Jesus calls to us. He says that he is the way to heaven. Is there another way? Jesus hints at this in Matthew 19. This other way is the Law. God is clear about his expectations for his people. The problem isn’t with God’s Law, or with God, it’s with our behavior. We can’t live up to the requirements of the Law. The Rich Young Ruler who came to Jesus in Matthew 19 thought that he had kept the Law. To be sure, he kept some laws, but he was still far from perfect. The sad truth is that no matter how perfect we may think we are, we all have fallen short of the glory, of the demands of a holy God.
There is a very good three-fold purpose to God’s law. The Law of God is a curb, a mirror, and guide.
You are driving down a familiar road to the local market. You need a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread. A police car pulls over the hill coming towards you. What do you do? You slow down. Why? You probably weren’t speeding. That is the curb. The threat of punishment in God’s Law changes behavior. This has nothing to do with reach heaven or not. The curb effect in God’s Law simply keeps order in our society. This is a very good thing.
Why do people usually look in a mirror before leaving the house in the morning? It’s because there is a chance that something might be wrong with your appearance. God’s law is a mirror not for our smile, but for our soul. This was the use that Jesus used for the Rich Young Ruler. Every Christian daily needs to take a long pause to see how we DON’T match up to what God requires. That’s not necessarily a fun exercise , but it does beat back our sinful nature and prepare our hearts for the soothing salve of the gospel. God loves me in spite of my ugly sin.
Taking a guide into a new location – be it for fishing or just exploring a new city as a tourist – is a must. There are places (and fish) that you would never find if it wasn’t for that guide. After hearing the gospel, the Christians natural response is to say thank you! Just as a peach tree can’t help but pump out those golden globes of sweet goodness, Christians look everywhere to give back to God. That’s partly why there is such joy in the Christian life. We don’t have to do anything, Jesus did that. We want to do most everything (ok, we’re still sinners) that we do. This is where the Law can be a great guide. Taking us into new places that maybe we have never been. Need some advice for stewardship of time, talents, and treasures? God’s Law has it. Trying to clean up your life, liven up your marriage, or forgive an old friend/enemy? God’s Law has all of that!
Is there another way to heaven? Thankfully no. We don’t need one. Jesus has that taken care of. We are blessed to have God’s Law as a the wonderful curb, mirror, and guide that he intended it to be. Want to hear more? Watch this week’s Bible study on God’s Law.
Please click HERE to view the Bible class slides.