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1 Timothy 1:9 – the law is not made for the righteous

26-09-2023 - Posted by Hans

…if ever anyone is using it lawfully, being aware of this, that the law is not laid down for the just, yet it is  for the lawless and insubordinate…

One who uses the law lawfully knows that the law is not imposed on the righteous. It was typical of the old covenant that the law was placed as a burden on the people. Peter said of it that it was a yoke “which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear” (Acts 15:10). The content of the law may be “holy, righteous, and good” (Rom. 7:12), but when imposed on the flesh it is doomed to failure (Rom. 8:3). Hence the law by definition produces knowledge of sin (Rom.3:20).

It is on sinners that commandments are imposed such as “you shall not commit adultery” or “you shall not steal” etc. The righteous do not need to be warned about this, they are not expected to do so. Therefore the law is not placed on those who are justified by faith. The same faith that justifies a man is also the faith that sanctifies him. Not because he fulfills the command: be holy! But because God fulfills what He promises: you will be holy (1 Peter 1:16). Then the law is not imposed, but written in the heart as God’s promise!