Want to learn more about Christ and His Law? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 13-part series.
For decades my brother lived in Southern California.
When he would speak to me about towns, I would have an idea of the
direction and distance to that town. He has now moved and when he
mentions a town I have no idea about either direction or distance.
Imagine you have to travel to a town and you have no idea about its
location. You need a map. We start a new series of lessons on the law
of God. It seems so natural to think of the law and grace as being
opposed to each other. My goal in this series is to help us think
about the law and grace as being gifts. Like a map, the law is a
wonderful gift from God to help us to understand how to get safely to
our destination. Let’s dive into our study of the Bible and see what
we can learn!
Last week we discussed natural law, the moral law,
civil law, and ceremonial law. Which one is the “Law of Moses?”
Moses delivered both the moral law and the ceremonial law in written
form to God’s people when they journeyed to Canaan. However, did they
exist prior to Moses writing them down? Do they apply today? Let’s
plunge into our Bibles and see what we can learn!
Recall our previous discussion about natural law, moral
law, civil law and ceremonial law? Our working theory is that each
level of law (with natural law at the top) is intended to support or
explain the higher level of law. We know, however, that this does
not square with what we observe in life. Some civil laws are clearly
contrary to moral and natural law. Humans substitute their own
judgment for that of God. We see the disasters which follow. How do
we deal with the failure of human lawmakers? Let’s dive into our
study of the Bible and see what we can learn!
Last week’s study ended with Jesus’ saying that He came
to fulfill the law, not abolish it (Matthew 5:17-20). Not only would
the law would remain according to Jesus, but our righteousness must
exceed that of the religious leaders of the day. We concluded (I
hope) that the law is like a map to help us in life, thus we did not
want it to go away. And, we decided that since we are covered by the
righteousness of Christ, we are miles ahead of the religious leaders
of the day. Our study this week is Jesus’ next topic – a surprising
commentary about what it means to keep the law. How does detail about
the law make sense if we are saved by grace? Let’s plunge into our
study of the Bible and see what we can discover!
The Sabbath is a special time. When I was very young,
it was the day when the family was all together. No doubt there were
times that I wished the Sabbath day would end because my parents
restricted what I could do on the Sabbath. When I was in college, it
was a great day to spend with my girlfriend and not have to study. In
law school and thereafter in life, it was a wonderful time to rest
without guilt. Normally, I’ve got things to do and deadlines to
meet. But, since I believe that working on Sabbath is a sin, it was a
guilt-free rest. What is the Biblical basis for taking the Sabbath
seriously? How should we view the Sabbath? Let’s dive into our Bibles
and find out!
When we studied Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5),
you might have felt a little depressed. Jesus explained that keeping
the law is not just a matter of avoiding sinful acts, it has to do
with our thoughts and attitudes. It requires attitudes that are,
frankly, foreign to our natural heart. We are to do good to those
who abuse us? Turn the other cheek? The good news is found in our
lesson today. Jesus kept the law for us. The law is still our ever
constant “map” to keep us out of trouble, but the high standard Jesus
holds before us is not the test of salvation. Let’s wade into our
Bibles and learn more!
What does “the end of the law” mean? If someone said
“the end of you,” you would be seriously concerned that “end” meant
“death.” What else could it mean? If you have a boss who leaves the
company, you could reasonably say, “That’s the end of him!” “That’s
the end of her!” Is that the way the Bible means (Romans 10:4) that
“Christ is the end of the law?” Let’s plunge into our study of the
Bible and see!
Are you bored? I hope not! You may be concerned that
the last few lessons seem to repeat the same concepts. If you are
bored, I apologize. On the other hand, understanding grace is
critical – and hearing about it more than once is a blessing. The
good news for the bored is that our lesson this week takes a turn to
explore what grace means for everyday life. The good news for those
who feel they could still use a little repetition about grace, is
that we are still generally on that subject. Let’s dive into our
study of the Bible and learn more about the law and grace!
Whether someone has shared a secret with you, or you
have some unique knowledge or skill, you feel special when you know
things others do not. Some secrets are not to be shared, but sharing
knowledge or skills is one of the greatest blessings in life. You are
able to improve the lives of others by teaching them important things
they do not know. The gospel is like that. God entrusts His message
to you. What a blessing it is to share eternal life! Some of the
message is understood without your help, but other parts rely on your
explanation. Let’s wade into our study of the Bible and learn more
about sharing the law and gospel!
“Covenant” is not a common term these days. The modern
legal word would be “contract.” The Bible speaks repeatedly of
“covenants” between God and humans. Normally contracts are entered
into by two parties with relatively equal bargaining powers. Would
“contract” be correct when referring to an arrangement between God
and humans? Could we enter into a contract with our Creator, the one
who sustains us moment by moment? Let’s plunge into our study of the
Bible and see what we can discover!
Many years ago, I met a young man who had recently been
saved. He wanted to talk with me about theology, and he was adamant
that the Ten Commandments had been abolished. He was saved by faith
alone and had no obligation to obey any of the law. While I agreed
with him about salvation by faith alone, I pressed him about his
obligation not to kill anyone. Was that no longer relevant? He would
not bend. A few years later I met him again and recalled our
conversation. “Do you still believe that you have no obligation to
keep the law,” I asked? With more study, he had changed his mind. He
agreed that the law was important. Let’s plunge into the topic of
what the Bible says through the apostles about keeping the law!
In our study two weeks ago, the Apostle Paul taught us
in Galatians 3 that nothing has changed in the contract between God
and Abraham. This agreement, that Abraham believed and it was
credited to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6), is available for
every one of us because of what Jesus has done on our behalf. Is it
really true that nothing has changed? Let’s dive into our study of
the Bible and look at the relationship between God’s people and the
law throughout the ages!
Are you a part of the Kingdom of God? If you are
reading these lessons, the answer is probably, “Yes.” When I see
things going wrong in the world, or I get upset about national
politics, I have to remind myself that I am first a citizen of the
Kingdom of God. How can we know the Kingdom of God is real? How does
our study of the law fit into our belief in the Kingdom of God? As we
finish our series on the law, let’s dive into our Bibles and study
what it means to be citizens of the Kingdom of God!