Dr. S. Lewis Johnson liked to tell the story associated with George Cutting, a man who is best known for the fact that he is the author of a little pamphlet, “Safety, Certainty, and Enjoyment.” Mr. Cutting was just a simple Christian man who went around preaching the gospel. He was also a business man. One day he was bicycling through Norfolk in England. He was an Englishman. And he said it was early in the morning, and as he was going through, he was a very quiet man, he suddenly gained from the Lord the distinct impression that he should shout out a Bible verse. And so, right in the midst of this small town, there were just a few houses around, he shouted out “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
He said he cycled on a little bit longer, and the Lord seemed to say definitively to him, “Say it again.”
So he said he shouted out, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.”
Six months later he was visiting in that little village, and he was doing, as he frequently did, just knocking on door after door. His first question, he said, was always, “Are you saved?”
That’s called the direct approach.
So a woman opened the door and he said, “Are you saved?”
And she said, “Oh yes. About six months ago I was in great distress of soul. I pleaded with God to help me, and even while I was calling upon him, I heard a voice cry out, ‘Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.'”
And she said, “I was startled. I wondered if I had really heard right.” She said, “I prayed again to the Lord, and I said, “Lord if that is the message, repeat it again.” And she said, “And I heard it again and I trusted Christ, and I’m saved.” And Mr. Cutting had the joy of telling her that it was he who had called out the verse.
Now, if a person is saved by faith alone, if all of this is true, and it is, then of what value is the Law? The biblical answer is that the Law has its own place in the divine economy. For one thing, the Law defines sin. The Law crystallizes the essence of sin in its outward expression, and in its inward transgression. Sin is both overt and covert; it has an external and an internal dimension. Not only does the Law define sin, but it drives a sinner to seek salvation from a Savior.
The Law commands, but gives no strength to obey.
The Law condemns, but it cannot cleanse.
The Law slays, but gives no grace to heal.
The Law shows us that we have nothing to offer God, for it convinces us of our own insufficiency.
The Law is an essential component in pointing a person to the only Person who can help the soul survive the penalty of death, which the wages of sin demand.
In the epistle to the Galatians, the apostle Paul sets for the glory of the grace of God, the necessity of realizing that men can never save themselves by good works, the importance of understanding the gospel is divine revelation, and that the truth heirs of God are those who have the faith of Abraham, apart from the Law, and works of the flesh. Soli Deo Gloria.