MAN’S LAW VS. GOD’S LAW
When talking about law, we first must know the definition of “law”. In checking the Webster’s dictionary, there are about nine different definitions.
The one I liked best and will use today is:
the rules of conduct established by the authority or customs of a nation”.
When talking about law in reference to the Bible, we have basically the same meaning.
The Hebrew word “Torah”, which is translated “law” signifies instruction received from a superior authority and which serves as a “rule of conduct”. says is used for human instruction, but more extensively of Divine teaching.
Usually the term indicates the of given to Moses, which is contained in 31:18), Numbers, and
(also called the
The laws revealed to Moses on Mt. Sinai served as the foundation of the life and culture of the Hebrew people.
Because these laws were superior to the human laws of the surrounding countries, it served to lift the Hebrews to a generally higher plane of living.
The Principals of God’s Law are Eternal!!!
The Commandments of God, in which man’s duties are set forth, are trustworthy and true.
says, “They are steadfast forever that they are unchangeable.”
One big argument here is some Christians say the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament were fulfilled when Jesus died on the cross and a new covenant was made by Jesus in the New Testament. This is true to some extent. Some of the old laws were fulfilled and done away with. But Jesus was in no way reducing the significance of any of the Ten Commandments.
In we see the commandment:
I. “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.”
II. “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.”
Confirmed again in (I John
III. “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord Thy God in vain.”
(Exodus 20:7) Confirmed again in
IV. “Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it Holy.”
Confirmed again in
V. “Honor thy father and thy mother.” Confirmed again in
VI. “Thou shalt not kill.” Confirmed again in 13:9)
VII. “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20:14) Confirmed again in
VIII. “Thou shalt not steal.” Confirmed again in
IX. “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbours.” Confirmed again in
X. “Thou shalt not covet…” Confirmed again in
When Jesus made the “two commandments” in the New Testament:
“To love God”
“And to love others”
He was in no way reducing the significance of any of the Ten Commandments.
So, this brings us to our lesson Man’s law vs. God’s law.
There are many laws and rules in life. Some laws are silly, some are serious. There once was a law in the state of Montana that declared that no one could wear a red tie. Of course, that law no longer exists.
Love is our motivation. When we recognize the value of Jesus’s sacrifice on our behalf, our response is to be love, gratitude and obedience.
When we understand the sacrifice Jesus made for us and others, our response is to follow His example in expressing love to others. Our motivation for overcoming sin should be love, not a desire to legalistically obey a series of commandments.
We are to obey the of
The Ten Commandments were essentially a summary of the entire Old Testament law. All of the Ten Commandments are clearly repeated in the New Testament.
The Old Testament law is a unit “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, yet stumble in one point he is guilty of all.” Either all of it applies, or none of it applies. If Christ fulfilled some of it, such as the sacrificial He fulfilled all of it. I’d like to point out, this is a good example where we we see a contradiction, but not really. Sometimes, unless we study and read the Bible, we don’t always have the full understanding.
Most laws are made to protect people. And many of man’s laws are in harmony with God’s law.
However, what happens when man’s law and God’s law are not in harmony?
Many will say that they don’t believe in God. Some belief systems have their own set of rules and regulations.
says, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.”
says, “Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work.”
says, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
So, you would think that you would be under the authority of man first. But in:
says, But Peter and the Apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than man.”
So, whose laws are greater, man’s law or God’s law?
God’s law is different to man’s law.
Man’s law can change from one day to the next.
God’s law usually doesn’t contravene (go against) man’s law where there is freedom of religion.
The Bible teaches us to respect all authorities including the laws of man.
But if there is a conflict between God’s law and man’s law, a Christian would be advised to keep God’s law.
Many Christian sects are very concerned that with the state legalizing same sex marriage, their Ecclesiastical leaders will one day be forced to break God’s law to keep man’s law.
And just because God lets us off when we break His law (provided we are covered by Christ’s precious blood), it does not mean that we will escape man’s punishment. As Christians, we still must suffer the consequences of breaking man’s law.
If you break man’s law (commit a crime) you may go to jail.
If you break God’s law (commit a sin) you may go to hell.
Man’s law is limited to what we can prove, but God knows our heart, our motives, and the things that we do in secret.
God’s law is unchanging.
There is almost always a cost; loss of reputation, financial penalty, and for some, even to this day, death.
Christians are to obey human laws except where that human law violates God’s law.
Our supreme duty is to obey God.
Since God tells us to also obey human laws, we should.
But, when they come in conflict, as it states in (Acts 5:29), “We ought to obey God rather than men”.
When man’s law contradicts God’s law, how you respond is between you and God.
I am here just to point out that there is Biblical precedence for going against man’s law and government to keep the laws of God.
I would just say we need to be conscientious in following where the law takes us, but even more so following where the Holy Spirit leads, guides, and directs us.
-FOOD FOR THOUGHT-
*Man’s law cannot make moral what God has declared unmoral.
*The Supreme Court is not the Supreme Being.
*Man has made over 32 million laws since the Ten Commandments were handed down to Moses on Mt. Sinai, but he has never improved on God’s law. (Cecil Demille)