2 Very Vital Matters: The Law Misunderstood & An Old-Fashioned Doctrine
The Law Misunderstood
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam
There are three misconceptions that most people entertain about the law of God and its Ten Commandments:
- Most people have a vague notion that the law always was in existence and that it must have been given to the first man, Adam, or soon after. Actually, God gave the law to Moses for Israel about 1500 B.C., after about 2500 years of human history had elapsed (John 1:17). So mankind lived on earth for about 2500 years without the law or the Ten Commandments.
- Most people suppose that the law and the Ten Commandments were given to mankind in general, while, in fact, it was given to Israel alone (Deuteronomy 5:2,3).
- Most people suppose that the law and the Ten Commandments were given to help us to do right. Even some clergymen teach this, although the Bible clearly teaches that they were given to show us that we are guilty sinners.
It is true that the law, while given to Israel, also shows the Gentile that he is a sinner. This is why Romans 3:19 says:
“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law; that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may be brought in guilty before God.”
But most important of all: Few people realize that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins to deliver us from the just condemnation of the law. This is taught in the following Scriptures:
“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us…” (Galatians 3:13).
“For God hath made Him to be sin for us, [Christ] who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Corinthians 5:21).
“For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are NOT UNDER THE LAW, BUT UNDER GRACE” (Romans 6:14).
An Old-Fashioned Doctrine
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam
How many there are whose hearts would be thrilled if they understood the old-fashioned Bible doctrine of sanctification!
Sanctification is not a negative matter: “Don’t do this” and “Don’t do that.” It is rather the positive truth that God wants us for Himself as a sacred possession, much as a bridegroom considers his bride his very own in a special, sacred way.
Bible sanctification is a twofold truth, affecting both our standing before God and our spiritual state. In one sense every true believer in Christ has already been sanctified, or consecrated to God, by the operation of the Holy Spirit. Thus we read:
“…God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit…” (II Thessalonians 2:13).
“Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit…” (I Peter 1:2).
This has nothing to do with our conduct. God did it. Sanctification begins with Him. Thus Paul could write to even the careless Corinthian believers and say: “Ye are sanctified” (1 Corinthians 6:11; cf. Acts 20:32; 26:18), i.e., “God has set you apart for Himself.” This phase of sanctification is based on the redemptive work of Christ in our behalf, for Hebrews 10:10 says: “We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
But now God would have us appreciate this fact and conduct ourselves accordingly, consecrating ourselves ever more completely to Him. This is practical, progressive sanctification. “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification” (I Thessalonians 4:3). Hence Paul’s benediction: “The very God of peace sanctify you wholly” (I Thessalonians 5:23), and his exhortation to Timothy to be “a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet [fit] for the Master’s use” (II Timothy 2:21).
How can believers be more wholly sanctified to God in their practical experience? By studying and meditating on His Word. Our Lord prayed: “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth” (John 17:17), and Paul declares that “Christ… loved the Church and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word” (Ephesians 5:25,26).