Tuesday, 7 November 2017
But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, 1 Timothy 1:8
Paul stated something similar to this in Romans 7:12. There he was making a point about how sin uses the commandment to deceive a person, bringing about death. In his concluding thought, he then said, “Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.” Here as in Romans, one reason he is certainly giving this statement is as a testimony that he is not an enemy of the law. In Acts 21:21, he was accused of exactly this. But he vigorously defends the law as being good. However, it is the proper use of the law which he defends time and time again.
He will state one particular purpose of the law in the next verse, but for now, a second reason he is introducing this thought is to defend against the improper uses of the law which he has already identified. It is not intended for inane arguments, it is not intended for pursuing “endless genealogies,” and it is not intended for stirring up disputes. God has revealed Himself through the giving of the law. None of such things is in accord with this self-revelation. He is God; these uses of the law are ungodly.
As noted, Paul will explain one avenue of why the law was given in the next verse. However, with the coming of Christ, and in the completion of His work under the law, the law is fulfilled and annulled. Above all else, the law was a stepping stone to lead us to the Person and work of Christ. Understanding this, Paul’s particular reason for the giving of the law in the next verse will make all the more sense.
Life application: Just because something is good does not mean it is still necessary. If someone wants to get to Paradise Island, he will need a way of getting there. A bridge for this purpose would be considered good. Once he has arrived at the destination, the bridge is no longer needed to get there. It has fulfilled its intended purpose. This is the error of those who cling to the Law of Moses after the coming of Christ. The law is no longer a working bridge. Christ crossed that bridge and then He offered us a new bridge. At the same time, the old has been dismantled. And yet, people continuously attempt to cross by a bridge which is no longer in service. Paradise Island is forever out of their reach because they have failed to properly use the new and better bridge.
Lord God, Your word is clear that You alone are God, and You have given just one path back to you in the giving of Your Son. When all was hopeless because of sin, You took care of the problem Yourself by sending Jesus. Thank You for this one marvelous path of reconciliation with You. The path may be narrow, but it is wide enough for everyone to pass if they will just take advantage of it. May they wisely do so while there is yet time. Amen.