The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 1:8, “But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully.” To clarify his statement, Paul goes on to say in verses 9-11, “Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.”

The law was not made for righteous people. Who is righteous, especially when we learn in Romans 3:10 that, “There is none righteous, no, not one.”? While none are naturally righteous, there are those who are ‘made righteous.” Romans 5:18-19 says, “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall MANY BE MADE RIGHTEOUS.” By the obedience of Christ, who was “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:8), we can be made righteous through faith in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us, “For he (God) hath made him (Christ) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Simply put, the Lord Jesus Christ obeyed His Father and went to the cross to be judged for our sins. 1 Peter 2:24 tells us that, “(Christ) his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” If anyone puts their faith in the Lord Jesus as their sin-bearer, they are saved and made righteous, therefore the law is not for them.

The law is for “the lawless and disobedient…” the ones we read about in 1 Timothy 1:9-11. The law is for the unsaved. Romans 3:19 says, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and ALL THE WORLD MAY BECOME GUILTY BEFORE GOD.” We can use the ‘moral law’ (the Ten Commandments) to help convict men of their sins. According to this law, every single person in the world stands guilty before God because of their sins. Romans 3:23 is clear. “For ALL HAVE SINNED, and come short of the glory of God.”

Now what? Can the law save those it convicts? Absolutely not! Romans 3:20 tells us, “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.” The law cannot save. It was not given as a way of salvation. It was given to convict men of their sins. “The law is the knowledge of sin.” Once convicted, one is saved through the grace of God, not the keeping of the law. Romans 3:24, “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

The conclusion of the matter is rather simple. Romans 3:28 says, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” Today, to use the law lawfully, we use it to show men and women that they are sinners in need of God’s grace. We then, speak to them of the Lord Jesus Christ, who can save them from their sins when they put their faith in Him. (294.4)