In any discussion about the “Law”, remember, Paul knew there were four main laws for the Jews: 1) The Ten Commandments, 2) The Civil Laws, 3) Health Laws and 4) Temple sacrificial and ceremonial laws. When Paul talks about doing away with “Law”, he is talking about the last three laws. When talking about obeying the “Law” he is talking about the Ten Commandment law.
"Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, ‘Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?’... Jesus replied, ‘If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”’ Matthew 19:16, 17.
Let’s say that a woman is arrested and put in prison. While serving her time in prison, she gives birth to a child. The child is born into prison. The child is born in among criminals and cons. However, that does not make the child a criminal or a con. It does not make that child a “prisoner”. That child is free to come and go.
It is only through “His divine power” that we can have “everything we need for life and godliness”...and have the “divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” 2 Peter 1:3, 4. Only through Jesus are we able to say, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13.
So what does this have to do with the judgment? Everything. You see, in order to get to heaven, you have to have a very special passport. You must be sealed with the seal of the living God. Revelation 7:1-4. That seal is the Law of God. ‘Bind up the testimony and seal up the law among My disciples.” Isaiah 8:16.
You must walk exactly as Jesus walked. “We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands. The man who says, ‘I know Him,’ but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys His word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.” 1 John 2:3-6.
Jesus taught us to keep the Ten Commandments in order to have eternal life. The only way we can get to heaven is by keeping His Covenant of Love, the Ten Commandments. “For we will all stand before God’s Judgment seat.” Romans 14:10. OK, we now know that we are going to be judged by the Ten Commandments. We know that we will receive our reward of either eternal life or eternal death by our doing or not doing the Ten Commandments. But I have been a sinner in the past. Does that make me a sinner so I can’t get to heaven? No!
They have been lied to and misled. For “all sinners will be destroyed; the future of the wicked will be cut off.” Ps. 37:38. The whole process of redemption is to perfect saints out of sinners. Only saints can go to heaven. Yes, all have sinned. Yes, we have been sinners. But we must stop being sinners and become righteous through the power of Jesus Christ.
That is what the new birth is all about. “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.” I John 3:9. The new birth is coming to God and doing the four following things:
1. Confess: We must recognize that we are sinners. That is what the Ten Commandments are all about. It is like a mirror that shows us our dirty face. It can not clean the face, but it lets us know it is dirty so we can do something about it. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Ps. 103:12.
2. After confessing, we must repent. Only as we repent is God able to wash us and cleanse us. His blood does not cover our sins, it blots them out. We must get rid of them. “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” “Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.’” “The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins, declares the Lord.” Acts 3:19; Acts 2:38; Is. 59:20.
3. This is the hardest one. Turning away from our sins. We love our sins. We want to be saved in them, not from them. We somehow want God to cover our sins that we may continue in them but at the same time He won’t see them. No! We must stop sinning. His blood will not cover one sin that is not turned away from. “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” “So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions.” 2 Tim. 2:19; Jer. 18:11.
4. The fourth step is to keep in step with the Spirit. You may, on your own power, clean up your house and knock off some of your sins, but it won’t last. Without the power of Jesus to fill you with His divine power, the wicked sins will come back with a vengeance and you will be worse off than before. “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Gal. 5:25. “But now that you have been SET FREE FROM SIN and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” Romans 6:22.
The above four steps are much like making bread. I like to make homemade bread. I take the dough, the yeast, the water and the butter and lay them all out in front of me. Separately, they don’t do much. They are not even very tasty by themselves. But when I combine them in the bread maker and mix them appropriately, letting them bake at the right temperature and for the right amount of time, out comes a wonderful loaf of bread.
That’s how you get into heaven and have eternal life. Those who have been mixed, baked and sealed by the keeping of the Ten Commandments are now ready to join the society of heaven where everyone keeps the Ten Commandments.