Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2


Chapter 61—The Vital Function of God's Laws

(A) The Decalogue

The Knowledge of Guilt—The knowledge which God did not want our first parents to have was a knowledge of guilt. And when they accepted the assertions of Satan, which were false, disobedience and transgression were introduced into our world. This disobedience to God's express command, this belief of Satan's lie, opened the floodgates of woe upon the world.—The Review and Herald, April 5, 1898. 2MCP 562.1

Nature Weakened—The transgression of God's law brought woe and death in its train. Through disobedience man's powers were perverted and selfishness took the place of love. His nature became so weakened that it was impossible for him to resist the power of evil, and the tempter saw being fulfilled his purpose to thwart the divine plan of man's creation and fill the earth with misery and desolation. Men had chosen a ruler who chained them to his car as captives.—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 33 (1913). 2MCP 562.2

God's Law Easily Understood—There is no mystery in the law of God. The feeblest intellect can grasp these rules to regulate the life and form the character after the Divine Model. If the children of men would, to the best of their ability, obey this law, they would gain strength of intellect and power of discernment to comprehend still more of God's purposes and plans. And this advancement may not only be continued during the present life, but it may go forward during the eternal ages.—The Review and Herald, September 14, 1886. 2MCP 562.3

Wonderful in Simplicity—How wonderful in its simplicity, its comprehensiveness and perfection, is the law of Jehovah! In the purposes and dealings of God there are mysteries which the finite mind is unable to comprehend. And it is because we cannot fathom the secrets of infinite wisdom and power that we are filled with reverence for the Most High.—The Review and Herald, September 14, 1886. 2MCP 563.1

Perfect Harmony Between Law and Gospel—There is perfect harmony between the law of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. “I and My Father are one,” says the Great Teacher. The gospel of Christ is the Good News of grace, or favor, by which man may be released from the condemnation of sin and enabled to render obedience to the law of God. The gospel points to the moral code as a rule of life. That law, by its demands for undeviating obedience, is continually pointing the sinner to the gospel for pardon and peace. 2MCP 563.2

Says the great apostle, “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law” (Romans 3:31). And again he declares that “the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good” (Romans 7:12). Enjoining supreme love to God, and equal love to our fellowmen, it is indispensable alike to the glory of God and to human happiness.—The Review and Herald, September 27, 1881. 2MCP 563.3

A Complete Rule of Life—God has given man a complete rule of life in His law. Obeyed, he shall live by it, through the merits of Christ. Transgressed, it has power to condemn. The law sends men to Christ, and Christ points them back to the law.—The Review and Herald, September 27, 1881. (Our High Calling, 138.) 2MCP 563.4

Broad in Its Requirements—The law of God, as presented in the Scriptures, is broad in its requirements. Every principle is holy, just, and good. The law lays men under obligation to God; it reaches to the thoughts and feelings; and it will produce conviction of sin in everyone who is sensible of having transgressed its requirements. If the law extended to the outward conduct only, men would not be guilty in their wrong thoughts, desires, and designs. But the law requires that the soul itself be pure and the mind holy, that the thoughts and feelings may be in accordance with the standard of love and righteousness.—The Review and Herald, April 5, 1898. (Selected Messages 2:211.) 2MCP 564.1

Man Alone Disobedient—Man alone is disobedient to the laws of Jehovah. When the Lord bids nature bear testimony to the things which He has made, instantly they witness to the glory of God.—Manuscript 28, 1898. (The S.D.A. Bible Commentary 3:1144.) 2MCP 564.2

Everyone Required to Conform to God's Law—Christ came to give an example of the perfect conformity to the law of God required of all—from Adam, the first man, down to the last man who shall live on the earth. He declared that His mission was not to destroy the law but to fulfill it in perfect and entire obedience. In this way He magnified the law and made it honorable. In His life He revealed its spiritual nature. In the sight of heavenly beings, of worlds unfallen, and of a disobedient, unthankful, unholy world, He fulfilled the far-reaching principles of the law. 2MCP 564.3

He came to demonstrate the fact that humanity, allied by living faith to divinity, can keep all the commandments of God. He came to make plain the immutable character of the law, to declare that disobedience and transgression can never be rewarded with eternal life. He came as a man to humanity, that humanity might touch humanity, while divinity laid hold upon the throne of God. 2MCP 564.4

But in no case did He come to lessen the obligation of men to be perfectly obedient. He did not destroy the validity of the Old Testament Scriptures. He fulfilled that which was predicted by God Himself. He came, not to set men free from that law, but to open a way whereby they might obey that law and teach others to do the same.—The Review and Herald, November 15, 1898. 2MCP 565.1

God Does Not Annul His Law—The Lord does not save sinners by abrogating His law, the foundation of His government in heaven and earth. God is a judge, the guardian of justice. The transgression of His law in a single instance, in the smallest particular, is sin. God cannot dispense with His law, He cannot do away with its smallest item, in order to pardon sin. The justice, the moral excellence, of the law must be maintained and vindicated before the heavenly universe. And that holy law could not be maintained at any smaller price than the death of the Son of God.—The Review and Herald, November 15, 1898. 2MCP 565.2

God's Laws Not Annulled by Him—God does not annul His laws. He does not work contrary to them. The work of sin He does not undo. But He transforms. Through His grace the curse works out a blessing.—Education, 148 (1903). 2MCP 565.3