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Lesson 40

The Law of God

 

“Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are they who keep his statutes and who seek him with all their heart. They do nothing wrong; they walk in his ways. You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed. Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decree! Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands. I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws. I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me.

 

- Psalm 119: 1-8

 

Introductory

 

Can a person who lives today in the 21st century, obey all of God’s laws? The answer is a resounding yes!  When Jesus was on Earth about 2,000 years ago, He proved that a human being could live a perfect life.  Jesus told His disciples, “You are my friends if you do what I command…whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him. (John 15:14; 14:21) This study will show you what God’s laws really say and how to interrupt them in our everyday lives.

 

NATURE OF GOD’S LAW

 

What is the nature of God’s law?

 

“Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” “For we know the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.” Romans 7:12,14. Note - Christ demonstrated the spiritual nature of the law, showing that it relates not merely to the outwards actions, but also to the thought and intents of the heart. (See Hebrews 4:12) Obedience to this law therefore, requires not merely an outward compliance but genuine heart service. This can be rendered only by a regenerated soul.” Psalm 19:7.  “Is there such a thing as a perfect law? Everything that comes from God is perfect. The law of which we are thinking comes from Him. It becomes defiled in our hands. We take from it and try to add to it, and in that way it becomes less than perfect. In a very real sense the law of God is the manifestation of the nature of the Lord. It could no more be imperfect that He is.”

 

How comprehensive are these commandments?

 

“Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13.  Note – “No human lawgiver could have given forth such a law as that which we find in the Ten Commandments. It is a perfect law; for all human laws that are right are to be found in that brief and weighed together of all that is good and excellent toward God, or between man an man.”

God’s Law

1

You shall have no other gods before me.

 

2

You shall not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth, you shall not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them, for I am the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generations of them that hate me, and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

 

3

You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who misuses his name.

 

4

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shall you labor, and do all thy work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God, On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor thy son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day, Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.

 

5

Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

 

6

You shall not murder.

 

7

You shall not commit adultery.

 

8

You shall not steal.

 

9

You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

 

10

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or donkey, or any thing that belongs to your neighbor.

                                                                                                    Exodus 20:3-17.

 

What is the essential principle of the law of God?

 

“Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” Romans 13:10.

 

What two commandments sum up the law of God?

 

”Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40. Note – If you love God with all your heart, you will keep the first table; if you love your neighbor as yourself, you will keep the second.

 

PURPOSE OF LAW

 

Why should we fear God and keep His commandments?

 

“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man, For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13,14.

 

What will be the standard in the judgment?

 

Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment! James 2:12,13.

 

What is sin declared to be?

 

“Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.” 1 John 3:4.

 

DISOBEDIENCE TO LAW

 

How many of the commandments is it necessary to break in order to become a transgressor of the law?

 

“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For He [Jesus] who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.” James 2:10,11.

Note – The Ten Commandments are not ten different laws; they are one law. If I am being held up in the air by a chain with ten links and I break one of them, down I come, just as surely as if I break the whole ten.

 

 

Can one know God and not keep His commandments?

 

“The man that says, “I know him, ‘but does not what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” 1 John 2:4.

 

NECESSITY OF OBEDIENCE

 

What was Christ’s attitude toward God’s will, or law?

 

“Then I said, “Here I am, I have come- it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart” Psalms 40:7,8.

 

Who did say would enter the kingdom of heaven?

 

 “Jesus said, Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21

 

How will men be rated in relation to God’s commandments?

 

“Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called the least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:19.

 

Note – The Ten Commandments constitute a summary of the duties God requires of men. These commandments are the foundation that lies beneath the ethical life of humanity. They are as binding upon Christians today as they were upon the Hebrews who first received them.

 

HOW CAN MAN OBEY?

 

Why is the carnal mind enmity against God?

 

“The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.” Romans 8:7.

 

Can man of himself unaided by Christ keep the law?

 

“I am the vine, you are the branches, if a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5.

 

What provisions has been made by which we are enabled to keep God’s law?

 

“For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:3,4.

 

How does the renewed heart regard God’s law?

 

“This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5:3,4.

 

BLESSINGS OF WILLING OBEDIENCE

 

What blessing attends those who keep God’s commandments?

 

“By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.” Psalm 19:11.

 

What other blessings attends commandment keeping?

 

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding.”  Psalm 111:10.

 

What promise is made to the willing and obedient?

 

“If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land.” Isaiah 1:19.

 

God’s law is eternal in the universe and cannot be changed and the devil is trying to challenge God’s eternal law by saying that man cannot keep it perfectly. Will attempt to show you each individual law that God gave all of us in the Ten Commandments and what they really mean:

 

1.      “You shall have no other gods before me.”  Exodus 20:3

 

        We are to put God first in our lives.

 

2.      “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those that hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments”. Exodus 20: 4-6

 

        God will permit no rival to share our adoration. Therefore we must shun idolatry in all of its forms. We must not bow down to images, pictures, people, money, or any worldly possession. Our worship must be reserved for God alone.

 

3.      “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.”  Exodus 20:7

 

        We are to be reverent in all matters concerning God. To use His name as an idle swearword is a grievous sin in His sight.

 

4.      “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”  Exodus 20:8-11

 

        This, the longest of the Ten Commandments, bids us remember the day and worship that God set apart in the beginning for man’s highest spiritual good. The seventh day of the week is to regarded as a holy day, God’s day, a day of special fellowship and communion with Him.

        

5.      “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord God is giving you.”  Exodus 20:12

 

        We are to be respectful to our parents, with all that this implies of law and order in the house.

 

6.      “You shall not murder.”  Exodus 20:13

 

        We are to value the lives of others as our own, and have no hateful thought toward a single soul. There must be no murder in our hearts.

 

7.      “You shall not commit adultery.”  Exodus 20:14

 

        We are to be pure in our thoughts and actions, avoiding even the appearance of evil.

 

8.      “You shall not steal.”  Exodus 20:15

 

        We are to be honest in all our relationships with our fellow men, in our business affairs, our money matters, and our service to God and man.

 

9.      “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”  Exodus 20:16

 

        We are to be truthful at all times and under all circumstances, albeit “speaking the truth in love.” (Ephesians 4:15)

 

10.  “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”  Exodus 20:17

 

        We are to be content with what God has given us, without envy toward those who may be better off than ourselves. We are to be generous, not greedy; considerate, not selfish.

 

These Ten Commandments that were given many thousands of years ago, still mean the same as if God just wrote them. My eternal friend we can live the victorious life in Christ and obey His commandments. The Apostle Paul said, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take on the full armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

“Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace, above all, taking the shield of faith, with will quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:10-17).

 

Notice this armor carefully, for you, too, must wear it if you would live victoriously. First there is the garment of truth; next the breastplate of righteousness; then the shoes of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and finally the sword of the Spirit, “which is the Word of God.”

 

Obviously this armor is not material but spiritual. It has to do with the mind and the heart rather than the body. But, once donned, it will preserve the whole being from “all the flaming darts of the evil one.”

 

Truth will give us certainly and keep our thoughts balanced and reasonable. Righteousness will give us the confidence and free us from fear of criticism.

Peace will give us the gentleness and enable us to ignore all slights and slurs upon our character and the way of life.

Faith will give us the courage and buoyancy and place all disappointments and hardships in their true perspective.

The Word of God will supply every weapon we need in our warfare with the powers of darkness. Like the flaming sword over the gate of Eden, it will turn “every way” in the battle with evil.

Notice particularly that the last piece of equipment suggested by the apostle-“the Word of God.” That of course, is the Bible. Your Bible!

This means that the very Book you have in your home can help you triumph over every difficulty, every sorrow, every setback, and live victoriously here and hereafter.

 

 

Quiz:

 

1.      Do you think the Ten Commandments written by God are sufficient for your life?

 

 

 

2.      What valuable lessons have you learned or gleaned from this lesson?

 

 

 

3.      Will faith alone get you to the kingdom of God?

 

 

 

4.      Do think we should fear God and His coming judgments?

 

 

 

5.      After reading about different people from the past in the Bible, do you feel that you have the same opportunity to be with Jesus as they did?

 

 

6.      Do you feel that the devil and his evil forces are really closing in on you sometimes?

 

 

7.      Do you feel that the time has come for you to be a light in the world?

 

 

Notes:

 


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