The Man that Does the Law Shall Live By Them- Doers of the Law Shall be Justified

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Rom 10:5  For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.

This verse is quoted from Leviticus 18:5.  Some have taken verses like these to say that men who are doers of the law are working at achieving their salvation.  It is true that in the case of many is that they attempt the law without faith in the word to do what it says. However, the context is very clear that and this verse is saying the same thing that “the doers of the law shall be justified.”  That is inherit eternal life.  (Rom 2:13)   The doers will live.

In Matthew we read of Jesus account with the rich young ruler.

Mat_19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

So therefore, in order to live, you must “keep the commandments” and if you don’t do the commandments, the Bible is clear “the wages of sin Is death” (Rom 6:23) and furthermore that “sin is transgression of the law.”  (1 John 3:4)  Paul said himself “I had not known sin but by the law.”  (Rom 7:7)

So then the man that does them shall live, the man that doesn’t do them shall not live.

Rom 7:10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.

In Romans 7 Paul talks of trying by his own strength to do the law.   He says in verse 5 “when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.”    He struggled trying walk by the flesh, but by chapter 8 he goes on to explain:

Rom 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Rom 8:4  That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Rom 8:9  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit…

How can there be condemnation if you are fulfilling the law?  There isn’t.  The flesh is crucified in the born again believer.  (Gal 5:24)

Gal 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

The man that does them shall live, however, the law in itself does not work righteousness.  It can only condemn, there is something greater that does work righteousness, and that is by beholding and seeing Christ crucified.  “The gospel… is the power of God unto salvation.”   (Rom 1:16)

Rev 22:14  Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

What is the opposite of “blessed”?  Cursed.  We’ll come back to this as we continue, but back to our original text which was quoted from Leviticus 18:5, why does Paul quote the verse in the manner he does?  The promise to do all that the Lord had said was made at Mt. Sinai by the Israelites.   They accepted that the law was good, but they made a promise of their own.

Eze 20:11-13  And I gave them my statutes, and shewed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them.  (12)  Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.  (13)  But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them.

They didn’t keep his statutes, they didn’t keep the Sabbath, which if a man does, he would live. The commandment which was ordained to life they found to be unto death.   They were missing something with that law, and that was the gospel, the power.

The law was given in Exodus 20, the Israelites heard the statutes and judgments in Chapters 21-24, Moses went up to the mount in Exodus Chapter 25 and received the ceremonial aspects of the law which pointed to the remedy for sin.  Christ, the gospel.  They still hadn’t heard it at this point and all they had was the law.

By the time Moses came down in Chapter 32, they had built a golden calf, broke their covenant, their promise, and finally realized that the law didn’t justify them, it only condemned them.  They had made a promise they couldn’t keep based on their own unrighteous works.    They needed the answer, which is Christ in you in order to keep the law.

Cursed are they that continue not in all things in the book

Gal 3:10-13  For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.  (11)  But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.  (12)  And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.  (13)  Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

The law of itself couldn’t make them righteous.  Now before running away saying “Look we don’t have to keep the law”  it says here that “the just live by faith” and “as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse therefore I’m cursed if I try to keep the law.”   No, what cursed back then, is still a curse today.  And “blessed are they that do his commandments.”  (Rev 22:14)  Be careful.  Let’s examine this carefully.

First off, the book of the law is Deutoronomy.   This book consists of almost all moral statutes which define and explain the Ten Commandments in Chapter 5 of the same book.  In Chapter 27 we read “Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.”  (Deu 27:26)

Rather than the Israelites promising to do all that the LORD said, they should have accepted the LORD to do His work in them, and said “AMEN.”  But because of a lack of faith, they didn’t accept the word into their heart, and thus brought themselves under the curse of the law because they violated it.

In order for them to be saved, Christ came to pay the price or redeem them by shedding His blood.  Thus the wages of sin have been paid.  Now consider this, if a man has broken the law and murdered another man, he is brought to court, and he has desired another chance and is truly repentant in his heart.  He is at this point under the curse or condemnation of that law.  The law being unchangeable requires the life of the murderer, and let us just say that another steps in and says to the judge “I will take his penalty.”  Does the law then change after the man takes the penalty?   Is the man then free to go and violate that law and murder others now?

Obviously not.  Christ took the penalty, and since the time that he took that penalty, that curse in that book of the law is still the same and the same rules still apply.  If the law could have just been changed, then why take the penalty for such a flimsy law.  “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.”  (Gal 3:10)

So therefore, there is still a curse on those who refuse to continue in all things written in the book of the law to do them.  (Deu 27:26, Gal 3:13)

As many as are of the works of the law

Now it did say “As many as are of the works of the law are under the curse.”  What does that mean?

Gal 2:16  Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ,…for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Firstly, this question is for those who have a dispensational understanding of the covenants.  If “no flesh is justified by the works of the law.”  Consider the following:

Heb 11:3  By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.

Was Abel justified by the works of the law or “by the faith of Jesus Christ?”  No flesh was ever justified by the works of the law.

Heb 11:28  Through faith he (Moses) kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them

Was Moses justified by the works of the law or “by the faith of Jesus Christ?”  Obviously “by the faith of Jesus.”

Rev 14:12  Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Since no flesh ever was justified by the works of the law, it is clear that Abel, Moses, David, and any other patriarch or prophet have never ever been justified by the works of the law.  Yet they were doers of the law.  And in the same sense Paul wrote that those today in this dispensation of time after the cross must also be “doers of the law”:

Rom 2:13  (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

Yes, that is what Paul wrote.   No flesh is justified by the works of the law, yet the justified are doers of the law.

However, there is only one way by which you can do them.  In Romans 10 where Paul clarifies what righteousness by faith looks like.

Rom 10:6-8  But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)  (7)  Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)  (8)  But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

It is the word of faith Paul is preaching, and who was preaching this same thing?  Moses.  Notice carefully, this is where paul is quoting from.

Deu 30:10-15  If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.  (11)  For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.  (12)  It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?  (13)  Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?  (14)  But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.  (15)  See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;

And this is what Paul is saying is the “word of faith which we preach”.   That is life to do them, and death not to do them, that is again what is “written in this book of the law.”

Now, what must you do to have life? If thou wilt enter life, keep the law. That is the standard of righteousness. And righteousness by faith is accepting that little book of the law into your heart and mouth.

So therefore “the man that does them shall live in them”, “the man that doesn’t do them shall die in them”.

Mat 5:17-19  Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.  (18)  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.  (19)  Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Very simple, Take your pick, be a doer of the law and teach them as Christ said, or go about to teach and establish your own righteousness.  But you will never be among the justified if you teach we aren’t to keep the law and accept by faith Christ writes it on your heart.

Rom 3:31  Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

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