The Law of God & Sin
 
There has been alot of discussion about whether believers of Jesus need to obey the law of God and I wanted to provide some scriptures pertaining to this topic. I have also heard throughout the years people preaching that once you become a believer you do not sin anymore and Christians do not have to repent either because they do not sin and do not need to repent. I wanted to provide some scriptures that address these topics. I think it is crucial to not make a judgment about these topics without first seeing what the Bible and Jesus has to say about these things. I think it is important to not just make judgments and decisions based on human reasoning and understanding apart from the Word of God.
 
If we just rely upon our own human understanding and reasoning to come to conclusions about these topics and others it is humanism, which means the focus becomes on ourselves and our own way of thinking rather than the way God thinks about things. The defintion of humanism is “a doctrine, attitude, or way of life centered on human interests and values.” The reason God gave us the law and the Bible (Word of God) is to instruct us to know the way God thinks, feels and acts. The Bible is a guide to truth, we cannot determine what is right and what is wrong according to our own understanding, God is the one who leads us into all truth, He is the one who shows us what right and what is wrong. If we determine what is right and wrong aside from what God has already spoken and revealed to us in the Bible, then it is just humanism. Since God is the Creator of all things, the Creator of the Universe, the Creator of all humanity and the source of everything-He knows all things, which gives Him supreme authority to lead all of humanity into truth since He is the Creator of all.
 
One of the scriptures I wanted to mention as it relates to whether or not we as believers still need to obey the law of God is in Matthew 5:18-19 where Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.” This is one of the main scriptures that God has used to speak to me that even as believers, the law of God is still important and still applies to us. I realize we are not bound to the law and there is not a condition from God that we must obey all the laws in order to be forgiven or accepted by God, but clearly the words of Jesus spoken in this passage of Matthew instructs us that if we obey God’s law and teach others to obey the law of God we will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven, but if we do not obey God’s laws and encourage others to not obey the law of God then we will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven.
 
Paul also talks about sin and the law of God all throughout the book of Romans. Paul says in Romans 7:12, “But still, the law itself is holy, and its commands are holy and right and good.” He goes on to say, “I love God’s law with all my heart” Romans‬ ‭7:22‬. I think it is important to view the rest of what Paul says in Romans from that lense, Paul is not against the law of God, Paul calls it holy, right and good and he says he loves it with all his heart. I do not want to encourage legalism or bondage for believers to live a life of works and trying to earn God’s acceptance and forgiveness, I just want to make sure we do not condemn the law of God or encourage others that it does not apply to them. I like what Paul also says in Romans 3:19-20, “Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God. For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.” Paul also says, “For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in his sight” Romans‬ ‭2:13‬.
 
I believe it is important to care for the things that God has instructed us to care for. If God has told us to not do certain things or if God calls certain things sin, then it is for our own good to avoid these things because God is trying to protect us from harm and He always has our best interest at hand. Everything that God has spoken in the Bible to do and not to do I believe is to help lead and guide us to be more like Him. Since God is the source of all that is good and there is no evil in Him then every instruction He gives us in the Bible to avoid sin is because there is no sin in God, He is perfect. God wants us to be more like Him and sin does not come from God. God does not tempt us to sin. The enemy is the source of everything that is evil and all sin and the enemy is the one who wants us to join ourselves to him through sin rather than joining ourselves to God. I am not saying we cannot come to God in our sin, thank you Jesus we have been saved by the grace of God through faith and we can come to God in our sin just as we are and receive God’s forgiveness of our sins, His love and mercy. Through the repentance of our sins to Jesus and our acceptance of Jesus being the Son of God who was crucified and raised from the dead, our sins are forgiven.
I believe the ultimate goal of God is that we would get freedom from sin and freedom from the enemy. I realize it is impossible for us to ever be sinless as it says in Isaiah 64:6, “We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags…” I realize that no matter what we do to try to be perfect and righteous we cannot ever be good enough or perfect enough, it is only God’s grace and forgiveness of our sins that makes us righteous and it is the righteousness of Christ, not our own righteousness. I do not believe we need to obey every law in the Bible in order to be righteous or in order to be forgiven, because it is only the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and the repentance of our sins and acceptance of Christ that our sins are forgiven and we are made righteous. Our righteousness comes from the blood of Jesus Christ and the forgiveness of our sins through Jesus, we cannot be righteous apart from Jesus. I do not believe there is a condition placed upon us that we must obey the law of God to be forgiven, but I do believe we are to live according to God’s law to lead and guide us to know what is right and what is wrong. I believe the law of God shows us what is sin to know what we should try to avoid in life and when we do fail and do sin, which we will we need to repent of our sins and ask God to deliver us from the desire to keep sinning. I believe it is important to join ourselves with God by trying to avoid sin which joins us to the enemy since the source of sin comes from the enemy and not God, the more we sin the more we draw near to the enemy so freedom from sin is the goal.
 
I know there are many in the body of Christ who place too much of an emphasis on obeying the law of God and trying to live a perfect life and may even fear God does not forgive them or accept them unless they obey the law and try to be perfect, I do not believe that is healthy or good either. It seems like there are extremes as it relates to this topic it is either those who do not believe the law of God applies to them and then there are those who are bound to the law of God and feel they need to earn God’s acceptance and approval by being perfect according to the law, which both are unhealthy. I have seen believers become very focused on being self-righteous and trying to be holy through works and feel they are better than other believers because they are holy based on their religious works, which is definitely not something I encourage and I do not believe God wants that either.
 
My heart’s desire is that the law of God and His Word would lead and guide our lives, that it would guide us to God’s truth, His ways and that it would cause us to draw near to God. In my own life when I read the Word of God including the law, it ministers life and truth to me and I encounter God in it. There is power in the Word of God, when we declare the Word of God over our lives, families and circumstances it changes things. The Word and law of God brings truth to all lies of the enemy, it helps set us free from sin and bondage which leads us to freedom in God when we view it as instruction on how God wants us to live our life. The goal is not bondage or slavery to the law of God, but rather the Word of God and His law is to teach us God’s ways, what it is good, right and true and to know what is sin so we can draw near to God. Ultimately the goal of the Word of God and the law is to point us to God and cause us to want to be more like Him and be closer to Him. My desire is not to encourage legalism through works, but to encourage obedience to God and His law/ways from a place of relationship and love.
 
By: Holly Rotalsky
Wings of Fire International
www.wingsoffire.org
 
Below are Scriptures on the Law of God & Sin:
Romans 3:30-31, “There is only one God, and he makes people right with himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles. 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.
 
So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin.
‭‭Romans‬ ‭7:14‬.
 
For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.””
‭‭Romans‬ ‭4:3‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 
“But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭4:5‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 
“Circumcision was a sign that Abraham already had faith and that God had already accepted him and declared him to be righteous—even before he was circumcised. So Abraham is the spiritual father of those who have faith but have not been circumcised. They are counted as righteous because of their faith.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭4:11‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 
“Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith. If God’s promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless. For the law always brings punishment on those who try to obey it.” Romans‬ ‭4:13-15‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 
“And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous.” Romans‬ ‭4:22‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 
“And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.” Romans‬ ‭4:23-25‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 
“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.” Romans‬ ‭5:1-2‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 
But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus. Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭3:21-28‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 
“But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭7:22-25‬ ‭NLT‬‬
“Now, dear brothers and sisters —you who are familiar with the law—don’t you know that the law applies only while a person is living? So, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the point: You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ. And now you are united with the one who was raised from the dead. As a result, we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God. When we were controlled by our old nature, sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires that produced a harvest of sinful deeds, resulting in death. But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.” Romans‬ ‭7:1, 4-6‬ ‭NLT‬
 
“They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.”‭Romans‬ ‭2:15‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 
“But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will judge everyone according to what they have done. He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness. There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism.” Romans‬ ‭2:5-11‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 
“But,” some might say, “our sinfulness serves a good purpose, for it helps people see how righteous God is. Isn’t it unfair, then, for him to punish us?” Of course not! If God were not entirely fair, how would he be qualified to judge the world? “But,” someone might still argue, “how can God condemn me as a sinner if my dishonesty highlights his truthfulness and brings him more glory?” And some people even slander us by claiming that we say, “The more we sin, the better it is!” Those who say such things deserve to be condemned. Well then, should we conclude that we Jews are better than others? No, not at all, for we have already shown that all people, whether Jews or Gentiles, are under the power of sin. As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous— not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.” “Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with lies.” “Snake venom drips from their lips.” “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Destruction and misery always follow them. They don’t know where to find peace.” “They have no fear of God at all.” Romans‬ ‭3:5-14, 16-18‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 
“This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” Romans‬ ‭1:17‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 
“For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.””‭Romans‬ ‭4:3‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 
“But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭4:5‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 
“Circumcision was a sign that Abraham already had faith and that God had already accepted him and declared him to be righteous—even before he was circumcised. So Abraham is the spiritual father of those who have faith but have not been circumcised. They are counted as righteous because of their faith.” ‭Romans‬ ‭4:11‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 
“Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith. If God’s promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless. For the law always brings punishment on those who try to obey it. ‭Romans‬ ‭4:13-15‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 
“And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous.” Romans‬ ‭4:22‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 
“And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.” Romans‬ ‭4:23-25‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 
“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.”  ‭Romans‬ ‭5:1-2‬ NLT
 
“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:8-11‬ ‭NLT
 
“But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous. God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans‬ ‭5:15-21‬ ‭NLT‬‬
“Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.” Romans‬ ‭6:1-11‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 
“Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living. Because of the weakness of your human nature, I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this. Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin. Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right. And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭6:12-23‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 
“Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, “You must not covet.” But sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me! If there were no law, sin would not have that power. At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life, and I died. So I discovered that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead. Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived me; it used the commands to kill me.” Romans‬ ‭7:7-11‬ ‭NLT‬‬
“But how can that be? Did the law, which is good, cause my death? Of course not! Sin used what was good to bring about my condemnation to death. So we can see how terrible sin really is. It uses God’s good commands for its own evil purposes.” Romans‬ ‭7:13‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 
“I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.” Romans‬ ‭7:15-21‬ ‭NLT‬‬
 
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.”‭Romans‬ ‭8:1-17‬ ‭NLT‬