The Amish Voice 3
Long ago a story was told about a proud fishing pond
and a fish. Across the land, fishermen would come and
exclaim how clear the water was in this pond. Upon
hearing yet another positive accolade, the pond’s level of
pride began to reach flood stage. “I must be the best and
clearest pond in the world!” It didn’t take long for the old
fish at the bottom to grow weary of this overdone pride. He
had heard it for years. And he, better than anyone, knew
what was really in this pond.
Resting on the bottom of the pond, the old fish began to
rapidly flutter his fins. As he did the motion of the water
began to stir up the silt on the bottom. It did not take long
for the pond to fill up with a murky cloud.
“Stop! What are you doing to me? What have you
done? How dare you dirty me up?!” screamed the offended
pond. The fish responded in measured and striking words:
“I haven’t done a thing to you except to show what has
been in you all the time.
And that is what the law does to us. It simply shows us
the sin that has settled in the bottom of our hearts. Just in
case we forget who we really are, the law re- minds us
how desperately we need the cleansing power of our
precious Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. THE LAW WAS TEMPORARY (v.19).
How do we know that the law does not justify or make a person
acceptable to God? Because the law was temporary. It had a certain
course to run and when it was run, it was to be set aside. To say that
the law was temporary frightens some believers, for they fear that
such a teaching makes way for loose living. Nothing could be
further from the truth. Note what Scripture says:
“[The law] was added because of transgressions,
till the seed should come” (Ga. 3:19).
When Jesus Christ came, the law was to be set aside. The law
was meant to have only a temporary purpose and life span. It was to
extend only from Moses to Jesus Christ, for Jesus Christ is “the
seed” to whom the promise of righteousness was given. God
intended the law to be the way of salvation.
It was only for the
temporary purpose of showing men their sin and its awfulness.
since Jesus Christ has come, He (His
perfect life and righteous- ness) is to be the standard for
men. Jesus Christ fulfilled the law; that is, in Jesus
Christ, God gave man more than just mere words to
describe how He wants man to live. He gave man the
Life, the Person who perfectly pictures and
demonstrates the law before the world’s very eyes. Jesus
Christ is the Picture, the Living Example, the Pattern,
the Demonstration of life as it is to be lived. He is
the Perfect Picture of God’s will, the Ideal Man, the
Representative Man, the Pattern for all men.
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt
among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of
the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and
truth” (Jn. 1:14).
“Who is the image of the invisible God, the
firstborn of every creature” (Col. 1:15).
Now note: since the law was meant to be temporary until
Christ came, does that mean that the law has no value for men
today? Could we just cut the law out of our Bibles and be just as
well off? No, a thousand times no! Jesus Christ
; therefore, the law and its righteousness is part of His
nature. Therefore, when a man looks at Jesus Christ, he sees the
perfection of His nature, and that perfection includes the
righteousness of the law. To cut the law out of our Bibles would
be to erase part of our understanding of Jesus Christ and part of
His very nature.
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or
the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to
fulfill” (Mt. 5:17).
“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” (Ro. 8:3).
Note another point as well: the law is still in force for the
unbelieving world. Why? Because all unbelievers who have not
trusted Jesus Christ are trusting their own righteousness to make
them acceptable to God. They are still trying to become righteous
by the law. Therefore, God shall judge them by the law.
“For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness,
and going about to establish their own righteousness,
have not submitted them- selves unto the
righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law
for righteousness to every one that believeth”
Matthew Henry points out another fact that should be noted:
1. How can you know that the law is powerless to save
2. Since the law is powerless to justify you, why did
God give the law?
3. When the “old fish” swims at the bottom of
your heart, what kinds of things is he likely to stir
up? Which one of these things need your immediate