When God breathed human life into Adam, He gave His first command. The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die” (Genesis 2:16–17). This is more than just a simple instruction on what Adam can eat in the Garden of Eden; it is a demand and a test of obedience that Adam and Eve failed.
Many will agree that God’s law is the foundation of most, if not all, laws enacted in our current society’s statutes. If you believe simply obeying His commandments will bring you into His grace and mercy, think again. There’s more to it than mindlessly following rules to gain favor.
What Does The Law Of God Mean?
The Law of God is the Lord’s commands and demands from His creations. It is a set of holy rules that serve as humanity’s guidelines on what He expects from us regarding our conduct, actions, words, and attitude. It exemplifies the highest level of obedience and holiness that humanity must strive towards.
God’s law reflects God’s character; hence, the Law is the Lord, our God himself. Knowing and obeying God’s law means knowing God and fulfilling our duty as His image-bearer. We are to worship and comply with the demands of the Creator of heavens and earth, which should be driven by our faith and trust.
The Law of God is the law that His own Son, Christ, fulfilled when He lived amongst mankind in sinful flesh. It refers to the rules, commandments, and guidelines in Jesus’ teachings and the Holy Scripture.
Where Did The Law Of God Come From?
God’s commandments came directly from God. When the people of Israel sought the Promised Land after escaping slavery in Egypt, Moses met up with God on Mount Sinai. There, God engraved His commands, known as the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament, on two stone tablets, and is now written in Exodus 20:3–17.
- Do not have other gods before Me (Exodus 20:3).
- Do not make idols, bow down to them, or serve them (Exodus 20:4).
- Do not take the name of the Lord in vain (Exodus 20:7).
- Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy (Exodus 20:8).
- Honor your father and mother (Exodus 20:12).
- Do not murder (Exodus 20:13).
- Do not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14).
- Do not steal (Exodus 20:15).
- Do not bear false witness against your neighbor (Exodus 20:16).
- Do not covet (Exodus 20:17).
These are restated in Deuteronomy 5:7–21. In essence, the first four commandments demand us to prioritize, revere and love the Lord, while the fifth commandment up to the tenth is basically about how we should treat others.
Jesus Christ revealed this when He told the Pharisees that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord above anything else, and the second is to love God’s people like how we love ourselves. The Ten Commandments hang on these two principles and are faithfully observed by the Prophets and Christ’s followers.
Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40).
What Is The Purpose Of The Law Of God?
The purpose of God’s Laws is to enlighten and teach us about sin so that we can be aware of right and wrong, leading us to fulfillment and righteousness. Without God’s commands, we wouldn’t know how to live in a way that pleases His sight.
We are all susceptible to sin as we are imperfect humans. When we sin, whether directed at someone or not, it can impact our lives and those around us. Every day, everywhere in the world, we are witnessing the consequence of our weakness to sin, such as sadness, stress, loss, trauma, strained relationships, or even mental and health issues.
It is in our nature to be drawn to and tempted by evil. The more someone restricts us from doing something, the more we want to do it. Perhaps, it’s because some find breaking a rule exciting, or it may be because it creates a sense of absolute freedom, which most of us desire.
Therefore, quoting from apostle Paul’s words in Romans 7:7, “What shall we say then? Is the Law sin?” The answer is in the same Bible verse. Paul continues, “May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, ‘You shall not covet.’”
The Law of God lets us know sin. With the governance and guidance from the Scripture and the Holy Spirit that indwells us, we can obtain wisdom and directives on living as His moral creations. The commandments are not a burden but a blessing, as they point out sin, allowing us to choose to do good things.
Is It Necessary To Keep All Of God’s Law?
Of course! We cannot choose what to obey or not. Because the Bible says so in James 2:10–11: “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For He who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not murder.’ If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.”
But if Jesus already saved us and is no longer under the Old Covenant, why do we still have to keep God’s law? We are now under the New Covenant, as stated in the New Testament, but that doesn’t abolish the Law of God. All the Law is written in the Bible and in no way has been abolished or can be altered in any way by anyone. Even Jesus Christ strictly conformed to the Father’s Law because God’s word is absolute.
We are saved through Christ, who fulfilled the Law on our behalf. This is underscored in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” For this reason, we must now obey God’s law with love and faith in Jesus.
Obeying God’s commands is reiterated in 1 John 2:4–6: “The man who says, ‘I know Him,’ but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys His word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.”
As Christians, if we love the Lord and follow Christ, we should willingly abide by God’s law, just as Jesus Christ did. We are to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind above anything and anyone else—this is the great commandment.
5 Things The Bible Says About The Law Of God
The Law of God is good, holy, and just. Paul addresses this in Romans 7:12, “Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.” God’s covenant is not burdensome but a gift that should be honored and will lead us to righteousness.
The Law of God is perfect, sure, right, and pure. “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether” (Psalms 19:7–9).
The Law of God is the light and the truth. His Word is the Law and source of wisdom, which teaches us the ways of godly living as stated in Proverbs 6:23, “For the commandment is a lamp, and the law a light; reproofs of instruction are the way of life.”
The Law of God is a reflection of His character and love. God is Love. The Law is God. On that account, love is an act of obedience to the Law, like what is said in Romans 13:10: “Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
The Law of God is constant. This is emphasized in Matthew 5:17–18: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one title will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”
In our daily lives, we are constrained by rules and laws. Some may believe that these laws are in place to control and limit us. In a sense, it does restrict us from doing things that may cause harm or misery to others. In this regard, laws are beneficial for the greater good rather than burdensome.
An ideal Christian life includes abiding by God’s law. However, simply following His laws is not enough to bring us into God’s grace and salvation. It requires faith and trust in our Savior, Jesus Christ. Obey, honor, and worship God with faith and love as the driving force, not only because you’re obliged to.