Sometimes the law can seem to be a hindrance to achieving our personal desires. Most of the time, the law can actually be a good thing. I have heard some people say that the law is bad but this is not biblical. Evangelicals, pentecostals, and pietistic Lutherans and Reformed are sometimes criticized as preachers of law. Christians of this side of the law and gospel, one of which is myself, have heard many sermons about the law and the depravity of our sins. We are criticized for not preaching more on grace. Christians on the other side of the theological spectrum who are of the antinomian persuasion tend to despise the law and see it as a bad thing and prefer to hear sermons on grace. Sermons about sin are generally not a big item on their diet of sermons. These may sound like two extremes but they help to illustrate a need for balance between Law and Gospel.
Paul’s theology on the law does not condemn the law. He does not see the law as a bad thing, rather, what he condemns is sin itself, not the law. In Romans chapter 7, Paul mentioned the law in a positive manner three times.
7: 12“So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.”
7:14a“We know that the law is spiritual.”
7:22“For in my inner being I delight in God’s law.” (TNIV).
How do we reconcile Paul’s positive mention about the law when he says it is holy, righteous, good and spiritual? Perhaps the law isn’t so bad after all.