Romans 4:15


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

…because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.Romans 4:15

Today a concept is introduced which goes back to the very creation of man and is found throughout the Bible and throughout human history – “the law brings about wrath.” Man was placed in the Garden of Eden and he was, in fact, given a law. It was one command and it was in the negative (you shall not), but it was a command none-the-less.

Man was told that he was not to eat of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. If God had not given him this law, then there could have been no penalty for eating the fruit. It would have been no different to the man than eating any other fruit in the garden.

Secondly, the law was just. If God told the man, “You shall not drink any water” then that law would have been unjust because man needs water to exist. However, man didn’t need to eat the fruit of that particular tree; there was other food to eat. The law was just and therefore enforceable. A violation of it brought about wrath.

The same is true with every other law given by God along the way. The laws were just and holy and they were reasonable. But accepting God’s promise in Genesis 3:15 as well as those to Abraham could only come by faith because no law had been introduced along with them. Further, there is no law that could come along and fulfill the promises. They preceded any type of law and were thus grace. The only thing the introduction of a law could do would be to diagnose problems along the way, but they couldn’t provide a cure for the state of man. In other words, the law can only condemn, but it cannot save.

Understanding these things leads to the fact that the law can only point out sin and show the need for something else. Fallen man needs to be completely detached from the principles of the law in order to be brought to a place where there will be no transgression and thus no wrath. This is the marvel of Jesus’ work.

By coming in the form of a man, without the stain of original sin, Jesus fulfilled the law that only condemns us. He then offers His perfection under the law to any who will receive it. When it is so received, it brings us to that place where there is no transgression. We have overcome the law which was contrary to us and therefore we have no wrath which would result from that law!

The place of inheritance, which preceded the law by promise, is therefore the only place of freedom from wrath. The inheritance is through Jesus. If you have grasped this, then you truly stand in “the liberty by which Christ has made us free (Galatians 5:1).” Paul would then ask you to “not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” You are free from the law and eternally saved by the work of Jesus. It is the most glorious place to be.

Life application: To reintroduce the law after calling on Jesus can only bring a person into subjugation once again. The law brings about wrath, not freedom, so stand firm in the freedom of Jesus Christ and let nothing hinder you from the prize.

O God, when all was hopeless and uncertainty prevailed in my life, you came and offered me Jesus – a Man, born under the law and who fulfilled the law which stood against me. Now I stand free because of His work. The substitution was offered, the exchange accepted, and the righteousness granted. May I never boast except in the cross of Jesus which made all this possible. Thank You and Amen.

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