Hello, my dear brother, ... and everyone else, too!! :)
Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law. Romans 3:31
It is amazing how well the legalist mind has entrenched itself in the very words Paul wrote to destroy its logic!! I know exactly what you feel when you read this. There is that uneasiness that makes us call out, "Why did Paul have to write it like this?" The simple fact is that our language has evolved over the years in an attempt to change the original impact and meaning.
Remember that Jesus did not come to do away with the Law ... as if there was a problem with it ... but He came to FULFILL it! And that is exactly what He did when He died on the cross and rose again. If it is fulfilled, then there is nothing left undone in regards to it. Are you following me? If it is really fulfilled, then how much is left for you to fulfill? But this is just the beginning.
You see how he speaks of faith? He asks if it nullifies the Law. Does our faith in Christ make the law void? Consider carefully how often we have suggested something along those lines in our attempt to draw the line between law and grace. But the line is not made by our carefully constructed division. It was made in Christ when He fulfilled it!! Watch how easily you will get pulled from the reality of the good news message when the legalist mind challenges you in this. The fantastic reality is that we don't have to go any farther than to Christ in His finished work.
Do we have to nullify (or void out) the law? Are we really put in the position of having to defend our "fragile" concept of grace? Or is the freedom of Christ so powerful that it is what defines reality? Obviously, the latter is true. :) The fact is that the Law cannot even be understood apart from the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Do you catch the impact of that? We have been given the mind of Christ ... we have been made to KNOW GOD!! God was not understood by man through the Law. Oh, yeah ... things ABOUT God, but not God Himself. For the natural mind CANNOT understand the actual stuff of the Spirit of God. CANNOT!!!
So, then, where does that put us? Faith rules out boasting (Romans 3:27) ... right? How does it do so? Simple ...faith is not something that can be considered a WORK of man. Faith is miraculous, for the fact that we have believed in Christ has declared that we could not do ANYTHING to save ourselves in any way. And that is very UN-natural ... don't you think?
For we maintain that a man is justified by faith APART from works of the LAW. Romans 3:28
And the far reaching implications of this had Paul describe how God is not only God of the Jews, but also God of the Gentiles (that's us). This is important. If He had any intention of using the law in any sense to gain access to Him, then it would have been through forming us after the Jews (proselytes). But here is the fantastic news. It had NOTHING to do with the Law at all. The law was ADDED for a reason, but it was NOT to make a way to get to God!!!!! This is the basic fallacy in ALL attempts to use something that we can do to get us closer to God. The law has revealed man's inability to do ANYTHING of God! And with all the specific rules He gave He embedded that truth over and over and over and over again. But do we get it? Have we figured it out by all our attempts to do it? We keep failing and trying again ... failing and trying another way ... etc.
And here it is!! The very reality that TRULY REVEALS the righteousness of God is FAITH (the law reveals the sin). The very thing that has shown that there is no difference between those who were given the set of commands and those who couldn't care less is FAITH (the law makes us think that God must be more pleased with those He gave the law to). The very thing that makes us RIGHT is FAITH (the law condemns us, and rightly so). So, then, faith doesn't do away with law IT ACTUALLY ESTABLISHES EXACTLY WHAT THE LAW WAS FOR!!! Do you get it? Since God has performed His miraculous work in us humans NOT by anything we do or have done, then we can realize His whole purpose for having given the law ... since the law speaks of what we should do or not do. Faith speaks of what GOD has done through His Son Jesus ... and therefore, what He is even now doing through us.
Phew!! I hope this helps! Remember, this reality is IN you. You don't get it because you're so smart ... but because His Spirit is in you and He is working to open your eyes to see the power that works in you. What is that power? It is the very same that raised Jesus from the dead!!!! Yikes!!! That's the power of God!!! :)
Love, your brother in Christ, Jim .... aka. "the shovel"