What is meant by law?

by Bob Jennings

The word law occurs about 75 times in the book of Romans. There are various meanings:

1. Sometimes it means principle: “a different law in the members of my body, Romans 7:23. It speaks of the way things work, such as, the “law of gravity”.

2. Sometimes it refers to a rule of conduct: “a law to themselves”, Romans 2:14. A man may have no Bible, yet his conscience is his rule of conduct. The law officer enforces the law, the rules of conduct.

3. Sometimes it refers to the whole Old Testament Scriptures: “You who boast in the Law”, Romans 2:23. The Jews had the written revelation of God’s rule of conduct.

4. Sometimes it refers to the Pentetuch, the first five Books of the OT: “the law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms”, Luke 24:44.

5. Sometimes it refers to the Ten Commandments: “has fulfilled the law. For this, You shall not”, Romans 13:8-9.

6. Sometimes it refers to the Old Covenant, that is, Judaism, or the Historic dispensation of Law: “to the Jews, to those who are under the Law”, 1 Cor. 9:21, Ga. 4:4, Romans 5:20, 2 Cor. 3.

7. Sometimes law means the system of works: “for as many as are of the works of the Law”, Galatians 3:10.

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