C. Handling God's Law
C. Handling God’s Law 1 Timothy 1:6-11 (NIV)
How good and healthy is your handling of God’s Law? Do you love and appreciate the Bible? Do you understand and apply it to your daily life? We must nurture a love for God’s laws. It is given from God’s heart for human survival and thriving.
‘God’s Law’ has variations of meaning – it can mean the Ten commandments. Jews divide the Old Testament into the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings. The Law is the first five books of the Bible, also called Pentateuch or Torah. Add the New Testament and God’s Law can mean the whole Bible. God’s Law can be considered even wider – expressed in very nature itself and written on our consciences. However, another law in at work in nature and conscience – the law of sin and death. we need God’s revealed Law in the Bible. Here are three principles for handling God’s Laws in the Bible.
1. God’s Law is to be interpreted properly. v6 Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. v7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm. v8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly.
Characteristics of improper use of God’s law are 1) meaningless talk without logical thinking, 2) desiring to teach God’s Law without knowing it, and 3) speaking assertively while being ignorant of it.
Paul criticised his fellow Jews at that time - You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonour God through breaking the law? (Romans 2:23).
Read the Bible carefully, trying to understand what it says. It was written 2,000 years ago to ordinary people (not academics!) in real life situations. It is inspired by God for us! Read it expecting to change your life before thinking about using it to preach to others. Pick a verse or phrase. Let it stick in your heart during the day. As I prepared this message, I read in Psalm 146 “the Lord remains faithful for ever”.
2. God’s law aims for healthy living. v9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious,…..
This means it was made for us! God law prepares you for salvation. It exposes sin but also teaches - sound doctrine or ‘healthy teaching’. There is a parallel with the 1 Timothy 1:9-10 list and the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20): 5th-9th commandments are relational laws.
Ten Commandments Paul’s List 5. Honour your father and your mother. kill father, kill mother 6. You shall not murder. murderers 7. You shall not commit adultery. sexual immorality, homosexuality 8. You shall not steal. slave traders 9. You shall not give false testimony liars & perjurers (false statement under against your neighbour. oath)
Jesus, eating with tax collectors & ‘sinners’, said, … go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Matthew 9:12-13)
3. God’s law expresses the Gospel. v11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God…
Regarding the Gospel we learn … when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6). The tension is resolved - Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace ; (see also Romans 8; Psalm 19 - “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul... More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them your servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward.)
Paul goes on to share his own conversion experience… (next message)...