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1 Timothy 1:8 – The lawful use of the law

26-09-2023 - Posted by Hans

Now we are aware that the law is ideal if ever anyone is using it lawfully

The fact that Paul turns against the “teachers of the law” is not because he has anything against “the law” or because “the law” is not good. On the contrary, “the law is ideal,” provided one “uses it lawfully.” First of all, one would recognize that the law was not given to the nations (Rom.2:16). One would also realize that the law was given at Sinai, four hundred and thirty years after God’s promise to Abraham (Gal.3:17). And even twenty-five centuries after Adam (Rom.5:14). The law of Moses is therefore not a universal rule of life, but intended for one people: Israel. Anyone who teaches the law but ignores it is applying the law unlawfully. That is abuse of the law.

In addition, the covenant that God made with Israel at Sinai was a temporary covenant. “…on behalf of transgressions was it added, until the Seed should come…” (Gal.3:19). The law functioned as an ‘escort’ to Christ (Gal.3:24). The old covenant has officially ended (Rom.7:2-6) and Christ is the Mediator of a new covenant in which the people are no longer “under the law.”