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Monday, June 1, 2020

The Rule of Law

by Bill Brandstatter

    When candidate Trump was running for President, he stated that he was going to enforce the current laws on immigration that were already on the books. A law in 1952 gives him the right to do what he is currently doing with immigration. Other presidents have done it, so is he. Yet there is a big outcry about his decision. Laws are made to be enforced. Laws are made for our good. Some hold the view, “Laws are made to be broken.” God’s people are ones who have laws that must be obeyed.
    In the Old Testament, laws were expected to be obeyed. .At the end of the Old Testament, the Lord speaking through Malachi stated, “Remember the law of Moses, My servant, which I commanded him for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments” (Mal. 4:4 NKJV). Mankind has always been reminded to obey the laws, not make new ones of their own. Many today want to make new laws on morality and number of other issues and ignore the law of God.
     Some today may believe there is no law in Christianity. They might emphasize the grace of God instead. However, we are under law today. That law is Christ’s law. Paul described it as “under law toward Christ” (1 Cor. 9:21). James described a law that all Christians are to obey as the “perfect law of liberty” (James 1:25). The Psalmist wrote: “the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul” (Ps. 19:7). Paul described the law of the Lord as “holy, just, and good.” (Rom. 7:12). All these adjectives describing the law indicate there is nothing better. There is no need to appeal to a higher court. There is no higher court. Christ has all authority (Matt. 28:18; John 5:27).  John writes, “For this is the love of God that we keep His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome.”(1 Jn. 5:3). We therefore cannot love God unless we keep His commandments or laws.
    The Bible plainly indicates we are under a law today. What does it mean to be under law? It means we are to obey the law or consequences will result. Laws are meant to be obeyed, not broken. Paul commands Christians to obey civil law (Rom. 13:1).  As with any law, a violation brings repercussions. This general principle is stated by Paul in Gal. 6:7 when he states, “Whatever a man sows, that will he also reap.” The punishment for obeying Christ’s law may not come in this life, however (Jn. 12:48) The punishment is far reaching and everlasting. Jesus will take vengeance on those who don’t know Him and don’t obey Him (2 Thess. 1:7, 8). However, God’s law is always superior to man’s law. That is why Peter and the other apostles stated,” We ought to obey God rather than men.”(Acts 5:29).
    We ought to be content with the laws that are given to us in the New Testament. Are we satisfied with them, or do we think we can change them to fit the situation? We don’t need any others. Christ has the perfect way. To follow it means heaven will one day be our home.

– Bill Brandstatter preaches for the Marion Church of Christ in Marion, IL. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://marionchurchofchrist.com

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