An Instrument of Judgement
1 John Chapter 3
1. The Need for Laws
Anarchy and chaos would take over if all laws were abolished. Imagine
for a moment a single country without laws:
Just everyone doing exactly as they pleased. Now imagine, if you can,
the universe run along those lines. No gravitational law to
control the movement of galaxies, stars and planets, no magnetic
laws, no heat, light and sound laws - no laws at all. Every thinking
person will immediately see that the result would be unimaginable chaos.
In other words, without law there can be no order, no health and
certainly no happiness. Lawless societies, lawless organizations and
lawless individuals are, as most authorities know, the biggest threat
to peace and happiness they face. We need not elaborate on this obvious
- No Highway Code to control the movement of traffic,
- No Property Law to control the possession and sale of houses and land,
- No Food and Hygiene Laws to control the nations health,
- No Moral Law to control the behaviour of individuals;
2. The Purpose of Law
This Sabbath I want to speak about moral laws, laws which define human
behaviour. Moral laws tell us what is right and what is wrong.
Governments the world over struggle daily with the repercussions of
the behaviour of their citizens:
- The cost of defence against terrorist attack, espionage or outright war
- The rising cost to the public purse of crime: vandalism, burglary, theft
- The rising cost to the public purse of drug and alcohol abuse
- The rising cost to the public purse of broken homes: single parent
families, homelessness, child abuse, battered wives.
These are all moral issues and they must be controlled by moral laws.
And yet, strange as it may seem, it is extremely difficult to
legislate on moral issues. Parliaments around the world are unable to
formulate moral laws. No sooner have they passed one law,
which even remotely relates to a moral issue, when a few years later
they amend, update or even scrap it. Why this dilemma? The answer is:
because moral issues are spiritual territory, the prerogative of
Almighty God! He created the human race; so He alone has the ability and
the right to legislate on moral behaviour. We humans may fool
ourselves into thinking that we can enter the territory of morals and
make laws as to how people should live: what they should do, and what
they should not do. But we deceive ourselves, because we just do not
have the wisdom, the knowledge or the authority to legislate on moral
issues. We may try, God knows we try, but the world's present chaotic
state is proof that we have miserably failed. The fact is, only Yahweh
can dictate as to moral behaviour. His commandments are the final word
in moral matters. By them we are able to determine what is right and
what is wrong.
Any attempt to ignore or change Yahweh's laws will end in disaster.
Sooner or later this vital fact will become evident to the whole
human race. Till such time as it does, people and governments will
blunder along vainly attempting to define their own moral codes; and
the cost to the public purse will rise year after year. Better that we
go straight to Yahweh's Word and accept His laws before we bankrupt the
Yahweh's Law Defines Sin
Yahweh's law defines sin. It tells us what is right and what is wrong.
The Bible says:
|1 John 3:
||4: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”
||7: “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”
||20: “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
In other words, you have committed a sin when you break one or more of
Yahweh's commandments. "Rubbish!" I hear someone say. "I am a free
moral agent, and I can - and will - do as I please."
My answer to that is: Don't be hasty, calm down and read this
passage slowly. It says that if the wicked person turns from his/her
wickedness he/she will not die - but live! It also say that if a good
person turns to a life of sin, he/she will die.
||17: “Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal.|
18: When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.
19: But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.”
3. The Limitations of the Law
Nevertheless, much as we recognize the need for moral law to define
sin, much as we need Yahweh's law to tell us what is right and what is
wrong, the Bible makes it perfectly clear that the law has
limitations. It cannot empower you to do right. It cannot stop you
sinning if you want to sin. For example consider the traffic laws;
they lay down speed limits, they point to various places, they inform
the motorist as to how to use the road. But traffic laws cannot make
you a good driver. They cannot make you go right if you are determined
to go left (or wrong). It is exactly the same with Yahweh's law. It is
a spiritual signpost; but it is unable to move you to the destination
of righteousness, holiness. It can only point the way. That is its
Read (Romans chapter 7). This chapter tells of the sinner's awful
condition. Much as he wants to obey the law of God, there exists in
the human mind another law - the law of sin and death. And this
law of sin and death is in conflict with Yahweh's law of life. And so
we have these two laws set before us; each pointing to a different
Which law are you going to obey? Yahweh's law which identifies sin and
points to Yeshua the Saviour? Or the law of sin and death which will
ultimately consign you to eternal annihilation?
- The FIRST to salvation through Jesus Christ
- The SECOND exerting a downward pull to disobedience and eternal death.
|Yahweh’s law of life
||24: “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”
|The Law of Sin and Death
||23: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
The Lord Jesus Christ (Yeshua the Messiah) came to earth to save
mankind from sin and death - eternal death. Though perfect in every
way, Yahweh's law cannot cancel your past sins. It cannot save you
from punishment. It cannot turn you into a good person. It can only
point the way to perfection - Jesus Christ. And that is where the
Saviour's power comes into the picture. He can save. He can purify.
He can give you the power to keep his Father's law. This is what the
Scriptures are all about. God's law points out our sins. It also points
to the only One who can save us from sin - Jesus Christ. It is then
the power of Saviour which makes it possible for the righteousness of
the law to be fulfilled in us.
||3: “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:|
4. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
In short: The law of God is a pointer to Yeshua the Messiah: and it is
in Yeshua that the sinner finds forgiveness, peace, obedience and
love. When this beautiful state is reached Yahweh's law has found
fulfilment in you. It is doing its job. It has brought you to Christ
who produces righteousness (obedience) in your life.
4. An Instrument of Judgement
Every judgement is based on law and all laws are instruments of
judgement. Go into any courthouse and you will see judgement being
applied according to law. I am not saying that all laws are good.
Everyone knows that some laws - even in this country - are not good.
What I am saying is that laws are instruments of judgement. That is
why laws are sometimes referred to as "judgements" because people are
judged by them. Sentences are handed out by judges in accordance with
law; and even the judges themselves are guided by what the law says.
Here we can see the importance of law. Visit any courthouse and you
will appreciate this fact. On the great
Day of Judgement
the whole universe will recognize the value and weight of Yahweh's holy
law. By it men and angels will be judged.
||10: “...for we shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ.|
11: For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
12: So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”
At that Judgment we will be weighed against Yahweh's law. All judges
act according to existing laws. Indeed their very judgement must be in
accordance with law. It is the same with Jesus Christ. On the Day of
Judgement he will judge mankind according to his Father's law. At the
moment he offers to be your solicitor. But one day he will be your
judge. The Almighty God has already appointed the time and the judge
for that great day.
||30: “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:|
31: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”
In this day and age, Yahweh's law is mostly used to identify, to
point to Christ, to ‘convert the soul’
(Psalm 19: 7) But on the terrible Day of Judgement it will be used
as an instrument of justice. The Bible says:
|2 Corinthians 5:
||10: “For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”
||12: “For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;|
13: (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.”
||12: “So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.”
Much has been written and spoken against the law of the Most High.
Next to His own holy character Yahweh's law is the most misunderstood
thing in the universe. Sad to say even millions of Christians are
under the false impression that Yahweh's law is done away with,
abolished and no longer of any practical use to the believer. This
error has paved the way for sin and confusion too terrible to
describe. From the highest to the lowest rank, iniquity is rampant in
all countries: and Yahweh's name is blasphemed every time sinners (who
were made in His image) break it. What then should the true believer's
attitude and outlook be towards Yahweh's law? What must we remember?
- That we need Yahweh's law: for without it the universe would spiral into moral chaos.
- Yahweh's law defines sin and without it we would not be able to tell right from wrong.
- That it has its limitations. It cannot make us good. It cannot move us to our destination.
It can only identify sin and point the way to salvation.
The Bible tells us in (Psalm 19:7) “The law of the LORD is perfect,
converting the soul...”
- Yahweh's law will be used on the Day of Judgement: for by it all our actions will
be judged, whether they be good or whether they be evil. On that awesome Day Yeshua
the Messiah will be the Judge.
In the Son’s Name - For the Father’s glory.
Elder: Max W. Mader