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No one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. Romans 3:20
Was it an exercise in futility? In the readings from Numbers we see all the things the people had to do in obedience to God—but in Romans 3 we are told no one “will be declared righteous in God’s sight” by obedience. So, why do it? Our obedience cannot make us right with God (we need Jesus for that), but it does lead to good consequences. Obeying God still puts us in a good spot to be blessed by God. It is sometimes called “natural law.” That is, our doing what God says brings people together in a better way. Try it—it works!