A Hypothetical Scenario
Pretend for a moment that you are the parent of a 7 year old child. It goes without saying, but just for the sake of argument, you love your child very deeply. In your love for your child, you decide to take them to a water park–the best one in the world.
When you get into the park, you recognize that the floors are very slippery. You are a mature parent of 7 years so you decide to lay one basic ground rule for your little one. You command your child, “Do not run at the water park!” At this point, ask yourself, “Why did you just give that instruction to the child you love?”
3 Ways God’s Moral Law Protects Believers
Unfortunately, I think many Christians look at God’s moral law from the child’s perspective. We think that God doesn’t want us to have fun or that he is just placing this heavy burden on each of us. We think of the moral law like something designed to push against our fleshly impulses and thoughts about what we think a good life is. I am sure these are the same thoughts that a child feels when commanded by their parent to not run at a water park.
From the parent perspective, however, our mentality shifts when we think about the rule that we gave to our child. We told them not to run because we want to protect them from the consequences of living their lives as if there was no repercussions for reckless behavior. Therefore, here are three thoughts on God’s moral law from this hypothetical scenario:
- God’s love is revealed to his children from the law. The moral law is not designed so that God can sit up in his throne room laughing at his children because he desires to prevent them from enjoying life. In fact, God has given us his commandments out of his love for us. He does not want us to go through life living outside of his created order. Thus, out of his love he gave us the moral law so that we would know how to live a life that not only glorifies and honors him, but also that protects us from ourselves.
- God’s law brings human flourishing. Just like the parent and child in the hypothetical scenario above, the parent has more wisdom and experience when it comes to water parks. The parent created a rule to prevent the child from getting hurt and ending their trip at the emergency room. God’s law is similar. His moral law is designed to cause us to live the way he created us to so that we will flourish in life. God’s infinite wisdom gave us a law to live by so that our lives will not end up in the proverbial emergency room.
- God’s law is meant to be obeyed for our protection. The length of this command extends to our child as long as we are at the water park. God’s law applies to us as long as we are living. The moral law is designed to be obeyed because it creates constant protection from the consequences and destructive nature of sin. The child does not get to obey the law when it is convenient for him to do so or only when his parent is looking or after being at the water park for an hour. The law is designed to be constantly obeyed so that the child remains protected from falling and getting severely hurt. The moral law works in this same fashion for believers today.
As we conclude this thought experiment on God’s moral law, it brought to mind the passage of Scripture where Jesus taught, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him” (Matthew 7:11). Now, I know this is in the context of prayer, but we can also look at this verse from the Father’s perspective. Just like we, as imperfect parents, give our children rules for their protection out of love, our infinitely greater Father gives us his moral law to protect us because he loves us even more than we love our own children. In other words, God the Father is good, and out of his goodness he gave us the moral law to show how much he loves us, he wants us to flourish, and he desires to protect us from sin’s damaging impact. This is how God’s moral law benefits believers.
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