“Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways. Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.” Psalm 119:1-8
Christ freed us from the law, not so we could live without it, but so we could voluntarily live by it.
Living in an imperfect world is evidenced by the lawlessness of many people around us. But perhaps a more unusual example of ridiculous imperfection would be some of the laws different cities have enacted over the history of our nation. Consider the following laws and former laws as an example:
In Los Angeles, it is illegal to bathe two babies in the same bathtub. In Carmel, NY, it is illegal to walk outside with pants and a jacket that do not match.
In Lexington, KY, an ordinance states that it is illegal for someone to walk around with an ice cream cone in his pocket.
In Kansas, an old law prohibits the consumption of snakes on Sunday. In Hartford, CT, it is illegal for someone to cross the street while walking on their hands.
In Baltimore, MD, it is illegal for someone to take a lion to the movies.
In New Jersey, a person can be arrested for slurping soup in a public restaurant.
In Oklahoma, it is illegal for someone to take a bite of another person’s hamburger.
In Lynn, MA, it is illegal to give coffee to a baby.
In Lehigh, NE, it is illegal for donut holes to be sold.
While many of these laws seem ludicrous, there was probably a reason behind each of them. These laws might not mean much to us, but God’s laws should be known to all of us. As early as Moses’ time, God gave a set of laws He desired for His people to follow. These laws are the guidelines by which the Israelites, and us today, should abide.
When looking at the Ten Commandments, it can be easy to become frustrated. Laws such as not bearing false witness (lying) or not coveting have been broken by us all. But God’s laws were meant to point out our need for a Saviour.
Christ’s death on the Cross fulfilled the law. Israel no longer needed to offer sacrifices for their sin; the ultimate Sacrifice had been offered, and the debt had been paid.
Praise God that Christ fulfilled the law for us! We are justified through His blood and made perfect before God. Does this mean we should neglect the law and its commands? Not at all. As our verses show today, living by God’s law brings blessing. Living a righteous life is not necessary for salvation, but something done out of love for God.
Thank God today that obeying the law does not save you. Thank Him that He fulfilled the law, a list of commands none of us could keep. Christ’s death on the Cross has saved and justified us before the Heavenly Father.
While salvation is not a result of living by the law, remember that God still desires for you to live righteously. Make sure your actions today would please God, not because they will merit you salvation, but because of your thankfulness for the sacrifice Christ made on Calvary.