Faith and Law – the new authority

“Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them” (St. Matthew 5:17).

According to St. Paul, before we began to have faith in Jesus Christ we were prisoners of the Law. What does this saying mean? What is the relationship between the Law and Faith? In other words, what are the similarities and differences of the Law and Faith?

First of all, the Law is a set of rules and regulations that show us what is right and wrong. Although the Law can show us what is right and wrong it cannot put things right. In a way, the Law can be compared with a mirror. When we get up in the morning and go in front of a mirror, the mirror shows us our awful faces. But the mirror can do nothing to make our faces look beautiful.

On the other hand, faith means trust and we live happily because of our trust in many things. We trust that we will get oxygen to breathe. We trust that we will get something to eat, and so on.

We create faith in our relationships with other people and things around us. Therefore it can be rightly said that faith means faithful relationships. It is impossible for us to live without faithful relationships.

The fact that we need faithful relationships in life is well proved in our God who is not a unit but a unity. A unity of Trinity. A unity exists with relationships created in faith.

Often when faith fails we try to remedy the situation by implementing the law. The law gives us the commonly accepted norm to show what has gone wrong. People may be punished according to the law. But what the law cannot do is to mend broken relationships.

This shows the importance of faith in our day-to-day life. What do we mean when we say that we have faith in Jesus Christ? We believe and trust that we have received God’s grace through Jesus Christ. It is an indisputable fact that none of us came into this world of our own accord. We are here because of the grace of God whom we believe is the Ultimate Reality and the force beyond all forces.

In this scientific age where people try to put their whole faith in facts and figures, as Christians we are faced with the challenge to show why faith in God is necessary. For this, the best example we can find is the way people flock to churches when things are beyond explanation. When things cannot be explained by facts and figures people seek consolation through their faith in God.

But faith cannot be created overnight. It is an ongoing and growing process. Words cannot explain this faith. Think of a couple who have been married for fifty years. Fifty years ago when they got married they said to each other, “I love you”. But after fifty years of living together, when they use the same words they are loaded with meaning that can be understood only by that man and woman.

Our faith in God through Jesus Christ is something similar. It should grow with our age and experience. This kind of faith enables us to face the challenges of life and to face the difficult moments of our life.

Let us try to recognise the importance of faith in God through Jesus Christ. It is important to realise that this faith is not against the law or facts and figures. The law facts and figures have their own importance in helping our existence in this world. But nothing can replace faith in God through Jesus Christ, which alone can show us the real purpose of our lives and take us beyond the grave.

This was the new authority established by our Lord and Master Jesus Christ. Not to become slaves of the Law but to use the Law to increase our faith in God and humankind.