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Thread: Was the Law inept?

  1. #1
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    Was the Law inept?

    I stated elsewhere:


    "When I refer to the Law as "inept," I'm not saying it was "imperfect." I was saying it was incapable of providing complete legal justification for us in our sin. Only Jesus could do that.


    I agree with you that the Law served to show our sin so that we could repent of it. But still the Law was inept inasmuch as it could not deliver us from our sin completely. It could only temporarily cover Israel's sin so that they could remain in relationship with God under that covenant.


    The Law did *not* just show man what he could not do for himself, that he was a helpless sinner. Rather, it showed him that he could in fact do good, obey God, and find a basis for relationship with God through faith. It just could not *complete* our justification. It could not *eternally redeem* us from sin. Only Christ could do that."


    Is it Scriptural to say that the Law is inept, that it was incapable of justifying us in our sin?
    Is it Scriptural to say that the Law temporarily covered Israel's sin, in order to maintain a covenant relationship between them and God?

    Is it Scriptural to say that the Law not only exposed human sin, but also enabled Man to live in righteousness?
    I believe that the way Paul worded the difference between the OT and the NT expressed a kind of "coded" differentiation between the 2 covenants, leading some to believe the difference was greater than it really was.


    To say that faith was not under the Law, and to say that faith came through Jesus is an important distinction, but not a huge difference in terms of spirituality.
    To say that righteousness was not under the Law, and to say that righteousness came through Jesus is an important distinction, but not a huge difference in terms of law.

    Rom 4.13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.
    Gal 3.21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law...
    24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith.
    Phil 1.11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

    In one sense Paul is saying, in coded fashion, that faith and righteousness did not come under the Law--not that there was no faith or righteousness under the Law. He was speaking of the faith and righteousness revealed in Christ, as expressed in his atonement for sin.

    Israel expressed faith *under the Law,* but not faith *in the Law* as an eternal atonement. The Law could only temporarily justify, maintaining a temporary relationship between God and Israel. Only faith in what Christ did could bring eternal justification.

    This is difficult to untangle, theologically, and may boggle the mind. But I believe it's very important. Thoughts? Do you have a better way of expressing these things?

  2. #2
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    Re: Was the Law inept?

    How are you defining the word inept?
    Peace to you!

    It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

    1 Corinthians 1:30


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    Re: Was the Law inept?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Rather, it showed him that he could in fact do good, obey God, and find a basis for relationship with God through faith. It just could not *complete* our justification.
    What Scripture would you use to support this?
    여러분은 주님 안에서 항상 기뻐하십시오. 내가 다시 말합니다. 기뻐하십시오.
    모든 사람을 너그럽게 대하십시오. 주님께서 오실 날이 가까웠습니다. Philippians 4


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    Re: Was the Law inept?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scooby_Snacks View Post
    How are you defining the word inept?
    Yes, I think that's the problem I had elsewhere. When I told someone else the Law was inept, he came back and indicated the Law was far from "inept"--it was "perfect."

    I mean "inept" in the sense that it could not complete the process of justification. The Law could make righteous, but it could not deliver eternal life.

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    Re: Was the Law inept?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    What Scripture would you use to support this?
    Rom 8.3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.

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    Re: Was the Law inept?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Yes, I think that's the problem I had elsewhere. When I told someone else the Law was inept, he came back and indicated the Law was far from "inept"--it was "perfect."

    I mean "inept" in the sense that it could not complete the process of justification. The Law could make righteous, but it could not deliver eternal life.
    I understand your point of view but would not use that particular word because (to me) it is defined as clumsy or without skill or foolish.
    Peace to you!

    It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

    1 Corinthians 1:30


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    Re: Was the Law inept?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    I stated elsewhere:


    "When I refer to the Law as "inept," I'm not saying it was "imperfect." I was saying it was incapable of providing complete legal justification for us in our sin. Only Jesus could do that.


    I agree with you that the Law served to show our sin so that we could repent of it. But still the Law was inept inasmuch as it could not deliver us from our sin completely. It could only temporarily cover Israel's sin so that they could remain in relationship with God under that covenant.


    The Law did *not* just show man what he could not do for himself, that he was a helpless sinner. Rather, it showed him that he could in fact do good, obey God, and find a basis for relationship with God through faith. It just could not *complete* our justification. It could not *eternally redeem* us from sin. Only Christ could do that."


    Is it Scriptural to say that the Law is inept, that it was incapable of justifying us in our sin?
    Is it Scriptural to say that the Law temporarily covered Israel's sin, in order to maintain a covenant relationship between them and God?

    Is it Scriptural to say that the Law not only exposed human sin, but also enabled Man to live in righteousness?
    I believe that the way Paul worded the difference between the OT and the NT expressed a kind of "coded" differentiation between the 2 covenants, leading some to believe the difference was greater than it really was.


    To say that faith was not under the Law, and to say that faith came through Jesus is an important distinction, but not a huge difference in terms of spirituality.
    To say that righteousness was not under the Law, and to say that righteousness came through Jesus is an important distinction, but not a huge difference in terms of law.

    Rom 4.13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.
    Gal 3.21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law...
    24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith.
    Phil 1.11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

    In one sense Paul is saying, in coded fashion, that faith and righteousness did not come under the Law--not that there was no faith or righteousness under the Law. He was speaking of the faith and righteousness revealed in Christ, as expressed in his atonement for sin.

    Israel expressed faith *under the Law,* but not faith *in the Law* as an eternal atonement. The Law could only temporarily justify, maintaining a temporary relationship between God and Israel. Only faith in what Christ did could bring eternal justification.

    This is difficult to untangle, theologically, and may boggle the mind. But I believe it's very important. Thoughts? Do you have a better way of expressing these things?
    I don't think there was any temporary justification or forgiveness under the law.

    The law only showed men the need for a saviour and that to follow God with all of their heart was what they needed to do. To turn from the sin, that the law exposed for them to see and know.

    The law was a mirror or binoculars showing the sin.

    Faith and righteousness in seeking and following the Lord; is where the justification and forgiveness came from...not the law. Apples and oranges.

    That is what in Hosea/Amos/elesewhere God said He didn't want sacrifices of the law; but a contrite and humble heart, etc...

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    Re: Was the Law inept?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Rom 8.3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.
    OK it seems like you're saying that following the law is the "first step" in being justified. Or am I misunderstanding?
    여러분은 주님 안에서 항상 기뻐하십시오. 내가 다시 말합니다. 기뻐하십시오.
    모든 사람을 너그럽게 대하십시오. 주님께서 오실 날이 가까웠습니다. Philippians 4


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    Re: Was the Law inept?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scooby_Snacks View Post
    I understand your point of view but would not use that particular word because (to me) it is defined as clumsy or without skill or foolish.
    Yes, life has become increasingly international, and the word mix can get confusing. You would think that with a shrinking world things would, in English, become a little more homogenized? But as an American I still have problems understanding my English wife--even after several decades of marriage!

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    Re: Was the Law inept?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aviyah View Post
    OK it seems like you're saying that following the law is the "first step" in being justified. Or am I misunderstanding?
    Much of this subject has to be addressed because it is a big language problem. So please forgive if things get a bit confusing in my word use.

    I would say that in a sense the Law was indeed a "first step" towards final justification, but was not, in itself, a part of that final justification. Better, I would say that the Law was a form of "limited atonement," or "temporary atonement," until final atonement was achieved by Christ.

    By "temporary atonement" I refer to the Law as a temporary cover for Israel in their sin nature, so that a covenant relationship between God and them could really exist. As long as Israel maintained faith, by obeying the commands of the Law, they were temporarily covered by animal sacrifices.

    But as we know from Hebrews, animal sacrifices could never completely justify the worshiper, for the simple reason that he could not, by his own flawed works, perform priestly acts of atonement without the sin nature. No matter how much righteousness he demonstrated, his sin nature would continue to condemn him. Justification would remain incomplete. It really required the sacrifice of God's Son to legally deal with sin, and to put sins away on a permanent basis.

    God simply made His own sacrifice the basis of final forgiveness, in place of what men could do, in their obedience, for Him. But in accepting God's own sacrifice, men also accepted God's perfect standard for men, which was God's Son. In giving up our life for the life of Christ we not only obtain righteousness but we also obtain a pure priestly atonement, or final justification. Animal sacrifices were flawed because they depended on flawed human obedience, rather than on the perfect obedience of God's Son. Only with the atonement of Christ are we fully atoned for.

  11. #11
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    Re: Was the Law inept?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Much of this subject has to be addressed because it is a big language problem. So please forgive if things get a bit confusing in my word use.

    I would say that in a sense the Law was indeed a "first step" towards final justification, but was not, in itself, a part of that final justification. Better, I would say that the Law was a form of "limited atonement," or "temporary atonement," until final atonement was achieved by Christ.

    By "temporary atonement" I refer to the Law as a temporary cover for Israel in their sin nature, so that a covenant relationship between God and them could really exist. As long as Israel maintained faith, by obeying the commands of the Law, they were temporarily covered by animal sacrifices.

    But as we know from Hebrews, animal sacrifices could never completely justify the worshiper, for the simple reason that he could not, by his own flawed works, perform priestly acts of atonement without the sin nature. No matter how much righteousness he demonstrated, his sin nature would continue to condemn him. Justification would remain incomplete. It really required the sacrifice of God's Son to legally deal with sin, and to put sins away on a permanent basis.

    God simply made His own sacrifice the basis of final forgiveness, in place of what men could do, in their obedience, for Him. But in accepting God's own sacrifice, men also accepted God's perfect standard for men, which was God's Son. In giving up our life for the life of Christ we not only obtain righteousness but we also obtain a pure priestly atonement, or final justification. Animal sacrifices were flawed because they depended on flawed human obedience, rather than on the perfect obedience of God's Son. Only with the atonement of Christ are we fully atoned for.
    Thanks for expanding, I think I'm following.
    여러분은 주님 안에서 항상 기뻐하십시오. 내가 다시 말합니다. 기뻐하십시오.
    모든 사람을 너그럽게 대하십시오. 주님께서 오실 날이 가까웠습니다. Philippians 4


  12. #12

    Re: Was the Law inept?

    for to vanity was the creation made subject -- not of its will, but because of Him who did subject it -- in hope,

  13. #13

    Re: Was the Law inept?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Rom 8.3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.
    so that the law, indeed, is holy, and the command holy, and righteous, and good. for we have known that the law is spiritual,
    and I am fleshly, sold under the sin; Rom 7:12,14

    but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest of it thou shalt certainly die. Gen 2:17

    And Jehovah Elohim formed Man, dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and Man became a living soul. Gen 2:7
    for the soul of the flesh is in the blood; From Lev. 17:11



    IMHO The law wasn't inept, the man was.

  14. #14

    Re: Was the Law inept?

    In Hope. Rom 8:20

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    Re: Was the Law inept?

    Quote Originally Posted by percho View Post
    IMHO The law wasn't inept, the man was.
    I don't agree. Maybe the word doesn't work for everybody, but God intentionally gave Israel a law that was *incapable of* producing eternal justification. It was a temporary fix, in my view. It covered Israel's relationship with God on a temporary basis until final justification could be provided by Christ.

    I'm not insulting the Law. I'm suggesting that its purpose was limited, and intentional unusable with respect to final justification.

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