We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. – 1 Timothy 1:8
Paul wrote to his son-in-the-faith, Tim, and told him to teach people in Ephesus the good word of the Lord and to be careful of those that teach false doctrine. There were those Jews and Gentiles converted to Judaism that were infiltrating the churches and trying to snare people under the Law of Moses. Paul told Tim that those who do so don’t even know what they are really doing or of that which they teach. The devil just wanted to lead people away from God through religious observations and traditions. Paul told Tim that the Law serves a good and holy purpose when used correctly in regards to those that are not of God.
Have you ever heard people use the Law to beat down verbally other people, whether they are disciples of Jesus or not? I’ve done it myself. Anyone who has been a disciple of Jesus for any real length of time, if honest, would admit that they had done it once. Not everyone, but most. Judaizers, Jews who tried to impose Jewish law on Christians, felt betrayed by Christians because of their belief and trust in the Messiah, Jesus, whom the Jews disavowed. They demanded strict adherence to the Law and frowned on the notion of Grace. People to this day still use the Law to beat people down to get them to conform to their ways or manipulate others.
The Law serves as a tutor to teach us how to find grace and ultimately a relationship with Jesus. The Law, as Paul said, is for the unbeliever to expose the sin in one’s life and convict them of needing God’s forgiveness and salvation. Think of it this way. God is like a giant scoreboard full of lights shining his glory on everyone. We were made in that likeness and image, but we started burning out lights, as we did our own thing. God uses the Law to reflect his true light back on to us and show us the lights that are burned out (sin). He then shows us through grace by faith how to have those bulbs replaced by the blood of Jesus. You can’t change those bulbs, but Jesus can. If you try to, the replacement bulbs will only burn out again and again. Jesus’ bulb will fill that void and burn forever.
The Law serves to show us those areas where the light of God is not in us. Then we are to respond to the revelation and seek God for the answer.
Father, what lights are burned out in me? Are there areas where I need to work in conjunction with you? I do my best not to use the Law to beat people down with it, but I use it to let people see the need for Jesus within them because of their sins. I am not the judge or jury or executioner. I am merely the newsboy delivering your message in the newspaper of the Good News. Let your light shine through me as I observe your commandments out of love not coercion or obligation. As people see the goodness of your love in me, then your Law will work in conjunction to reveal by Your Spirit their need for salvation. Help me to never misuse the Law. In Jesus’ name, Amen.