Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
~ Galatians 3:21-22
Given that the law, which God has provided as a guide and cosmic measuring stick revealing our failures and proclaiming God’s standard of excellence, only can bring death since there is no salvation provided through it, is it then against the nature of God who has promised to provide salvation for those who trust in Him? Paul clearly answers – “Certainly not!”
Let’s explore why we’re here for a minute. See, God, in the trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) all share with one another a sense of community. Each one loves and cares for one another in separate roles, yet all are God and all share the spirit of God. Now, before the creation of the universe, was God the Father ever able to share His attribute of long-suffering with the Son? Of course not, because Jesus, who IS God, is incapable of sinning, therefore God the Father could never share that with Him. Could the Holy Spirit share His attribute of knowledge or mercy on the Father? No! Because God the Father does not need these things in the pure community of the godhead. Lastly, could the Son impart on either the Father or the Holy Spirit mercy or grace? Why would He? Those are given to those who need it, not on those who are without need.
Therefore, we have a perfect Godhead, the Trinity, existing in eternity with no one to share these communicable attributes. What’s that? A communicable attribute is something that you can communicate with someone else – and God is chock-full of them: Knowledge, wisdom, goodness, general benevolence, love, grace, mercy, long-suffering, holiness, justice, righteousness, sovereign will and sovereign power. Most of these cannot be appropriately displayed on someone who has no need of them. In the same way that the gift of generosity is lost when someone who has very little gives to a king who has very much. If he has no need of it, it’s a wasted effort. God created us, therefore, to display these communicable attributes. We glorify God (not that we impart glory to Him, but rather reflect His own glory back to Him since we, in our selves, have no glory) by acknowledging Him and everything He has done. God imparts to us, love, knowledge, wisdom, general benevolence. When we sin, which God knew we would do, He enables us to receive His attributes of grace, love, and mercy when we recognize our own separation from Him in comparison to His righteousness. In all things, whether we comply or not, we are under the attributes of His sovereignty and our lives, this planet, and the whole universe are at the whim of His sovereign power and will.
See how this works? Now, in God’s mercy He has provided a path to salvation through His Son who was promised to our mother Eve. The path? Trust in God for your salvation. He provided for us a sacrificial system that pointed to the coming sacrifice of the Son. This was meant to remind us of our sin and to point us back to God. God provided His law for us, not as a method of salvation, but as I mentioned before, as a guide and cosmic measuring stick that revealed our own inadequacies before the perfect moral standard of God. This too was meant as a gracious gift as it keeps us focused on Him alone for our salvation. See, if it were merely by maintaining a set of rules that we could attain salvation from God, He would have provided that for us, but the often forgotten attribute of God’s justice and perfect holiness demands that all who break the moral laws of God must be punished. Jesus, became man in the flesh, so that He could live a perfect life that we could never live due to the Adamic curse, and died in our place, literally embodying the sin of those who would believe in Jesus and trust in Him alone for their salvation.
Therefore, there is none who can be saved by their own works, nor by following the commands of the law, but we are all saved by rejecting control of our lives, placing the reigns firmly in the hands of our Creator (thus rejecting the original Adamic sin) and trusting in Jesus work on our behalf for our salvation. This is most certainly not an act of obedience to a law, but an act of submission to our Creator in light of the law.