The Amish Voice 5
Majesty, Franz-Joseph I, by the grace of God Emperor of
Austria, King of Hungary, Defender of the Faith, Prince of
Bohemia-Moravia, Grand Duke of Lombardy, Venezia,
Styriga...” The officer continued to list the Emperor’s
“We know him not,” replied the Cardinal. “Who goes
“The officer spoke again, this time using a much
abbreviated and less ostentatious title reserved for times of
“We know him not,” the Cardinal said again. “Who
“The officer tried a third time, stripping the emperor of
all but the humblest of titles: ‘We bear the body of Franz-
Joseph, our brother, a sinner like us all!’
“At that, the doors swung open, and Franz-Joseph was
“In death all are reduced to the same level. Neither
wealth nor fame can open the way of salvation, but only
God’s grace, given to those who will humbly acknowledge
Alan J. White (Selected from Leadership, Fall, 1994), p.42.
The law is powerless. It cannot open heaven’s door for you. It
cannot give you life. Where have you placed your trust? In the law
or in Christ?
5. THE LAW DECLARES THAT THE WHOLE WORLD IS
A PRISONER OF SIN (v.22).
How do we know that the law does not justify or make a person
acceptable to God? Because the law imprisons all men under sin.
Note several significant facts.
1. “The Scripture” refers to the law. The law of God, or
the Scripture, is conclusive: all men are
lawbreakers—all men are under sin.
2. “Under sin” means to be shut up as a prisoner in the
solitary hopeless depths or solitary confinement of a
“What then? are we better than they? No, in no
wise: for we have before proved both Jews and
Gentiles, that they are all under sin; as it is written,
There is none righteous, no, not one....Therefore by the
deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his
sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Ro. 3:9-
3. The great purpose of the law is stated again: to drive
men to seek the promise of Jesus Christ, that is,
righteousness by faith. When men look at the law
and see that they are sinners, they are driven to seek
a Savior. Man can seek and trust the righteousness
which Jesus Christ has secured. When a man
believes in Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ judges that man
righteous, and that man becomes a “partaker of the
divine nature of God” (2 Pe. 1:4).
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have
peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ro.
No matter who we are, the law pulls us down. No one can defy
the law’s lethal gravitational pull. J. Vernon McGee illustrates this
point for us:
Picture a building about twenty-four stories high.
There are three men on top of the building, and the
superintendent goes up to see them and warns, “Now be
very careful, don’t step off of this building or you will be
killed. It will mean death for you.” One of the fellows says,
“This crazy superintendent is always trying to frighten
people. I don’t believe that if I step off this building I will
die.” So he deliberately steps off into the air. Suppose that
when he passes the tenth floor, somebody looks out the
window and asked him, “Well how’s it going?” and he
says, “So far, so good.” But, my friend, he hasn’t a rived
yet. There is death at the bottom...
Now suppose another fellow becomes frightened at
what the superintendent said. He runs for the elevator, or
the steps, and accidentally slips. He skids right off the edge
of the building and falls to the street below....The third
fellow...is thrown off the building by some gangsters...Now
the man who was thrown off the building is just as dead as
the man who deliberately stepped off and the man who
accidentally slipped off the building. All of these men
broke the law of gravitation, and death was inevitable for
all of them. It is in the fact, you see, and not the degree. It
is the fact that they went over the edge— they all broke the
law of gravitation.
J. Vernon McGee. Thru The Bible, Vol.5 (Nashville, TN: Thomas
Nelson Publishers, 1983), p.171.
1. What can you count on the law to do for you?
2. Why would someone think that the law gives life to
3. Why is Jesus Christ superior to the law?
4. In what ways are you tempted to look to the law for
direction? What can you do in order to redirect your
focus upon the Lord?