Learning to walk worthy
‘But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully.’ 1 Timothy 1:8
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Matthew 5:17–30
The law is lawfully used as a rule of life. The grace of God, received by faith, disposes us to obedience in general, but, through remaining darkness and ignorance, we are much at a loss as to particulars. We are therefore sent to the law to learn how to walk worthy of God and every precept has its place and use. It is lawfully used as a test whereby to judge of the exercise of grace. Believers differ so much from what they once were and from what others yet are, that without this right use of the law, comparing themselves with themselves, or with others, they would be prone to think much more highly of their attainments than they ought. But when they try themselves by the standard, they sink into the dust and cry with Job, I cannot answer thee one of a thousand [Job 9:3]. From hence you may see how the law is good to him who uses it lawfully. It furnishes them with a comprehensive view of the will of God and the path of duty. By the study of it they acquire an habitual spiritual taste of what is right or wrong. The exercised believer, like a skilful workman, has a rule in his hand whereby he can measure and determine with certainty, whereas others judge, as it were, by the eye—can only make a random guess, in which they are generally mistaken. The law makes or keeps them humble. It endears Christ the law-filler [Matthew 5:17] to their hearts and puts them in mind of their obligations to him and dependence upon him every moment.
FOR MEDITATION: ‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success’ (Joshua 1:8).
SERMON SERIES: 1 TIMOTHY 1:8, NO. 3 [1/1]