How is an unbeliever affected by the laws of God?
Jason Dohm explains in this video that the law has multiple uses and has different functions for unbelievers and believers. For instance, it can be a crushing weight on an unbeliever, one that helps them to see their desperate need for mercy and to ultimately drive them to the cross. The law condemns sinners so that they go to God for mercy and pardon, which is offered to us through the finished work of Christ.
The law helps us to realize just how sinful we are and how hopeless it is to think that we can somehow earn our salvation. Romans 3:20 says that: “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Through the law, we understand that we are completely sinful and in desperate need of a Savior.
Romans 7:7 (NKJV) – “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, ‘You shall not covet.’”