A Place for the Law in Religion

November 12 -18 2014

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”  Galatians 5:1

The Apostle Paul, in his inspired words to the Church in Galatia, is referring to the Law when he mentions a “yoke of slavery.” Some people think Christianity is essentially living according to the golden rule and other rules; thinking that we have a moral responsibility to please God rather than pleasing Him through the “freedom” earned for us by Christ, the Son of God. In general, people might do one of two things: either elevate man’s rules to the level of divine law or treat God’s commandments as though they were man’s.

During Christ’s time, the Pharisees tried to bind human mandates & “the tradition of the elders” on people’s consciences, equating them with God’s Law. The reverse of this is to take God’s 10 Commandments and give them human understanding, that is, regard them as social mores that dictate over our minds and consciences. But mores are always “time sensitive” in that they soon become outdated and can be thereby ignored saying, “That was then but this is now. Times have changed and the old ways don’t apply anymore.” With this in mind, one need look no farther than the TV screen to see where this belief has led.

In spite of what many think, the 10 Commandments have a place in life, in this present time! We can’t get along without them nor should we add to or take away from them.

The sure way of getting away from legalism or the rules-mentality in our living ways is to make the Gospel of Jesus Christ central in our lives. The Scripture teaches that “(God) saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy (His undeserved love). He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified (justly found innocent under the Law) by His grace (getting from God what we don’t deserve but have received it God’s love through Christ’s death and resurrection, freely given to us as a gift), we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:5-7)

And having grasped onto God’s grace and the Gospel’s Good News through faith we are ready and willing to thankfully respond to God’s Law -to obey it gladly and willingly for Jesus’ sake. God grant you this faith.


“By Grace! None dare lay claim to merit; our works and conduct have no worth. God in His love sent our Redeemer, Christ Jesus, to this sinful earth: His death for our sins did atone, and we are saved by grace alone.”               Lutheran Service Book 566