hopefully draw this out further. So far, my point is that faith does not mean disregarding what God says! Faith always means we do what God says, Hebrews 11’s main point. By faith they did what God told them.

  3. If anyone thinks we no longer have to obey they must not be reading their Bibles. Like Matt. 5, or Matt. 22:36-40, for instance.

    What I think I was confused by were your statements, “According to definition 1 and 3, faith and the law are the same thing.” and “If sin is defined by law, and sin is also defined by not-faith, then law and faith must be resting upon and revealing the same thing.”

    However, I will wait for future blogs/sermons to see if I can catch on. We are so blessed by your teaching. We have great pastors and teachers in our church, but it’s great to also be “going to school” during the week. There is much to learn, and to put into practice. Thank you so much!

  4. whatever is not of faith = sin
    sin = the transgression of the law
    Transgressing the law actually means “without law” so

    without law = sin
    without faith = sin

    Therefore, both law and faith are defining what is right, and to go against either is to go against what is right and you are left with sin. Some think faith and law are exclusive, My point is to show how they are on the same side. Don’t know if that’s any clearer!

  5. Okay, I think I got it…if I put it this way: (all caps are my replacement words)

    According to def 1 & 3 faith and OBEDIENCE the same thing.

    If sin is REVEALED by (VIOLATION OF) law, and sin is also REVEALED by not-faith–(UNBELIEF?), then law and faith must be based on the same thing.

    Is that right?

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