Christians commonly teach that Faith and Grace don’t mix with the Old Testament Law. Since the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ (Ga 3:24), does our faith in Christ relieve us of our obligation to obey God’s Law, or at least certain parts of it? (Ga 3:25) If Christ fulfilled the Law on our behalf (Mt 5:17), why should we worry about it?
God addresses this issue directly, saying: “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” (Ro 3:31) A right understanding of salvation by grace through faith solidifies the continuing relevance of God’s Law in our lives. How so?
Firstly, sin is defined as breaking God’s Law: every time we sin we break God’s Law (1Jn 3:4a), because this is the definition of sin (1Jn 3:4b)
Secondly, Christ aims to take away our sin (1Jn 3:5), not just forgiving us of sin’s penalty, but delivering us of its power in our lives (Ro 6:14); so, as we corrupt the definition of sin we deceive ourselves concerning the purpose and work of Christ.
Without God’s Law, we don’t know what sin is (Ro 7:7), or uncleanness (Ep 5:3), or holiness. (Eze 44:23) This blinds us to whether we’re truly in fellowship with the living God, or worshiping an idol, an image of our own imagination.
Since our carnal nature will never obey God’s Law (Ro 8:7), comparing our hearts with the standard of Torah (Ja 1:23-24) is God’s way of helping us clearly and consistently identify what’s displeasing to God within us (Ps 119:9); it’s how we dispel the darkness. (Ps 119:105) If we don’t align with Torah, we have no light (Is 8:20), and will inevitably make up our own definition of sin, harming ourselves and others. But if we purpose to keep it as well as we can, our lives will be blessed. (Ja 1:25)
God’s Law is perfect, converting our souls (Ps 19:7a), as God uses it to transform us to love others with pure motives, discern between good and evil, and to know Him as He is. (1Ti 1:5) Torah is good for us when we use it as God intended. (1Ti 1:8)