Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 19, 1959
NUMBER 45, PAGE 8-9b

The Law Of The Lord

Lloyd Moyer, El Cerrito, California

"The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple." (Psalms 19:7.)

This does not have reference to God's natural laws. The Law under consideration here is the law which restores or converts the soul. The soul is not physical or material, therefore, the law could not be a physical or material law. "The law of the Lord" which is "perfect, converting the soul" is a spiritual law. A law which pertains to the spiritual man. It was given for the purpose of "converting" or restoring the soul. It seems to me that to use the law of the Lord for any other purpose would be to pervert the purpose of the law.

I realize that the law of the Lord touches on many subjects, and where the scriptures deal with any subject, the truth is always stated. However, the law of the Lord was not given as a treatise on the sciences and arts. It was given to restore the soul.

The law of the Lord is revealed in God's word. All anyone knows about the law of the Lord is what he has learned from the word of God. Actually the term "law of the Lord" is the "doctrine of the Lord". Hence, the doctrine or teaching of the Lord is the law of the Lord. The doctrine of Christ is perfect. It can and will accomplish what it was designed to do: convert the soul. There is nothing else in all the world that can do this. Opinions, theories, and ideas of man cannot restore the soul. Exercise, recreation and social activities cannot convert the soul. Joint-participation in eating a material meal cannot convert the soul. When the law of the Lord is used to teach that these things are soul-saving agents, the law of the Lord is perverted. Where the law of the Lord is preached in its simplicity, people will be converted and spirituality will dominate their lives. The application of a spiritual law cannot make a materialist, nor can the application of physical laws make one spiritual. Both the world and the church need to learn this lesson. The materialistic world tries to make the spiritual law of the Lord apply to their activities and the church (spiritual) are endeavoring to employ physical, materialistic laws to authorize their activities. This has allowed many practices to creep into the church which are wholly designed to nurture the physical man. "Church kitchens", "social centers", "recreational programs", "mountain-camps" are all the result of exalting the material or physical man. These are used to draw people. Now, let no one deny that they are used for this purpose because we all know that they are so used. Brother J. D. Thomas, in his book, "We Be Brethren", pages 205-213 argues that this is exactly the use these things serve. In many churches far more emphasis is being placed on these things than on the preaching of the gospel of Christ. No wonder churches are being filled with un-converted people. These things cannot convert the soul. Only the law of the Lord can do that.

The Law Of The Lord Needs To Be Preached

Jesus commanded, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mk. 16:15.) "Preach the word." (2 Tim. 4:2.) Both individuals and churches need to be expending every effort possible to preach the truth to a lost and dying world. If as much time, effort, and money were expended in preaching the gospel as are spent in promoting institutions and schemes of various sorts, many more souls would be converted. Remember, only the law of the Lord can convert the soul. If these institutions and schemes claim to be preaching the gospel, then you have human institutions doing the work of the church. "But whosoever looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deeds." (James 1:25.) The law of the Lord is that which every child of God ought to hold up for the world to see, hear and obey.

The Law Of The Lord Should Be Defended

Paul said, ". . . I am set for the defense of the gospel." (Phil. 1:17.) There are entirely too many members of the Lord's church today who will not defend the gospel, and criticize and condemn those who do defend it. This has produced a sickly, lukewarm membership. Jude exhorted brethren to "contend for the faith" (Jude 3.) His exhortation is much needed in the church today. I read recently that a debate had to be held in a city auditorium in a city in Texas where the church of Christ has about sixty-five congregations, because there was no church building available. That is a disgrace to the cause of Christ. I would be ashamed to live in a city where there was a number of churches of Christ and not one of them would open its building for the defense of the gospel. I am persuaded that anything that one will not defend does not mean much to that one. We talk about the church ceasing to be a militant force; not only is it not a militant force, but it is not even on the defensive. Whenever a church or an individual practices something that they will not defend, it is quite evident that they realize that the practice cannot be scripturally defended.

The Law Of The Lord Must Be Obeyed

"Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your soul." (James 1:21.) "And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him:" (Heb. 5:9.) "But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness." (Rom. 6:17-18.) The law of the Lord must be preached and obeyed if the soul is to be converted. (1 Peter 1:22.) "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit . . ." Only by heeding the laws of nature can one truly enjoy the blessings of nature. And only by obedience to the law of the Lord can one enjoy the remission of sins and all the blessings which are to be found in Christ.

An Example Of People Obeying The Law Of The Lord.

God' has been gracious unto mankind. He gives the law (rule) of salvation but he does not stop there. He then shows how the rule works by giving us examples. One example is found in Acts the second chapter. However, before we notice the example I wish to point out that God said that the law, or His word should "go forth from Jerusalem" (Isa. 2:3.) Please remember that it is the law of the Lord that restores the soul. Man transgressed God's law. Man was alienated from God. Man was sinful. The only way man could be restored unto full fellowship with God was to receive remission of his past sins. Jesus said, "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." (Luke 24:47.)

Now to Acts two: Here we find everything according to prophesy. The right time and the right place — Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit came and the apostles preached repentance and remission of sins in the name of Jesus Christ for the first time in the city of Jerusalem. The people were convinced that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. They wanted to know what to do. They were told to "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2:38.) As many as received this teaching were baptized. And they that were baptized "continued stedfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking bread, and in prayers." (verse 42.) Yes, the law of the Lord did go forth from Jerusalem and here is the example of people obeying the law of the Lord. Verse 47 says that they were saved. How? Simple! They obeyed the law of the Lord and their soul was restored. They were converted. They had remission of sins. They became children of God.

This is exactly what we ask people to do in this day and age. Believe in Jesus Christ, repent and be baptized for the remission of sins and you will be saved. Continue in the teaching of Christ and heaven will be your eternal home.