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Question:
How appropriate would it be to replace the word “LAW” with the word “WORD” in scripture? The word “LAW” generally has an adverse effect on the mind, like we are living under the law of the old testament. The word “WORD” is less threatening and better understood by modern day terms.

Answer:

It wouldn’t be appropriate at all to replace “Law” with “Word”.

First of all, we should never “adjust” God’s Word simply because it’s not “user friendly” in a given culture. But more importantly, the “Word” and the “Law” are not one and the same so you cannot interchange the two words completely and remain faithful to Scripture.

The “Word” is every word the proceeds from the mouth of God (Matt 4.4) whether inspired writing (the Bible) or words that God/Jesus directly spoke.

Of course the “Law” is part of the Word. The “Word” contains all of the “Law” but the “Law” is not all of God’s Word.

It’s a shame that people have a sour taste about the “Law”. The only reason that “Law” carries negative baggage is because of poor or inadequate teaching in our churches today.
Consider what God says about His Law and determine what could possibly be adverse according the Scripture’s very own words (all the follow descriptions are aspects of the overall idea of the Law):

Psalm 19:7-11

  • The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul;
  • The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
  • The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
  • The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
  • The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
  • The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
  • More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward. (NKJV; emphasis mine)
I’m not criticizing your question because it comes from a very genuine reality today the LAW generally means condemnation, lack of mercy and legalism.
  • The Law does not condemn, it illuminates sin (Rom 3.20) which is our condemnation.
  • The Law is not unmerciful for it is the schoolmaster (Gal 3.24) that teaches us of the Savior.
  • The Law is not legalistic because it is perfect, holy and just (Psa 19).
The Law is not adverse to salvation or the Gospel. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reason it is seen as “negative” today is because of compromising and poor teaching.
The Law is the key to salvation and to the Gospel because it shows the unbeliever (and the sinning Believer) exactly where and how they have violated God’s holiness. True repentance cannot come unless a person truly believes they have done something wrong. You cannot believe you have done something wrong with the Law as your measurement.
NO, the use of the word “LAW” should NOT be replaced by saying “the WORD”. We should use all Biblical terms as God uses them and if that offends, God is quite capable of dealing with offended humans.

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