Saturday, January 21, 2017

We Establish the Law Through Faith - Elder James Oliphant

"Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid! Yea we establish the law." (Romans 3:31)

Paul anticipated an objection to the doctrine of grace that it would render the law of no use. Those who depend on works for salvation in whole or in part dishonor the law by presenting to it their imperfect obedience and expect it to be satisfied with that. But faith presents to the law a perfect righteousness, that of Christ, it expects no suspension of the law or relaxation of it. It asks no toning down of the law to meet the weak and imperfect obedience a fallen man.

Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will impute righteousness without works (Romans 4:6). When one is clothed in this perfect righteousness he needs no relaxation of the law - he is prepared to endure its greatest rigor; while he that depends on his own righteousness must accept the law to be suspended in some degree to be satisfied with his imperfect obedience. Agreeably to the doctrine of grace the law is honored in as much as none expect justification only in a way that honors the law with a most perfect righteousness. To meet this demand of the law Christ suffered; he took our sins and died that we might live. The sufferings of Christ met the utmost rigor of the law and his pure beautiful life of righteousness was all the law could demand. Here is a righteousness that exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and pharisees a complete and perfect redemption a full payment of the whole debt and all free to us by our divine Shepherd, Husband, and Friend. We cease from our own works, rejoice in Christ Jesus and His finished righteousness.

The mercy of God to us in providing such a Savior calls for true and loving obedience, and we should feel the obligation in the greatest degree.

We honor the law and depending alone on the righteousness of Christ. We honor it in pleading nothing but the precious blood of Jesus.

Special thanks to Elder David Montgomery for his labors in compiling the excellent two volume set of Oliphant's works. 

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