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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

thirty-seven titles.

“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

goes there?”

“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

their need.”



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?



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-

10, 20).

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 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?