How Crime Will Be Stopped
Getting to the Root of the Problem
IT IS obvious that the elimination of crime calls for the elimination of sin—the erasing of all traces of sinfulness from us individually. For law cannot function in the way intended or desired if people as individuals do not support its principles. Conversely, if sin was removed, love and right principles—the substance of the law—would be followed from inside motivation, from the heart. There would then be no need for a code of laws prohibiting certain wrongs and specifying penalties.
As the Scriptures state: “Law is promulgated, not for a righteous man, but for persons lawless and unruly, ungodly and sinners.” (1 Tim. 1:9) A righteous person, being free from evil desires and thoughts, would “naturally” do the right thing.
To reveal this fact to us, to apprise us of our need, was the reason why God gave Israel the Law, and why we have it in print today, for all to read. Being convinced of our bad situation, we are in a proper position to look for God’s way of righteousness. Only God, who is the Universal Sovereign, can provide a way for us. This he has done, and the way is really very simple.
God’s Arrangement for Righteousness
The Bible outlines God’s arrangement. It is within reach of all humankind. Since all of us are sinners, having inherited imperfection from our forefathers, beginning with sinful Adam, we are powerless. No law can save us. The only way of release is by someone not guilty taking the penalty for our sins upon himself. This is what God has arranged by sending his Son to earth as a perfect, righteous man. We read: “For, there being an incapability on the part of the Law, while it was weak through the flesh, God, by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and concerning sin, condemned sin in the flesh.”—Rom. 8:3.
This fact is further made clear by the apostles Paul and Peter as they write, respectively: “The one [Christ] who did not know sin he made to be sin for us, that we might become God’s righteousness by means of him.” And, “He [Christ] himself bore our sins in his own body upon the stake, in order that we might be done with sins and live to righteousness.”—2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:24.
Even by accepting God’s arrangement through exercise of faith in his provision through Christ, we do not get rid of our imperfection in the flesh at this time, but we get a good standing with God. Then, “if anyone does commit a sin, we have a helper with the Father, Jesus Christ, a righteous one. And he is a propitiatory sacrifice for our sins, yet not for ours only but also for the whole world’s.” (1 John 2:1, 2) So, all people have the opportunity, if they wish, to exercise faith in God’s arrangement and promises.
Having done this, the one having faith will live as best he can according to the right principles that the Bible sets forth. These principles are outlined especially in the Christian Greek Scriptures, commonly called the New Testament. When he does sin he can receive forgiveness by repentance and prayer on the basis of Christ’s atonement sacrifice. (Compare Psalm 51:1-7.) Then he does all he can to avoid repeating that sin. But God does not convict and condemn him on the basis of any law code, for Christians are free from the Mosaic law. (Gal. 5:18) The apostle Paul explained that God gives us his spirit to help us. He spoke of his ministry as being, “not of a written code, but of spirit; for the written code condemns to death, but the spirit makes alive.”—2 Cor. 3:6.
Yet, if those exercising faith in Christ and trying to follow his example commit sins, how could there be a world without law? Because Christians are looking toward being made perfect in due time, thereby being relieved of the contamination of inherited sin. As to a righteous world without law, Christians pray: “Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified. Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.” (Matt. 6:9, 10) God’s will being done on earth as in heaven means absolute perfection on this planet, as God purposed in originally creating humankind. (Gen. 1:26-28) This condition he promises to bring about by cleansing the earth of all who insist on lawlessness. (Ps. 37:34) God describes the earthly conditions under his kingdom, at Revelation 21:3, 4: “He will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”
Then, with people loving God, loving one another and delighting to do things that bring good and not harm, there will be no need of a law code. How will this be possible? Because God’s spirit will prevail and will guide people from the heart, not from a written code. The Bible describes this influence of God’s spirit: “The fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Gal. 5:22, 23) No laws restricting or regulating these qualities are needed. The Bible describes this situation as being under the Christian “law that belongs to freedom.” (Jas. 1:25) This law will be written by God “in their hearts.” (Heb. 8:10; 10:16) The more abundant these fruits of the spirit are, the more abundantly is peace promoted. This is the freedom that God promises to those who, by faith, become his children.—Rom. 8:21.
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By faith, “the creation itself also will be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God.”—Rom. 8:21.