August 7, 2017
We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels. 1 Timothy 1:9 (NIV)
We need law in our land and in our homes, because we live in a fallen world, and by nature we are rebels.
The law restrains rebels by threatening punishment. That’s how it works: If you do this, something bad will happen to you. That makes the rebel think twice. Good laws restrain and deter rebels.
Parents, think about this as you establish rules in your home. When your daughter is born, you need to know that she is a wonderful gift from God. She is also a little rebel, bent on crowning herself as lord. So you will need to write some rules, with appropriate punishments, that will carry enough weight in her little mind to restrain her from evil.
That’s why we need some laws in the church. We don’t want many, but we do need some. We cannot say, “We are all Christians. The only rule here is that we love one another.” There is too much sin in all of us for that to work.
Notice how Paul’s long list of sins relates directly to the Ten Commandments: “The law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels… for those who kill their fathers or mothers [5th], for murderers [6th], for the sexually immoral [7th], for those practicing homosexuality [7th], for slave traders [that’s stealing, 8th] and liars and perjurers [9th]… (1 Tim. 1:9-10).
What’s the point? Paul is surely saying that the Ten Commandments still speak powerfully into our lives and into our world today. We need them to restrain rebels.
How have you seen the law at work for good (to restrain you) in your own life? Try to identify some specific examples.