Many people have come up to me and said: "All you people talk about is the Law, the Law, the Law. You should preach Christ and Him crucified alone." While I agree wholehearted that Christ alone should be preached and uplifted, I do not agree with the sentiment that when we preach the Law, we leave out Christ. Let me explain.
There is definitely a relationship between the Gospel (the good news of salvation) and the Law. The Law is a schoolmaster that points us to Christ that we might be justified by faith in the merits of His blood. Gal 3:24. But after faith is come, we are no longer under the schoolmaster. We are no longer under the Law which simply means we are no longer under its CONDEMNATION. We are not under its death sentence for breaking it. When we are free from the condemnation of the Law through Christ, we are in a happy condition like the song say--"free from the Law, O happy condition".
When we accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour, we are to be in harmony with His Law, because not to do so would be committing SIN for sin is the transgression of the Law (1 John 3:4), and sin separates us from God (Isa 59:2). Rom 3:31 says "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; yea, we establish the law." But there will be those who will make void the law of God as stated in Psalm 119:126: "It is time for thee, Lord to work: for they have made void thy law."
Christians who have made void God's law are transgressing it and, consequently, are crucifying their Lord all over again. Heb 6:6. We need to cooperate with Divinity in our salvation by doing a needful part--being obedient. God cannot do this for us. If we would enter into life, Jesus said in Matt 19:17 "...keep the commandments." Faith is made perfect by works, and faith without works is dead. James 2:14-26. Philippians 2:12 says "...to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." "Christ places the salvation of man, not upon profession merely, but upon faith that is made manifest in works of righteousness. Doing, not saying merely, is expected of the followers of Christ. It is through action that character is built." "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves."--Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, page 149,150; James 1:22.
Contrary to what some people think, keeping the Law doesn't mean we are being legalistic, for we do not keep the Law apart from Christ. Christ is the embodiment of the Law. He was the Word that was made flesh. John 1:1. The first five books of the Old Testament are called the books of the Law. In fact, the whole Bible is the book of the law in unabridged form. Though simplified in its format and structure, the moral law is exceedingly broad and encompassing (Psalm 119:96) that further minute and specific instructions contained in statutes and judgments were given to God's people in order that they might understand and keep the Ten Commandments. Since the moral law is so broad, so vast, so wide, so deep, so spiritual, it convicts of every sin that man commits inwardly or outwardly. Only a God who is King and Ruler of a Kingdom with Law and Order could come up with such a moral code that applies to His whole creation. C. H. Spurgeon wrote in his Sermons, Series 2 (1857), page 280, "No human lawgiver could have given forth such a law as that which we find in the decalogue. It is a perfect law; for all human laws that are right are to be found in that brief compendium and epitome of all that is good and excellent toward God, or between man and man."
Jesus quoted scriptures from the Old Testament. There were no New Testament scriptures then. "Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart." Ps 40:7,8. See Heb 10:5,7 also. When we accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour, He, the embodiment of the Word and the Law, resides in our hearts, and He helps us to keep and love His Law. This Law is written in our hearts (new covenant). As we cooperate with Divinity, we find that it is a joy and a delight to keep His Law (which includes the seventh-day Sabbath). See Exodus 20:10.
Other applicable texts:
Proverbs 6:23 - "For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life."
Proverbs 7:2 - "Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye."
Eccl 12:13,14 - "Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man...."
1 John 5:3 - "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments;
and his commandments are not grievous."
Rev 14:12 - "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."
Ps 19:11 - "Moreover by them (the law) is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward."
Rev 22:14 - "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city."
1 John 2:4 - "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him."
What is truth?
Thy Word is Truth. John 17:17 (last part).
No matter how we work the equation, the result will always be equal.
Jesus is Holy, Just, and Good. The Law is Holy, Just, and Good. Rom 7:12. The Law is a transcript of the character of God.
If you genuinely love the Lord Jesus Christ, you will love His Law and obey it. Likewise, if you genuinely love His Law and meditate upon it day and night, you will love the Lord Jesus Christ supremely. So what's the relationship between the Gospel (the good news of salvation) and the Law? Like love and marriage, you can't have one without the other.
John 12:50 - "And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak."
When the rich young ruler asked Jesus what must he do to have eternal life, Jesus replied in Matt 19:17 (last part) "...but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments."
Psalm 119:155 says "Salvation is far from the wicked for they seek not thy statutes (this means law).
1 Timothy 1:8-11 (NAS) show how the principles of the Law, like brilliant rays from the Son, radiates from the Gospel: "But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous man, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted."
Psalm 119:166 - "Lord, I have hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments."
Psalm 19:7-9 - "The law of the Lord is perfect CONVERTING the soul..."
Psalm 119:174 - "I have longed for thy salvation, O Lord; and thy law is my delight."
Psalm 119:176 - "I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.
With all that said, can one keep the law 'perfectly' and miss out on salvation and eternal life? Read the rest of the story of the rich young ruler in Matt 19:16-22. He came to Jesus and asked what must he do in order to have eternal life? Among other things, Jesus told him to go and sell all that he had and give to the poor and come follow Him. This short and straightforward instruction by Jesus covered the whole spectrum of the spirituality of the Law of God not understood by the rich young ruler. He went away sorrowful because he had great possessions.
The rich young ruler's conception of the Law was purely external and superficial. Judged by a human standard, he was okay. To a great degree his outward life had been free from guilt. Yet, there was something missing in his life that prompted him to ask Jesus: What lacked I yet? While he outwardly kept the letter of the Law perfectly, he was way short on the spirit and intent of the Law. He was covetous; he would not let go of his riches. He broke the Tenth Commandment. He loved his riches more than God. He broke the First Commandment. He loved himself more than God; therefore, he became an idol to him. He broke the Second Commandment. All that he owned belonged to God. He was not a faithful steward of the Lord's property; therefore, he stole from God, breaking the Eighth Commandment. God was his Heavenly Father, but he did not honor Him. Therefore, he broke the Fifth Commandment. He was unfaithful to God, he committed spiritual adultery breaking the Seventh Commandment. In just 'one' act of disobedience to God, the rich young ruler broke nearly all the precepts of God's Moral Law. While he supposedly did all the 'deeds of the law', he was not justified at all having had no spiritual connection with Christ. Romans 3:20.
But did you see how broad and encompassing the Moral Law is? D. L. Moody, in the Weighted and Wanting (1898 edition, page 119) wrote that "The ten commandments are not ten different laws; they are one law. If I am being held up in the air by a chain with ten links and I break one of them, down I come, just as surely as if I break the whole ten. If I am forbidden to go out of an enclosure, it makes no difference at which point I break through." No wonder why James 2:10 says if you break one, you're guilty of breaking all.
Even breaking the Fourth Commandment or Sabbath Commandment would entail breaking all the other precepts of the Moral Law. You see, the Sabbath belongs to God and is not ours to break. See Exodus 20:10. When we take and break something that doesn't belong to us, we are stealing. We break the Eighth Commandment. We also break the Tenth Commandment because before stealing can happen, the item to be stolen (whatever it is) would have to be first coveted. When we covet and steal from God, we place ourselves first than God; therefore, we break the First Commandment. Placing ourselves before God, we have made an idol of ourselves, and, therefore, we break the Second Commandment.
But that's not all. The Sabbath Commandment is the only commandment having the name of God in it--that He is the maker of heaven and earth. This distinguishes God from other gods. Now when one breaks this commandment, treating it recklessly and vainly, he is taking the name of the Lord in vain breaking the Third Commandment. And when one says 'Oh, it doesn't matter which day you keep, just so you keep one' that would be taking God's name in vain as this is the only commandment bearing His name, His signature.
In 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 we read: "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." By breaking all these precepts of the Decalogue above, we dishonor our Heavenly Father; therefore, we break the Fifth Commandment.
What about the Sixth Commandment--Thou shalt not kill? Is this precept even relevant? Think about it. Jesus said: "If you love me, keep my commandments." Breaking God's commandments shows we do not love Him. There is no neutrality with God--either we love Him and obey Him OR we hate him and disobey Him. In 1 John 3:15 hate is the same as murder.
What about the Seventh Commandment? Will we break this precept if we break the Sabbath? When we disobey God, we prove unfaithful to Him. Therefore, we commit spiritual adultery.
What about the Ninth Commandment--Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor? When we break the Sabbath Commandment by keeping Sunday instead, we are keeping a spurious sabbath, a false sabbath, and are disseminating false information to our neighbors. So, in a special sense, we bear false witness against our neighbors.
So, you see, by breaking the Sabbath, we not only break the Fourth Commandment, but all the precepts of the Decalogue--from the First to the Tenth. We cannot trample upon God's Moral Law and get away with it. The wages of sin (transgression of the Law (1 John 3:4)) is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom 6:23.
Find out about the Sabbath Commandment and the change that was made to it as prophesied in Daniel 7:25. Man, believe it or not, changed (or thought to have changed) the Commandments of God, and millions of people blindly follow right along with it. This man-made institution not only changed the Law of God, but he wore out the saints of the Most High. History records the slaughter of over 50 million of God's people during the Dark and Middle Ages by a religious system in the name of Christianity. People were burnt at the stakes or fed to the lions for their faith and teaching of the Word of God. Can you imagine that? Contrast that to the meek and lowly Son of God who came not to destroy but to seek and to save that which was lost. Compare what's recorded in history with what's recorded in the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation. You will be amazed. You will know who the key players are in the drama that's to unfold before our very eyes in the times just ahead.
The bottom line is are we going to be loyal to God and pay homage to Him and obey His Commandments or are we going to be loyal to man and his system of false worship and false religion? Our eternal destiny is determined by the choice we make. Go to the Chain Bible Markings on my home page and look up the topics: The Change of the Sabbath, The Mark of the Beast, How to Keep the Sabbath, and The Seal of God. Also, look up the topic: "The First Day of the Week in the New Testament".
Remember there's nothing Jewish about the Sabbath Commandment of the Decalogue or Moral Law that was in existence long before there was a Jewish nation. In fact the Moral Law of God existed as long as God existed, which was no beginning, no ending. Ps 111:7,8. Read the whole chapter of Psalm 119. It's a beautiful chapter reiterating over and over how the keeping of the Moral Law of God was a joy and a delight. Many people read Psalm 119 unmindful of the fact that the Law in that chapter includes the Seventh-day Sabbath Commandment which is Saturday, not Sunday.
If you still believe that the Law of God applied only in the Old Testament dispensation, the following table lists the Ten Commandments given during the New Testament dispensation:
But wasn't there a change that was made in the calendar, and, therefore, we cannot be certain which day is Saturday? Yes, there was, in fact, a major change in the calendar in October, 1582, but this change did not interrupt the weekly seventh-day cycle. Ten days were dropped off the calendar to accommodate for inaccuracies that had accumulated over the centuries. Thursday was the fourth, and Friday was made the fifteenth. Today, we change our calendar every four years. This change does not affect the seventh-day cycle in any way. It is not difficult to determine which day is the seventh day (Saturday). Look at your calendar. Another way to determine which day is the seventh day is look at the Jews today. Which day do they worship in their synagogues? Saturday, is it not? If Jesus were here today in person, He would go to church on the seventh-day Sabbath as His custom was (Luke 4:16). He would not go to a Jewish synagogue for the Jewish nation had rejected Him, but He would go to His Church--the only one who keeps the Commandments of God and have the faith and testimony of Jesus (Rev. 14:12, Rev. 12:17).
What about the international date line? My friend Peggy brought up the point that the international date line is not biblical. She asked Where in the Bible did God say that His people in the East are to observe the Sabbath day ahead of the West? Did God order the Australians to keep the seventh day of rest ahead of the Americans? God doesn't have a problem with that. He said in Leviticus 23:32 that where you're at, you are to celebrate the Sabbath "...from even unto even." From evening to evening, we are to celebrate the Sabbath. So, when it's Friday evening, at sunset, in the east coast, the seventh-day Sabbath begins. When it's Friday evening in the west coast, the Sabbath begins. When it's Friday evening in Australia, the Sabbath begins. The Sabbath ends at sundown on Saturday.
I once heard a radio preacher commenting on the absurdity of keeping track of the seventh day to worship God. He said he's glad that in heaven there will be no clocks and calendars. On the contrary, Isaiah 66:23 says that we do need to keep track. "And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD."
Click here  to see a comparison between the Moral Law of God which is eternal and the ceremonial law of Moses which was nailed to the cross.
Perhaps the following quotation best describes the relationship between the Gospel and the Law, between Christ and the Law: 'Christ lived in accordance with the principles of God's moral government, and fulfilled the specifications of the law of God. He represented the beneficence of the law in His human life. The fact that the law is holy, just, and good is to be testified before all nations, tongues, and peoples, to worlds unfallen, to angels, seraphim, and cherubim. The principles of the law of God were wrought out in the character of Jesus Christ, and he who cooperates with Christ, becoming a partaker of the divine nature, will develop the divine character, and become an illustration of the divine law. Christ in the heart will bring the whole man, soul, body, and spirit into captivity to the obedience of righteousness. Christ's true followers will be in comfornity to the mind and will and character of God, and the far-reaching principles of the law will be demonstrated in humanity.' --The Review and Herald, March 9, 1897.
A line from a favorite hymn of mine provides a brief and fitting recap for this section: "Thy Grace and Thy Law, I picture in awe; they kissed upon Calvary." Psalm 85:10 says: "Mercy and truth (Word/Law) are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other." This occurred at Calvary two thousand years ago.
So, what's the relationship between the Gospel and the Law? Like love and marriage, you can't have one without the other.
Click here for a dialogue between myself and a minister, who believes in the irrelevancy of the Sabbath and God's law for the Holy Spirit, according to him, replaces the Law.