The same is true with any act done, even when we are not considering law.
However, we are considering law here, so we have to understand that it is God
who has provided a solution for the breaking of law. What He has determined
is to allow the death of Jesus Christ to pay the penalty, and then, in His mercy
(called 'grace' in the Bible), He will freely give the sinner relief from the penalty
hanging over his head. We cannot make up for what has been done in the past.
It can only be forgiven by a perfect sacrifice and God's willingness to accept
As you study the New Testament, and especially the writings of Paul, carefully
examine the context in which the word 'law' appears. Paul uses it very broadly.
In fact, he uses the word 'law' 110 times.
Sometimes, it is to indicate a single law. Then other uses indicate the Mosaic law.
At other times he uses to indicate the Pentateuch which is the first five books
of the O.T. Still, at other times he uses it to refer to the Ten Commandments.
We must admit that the Ten Commandments are not done away because Jesus
told His disciples what the two great commandments were, and they comprise
Matthew 22:36 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" 37
Jesus said to him," 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 38 "This is the first and great
39 "And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'
40 "On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."
A couple of interesting references are in Romans 2, where he uses 'law' to
indicate the will of God written in the hearts of the Gentiles. Why Gentiles?
Because they had not been given the law by God,....yet he says they did the
things contained within the law by nature. What it amounts to, in modern
terminology, is that here he uses 'law' in the sense of moral law. That is a
standard people consider even when they have not been formally instructed
by it. We call it, 'an unwritten law'.
Another way Paul uses the word 'law' is as if God Himself is speaking. He
does not use the name or title of God, but the term 'law', as in Romans 3:19.
At times, Paul appears to contradict himself, for he says, 'Yea, we establish
the law', but in another place, he says,
'Yea, we abolish the law'. He uses it in the sense of being both necessary
Careful attention will help one to figure out how Paul is using the word 'law'.
If the subject is justification, then he is likely to use the 'no law' approach.
No man can justify himself. All the law-keeping in the world cannot undo the
murder or the loss of virginity. So, we need one who will pay the price for our
But, if the subject is sanctification, which has to do with a person's conduct,
right living with discipline and character building...then Paul will say the law
is valuable and necessary. It must be kept. Context will help us to understand
the proper uses.