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The Law: Weak Through The Flesh

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:” (Romans 8:3)

One of the biggest accusations the Apostle Paul faced from his Jewish critics was that he had contempt for the Law of Moses. All of the sermons that Paul preached comparing life under the Law of Moses with life under Grace in Jesus Christ led many Jewish religious leaders to believe that he disdained the Law. But Paul never said that there was anything wrong with the Law, he taught that the problem was with man.

Here in Verse 3 of Romans 8, we are told that the Law of Moses was “weak through the flesh.” That is to say that the Law could not free a person from condemnation (cf. v.1) because no person is able to keep the Law. The Law is “weak” because it cannot save a man; not because there is anything at fault in the Law itself, but because man is unable to live up to its expectations and requirements.

Sometimes, as Christians, it can be easy to lose sight of the beauty and majesty of the Law because we live under a better system: that of Grace. But we should always remember that what we have in Jesus Christ does not replace the Law of Moses, it fulfills it. The Lord Jesus stated that He did not come to rescind the Law but to meet its Holy standards on our behalf  (Matt. 5:17). Throughout the history of the Church, some have become so zealous to demonstrate the contrast between Law and Grace that they have become critical of Judaism itself. But the same God Who sent the Lord Jesus to pay the price for the sins of mankind also handed down the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai. Therefore, no child of God should ever disparage any part of the Lord’s Commandments.

The Apostle Paul called the Law and Commandments of God: “Holy, just, and good” (Rom. 7:12). The Psalmist valued the Law of God above “thousands of gold and silver” (Ps. 119:72). The Law is good, if a man use it lawfully (1 Tim. 1:8). There is absolutely nothing wrong with the Law of Moses, it is holy and perfect in every way. And therein lies the problem. The Law is blameless and perfect; we are not. There is no provision within the Law to save the one who breaks it. The Law only has the power to condemn a man, not to rescue him. If we were able to obey the Law perfectly and faultlessly, then we could be commended to God on that basis. But we are unable to do this. Therefore, it was necessary for the Son of God to become like one of us, to keep the Law blamelessly and perfectly, to fulfill the righteous requirements of God’s holy Commandments on our behalf, to pay the penalty of death for violating a Law He Himself never broke, bearing the punishment for our sins in His own body.

There is nothing wrong with the Law of Moses. There is nothing wrong with the uncorrupted Jewish religion that the Lord gave to the nation of Israel. There is something wrong with people, both Jew and Gentile alike. We are sinners and are unable to keep the requirements of God’s holy Law. We need a Savior. We need One Who can cover us with His own righteousness and make us presentable to God based on what He has done, not what we have done. In truth, the Law isn’t really weak, we are. Even so, if we will but put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, there remains no condemnation for us.

To God goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

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4 responses

  1. Thank you, Loren
    “We are sinners and are unable to keep the requirements of God’s holy Law. We need a Savior.”
    Punto finale…

    We get into discussions that go on and on about what needs to be done to to keep the law … the bottom line is, we can’t. “We need a Saviour” … we need the only One who can do the impossible. Left up to us, we would still be wandering in the desert…

    “We need One Who can cover us with His own righteousness and make us presentable to God based on what He has done, not what we have done.”
    This is what He went to the Cross for … I’m glad He went. I am certain I could not have paid what I owed…

    God bless you, Loren. Thanks for the reminders.

    Redeemed,
    ann

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  2. Awesome, Ann, thank you so much for sharing your reflections on this and your heart-felt gratitude to our wonderful Lord :)

    Your praise of God is so inspiring; I really appreciate your thoughts!

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