First, the law defines sin. Romans 4:15 says that “where there is no law there is no transgression.” In other words, you can’t break a law that doesn’t exist. Policemen couldn’t pull you over and give you a ticket for speeding if the state did not have published and posted speed-limit laws. That’s why Romans 5:13 says, “For before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law.”
Second, the law convicts men of their guilt and need for salvation. The question is, Who will ever come to a Savior? The answer: only someone who knows he needs to be saved. The major purpose for which God gave the law was to convince men of their lost condition so that they would be prepared to accept Jesus Christ as Savior.
“Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law; rater, through the law we become conscious of sin.” (Romans 3:19-20).
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