The Purpose Of The Law

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

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How little most people know about the Law, the Ten Commandments!

First, most people have a hazy idea that the Law was given to Adam; that it existed as long as the history of man. This, of course, is wrong, for in John 1:17 we read: “The law was given by Moses.” Moses lived some 2,500 years after Adam, about 1,500 years before Christ. So for about 2,500 years mankind lived without the Ten Commandments.

Second, most people suppose that the Law was given to mankind in general, while the fact is that it was given to Israel alone. It was a covenant made between God and Israel. Before giving it God said: “Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people” (Ex. 19:5). This is not to say that the Law does not affect all men, for, as the divine standard of righteousness it affects us all.

Third, most people think that the Law was given to help us to be good. Even some clergymen teach this, though the Bible itself states again and again that the Law was given to show us that we are guilty sinners and need a Savior. Note the following Scripture passages.

Rom. 3:19: “Now we know that what things soever the law sath, it saith to them that are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped and all the world may be brought in guilty before God.”

Rom. 3:20: “By the law is the knowledge of sin.”

Gal. 3:19: “Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions….”

Thus the Law can only condemn the sinner. But thank God, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” (Gal. 3:13).

To the Reader:

Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:

"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."

To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.

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