This idea is regularly displayed in many of our children’s ministries. Often children right out of the nursery that have no understanding of who God is, or his righteous judgment of their sin, or even their need for a Savior are given the gospel and instructed to simply “accept Jesus”. These children are being offered a remedy for an ailment they are not even aware that they have.
Mark 2:17a “ When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick”
Many people even claim that repentance is not necessary at all; but Jesus tells us in Mark 2:17b “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
The apostle Paul, like Jesus, obviously differed with that opinion: Acts 20:21 “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Without an understanding of our condemnation before God, we cannot even see our need for a Savior. Having a fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom that leads us to repentance.
Psalms 111:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments…”
Psalms 36:1 “The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.”
How can we know that we have sinned against God? Only by knowing his law can we see our offenses, and our need for a Savior. Romans 3:20” for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
Galatians 3:24 “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”
The law shows us our condition as lost sinners separated from God, in need of repentance and reconciliation.
But what about those who say we are no longer under the law? Romans 6:14 “… for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”
This verse is speaking to those who have already been saved, who have been freed from the law through faith in Christ and are no longer under its condemnation.
Romans 7:6 “But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”
Those who have not yet believed are yet under the law and condemned by it. John 3:18 “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
Romans 3:19 “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”
Therefore, we must preach and teach the law as well as the gospel, so that sinners can repent and put their faith in Christ.