“Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”
The law Paul refers to is what is commonly known as the Ten Commandments. This law is distinct from all other laws in its source and in its purpose. We are surrounded by laws written by men and designed to be kept. The Law of God was written by the hand of God; its purpose, to reveal that we are incapable of living up to His standard of righteousness. When confronted with the Gospel, many will claim they are good people, trying to honor God by keeping the commandments. Anyone who makes that statement, completely misunderstands the commands of God. Let’s take a look at a few of them and see how we measure up.
“You shall have no other gods before Me.”
God demands first place in our lives. If anything ranks higher in your life than God, and seeking to please Him, you are guilty of breaking the first commandment. Jesus elaborated on this commandment saying, we must love God with ALL of our heart, soul, mind and strength (Matthew 22:37). That is a tall order, isn’t it? It requires that we ask ourselves, “Is there is anyone or anything more important to us than living to please God?” If we are involved in an ungodly relationship, or ungodly practices within a relationship, we are guilty of breaking the very first commandment. That should be enough to prove to any honest person, they are not keeping the commandments of God. However, for the sake of argument, let’s look at one more.
“You shall not steal.”
Stealing is defined as taking something that does not belong to you without the permission of the owner. Stealing is not determined by the value of the item taken, but rather to whom the item belongs. The first recorded act of stealing is found in Genesis chapter three, when Eve took a bite of a piece of fruit that did not belong to her. God took that action very seriously. He did not wink at it, suggesting it was only a little sin that did not matter much. Her act of taking what did not belong to her, and her husband following suit, resulted in their banishment from the garden and sin entering the world.
Clearly, none of us are living up to the commandments of God. If that is true, why then, did God write them? Most laws are written to be observed. When I was a school teacher, I had a list of standards written on the wall of my classroom. Every student could look and understand clearly what was expected of them while in my room. God gave His list of standards to show us we are not capable of meeting them, and each of us is in need of a savior. Like a tutor who sits beside a student to help them understand a concept, the law speaks to each of us, explaining that we cannot save ourselves. No work we have ever done can erase the sins we have committed. We must cry out to the One who saves. Paul wrote, “the Law was a tutor to bring us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.” It is when we recognize, we are sinners and Christ is the Savior, that we will cry out to Him to rescue us. Paul went on to say,
“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”
When we put our trust in the Savior, all of our sins are forgiven and we become the children of God. Instead of pretending we are good enough, it is time to honestly evaluate ourselves in light of the standard of God. Then we must cry out for Him to forgive us of our sins and and make us His children.