Useful Bible Studies > Romans Commentary > chapter 3

Do Christians have to obey Godís law?

Romans 3:31

In Matthew 5:17-18, Jesus spoke about the importance of Godís law. Paul expresses his agreement here. The first Christians were eager in their support for Godís law (Acts 21:20).

That causes a problem for many Christians today. They read the many rules and commands that appear in the first 5 books of the Bible. There, they find many commands that are clearly important to follow for moral reasons (see Exodus 20:1-17). However, they also find many rules and ceremonies which seem to have no moral purpose. Several of those rules would be difficult or impossible to follow today. So Christians ask which rules they must follow. However, Jesus insisted that the whole law remains important.

Perhaps an explanation of the word Ďlawí will help us to understand this better. The word in the Hebrew language is TORAH. The real meaning of TORAH is lessons or instructions. God gave his TORAH not to control people by rules, but to teach them how they should live. From it, they would learn how to live in the manner that pleases him. In particular, they would learn to have a relationship of faith (trust) in God, because the TORAH teaches that (4:1-5).

So Godís law, or the TORAH, means the first 5 books in the Bible, and the lessons that they teach. Those books, and the rest of the Bible, are the word of God (2 Timothy 3:16). So, of course they do not change, because God does not change his opinions (James 1:17). We obey the commands that we should obey for moral reasons. However we should study the whole of Godís law and the whole Bible, as God gives us the opportunity. God wants to teach us from all of the Bible; its lessons are important for our lives. We can learn important lessons even from the rules about the ceremonies that we do not carry out today (see for example, Hebrews chapter 9).

Next part: A lesson from the life of Abraham (Romans 4:1-2)


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© 2018, Keith Simons.