When the LORD made man from the dust of the earth, HE made him subject unto HIS law. “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Gen 2:16-17) This law (even though it carried a onerous consequence) was no burden at all for Adam, because he was in an innocent state and had no knowledge of good and evil. He was content to walk with the LORD in the cool of the day and to dress the garden which the LORD gave him. His delight was to do the will of GOD and walk in fellowship with his CREATOR and with the wife of his very flesh, which the LORD gave him.
Yet the day came in GOD’s purpose when Adam hearkened unto the voice of his wife who was deceived by Satan, and ate of that fruit which was forbidden. “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” (Gen 3:7) With the advent of sin came a broken law and the fear and shame that go along with it. The law revealed sin and by it Adam died.
Gone was that delight in his GOD and in its place was a dread of HIS presence, as they hid themselves (so they thought) from HIM. The law was now revealed in its strength unto him because his sin was now plainly exposed by it. Well does Paul say, “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.” (1Cor 15:56) Sin has no power to condemn without the law nor does the law have the right to condemn without sin. Yet sin and the law of condemnation go hand in hand and one cannot escape the other because of the weakness of the flesh of men.
Though several hundred years passed until the written law was given to Moses on Mount Sinai, yet death passed upon all men for that all sinned. Sin is not imputed where there is no law, and the fact that all men were made subject unto death is proof that all men are under the law of condemnation whether Jew or Gentile, (see Rom. 5:12-14; 2:11-15) both by practice and because of the imputation of Adam’s sin and the resulting curse which was visited on all of his offspring.
In GOD’s own time HE saw fit to give to the nation of Israel, HIS law, written in tables of stone. Moses ascended up Sinai’s fiery slopes into the dark cloud which covered its peak as GOD gave him the law and hid him in a “cleft” of the rock while HIS glory passed by. No other nation on the face of the earth was given this law in this written form. Yet all nations are without excuse before GOD because they are all subject to the law of sin and death.
When CHRIST came into the world, HE did not come with a ministry of condemnation, even though HE was that ONE who spoke to Moses on that fiery mount, which could not be approached by any but Moses. John tells us, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17) The LORD said, that HE did not come into the world for the purpose of condemning the world since it was already under condemnation. No man is ever made worse off because of CHRIST’s advent. (see Luke 9:56; John 12:47)
Those whom CHRIST came into the world to redeem, are greatly benefited by HIS work, because in that effort, HE has completely fulfilled every jot and tittle of the law in their behalf and cancelled all debt which has accrued to their account as a result of their disobedience to it. HE did not cancel nor change the law, but HE has satisfied it in such fashion that HE has removed all of its power to condemn those which were given to HIM before the foundation of the world. They are no longer under its condemnation in any form. HE has made them free from this law which was delivered to Moses upon that Mount which burned with fire and was covered with dark smoke and surrounded with thunder and lightnings.
This same GOD who delivered this law of sin and death and wrote it in tablets of stone in the hands of Moses, is the same GOD who has now delivered the “law of the spirit of life in CHRIST JESUS.” This same LORD who is a consuming fire as HE demonstrated at Sinai, has now given unto HIS people a new “law” (a law is a “principle) which is not written on tables of stone but in their hearts which HE has prepared to receive it. Even as HE testified through the prophet of old, “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jer 31:33-34)
The grand work of justification which the LORD has accomplished in the behalf of HIS elect people has declared them to be no sinners at all. “Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.” (Rom 4:15) There can be no transgression counted when the power of the law of sin and death is fulfilled and the grounds and basis of its condemnation is taken away. Such a work CHRIST has done in the behalf of HIS people.
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” (Rom 10:4) Faith is that evidence of sonship which the LORD is pleased to grant to those for whom CHRIST shed HIS precious blood. Those who have fled to CHRIST for refuge can have no confidence in the flesh and in no wise expect to add any sort of “righteousness” to that perfect “righteousness” which HE has provided in their behalf. They are quite content with all that HE has secured and obtained and say with Peter of old. “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” (John 6:68-69)
“Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” (Acts 13:38-39) The glorious preaching of this gospel of the glory of the blessed GOD is that which GOD is pleased to use to encourage and enlighten HIS children on their way to the Celestial City which CHRIST has gone to prepare for them. It’s enjoyment is but a foretaste of that heavenly Jerusalem itself.
“For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (Heb 10:14) That law of sin and death required continual sacrifices which could never actually take away sin. The purpose of these continual sacrifices was to serve as a reminder that the shedding of the blood of bulls and goats could never take away sin. All that the law of sin and death could ever do was to reveal the corruption of men and their worthiness to die. “But Christ being come a high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Heb 9:11-14)mam