What does it mean that the law is upheld by faith, not nullified by it?


Romans 3:31

NLT - 31 Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law.

Clarify Share Report Asked January 21 2015 Mini Anonymous

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Mini Aurel Gheorghe
In Romans 3:31, Paul is dealing with a very controversial and misunderstood issue: "Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law." 
In other words, Paul is asking, if we have faith do we still need to keep the law? Isn't the law keeping legalism and we are not saved by works but by faith? Aren't we saved by grace and law keeping is work? 

James 2:18 give us the answer: But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works." James is saying here that you cannot have faith without works and works without faith. You cannot say you have faith but be a rebelliously and habitually law breaker, or can keep the law without faith. In Hebrews 11, Paul is talking again about faith; however, the faith of these Godly people was always followed by actions, meaning works of faith. 

And because is such an misunderstood issue, Paul in Romans 6:14-15 rhetorically addresses a follow-up question: "What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!" 

The law that Paul refers to is the Ten Commandment. The law wasn't abolished at the crossed, wasn't nailed to the crossed or voided by Jesus. 

“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 tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:17-18). 

These are Jesus' words telling us that the Law given to Moses, written by God's own finger on stone, is still valid for us today. It wan't given only for the Jews, it wasn't done away with, or abolished. Same are trying to explain that the Ten Commandments, or alt least one of the commandments, are not binding anymore; however, Jesus told us that "till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” Meaning that not even a jot of the law will pass away. 

Under the Moses Law, we all are condemned to death; "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" (Romans 3:23).
However, Jesus died for us so we can live (Romans 4:25, 1 Peter 2:24). 

Because we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ, not due to our own merits, should we keep on breaking the law? Paul's answer is no way! 

Imagine a person guilty of a capital offence and sentenced to death. However, just before the execution, the governor pardon that person. That person now can go home. Is that person free now to ignore the law and keep committing the same offence that got him on the death row the first time? Definitively not! But he was pardoned by the governor! Any person in the right mind, now that his life was spared, will make sure he is not doing anything even remotely illegal. That is the point Paul is making in Romans 3:31.

January 28 2015 8 responses Vote Up Share Report

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