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Christianity and Law – Legislating Morality

QUESTION: Christianity and Law – Legislating Morality


Every sin cannot be made explicitly illegal. Morality and legality are not synonymous—a specific law cannot enforce every moral action. A biblical legal system should attempt to legislate morality only to the extent that order is maintained and human rights are protected. The innocent should have nothing to fear from law, while the guilty should have everything to fear.

Christianity and Law – Morality and Legality
No legal system can cause every person to always act morally, just as no one is capable of living a completely lawful life. As Christians, we know the truth of this from our own violations of God’s divine law, what we learn from Scripture, and what we know from earthly legal systems. A Christian system of law should stabilize society and promote justice (by protecting the innocent and punishing the guilty). It should also lead us to (or reinforce) an understanding of our fallen nature and desperate need for a Savior.

God uses law not only to ensure justice, but also to show us the folly of demanding our just desserts. God in His wisdom can use even earthly legal systems to show unbelievers their fallen nature and lead them to an understanding of its cause and remedy. Law can reveal our need to beg for God’s mercy, turn to Christ for salvation, and become children of God (see Ephesians 2).


Rendered with permission from the book,Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews(Rev. 2nd ed), David Noebel, Summit Press, 2006. Compliments of John Stonestreet, David Noebel, and the Christian Worldview Ministry at Summit Ministries. All rights reserved in the original.

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What do you think?
We have all sinned and deserve God’s judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.

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