Where is the wise man today, the man skilled in the Law of God, who has set his heart to study the Law, to practice it, and to teach it to others? (Mt. 5:17-48) Practicing God’s Commandments proves that we love Jesus Christ (Jn. 14:15). His Law teaches, “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, `You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, `You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; love therefore is the fulfillment of the law” (Ro. 13:8-10). According to Scripture, many of us are forgetting God, because we are not obeying His Law (Dt. 8:11). Instead of obedience, we have mixed God’s view with the prevailing views of our present culture. The trouble is–these two views are in conflict.
Scripture explains the real purpose of the Law is to convict sinners that they are breaking God’s Commandments–those who are unholy, immoral, murderers, homosexuals, kidnappers, liars, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the Gospel (1 Tim. 1:8-11). God’s Spirit uses the Law to convict the worldly minded to recognize sin from God’s perspective (Ro. 7:7; Jn. 16:8). Without God’s Law to awaken our darkened conscience, our heart continues loving the sin of the world without concern for sin’s consequence (Mt. 13:41-43); in our spiritual apathy we disregard and trample underfoot the sacrificial death of Another, Who took our condemnation for sin upon Himself. The Law demands death for our sin–and so God, because of His great love with which He loved us, became a man in Jesus Christ–a holy and living sacrifice on our behalf to satisfy the Law’s demands. He Himself bore our sins in His own body on the cross to provide the way for us to escape the wrath of God upon sin-by our dying to and ceasing from sin along with Christ [true salvation] (1 Pet. 2:24; Ro. 6:6-8). Only by dying to sin in this way do we receive forgiveness and begin life anew–learning to walk as Christ walked (Gal. 2:17-21; Col. 3:1-10). As a result, weundergo “death as to the Law through the [crucified] body of Christ so that now you may belong to Another, to Him Who was raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit [Gal. 5:22-25] for God…So now we serve not under [obedience to] the old code of written regulations, but under the promptings of the Spirit in newness [of life]” (Ro. 7:4, 6 Amp. Bible).
In this new life, the promptings of His Spirit flow out of God’s Word, urging us to fulfill God’s Law: “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; love [the promptings of the Spirit] therefore is the fulfillment of the law” (Ro. 13:10). Christ died in our place, “in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit [love]” (Ro. 8:4). God’s Law is the instrument He uses to lead sons of disobedience to repent and run to Christ. “Therefore, the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified [acquitted and found guiltless] by faith” (Gal. 3:24).
In his day, Timothy, a disciple of the apostle Paul, had to disarm “prevailing views”, which had wormed their way into the church and were detrimental. He was a wise man who understood the Law’s purpose. Paul directed Timothy to instruct certain men in the church not to teach strange doctrines about the Law, but to further the plan of God by teaching the Law of faith, which fulfills God’s Commandments, perfecting love in us (1 Jn. 4:16-17). Men had crept into the church who were ambitious to be teachers of the Law, but who had no understanding of the words they used or the subjects about which they made confident assertions (1 Tim. 1:1-7); their views were in conflict with God’s promise to perfect love in us.
Today too, there is a prevailing view within the church that obeying God’s Law is not possible and no longer applicable. As a result of this view, His Law has been replaced with a faith that only produces a form of love. This faulty view disregards God’s purpose for you–love from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith.Many who embrace this faulty faith profess to love God, but disobey God’s Commandments with a sense of impunity, defying Scripture: “The one who says, `I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked” (1 Jn. 2:4-6). This is the prevailing view of Scripture.
A wise man upholds God’s Law regardless of the prevailing view of the culture or its religions. From the beginning of time, Satan’s lie has been that we can enter eternal life without obeying God’s Commandments (2 Jn. 1:6, 9). But those who are being saved know that keeping God’s Commandments is through the promised power of God, which comes from genuine faith in Christ (1 Tim. 6:12-14; 1 Jn. 3:24). The apostle Paul made this clear when he wrote, “Do we then by [this] faith make the Law of no effect, overthrow it or make it a dead letter? Certainly not! On the contrary, we confirm and establish and uphold the Law” (Ro. 3:31 Amp. Bible). “For it is not merely hearing the Law [read] that makes one righteous before God, but it is the doers of the Law who will be held guiltless and acquitted and justified” (Ro. 2:13 Amp. Bible). Wise men still believe and uphold this as God’s prevailing view.