Q13: Can anyone keep the law of God perfectly?
A: Since the fall, no mere human has been able to keep the law of God perfectly, but consistently breaks it in thought, word, and deed.
None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. Romans 3:10-12
The Vertical Truth in Faith – What does this truth mean in my relationship with God?
No single person can be in right relationship with God based on their own works. Most areas of our lives – and most worldly accolades come with the ability to “accomplish” or a certain level of perfection. However, our relationship with God is completely opposite. Jesus came and lived as a man on this earth and did not sin. His perfect life made Him eligible to take the penalty of our sin on Himself – because He did not have his own “debt” of sin to pay. If we confess Jesus as our Savior, God sees us as having kept the law perfectly with no debt of sin.
- Romans 3:9-12“What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: ‘None is righteous, no not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one’.”
- Ephesians 2:8-10“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
- 1 Peter 2:22, 24(v22) “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.” (v24) “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you are have been healed.”
- Romans 3:23-24“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified by his grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
- 2 Corinthians 5:21“For our sake he made him to be no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
The Horizontal Truth in Love – What does this truth mean in my relationship with humanity?
God has made it clear we cannot keep His law perfectly. Neither can those we live with, or those we have interact with on a daily basis. It’s important to interact with others with grace, in light of our own spiritual depravity prior to salvation in Christ. We were dead in our sin, then rescued by God’s grace through Jesus’ death on the cross and given a new life with the ability to know God and live in His power. When we remember this, it is more natural to be gracious towards others who also cannot keep the law perfectly. We all depend on God to be our righteousness. Our purpose as believers on this earth is to help others receive God’s gift of salvation and restored relationship with Him because of Jesus, not our own ability.
- Ephesians 2:1-2“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.”
- 1 John 4:7-8, 11“Beloved, let us love on another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” (v11) “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
- 2 Corinthians 5:20-21“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
- Luke 6:36“Be merciful even as your Father is merciful.”
Practical Truth in Action – How can I put this truth into action?
Next time someone makes a mistake that affects you, make a point to respond to them in light of how God responds to our inability to be perfect. Try to not only refrain from anger or a negative response, but instead to be gracious and think of a way to bless that person instead. God’s love toward us draws us to Him. In our expression of love, people are drawn to God. In a moment of potential conflict, ask God to help you press in with His supernatural love through you. You may even ask Him “God, do you have any ideas of how I can bless this person?”.
- Colossians 3:13b-14“and if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
- Galatians 5:16“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”
- James 1:5“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”