Bible Basics: Redeem Them That Were Under The Law

Earl E. Robertson
Tompkinsville, KY

It is the bold contention of many that one and all can be saved if they will keep the Ten Commandments given by Moses at Mount Sinai (Ex. 20). They seek to make a difference between the "law of Moses" and the "law of God." However, there is no such difference, as any Bible student knows. The two terms are often used interchangeably (see Neh. 8:1; 10:29 for an example). There was never any intent with God to save sinners from sin by the law - the commandments or otherwise. The law "was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made," and that "seed" was Christ (Gal. 3:16-19).

Paul said the Jews were under bondage. "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons" (Gal. 4:3-5). So, the ones under the law were in need of redemption! None could have life or be made righteous by the law (Gal. 3:21). The law was a tutor, only till Christ came: It is essential to know that the needs of man are not complemented by the law, but rather by the gospel of Christ. Paul says, "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh" (Rom. 8:3). The law was dedicated with the blood of animals, but the gospel was dedicated with the blood of Christ (Heb. 9). This is what makes the difference in what the law can not do and what the gospel can do, being "the power of God unto salvation" to the believer (Rom. 1:16).

Sinners have an awareness of guilt of sin, which is produced by the gospel. This awareness or conscience problem can only be solved by the blood of Christ provided through the covenant dedicated by that blood (Heb. 9:14). The conscience can be clean only when sins are forgiven, but no sins can be forgiven without blood, and it must be the blood of Christ (Heb. 9:22; 10:4). This means that those under the law could have redemption in an absolute sense by the blood of Christ (Heb. 9:15). A part of Jesus' mission was, therefore, "to redeem them that were under the law" (Gal. 4:5). Those people had the Ten Commandments, but such could not save them from sin. Why do people today teach sinners can be saved by keeping the Ten Commandments? Our hope is in Christ not the law!

Guardian of Truth XXV: 12, p. 187
March 19, 1981