Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Self-Harmony of the Bible - 4 (Part Twelve)

Is Sin the Cause or Effect of the Law?
            Galatians 3:19 (WEB) states: “What then is the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the seed should come to whom the promise had been made.” From this the skeptic states that the Mosaic Law was caused because of sin. 1 John 3:4 (NWT), which says: “Everyone who practices sin is also practicing lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness,” is pitted against it. The skeptic argues that this verse shows that sin is the effect of the Mosaic Law.[1]
            However, the first verse shows that the Law was introduced to make sin apparent, not that it was the caused by sin. Further, the second verse merely describes sin as lawlessness. This could be transgression against the Mosaic Law, the law of our conscience, or the law of faith, but not necessarily not any law code in particular; there is no contradiction.

Does Keeping the Law Justify You?
            The skeptic cites 1 John 3:10 (NWT), which says: “The children of God and the children of the Devil are evident by this fact: Whoever does not practice righteousness does not originate with God, nor does the one who does not love his brother.” From this he concocts the saying: keeping God’s law justifies you. Of course, though, such a phrase is not there; and the Mosaic Law is not being referred to by John. So, Romans 3:20 and Galatians 3:11, which stress the inadequacy of works alone, do not contradict what John says.

[1] The skeptic cited the King James Version which renders the Greek word “lawlessness” as “transgression of the law,” which he, I presume, took to mean the violation of a particular law code, namely, the Mosaic Law. However, if John was referring to a particular law code, John likely would have the “law of faith,” or the “law of spirit” in mind. – Romans 3:27

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