What role should the law play in the life of a Christian?
I came across this question and answer on Grace Church website and found it to be to the point.
Start Quote. It is important to know that the law was given as an intermediary to the advent of Grace. While it revealed an aspect of God’s holiness, it did not reveal His mercy or redemptive plan. Just as importantly, the law did not have the power to change the heart.
When Christ fulfilled the law, and atoned for our sin through His death, the holiness of God as well as His righteousness and purity became engraved upon the hearts of all who would believe (notice the scripture does not say “of all who would behave”).
“Now He (Jesus) said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” (Luke 24:44)
The Old Covenant “law keeping” became nullified for the Christian under the New Covenant. We are no longer under the law, but under grace.
Paul said that the law is not for the righteous. He was referring to those who are made righteous in Christ by faith. Paul also instructed believers to consider themselves to be dead to the law.
“Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God” (Romans 7:4)
Thankfully, it is the role of the Spirit living within each believer, not the law, to lead the children of God in their new identity as the “righteousness of God in Christ”. Behavioral changes reflecting the standards required by the law would now be out of a motivation of acceptance and love, rather than a fear of judgment and condemnation for failure.
“But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory? For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory” (2 Corinthians 3:7-9)
Where the law says, “thou shalt not kill”, or “thou shalt not steal”, or “thou shalt not commit adultery”, the Spirit not only leads the believer to not commit murder, but to be willing to lay down his life for a friend; instead of stealing, giving; rather than committing adultery, choosing to love sacrificially while receiving one’s spouse in a manner which brings them to a place of security, comfort, and joy.
The law set a standard outwardly that the flesh was simply unable to satisfy. This was not a mistake. God intended for the law to instruct us by means of our failure so as to trust God’s perfect provision for all aspects of life, including holiness and happiness. Christ is our life in all its fullness, living in our hearts by faith.
“When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:4)
Therefore, the law serves to bring us to Christ, while continuing to reveal our utter dependence upon the indwelling life of Christ, serving to make us holy, righteous, justified, and eternally secure before the Father.
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Romans 10:4)
When reading and studying the Old Testament, it is important to remember that in order to unearth its incredible wealth and value it must be interpreted through the spiritual-lens of the “finished work of Christ”. It has been said, “the Old Testament is the finished work of Christ concealed, and the New Testament is the finished work of Christ revealed”. It is good to be reminded that we are built upon the foundation of the prophets (Old Testament) and the apostles (New Testament), with Jesus being the “chief cornerstone”. (Luke 20:17) End Quote.
The truth of this post is revelatory and and Grace gracing. I thank God that Jesus fully FINISHED the work He came to do.