As we begin to understand the biblical definition of sin, which is to break God’s Law (1Jn 3:4), and to comprehend what this implies, the first question we’re likely to ask is, “Which laws do I have to keep?” (Mt 19:16-18a) It’s a perfectly legitimate question.
Yet even though it’s a natural question to ask, this may not be the best question; our initial inclinations aren’t always good. (1Co 2:14) In this case, the very act of asking reveals a problem, that we see God’s law as negative, an imposition, something to be avoided, contrary to us, opposed to us, that we’re averse to. As if God opens up His treasure chest to us and our first response is, “How much do I have to take?”
The part of us asking “Which laws am I required to obey?” isn’t the good part of us, the saved and redeemed part: it’s our carnal mind (Ro 8:7), the part that’s still at enmity with God, that’s not subject to His Law. (Ro 7:23)
Our new man delights in the Law of God (22), and longs after His precepts. (Ps 119:40) The better we understood God and the nature of His love for us, the more we trust that every one of His laws are precious beyond measure (Ps 19:10); we stop avoiding them and start searching them out diligently, trying to obey as many as we can. (Ps 119:4-5) The question our new man asks is, “Which laws am I allowed to obey?”
Keeping Torah brings us closer to God (Is 55:7) by exposing unrighteous tendencies in light of God’s holiness. (Ps 119:105) As we meditate on and obey the Law it renews the spirit of our minds. (Ro 12:2) That’s the goal of Torah (1Ti 1:5-8); there’s a great reward in obeying all of it (Ps 19:11), and this reward is God Himself. (Ps 37:4)
Rather than trying to find ways to discount and dismiss any part of God’s Law, we should be asking God to incline our hearts unto His testimonies (Ps 119:36), to open our eyes that we might behold wondrous things out of His Law (18), to make us understand the way of His precepts so we can share Him with others (27), and to make us go in the path of His commands because we delight in them. (35)