Above and Beyond

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The Law of God is a great gift. The 119th Psalm, in a way, summarizes our attitude toward the Law and our gratitude for it. It’s a lamp to our feet. It’s a light to our path. It’s a great source of wisdom and knowledge. We are wiser than our teachers because we give attention to God’s statutes and his commandments. The Law tells us what works and what won’t. It shows how to come to know God and to relate to him. It’s our teacher about how to live a life. And it’s what tells us the difference between right and wrong.

We understand that man walks into the world ignorant and has to be taught—taught what’s right, taught what’s wrong, taught who God is and who God is not—and that God in his graciousness, instead of letting us find out everything the hard way, has given us a teacher to tell us what is right and what is wrong. But I do think occasionally we carry some aspects of our understanding of the Law a little further than it will reach. Because the Law is not an end in itself. It is a teacher and only a teacher. I suppose over the years we’ve addressed this subject in such great detail as a reaction against those people who want to argue that the Law of God is done away. But the Law, as I said, is not an end in itself. It’s a teacher, and it is only a teacher.

There’s a peculiar mindset present in the Pharisees of years gone by (and it hasn’t gone away today) that when you have kept the Law you have done all there is to do. If you just somehow manage to keep the Law perfectly, then you will have essentially fulfilled what God requires of man. However, there’s this rather odd scripture back in Luke 17…


Ronald L. Dart

Ronald L. Dart (1934–2016) — People around the world have come to appreciate his easy style, non-combative approach to explaining the Bible, and the personal, almost one-on-one method of explaining what’s going on in the world in the light of the Bible. After retiring from teaching and church administration in 1995 he started Christian Educational Ministries and the Born to Win radio program.

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