Wednesday February 8
The Rule of Holiness Is God’s Law
We know that God calls us to keep His law. The question arises, though, why should we keep His law if we cannot be saved by it? The answer is found in the idea of holiness.
Read Romans 7:12 and 1 Timothy 1:8. What attributes does Paul use to describe the law? How does the law reflect the character of God?
The law is holy, righteous, and good. These three attributes properly designate only God Himself. Thus, the law is an expression of God’s character.
To live a Spirit-filled life means that we live according to the law of God. The law is the unchanging rule of His holiness. The standard that the law sets does not change any more than does God Himself. Jesus affirmed that the law is not abolished, but that every part is to be fulfilled (Matt. 5:17-19). To keep the law is not legalism; it is faithfulness. The law does not save us. It never can. The law is never our way to salvation. Rather it is the path of the saved. The law, so to speak, is the shoe in which our love walks and expresses itself. This is why Jesus could say in a most remarkable manner that when “lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold” (Matt. 24:12, ESV). Love diminishes when the law is not appreciated.
Read Romans 13:10 and Matthew 22:37-40. Why is love the fulfillment of the law?
While the rule and norm for holiness is God’s law, the heart of His holiness is love. Love is the response to God’s saving acts and is manifested in faithfulness. You cannot be a good disciple of Jesus without being a conscientious and loving law keeper. While it is possible to keep the letter of the law without love, it is not possible to exhibit true love without keeping the law. True love desires to be faithful. Love does not abolish the law. It fulfills it.
Why is the law an expression of God’s love for us? How are love and obedience related?