“In the event of an emergency,” announces the stewardess, “the walkways in the middle aisle will be lighted to direct your way.” That’s the announcement you’ll hear at the beginning of a flight. And of course“In the event of an emergency,” announces the stewardess, “the walkways in the middle aisle will be lighted to direct your way.” That’s the announcement you’ll hear at the beginning of a flight. And of course, you very much hope that the situation never becomes an emergency. But if it were you would be very glad to have those footlights, so to speak, to guide your way.
The scriptures speak of God’s law with a third function. We know that it kills and we know that it curbs, even when we’re not intending for it’s good. But finally, it also serves as a guide, foot light, so to speak or a foot lamp. The Psalmist speaks of it in these very terms as well. He writes in Psalm 119:
Lord your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)
God’s word kills by showing us all of our sin and the death that that sin merits and it curbs us even when we don’t have good intentions for ourselves or others it manages to curb us from harming self and often from harming our neighbor as well.
Finally God’s word of law it serves as a guide so that you and I don’t have to figure out which way to step and guess where God would have us be. It shows us, it guides us and plots out exactly how God would have our redeemed lives be both in faith toward him and also in love toward the neighbors around us. It guides or lights our way.
And when, in walking that way, we recognize all of the missteps again that we have made and our consciences are stricken because of those missteps then God has guided us to the end of that law. And at the end of that law there too is Christ. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness for those who believe. In Jesus’ name, Amen.