251 – COHERENCE 7
THE LAW OF JEHOVAH
1. The Law is responsible for bringing the knowledge of sin, for without the Law there is no sin or guilt. Paul said, “Where there is no law, neither is there violation” (Rom. 3:20). And he also said,“Through the Law comes the knowledge of sin” (Rom. 3:20). Now, the Law forbids the practice of evil, that is, of sin, and instead of producing saints through fear, it produces passion through sin, since everything that is forbidden tastes better and is more desired. This is why Paul says, “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law” (1 Cor. 15:56). “For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death” (Rom. 7:5). Now, Paul said it 1,500 years after it; therefore, the people of Israel remained 1,500 years under the passions of sins, being oppressed with curses of the same Law, delivered into various captivities, under the vengeances of Jehovah. After Christ, when men were more civilized, and in this case more responsible, the Law was removed by the grace of God through Jesus(Titus 2:11; Rom. 6:14). Men, more developed today, are under the same passions, and all under grace? This is not coherent. The Law has never produced saints, but produced great, devoted sinners.
2. The Law does not make righteous men. After 1,500 years under the Law, the people of Israel were worse than when they left Egypt. Jesus told them, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widow’s houses, even while for a pretense you make long prayers; Therefore you shall receive greater condemnation” (Matt. 23:14). They all looked very religious on the outside, but inwardly there was the rottenness and corruption of sin (Matt. 23:25-27). The Law is, according to Christ in his parables, a forge for false religious people. It is obvious that the Law produces only an appearance of righteousness. The very priests, which were the princes of the Jewish people, condemned Jesus Christ, and killed him, according to the words of the apostle Paul (Acts 2:36; 3:14-15; 5:24-31). One thing is certain. The Law, given by Moses on Mount Sinai, does not produce righteous men (Rom. 3:10).
3. The Law does not make men perfect. “Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people receive the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise […]? (Heb. 7:11). “(For the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God” (Heb. 7:19). In Christ, the Christian comes to perfection. “Until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13). If the perfection of character is only attained in Jesus Christ, and the Law produces the passions of sins (Rom. 7:5), it is possible that the Law may be the deafening element used in order that the Jews would not believe, but would, on the contrary, become enemies of Jesus to the point of crucifying him (John 12:39-41).
4. The Law, which Jehovah gave on Mount Sinai, does not deliver anyone from his or her evil inclination and from his or her unconfessable desires. Prohibition does not educate, but it represses and dams the desires that, in time, become uncontrollable. The Law takes men to the condition of slaves, not of free men. Paul explains the issue. “Say, you whose desire it is to be under the law, do you not give ear to the law? Because it is in the Writings, that Abraham had two sons, one by the servant-woman, and one by the free woman. Now the son by the servant-woman has his birth after the flesh; but the son by the free woman has his birth through the undertaking of God. Which things have a secret sense; because these women are the two agreements; one from the mountain of Sinai, giving birth to servants, which is Hagar. Now this Hagar is the mountain Sinai in Arabia, and is the image of the Jerusalem which now is: which is a servant with her children. But the Jerusalem on high is free, which is our mother [of the Christians]” (Gal. 4:21-26). Those who belong to the Law have another spirit, and it is not the spirit of the Christian. “For you did not get the spirit of servants again to put you in fear, but the spirit of sons was given to you, by which we say, ABBA FATHER” (Rom. 8:15). The spirit of adoption is what produces freedom (2 Co. 3:17). It becomes clear that the spirit of the Law is against the Spirit of Christ, for Ishmael was an adversary to Isaac. It does not seem possible that both of them proceed from the same God, since they are adversaries until today.
5. The justice of God is not in the law of Jehovah, for we read in the letter to the Romans, “What then may we say? That the nations who did not go after righteousness have got righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith: But Israel, going after a law of righteousness, did not get it. Why? Because they were not searching for it by faith, but by works. They came up against the stone which was in the way” (Rom. 9:30-32). And Paul continues, “Brothers, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is, that they may get salvation. For I give witness of them that they have a strong desire for God, but not with knowledge. Because, not having knowledge of God’s righteousness, and desiring to give effect to their righteousness, they have not put themselves under the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who has faith” (Rom. 10:1-4). Paul brings the issue to an end, saying, “For Moses says that the man who does the righteousness which is of the law will get life by it”. (Rom. 10:5). This is the righteousness of the law that Jehovah imposes, as we read in Lev. 18:5; Ezek. 20:11,13,21; Ps. 71:3. The pattern of justice of Jehovah does not correspond to the one established in Jesus Christ.
6. The Law produces proud men, and never humble men. Jesus told a parable. It is the story of a Pharisee and a tax collector. Every man who keeps the Law believes that he is righteous, and despises the other men (Luke 18:9). Jesus said, “Two men went up into the temple to pray; one was a Pharisee, and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed to himself like this: ‘God, I thank you, that I am not like the rest of men, extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I get. But the tax collector, standing far away, wouldn’t even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:10-14). According to the pattern of Jehovah of Lev. 18:5; Ezek. 20:11,13,21; Ps. 71:3, the Pharisee, who was honest and faithful, would leave the temple justified. In the New Testament, though, to keep the precepts of the Law does not have any saving value. Paul declares, “I do not make the grace of God of no effect: because if righteousness is through the law, then Christ was put to death for nothing” (Gal. 2:21). “For if they who are of the law are the people who get the heritage, then faith is made of no use, and the word of God has no power” (Rom. 4:14).
7. The pattern of justification utilized by Jehovah through the Law is an obstacle towards the justification by faith revealed by Paul, and for this very reason the priests and Pharisees, the religious cream of Israel, do not accept Jesus as the true Messiah, and wait in Jehovah for the one who should come, but will not come any longer, for the one who rose up is not the same one who has died (Rom. 7:4; 2 Cor. 5:16).
by PASTOR OLAVO SILVEIRA PEREIRA