Mosaic Law or Universal Law

Wednesday, December 6           
No one will ever be redeemed without conviction of sin.  Sin is the problem, but knowing our sinful condition and its consequences is essential.  Knowing the problem comes before seeking a solution.  John 16:8 says that when the Holy Spirit comes he will convict of sin.  That obviously refers to the post-incarnation world.  But what about the previous millennia?  The Holy Spirit was active in O.T. days, seemingly mostly with Israel.  And I could find no specific passage that the Holy Spirit convicted men of sin in O.T. days.  James 2:8-9 might help.  “If you really keep the royal law . . . ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right.  But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.”  There’s conviction of sin here, but it comes from the law.  This doesn’t necessarily mean the Mosaic Law.  Paul speaks of a universal moral law as well as the Mosaic Law in Romans 2.  Rom. 2:12-15.  ‘All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.  For it is not those who hear the law . . . but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous . ..  when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law . . . they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences . . .”   This seems to suggest that all men of all time are convicted of sin by the moral law being written on their heart and by their consciences.  Verse 16 speaks of the future judgment, which will be based on that truth, but it says “through Jesus Christ.”  Salvation is not possible without the cross. I might assume that those who responded positively to the universal moral law in olden days would be in the same category as Abraham, who was “counted as righteous,” or declared righteous.  Being declared righteous is based on the certainty of Christ’s death on the cross as payment for our sins.  James is not suggesting salvation by any other means, nor is he suggesting salvation by means of our own efforts.

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