Date: October 30, 2022
Speaker: Trent Thompson
Scripture: Galatians 3:19-22
It strikes me as we sing that song is just a fabulous song. I think Keith and Kristyn Getty wrote that, but so much of the Christian life is waiting. There’s so many times where we are waiting for God to deliver, to do something to move, to shake something that needs to be shaken. I just want to encourage you that as you reflect on the nature of the Christian life, to not discount the importance of waiting and waiting well. So much of the Christian life is about waiting. One, you know, that’s testified to by the fact that we are waiting for the return of our Lord, every lesser waiting, waiting for some sort of temporary deliverance, some sort of, you know, blessing, promotion, change, shift, relational, deliverance, every lesser version of waiting, is just an expression of our ultimate waiting. Which is our waiting for Jesus to return, teaching us to long for him and look for him. So waiting well is a huge part of the Christian life waiting faithfully. If you’re just you know, at the end of every service, we always have our prayer team here. I just want to say if you’re waiting right now, for some, we’re all waiting for the Lord to return you maybe you’re waiting in a very concrete way for something in the here and now that you just are desperately asking the Lord for someone invite you part of waiting, well is waiting together and praying together and seeking the Lord. So let us pray with you today before you go, this is just a special invitation to you at the end of the service. It just occurred to me, some of you maybe are waiting and it’s painful, and it’s hard. It’s hard to persevere and keeping faith and keep relying on His Word and believing that it’s true that all the promises he’s said will come to pass will come to pass. So if that’s you, let me just make that invitation to you today. We’d love to pray over you before you go. So that you might continue to wait faithfully as long as the Lord would say, keep waiting. Okay. I mean, Galatians chapter three, verses 19 through 22. Today, just four verses. So if you have your Bible, you can turn there with me, this is gonna be one of those days, we’re having your Bible in your hand, it’s going to be really good if you got it. So love for you to go to mark it up and have it there. If you don’t have it, we’ll have it on the screens for you. So hopefully that will help you.
But first, let’s do this. I did a little survey of some odd tools. How many of you are craftsmen are craftswomen you’d like to tinker you like tools by awesome. So I want to see if you know what these tools are? Disclosure. I didn’t know what any of these were before I looked them up this week. So see if you can name the tool and see if you can kind of know what it’s for. Alright, so team lets show them the pictures. Anybody if you know it, you can like throw your hand up. Anybody know what that is? Alright, so that is that I hear hammer. No, not a hammer. dogleg reamer it’s a draw. You’re all thinking yeah. Oh, yeah. Now, I remember dogleg Reamer. Dogleg Reamer it smoothes the rough edges of a freshly drilled hole. You know, when you drill a hole and you pull out the drill bit and then you get a little bit of rough edges. This this smooths that out. Right. How about this one? Anybody know what this is? Some of you might know this one. Yeah, it’s a glass cutter. It’s a ball in glass cutter. It scores taps out and snaps cut glass cleanly. So it has a three fold purpose, which is pretty cool to think about that little thing can do three jobs. Right? How about this? Anybody know what this one is? So you guys are you’re calling them out last year was people just raised their hands. This is a duplex rabbit plane. I heard plane out there, but it’s a duplex rabbit plane. So it’s a carpentry tool. A rabbit has a 90 degree knotch and this tool planes them to different to the shape that you want them to be in. And then there’s the last one. Does anybody know what that is? That’s it. That’s all. I got hammer again over here. It’s a tailpipe cutter. I don’t know why you want to cut your tailpipe. But let’s say you’re manufacturing a car. It’s a tailpipe cutters, you tighten it down and cuts through metal, that tailpipe cutter because of excess tailpipe. Now just imagine that last tool that I showed you that you walked into your dentist’s office and that tail pipe cutter sitting on the tray. And they’re going I’m going to put this to you. So you’re just imagine I handed to you said I need you to take a limb off a tree in your yard today. Why don’t you go ahead here, here’s your tool. What would you think to yourself? Trent, you don’t understand the purpose of this tool. You’d be really concerned if your dentist was doing that. You think this is a problem? All right, I’m not coming back to this dentist. Understanding the purpose of tools is how we know how to use them correctly and not hurt people with them. To be honest, right? And having the right tools for the right job is really important for those of you who are craftsmen and craftswomen.
You know, that man if you can’t do the job without the right tool, so having the right tools for the right job is really important. So that understanding the purpose of these tools, that’s what Paul is going to get into in Galatians chapter three, he wants to explain to us the purpose of the law. So he’s been going to Galatians we’ve heard a lot about the law. What is it, why it can’t save, and what Paul wants to do now for us and these just four verses we’re going to look at today some pretty heavy lifting now. So you’re gonna, like turn the brains on and really stick with me, because he wants to explain to us and these four verses which are really at the center of this whole book. I mean, this is the crux now of the book of Galatians. is what does the law do? What is its purpose, and an understanding its purpose just like these tools, then we can learn to use it well, so that we’re not at the dentist office picking up the tailpipe cutter, right? That’s our goal today to learn how the law is to be used. So here’s what Paul is going to suggest is the purpose of the law. So I’m just gonna give it to you up front. We’re going to try and answer two questions and then do a little application. So the two questions we want to answer today is, how do we know this is the purpose of the law? The purpose, I’m about to tell you? How do we know that that’s its purpose from this text and from some other places in Scripture? Then the second question to answer is, how does the law do that? How does it accomplish that purpose?
So those are the two questions. Then we’re going to ask, what bearing does this have on the everyday Christian life, for those of us who are trying to walk faithfully with Jesus, so here’s the purpose of the law. If you got the notes in there, I think we may have run out for services really full. So if you didn’t get them, you can follow along with just those two questions. Here is the purpose of the law. The purpose of the law, Paul’s going to argue in this passage is to reveal and increase sin, to reveal an increase sin, so that we would turn to Jesus to reveal an increased sin so that we would turn to Jesus. So that’s his big argument. Now, let’s do a little background and remind ourselves a couple things. These people have come to these churches and Galatians have been arguing that they need to be circumcised and follow certain aspects of the law, particularly circumcision, but also feasts and festivals, they need to follow these. If they don’t follow them, they’re not Christians, they are not right with God, what we call justification. They are not right in relationship with God, not reconciled to Him, unless they believe in Jesus and do these other things. Paul has been arguing, I mean, tooth and nail really hard throughout this book of Galatians say, no, no, no, no, you do not need circumcision, you do not need the works of law, you are not under the law. by the works of the law, no one will be saved. That’s the thing he’s been arguing is you are not saved by the law, you cannot be saved by the law, we are saved by faith. Just before we got to this point that we’re about to read, Paul had made his his sort of the crux of the culmination of his argument is, you are pointing to Moses, you group of people who are opposing me, you’re pointing to Moses, who God gave the Law to, and you’re saying, You need to keep all these laws that Moses gave us, I’m going to take you further back than Moses. I’m going to tell you that as far back as Abraham 430 years before Moses and the law, Cain, God saved Abraham, by faith, not by works of the law. Therefore, no one is made right by the works of the law that do you see, what he’s saying is, if you follow God’s timeline, his storyline, the thing that the story he’s telling, way before he ever gave this written instruction, he’s written codes, before he ever did any of that long, long before he made Abraham right with Him by faith. That was his way of saying, I’m going to make everybody right by faith, and no one is going to be made right? By the law. So the natural question that would come from if you’re Paul’s opponents, what are you going to ask as soon as he says that? You’re gonna say, Well, then why did God give the law if he meant to save people by faith, and he showed that all the way back here with Abraham, and now the story is advancing, and we get to Moses, and he gives all these written laws, these ceremonial laws, like the Passover, and like animal sacrifices in order to make atone for sin, and circumcision. Don’t mix fabrics and moral laws, like the 10 commandments, don’t murder and don’t steal and don’t kill and don’t commit adultery. Why did he give all those things? If he was already saving people by faith? Why add that in? Isn’t that just confusing? That’s the question Paul’s going to answer today. What is the purpose of the law? When it came into God’s plan? Was he creating a different track to run on? So here’s salvation by faith? And now here’s salvation by the law, and I’m going to create two opportunities for salvation, or was he doing something in contradiction of himself? We’re using, I’m gonna say, people by faith back here with Abraham, and then he did something which completely contradicts that he gave this law. Now people are going to be saved by the law, but doesn’t that contradict what you already did? So Paul is gonna explain how the law fits into God’s big plan. Today. That’s what he wants to do. So let’s read verses 19 through 22, for verses in chapter three of Galatians. And here’s what it says. Why then the law so you see the question, yes, that’s the question they’re asking. He’s anticipating it. Why then the law.
Then he says this, here’s his answer. It was added because of transgressions, which is mean sins. It was added because of sins until the offs rings should come to whom the promise had been made. It was put in place through angels by an intermediary. Now, intermediary implies more than one, but God is one. Now, verse 20, there’s the most confusing part of this whole passage, right? That’s a tricky one. So we’re going to come to it and try to explain its meaning. Then verse 21, is the law then, contrary to the promises of God? In other words, if God was telling this story, and he wanted to save by faith, then isn’t the law, a contradiction of him wanting to do that? Paul gives his strongest he does this in a couple places in his letters, his strongest No, is this Greek term? Megan, Noida? It’s a like a double negative. It’s like saying, No, May it never be or No, no, no, no, no, no, no. It says sort of way of saying that. So here’s the last thing contrary to the promises got certainly not. For if a law had been given that could give life then righteousness would indeed be by the law. But the Scripture, the law, imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. So let’s tackle that first question, shall we? So again, I hope we got the timeline kind of piece down, where he how he’s advancing his arm. But the first question I say we want to answer is, how do we know that the purpose of the law is to reveal sin, and to increase sin so that we would turn to Jesus three places we look to find that this is what he means, versus right here in this text? So he said, Why than the law and what was his answer? It was added because of transgressions. Now, that phrase, by itself could mean two different things. Number one, it could mean it was added to limit sins. So in the way that like, Hey, you people are going crazy, I’m gonna put some boundaries around you, I’m gonna hem you in. So in other words, it was added to prevent more sins from coming about, can you see how it can mean that? It was added because of transgressions, people are going crazy, they’re sinning, and I’m gonna put some boundaries around them. That’s one possible meaning. I’m going to argue that’s not the meaning of this. It’s the second meaning, because that word, because can also convey the idea of four, it was added for transgressions. So because of transgressions means this, it was added to reveal sins and to increase them to reveal sins and to increase them. Now, how do I know that that’s the meaning and not the first because in our English, we read it we kind of go seems more like the first to me doesn’t seem like more like the first to you. When you read it. Okay, sins abounding. I’m going to add the law because of that sin abounding. But follow me now, because there’s a couple things that happen in this text. Again, we got to let the text show us what it means. So the first thing that you see, is that question that he asks when he says it was added because of transgressions, and then down in verse 21. What does he say? He says, is the law then contradictory to God’s plan? Well, if Paul meant that the law was limiting sin, no one would have thought it contradicted God’s plan in any way, because that’s exactly how the Jews thought about the law. They thought about the law as coming against the sin of Adam, which then made its way into all human beings. How is that sin gonna get undone? How was Adam’s sin handed down to us? And in the us? How is that going to get undone and Jews regular this is where they thought the law was given in order to undo the sin of Adam. So as we follow it, we’re undoing what Adam did. They think that’s the way we’re gonna get right with God is through this law and through obeying it. He says, when he says, is the law then contradictory, they would not have thought that first view of the law of saying it’s coming in sin, putting boundaries around it, they wouldn’t have thought of that as contradictory at all. So by virtue of the fact that he’s asking that question, we are led to the second understanding of the law being there to reveal and to increase sin. Okay, so that’s the first place, verse 21, helps us understand verse 19. But then in verse 22, what does he say the law was given to imprison? Do you see that word there? to imprison everything, then just say everyone, but every created thing, everything under sin? So what is he saying about the purpose of the law? The law is like, puts you in a prison put you in a jail cell?
It traps you. It’s not just they’re not in the sense of limiting you from sending more. It imprisons you not so that you won’t send. It imprisons you, what under sin the text says. So when we read that, we immediately go back to verse 19. We go, Well, what does this mean? It was given because of transgressions because of sins. We see we see that it means it was given in order to reveal them and to increase them, not just to limit them. Now there is a sense in which the law limits sin and we’ll talk about that in a moment. In a fun little rabbit trail I’m going to give you telling you now to run rabbit trail so it feels less like one when we come to it. Alright, so that’s the first one. Now, the best thing you can do when you’re reading Galatians if you need a little help, because Paul to help us with some understanding now. Gotta keep my keep your place in Galatians, though, okay, everybody.
All right, so here we go. Romans chapter five. Last answer to the question, how do we know that the purpose of the law is to reveal sin and to increase it? Romans chapter five, verse 20, says this. Now the law came in to what do you see there? To increase the trespass? You’re thinking, well, Trent, you could have just started there, that would have been enough. The law came in to increase the trespass. But where sin increased, Grace abounded all the more, praise God, so that as Sin reigned in death, Grace also might reign throughout righteousness, leading to eternal life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, can I just encourage you, please don’t miss that second part, God gave the Law to increase your sins. When you were outside of Christ, and you interacted with the law, the goal of that interaction was for your son to grow. So that you might see that you need Jesus. You might turn to Him. So if I can give you a visual image of what he’s saying, the purpose of the law is the law is like a room that is wall to wall mirrors. You walk into that room, and when you walk into it, the law confronts you with your own image, every time you read, and I need I didn’t do this before, forgive me. When we talk about the law. We’ve been saying this every Sunday, the law is all the commands or the requirements of the Old Testament. So it’s not just the 10 commandments, not just don’t murder, don’t steal, don’t kill. That’s another way to say don’t murder. Don’t committed to it’s not just those lists of commandments. It’s also the ceremonial law, like Passover and sacrificial system. It’s all these requirements under the Old Testament. When I encounter those, they are like a mirror to me. Reflecting back to me, my inability, my ugliness, my depravity. The law is not meant for you to read. To go, I’m going to do this. I’m going to keep it, I can do it, I can follow it. The law is there, so that you would see exactly how incapable you are. You cannot escape your image. But here’s the beauty, you walk into that room full of mirrors. It is not a fun house. It is a house of horrors. Because you are now trapped with your image. You say, I do not like what I’m seeing. You are never meant to look at the mirror and go, Oh, I look pretty good. You were meant to look into that room full of mirrors and go help me. But there’s someone else in the room with you. You are meant to look to Him. Because when the mirror reflects back his image, it reflects perfect righteousness. No flaw, Jesus does not flinch. When he looks in the mirror, you and I are meant to look in the mirror and turn away and say I am dead. But Jesus does not flinch. When he looks in the mirror. He reflects back perfect righteousness. The law is meant to make us go I need you. I need you. That’s the purpose of the law. Paul argues it reveals your sin like a mirror. It increases I’ll tell you how it increases in just a moment. It cannot save you. But I can point you to one who does? Who can. That’s its purpose. So can I just say for those of you who aren’t followers of Jesus, let me tell you what this looks like. For those of us who are believers, whether we knew it or not, this was taking place in us. If we had any religious background, we were reading the scriptures. Now God certainly confronts us with the mirror of the law in ways even if we didn’t have the Old Testament in front of us. I mean, there’s ways in which we encounter his natural law and we go I haven’t, I haven’t kept this. I’m not the moral person I should be. But let’s for a moment, think about the person who grows up in these religious circles. They read this and my guess is some of you who are not believers, one of the reasons you don’t believe is because you read the laws of the Bible. You said, Man, this is a bunch of this is a bunch of rules and regulations. This is Harsh, and hard and hollow and legalistic. There’s something about this that I absolutely do not resonate with. I mean, just think for a moment. Did any of you grow up in that kind of environment rules and regulations, rules and regulations? If you approach those rules and regulations like they were commanded of you in order to be stable of Horse, you’re gonna hate them. They kind of tell you another reason why you hated those rules and regulations that you read, because they pointed out your insufficiency and your ugliness. That’s exactly what they were meant to do.
So instead of embracing that, and turning to the one, what you’ve done is you’ve just turned away from the law itself, because you hate what it reflects back. You move away and live however you want, but the image is still there, it has not changed. Until one turns to Jesus, and He changes that image, so that what is reflected back now is His righteousness, not your insufficiency. Think with me now for a moment believers in Christ, that that mirrored room is no longer a house of horrors for you. You now enter into that room and with absolute confidence and boldness, look upon that reflection, and you do not see you or your sin any longer, whose reflection comes back to you. The King of Kings, the perfectly righteous one, who has given you his reflection, His righteousness, that’s who you are, praise God. That’s the purpose of the law reveal an increase sin. So what we see now let’s tackle the second question, shall we? How does the law do that? How does it do that? Now, I forgot my rabbit trail, I’m gonna do it super fast.
This actually is important. I know it’s around here. But if you’re prone to check out now’s your time. Then I’m gonna bring you back in. Okay, bring you back in in about two minutes. Here’s what I need you to understand. When I say this, the purpose of the law theologians talk in terms of three purposes of the law. So I’m not saying this is the only purpose of the law. This is the purpose Paul was talking about in Galatians. Three. So theologians talk in terms of three uses of the law, the types of the law are parts of the law, the moral law, the ceremonial law, and the civil law. Russ talked about that last week. But they also talk about three uses of the law. The first use is a civil use. It’s predominantly for Israel and the Old Testament, God gave them laws that regulated how you are to legislate punishment and judge people who do illegal things, so as to say, if you do this, you will receive this punishment, that first use of the law in the Old Testament is predominantly for the nation of Israel. Now, the Church of Jesus is not a nation state like Israel was, it is an international body, and therefore the civil law has passed away, we are not under the civil law. Now, anytime a nation like our nation, or any other nation, puts laws on its books that say things like don’t murder other people, it is taking the law of God, and putting it in use in their society in such a way that they are limiting the effects of sin. It prevents me perhaps from murdering someone that I know I will go to jail or to the to the electric chair, if I do that. So that’s the simple use of the law. That’s its first use, that can never change your heart. But it can through threat of punishment, make society work a little bit better or a little bit differently, you understand that? That’s the first use of the law. The second use of law is the one we’re talking about here. The law is there to increase and to reveal sin, so that people would turn to Jesus see their need for a Savior. That’s the second use of law and that is for an unbeliever, that’s for those who do not believe the law interacts with them, so that they would turn to Jesus. The third use of the law, which is debated and has been debated for 2000 years, just about among theologians is, is the law still a rule for life once we are in Christ, so the second use of the law is for the unbeliever. The first use of law is civil for a society predominantly Israel, but sometimes still here and there like Calvin, John Calvin in Geneva wanted to institute civil law as a way to live among the people have gotten Right. So there’s first second, and the third use is this debated thing. To be honest, I don’t have a strong position on this, because there’s good arguments on both sides of it. But the question goes something like this, once the law has brought me to Jesus, do I use the law anymore? Is the law still a right rule for life? Some are you like John Calvin? Absolutely. The moral law, not the ceremonial law, and not to earn our salvation, but the moral law like don’t murder, don’t steal, don’t, you know, do these things that’s still very much in effect, and it’s over the believer. We go back to that law and we leverage it as a way to go now in the power of the Spirit, I will go forward in obeying this moral law. Guys, like Martin Luther argued, once you come to Jesus, the Law no longer has any use in your life. Now if you obey commands like don’t steal and don’t kill you do that, because not because it’s in the Old Testament law, because you are no longer under the law and the law has ceased and the New Covenant has come. We are not under the Old Covenant any longer. Therefore, there is no right use of the law and unbelievers life we We follow moral principles, we follow them not because they’re in the law, but because under the New Covenant, we see how the New Testament speaks about those. I still commands those things of us. Through the Spirit, we are convicted to live that way. Now, listen, that’s all a lot of way to say this. Everybody agrees all believers agree that we are not under the law, all believers agree that we should not kill or steal, it’s just a matter of how do we leverage the law and the Old Testament scriptures in order to bring us to that place. So we land very much in a similar place, the danger of use the third use of the law, for those who embrace it is returning to legalism. The danger of those who do not use the third use of the law is to slip into living any way that you want. Imagine, like no one can make any commands on you. I’m just going to counsel you without telling you, I probably lean more towards a not using the third use of the law. But I can’t say that definitively to you. Here’s what I’ll tell you is avoid both those dangers. Avoid what we call, like just ignoring commands in Scripture and avoid returning into legalism by saying I’m going to leverage the law for my righteousness. Okay, now, rabbit trail over check back in if you checked out.
All right. Those of you who listen to the rapture, you can tell them later whether it was worth it. All right. Second, that was meant to be a joke. Come on people. Stick with me. Here we go. How do we then how does the law do this? That’s our that’s the question we got to answer. Now. How does the law do it? How does it go about doing this? I’m gonna give you a couple answers to that question. Right. So here we go. How does the law accomplish this increasing of sin, this revealing of sin? Well, verse 19, B, let’s start there, go back into Galatians. If you’re over in Romans, go back into it now. Galatians 3:19 B says this was in the law, it was added because of transgressions, until hears that the law has stopped right until the offspring as Jesus should come to whom the promise had been made. Here’s what Paul is saying there when God made his promise to Abraham way back in Genesis 15, that he would make him righteous by believing and that he made him the father of many nations and descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky. He wasn’t just making a promise to Abraham what apologist say, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made. When just Abraham was receiving a promise it was Jesus. Jesus was receiving the promise to be the means by which God would save and redeem a people for Himself. So in receiving that promise, it says the law was in place until the offspring came until Jesus came. So here’s we have to wrestle with it. Whether you take the third use or don’t take the third use of the law, whether you think it’s the ceremonial law and the civil law that have ceased, but the moral law still is active, or whether you say all of the law, all three parts of it, are no longer active, because we’re not under it, and the Old Covenant passed away and the New Covenant come either way, here’s what your interaction with the law looks like those of you before we came to Jesus, if you’re not in Christ, here’s what it looks like. You come to these Old Testament commands. As you interact with them, you by nature are meant to see how temporary they are. By seeing their temporary nature, you are then meant to say they must point to something beyond themselves. What do they point to beyond themselves, they point to Jesus. So let’s use an example the ceremonial law, Jesus uses the temple this way he used but the easiest one is Passover. Passover is this institution in the nation of Israel. It’s meant to be used to remind people how God brought them out of slavery, and he had them put the blood of the lamb over their doorposts. Now we know the blood of that lamb pointed to who, to Jesus. But any thoughtful Jewish person interacting with the law would go every year, we put the blood of the lamb over the doorpost, and every year my sin gets repeated, I keep repeating the same stuff, nothing is changing. My heart’s not changing. What Why do we keep doing this? What is its purpose? Is it just to remember back to God taking us out of slavery in Egypt? Or does it have a forward looking purpose and anybody who thoughtfully engages the law? Seeing it’s temporary nature will say it must point to something beyond itself. So when you read God’s word, that Old Testament has requirements what what happened as the law interacted with your heart and said, I am not sufficient for you? You need what I point to. Does that make sense? That’s the first way The law reveals and increases sin by showing us it’s temporary nature, revealing to us that our sin is still there. Verse 20, then this is the trickiest one. I’m but I’m gonna hit it for Be quick, verse 20, he says this in verse 19, sorry, he says, To whom the promise had been made, and then into verse 19, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. Now, there’s a lot of texts in the Bible that talk about when God gave the old covenant that the law to Moses, he handed down to Moses through angels. So that’s what this is talking about. angels sent by God did the 10 commandments to Moses, he’s the intermediary being talked about there. Then it goes on to say this. Now, an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one, here’s my best understanding of what that means is that God, Paul is comparing the salvation by faith, to salvation by works. And he’s saying the law required to transmissions between you and God. They went to angels, from God to angels and the angels to Moses, and then Moses to you people. But Salvation by Faith puts you in direct contact with God, who is one. His argument then is this is again, faith is superior to works, right. But what he’s teaching us then is as I interact with the law, one of the things that I meant to experience is, this is not drawing me closer to God, this is trapping me in my sin.
I’m not this, this law to not bring me it took two sort of transmissions to get to me, therefore, I’m not brought directly to God, which is what I need, I need to be brought directly to God. And so what he’s saying is, you’re still kept at a distance from God. As you read the law, you feel that you sense that you encounter that. Does that make sense? That’s the that’s the second thing. He says, Now, let’s really get into the nitty gritty of it. Because verse 21, then says this is the law than contrary to the promises of God, certainly not for if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. Now, what he’s not saying there is the law itself is insufficient. We need a better law, if a better set of rules and regulations had been given, then yeah, we would get life through that. That’s not what he’s saying. He’s saying there is no law that can be given there is no set of rules or regulations that can be given, that can produce life that can justify that can make you right with God, why not? Because the problem is not the law. The problem is the person who’s trying to keep it. The problem is you. What the law does is it plays on your sinful nature. That’s what we’re about to see in a moment. The law plays on your sinful nature, and makes you sin more. It reveals to you what sin is and what it isn’t. Then it takes that thing in you, and it creates more sin. go to Romans seven, that’s where we’re gonna see this, okay? It’s just really expounding upon what we’re saying here. But Romans seven verses seven through 13. You guys are doing awesome. Sticking with me. You look like you’re sticking with me Are ya? Fantastic. Loudest I’ve heard y’all. Good job. All right, here we go. For 7013, What then shall we say that the law is sin? By no means there’s another one of those making noises? Another double like No, no, no, no, no. Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. Do you see what he’s saying there? The law reveals sin by showing you what sin and what isn’t? This is wrong. This is right. This is sin. This is not sin. So the law is revealing that to us as we interact with it. Then he says For I would not have known what it is to covet. She’s going to use this example of coveting of wanting something that God has not given you and he has given to someone else. I wouldn’t have known what was to cover if the law had not said you shall not cover it. So what happened to me then when I read that, don’t, don’t cover it. Okay. Now I know I’m not supposed to do that. But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment produced in me all kinds of covetousness. You see what he just said? He said, Here’s what the law did. It didn’t just go hey, by the way, coveting is wrong. Don’t do it. Sweet. You’ve revealed send me you’ve clarified it, then that law when I read it interacted with the sinful nature inside of me. What happened in my heart is that oh, yeah, don’t cover it. I’m gonna cover it all the more. It took hold of this gross thing in me. It produced more of it. Because there’s this rebellious nature in me and you God, you tell me not to do that. I’m doing more of it. That’s our nature. That’s who we are. Apart from Christ. That’s why it produces more sense. Perhaps some of you think well, that no, no, I’m a rule follower. So I read, don’t cut it, and I backup away from that line. Can I tell you something? Here’s how the law traps you understand. For some of us, this is exactly what the law does. Don’t come Have it like the don’t think of the purple elephant and you’re merely think of a purple who’s not thinking of a purple elephant right now, none of you because I said, don’t think of that. That’s the law goes, Don’t cover it. You’re like, whoa, you can’t help you do it. Because you have this rebellious, hateful, spiteful heart towards God. But here’s the other thing. Some of you go, no, no, because we’re self righteous. So we, okay, don’t cover it, I won’t do it. Then we don’t do it. We don’t do it. We don’t do it. We think I’m pretty awesome. The Lord took that self righteous impulse. It killed me with it. Because I did not keep the command. In the power of the Spirit. I tried to keep it in my own power. It’s why it’s impossible to follow the law. Because if you don’t have the Spirit of God, you’re keeping of the law only makes you self righteous. Your failure to keep the law your rebellious spirit goes and wants to do more of it. So whichever direction your heart goes, You’re trapped. This is what Paul means when he says the law imprisoned, everything, understand everything, no one gets out. You might think, Oh, this is like an escape room challenge. I’m going to figure out my way out, you there is no escape. There is no door, you’re in the room, and you cannot get out until you turn to Jesus. He clothes you in His righteousness.
Please don’t forget that second part of the purpose of the law. This, I said, to imprison you in sin to reveal your sin to increase your sin to reveal and increase my sin, so that I would turn to Jesus. God gave the Law after he promised salvation by faith to Abraham, because there was a work he needed to be done. What was that work, I need to trap people in their sin, I need to make it clear that they can’t do it themselves. I’m going to give the law in order to do that. So now that when we interact with law, it increases our sin, it reveals our sin. We, by the grace of God, we turn to Jesus. For those of you who have not that offers available today, you were in the room with the mirrors, and he is there. He says what you see is not pretty. The turn to me. Turn to me, and I’ll save you now. The last thought I would just by way of application. So those are two answers to our two. Those are answers to our two questions. What is the purpose of the law? How do we know it? Then how does it do that? Hopefully that helps you as we looked at Romans seven, Romans five, what’s the value of that for a believer? I said, this is the purpose of the law in unbeliever. So I need you to kind of go back in your head for a moment and just imagine, prior to knowing Christ. What was your condition? What was your shape? What was your place? The Lord tracked you, Jesus saved you. But now that work of the law has been done, if you’re in Christ, that work has been done in your life. So what is the value of reflecting on that? Couple A couple things. Number one, because it makes you shout from the top of your lungs, grace and faith, grace and faith, praise God. There’s always value in going back to how he saved us when we were trapped. The second thing is that as He sanctifies us, there still is a very much a way in which when I look back, when I read the Old Testament, I read these commands, I remind myself, this trapped me, I remember how it trapped me. My praise abounds for God, as I recognize that he took me out of that trap. What Galatians three is saying in verse 22, and it says the law in prison, everything understand, so that so that we might experience grace, righteousness through Christ. Do you see how? How your worship for Jesus grows? As you understand this use of the law? Do you see it? It’s not until you say I’m insufficient. It’s not in case I could never do it. So you throw your hands up, and then your worship produce increases. The last thing it does is it reminds us of the consistency of God. He did not have one plan and then divert from that plan and create this law. He had one plan all along the law is in contradiction to faith if we try to use it to save ourselves, but the law is not in contradiction to faith. If we see it as the on ramp to faith that it was meant to be. It was meant to trap us so that we would say I need to come to Jesus. As we go to that the law serves faith rather than contradicting faith. In seeing that, what do you see the consistency of God and the wisdom of God? He was never confused. He has not created two ways to be saved. He has not contradicted himself. He has told one story because he never changes and his plans are perfect. As we’re reminded of that perfection as we look back on this purpose of the law, we understand the glory of God revealed in Jesus brings us as believers to new fresh worship, day by day.
So let’s pray together. Lord, we thank you for sending us Jesus, we thank you for His perfect righteousness, we thank you even, we would say thank you even for trapping us under the law. Crushed underneath that stone, no hope of getting up no hope of getting out. Thank you for doing that. So that we would turn to Jesus, it’s merciful that you would crush us in that way. I pray for my friends who are now being crushed under that law, they have not turned to Jesus. For them. Lord Jesus, I ask that you would owe in your mercy open their eyes. Help them see, not a one of us lifted that stone off ourselves. There is no self righteousness left in us. We were dead. And without hope. We were not clean or pretty. We were not good. In your mercy You saved us when we believe that you would save them too. And so like hungry beggars who found bread we would pass this on to them to come and eat free of cost. Holy Spirit come and do that work now. All right response to your word. Now Lord, Jesus says to praise him, so receive our praises. We are your people, and we love you. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.