1. 1884 125.
At the Red Sea God was visibly for them without question of obedience. At Sinai the aspect of God towards them was changed. Law had been proposed to them and was accepted. They had engaged themselves to an obedience which they were incapable of rendering.
Most true that grace was ever for them, but according to the letter of the law God must be apparently against them. And when believers now assert that they are under law as a rule of life they seem to forget that on law ground, God must be against them. The law was only a test to prove man, and now that the fullest proof of what he is has appeared, the test is removed, no longer necessary. To take it up now as a rule of life, a purpose never intended by God, is to take all its terrible responsibilities, without the sanction of God, yea contrary to His will.
The law has served the purpose for which it was given, and is now laid aside. It was just before the final blow (the destruction of Jerusalem) which shattered the outward observances founded upon the law that Paul wrote to the saints who were mixed up with the old thing, “Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” The believer who voluntarily puts himself under law is worse than the over-confident Israelite boldly promising to do all the commandments; for it is now in presence of fullest grace, of the cross given because life could be had in no other way. Such an one under law hinders his own blessing, and settled peace is unknown to him. He can never sing in his heart making melody to God. The more conscientious he is in law-doing, the more will he fear the threatenings of law. And being God’s law, it must be against every transgressor
. Yet every believer is saved, and God is for him. God cannot be against and for at the same time. Taking law as the rule of a believer’s life, puts him in a false position as to his own peace, and is impossible to one in Christ. “If righteousness come by law then Christ is dead in vain.”