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Can anyone keep the law of God perfectly?

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Question 13

Can anyone keep the law of God perfectly?

Answer: Since the fall, no mere human being has been able to keep the law of God perfectly, but consistently breaks it in thought, word, and deed.

Through Moses, God gave the law (a.k.a. the Torah) to Israel. The Torah is about living in covenant relationship with God. The Torah is about the life rightly oriented to God and others, the good life, the flourishing life, the virtuous and wise life, the righteous life. The Torah is about how to live as God’s people. Thus, the law is very good, as Paul writes in Romans 7. The problem, of course, lies deep in the human heart. Even in Deuteronomy 29:4 Moses says to the congregation of Israel: “Yet to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear.” Adam, the first man and covenant representative of humanity, rebelled against God in Eden. Because of his sin, we are all sinful. We are not only spiritually weak, we are spiritually unable. Our sinfulness and spiritually disability are pervasive. We are unable to keep the law perfectly in any sense, be it thought, word, or deed. We are radically sinful. The Good News is that Jesus is no “mere human being.” He, fully God and fully man, perfectly kept the law in our stead, suffered the due penalty of our sin in his body on the cross, and was raised up on the third day. By repentance towards God and faith in Jesus Christ, we are forgiven of our sin and declared righteous by God. Though we fell in Adam, we have been raised up with Christ. In the new covenant, we are given a new heart/nature (Ezekiel 36:22-27) and God’s law is written on our hearts (Jeremiah 31:31-34). Through the transformative power of the Spirit, we now seek to live in covenant faithfulness to God.