THE ORIGIN, NATURE, PROPERTIES, AND USE OF THE LAW
Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good (Romans 7:12).
Many people are confused about ‘the law’ in this verse. While some have argued that it refers to the Jewish law (which came through Moses), and others to Roman law, it actually refers to the moral law of God.
The moral law, of course, precedes both the Roman Empire and Judaism. It flowed from the very nature of the eternal God into the heart of the original man. The Fall dammed this flow, but by the grace that comes through Jesus it trickles into our hearts even still.
This moral law has several purposes: First, it convinces the world of its sin. It is the ordinary method by which the Spirit convicts sinners (through their conscience).
Second, it points people from this sense of guilt to Jesus. People who realize they are sick begin to search for a Savior.
Third, it keeps us alive in Christ. Just as the law leads us to Christ; Christ leads us to the law. We don’t keep the law to be justified, but once justified we keep the law.
And it is this third point which is too often forgotten. Justification is not an invitation to lawlessness, but an initiation in holiness… for the moral law, now bursting forth from God, is holy and just and good.