Posted in theology

The NIK Test Reveals All

By Elizabeth Prata

EPrata photo

For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were brought to light by the Law, were at work in the parts of our body to bear fruit for death. (Romans 7:5)

What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? Far from it! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet.” (Romans 7:7).

Whattttt…? Romans is hard. Let’s look at an example that might make it easier.

I watch the TV program Border Security: Australia’s Front Line. In that reality TV show (a genre which is now called ‘factual television’ lol) different border control agents stationed in various locations of the Australian border detect illegal items being smuggled into the country. Banned are certain organic products that could introduce disease to Australia’s crops. So are weapons, and of course drugs.

The agents who are shown on the program work on the high seas, at shipping ports of entry, mailrooms, and in airports.

When the agents spot a piece of luggage, a nervous immigrant, or a package they suspect contains some contraband, based on certain indicators, they take the person, package, or luggage aside and give it a closer inspection.

The liquid shows the powder was indeed a rug. It changed color.

When they open the item they suspect contains drugs, and it could be anything from a small statue to an engine piston to a picture frame, sometimes they discover a white powder. Is it drugs? Likely, but they have to test it to be sure. And it has to be an on-the-spot test so they know instantly whether to proceed to the next level.

They produce something called a NIK test. This is a Narcotics Identification Kit (NIK). It’s a field presumptive test kit, part of a drug identification system that is designed to rapidly identify substances of being illegal, or controlled substances. 

They take some of the white powder, put it into a pouch that also contains some liquid in a separate chamber, and they break the chambers inside so the suspicious powder and the liquid will mix. If the liquid turns colors, it means the powder is presumptively a drug. Whatever color it turns is whatever drug it likely is. The agents then send the actual powder off to a scientific lab to determine its exact composition, but the NIK test was enough to arrest and hold the smuggler. Guilty!

The Law is a NIK test. It’s a mirror held up to the person’s thought, word, or deed, to determine what flavor of sin is lurking. It’s like a mirror.

The Threefold Use of the Law by RC Sproul:

The first purpose of the law is to be a mirror. On the one hand, the law of God reflects and mirrors the perfect righteousness of God. The law tells us much about who God is. Perhaps more important, the law illumines human sinfulness. Augustine wrote, “The law orders, that we, after attempting to do what is ordered, and so feeling our weakness under the law, may learn to implore the help of grace.”

Like a mirror revealing wrinkles, blemishes, age spots, the Law-mirror reveals our sin, our defects, our spiritual condition. Based on the fact that humans all have a sin-nature, the NIK test simply reveals what is already presumed to be there: sin.

Are Christians still under the Law like the Jews of Israel were? Yes, and no. No in that we New Testament believers are under a new covenant. We are released from the Jewish ceremonial laws such as the dietary restrictions, feasts, and ceremonies. The Law doesn’t justify. It never justified us.

nevertheless, knowing that a person is not justified by works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the Law; since by works of the Law no flesh will be justified. (Galatians 2:16).

A mirror doesn’t make you prettier, it only reveals what is there. The law doesn’t justify, but only reveals what is already there, which is a totally depraved sin-nature. It reveals our helpless state.

The Galatians verse states that the Law can’t justify a person nor make anyone righteous. This is why God sent Jesus, for Him to completely fulfill the requirements of the Law for all those who would ever believe in Him.

Praise God for Jesus! Jesus is God’s mirror. When God looks at Jesus He sees His exact imprint (Hebrews 1:3). If we are saved, we are in Christ. So when God looks at us, He sees His Son.

He came to save us from the burden of our sin, to make us clean, to possess an imputed righteousness of Christ. We will be able to stand before God on the Day when we meet Him. If you have been saved by His grace then pray in thanks. If you have not yet been born again into new life, then pray to Him in repentance for your sins, sins which the Law reveals – to your condemnation. Then turn from them and trust in Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not just hearers who deceive themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who has looked intently at the perfect law, the law of freedom, and has continued in it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an active doer, this person will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:22-25).

EPrata photo

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Love week essay #6: Love fulfills the law

All this week we’ve explored the blessings of love.

We looked at God’s love through the lens of Psalm 136.

We looked at the meaning of love through the lens of the Apostle John’s epistle.

We looked at how there are different words to express love (which is not a feeling.)

Yesterday we looked deeper into how love is not a feeling, but a choice of the will.

Yesterday we explored the difficult concept of loving our enemies.

Today we look at how love fulfills the Law. First, the scriptures.

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38This is the great and first commandment. 39And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:36-40)

Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. (Romans 13:8)

As we have looked at previously, love is a distinguishing characteristic of the Christian. It marks him or her out from the world. Yet we go even further, that the kind of love Jesus expects of us to display is a law-fulfilling love. The two commandments are to love Him, and love people.

But how can God command us to feel something, one might ask. We can’t command feelings, can we? Again, as we have looked at previously, love isn’t a feeling that comes on its own like the wind and blows away when it wants, leaving us either filled and romantic, or dry and loveless. We have the will to choose to love. We gain that will by adhering to the precepts of the Father, who said to love all, even one’s enemies. The will to love comes from the fountain of grace that indwells us, AKA the Holy Spirit.

Now, commandment one is to love the God with all our strength, soul, and mind. The second is to love your neighbor as yourself.

Love doesn’t harm a neighbor. Love protects a neighbor. Love doesn’t slander him, or murder him with ill thoughts, or take his wife. Love doesn’t harm a neighbor by harboring covetousness over his new car/riding lawnmower/pool. Love wants the best for people, always.

It is upon us to rely on the Spirit, ask the Spirit, pray for the Spirit to cultivate in us Godly desires that squeeze out even the desire for violence against our neighbor, violence even in the form of sinful thoughts, never mind sinful actions. The goal is to love one’s neighbor enough so that any desire for harm against him is not even present in our heart.

When we do that, when we love our neighbor as purely as possible, it cycles us back to the first Law, loving God with all our strength,mind, heart, and soul, because we are obeying Him.

Love fulfills the Law.

Now I need to get to work. It seems I have a lot of heart work to do… 🙂 Do you?


In this devotional, Alistair Begg wants us to Make Him Glad with our Love

Hugh Binning’s book Christian Love is recommended at Banner of Truth Trust, Monergism, Reformation Trust, and other sources. Here is the book blurb-

In this Treatise of Christian Love, the Scottish Covenanting minister Hugh Binning movingly presents the need for Christians to show by their love for one another that they belong to Christ. Basing his remarks on John 13:35, By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another, he argues, ‘This badge that Christ left to his disciples: if we cast this away on every disagreement, we disown our Master, and disclaim his token and badge.’
Binning describes the excellence of Christian love, demonstrating its nature from 1 Corinthians 13. He gives strong reasons why Christians should love one another, and shows that love is rooted in Christian humility and meekness, after the pattern of Christ himself.

lubec door 2

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

The Lawyer tested Him on the Law

Let’s think about this verse today:

And when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they themselves gathered together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested Him with a question: “Teacher, which commandment is the greatest in the Law?” (Matthew 22:34-36).

This lawyer was an expert not in civil law, but in religious law. By that time of Jesus’ incarnation, there had been added to the original ten, 603 laws. The Jews were laboring under a heavy yoke of an expectation to keep 613 laws.

Here is a website with which I’m not familiar, but lists a simple version of all 613 laws with their scripture. Continue reading “The Lawyer tested Him on the Law”