While many think of God’s Law as a simple list of “Do’s and Don’ts”, it is a little more complicated than that. The Bible student must carefully consider the audience, timing, and design of each Law if they want to interpret and apply it properly.
Join us for mid-week study during the month of January as Pastor McShaffrey offers a survey of how God’s Law functioned under various dispensations of redemptive-history.
01/06/16 – The Law in Eden
An over-simplified view of biblical law could cause initial confusion: “Why a list of do’s and don’ts in Paradise?”
It may help to think of scriptural laws as “God’s revealed will for man.” This definition will work in all dispensations.
In the beginning, God revealed his will to Adam as a Covenant of Works (Genesis 1:26-27, 2:16-17).
Besides the specific law concerning the Tree, God wrote a Moral Law upon Adam’s heart (Romans 2:14-15).
Adam alone had the ability and responsibility to keep this Covenant of Works (Romans 5:12,19; Ecc. 7:29).
After the fall, we may never approach God’s Law in a covenant-of-works-kind-of-way (Galatians 3:10).
The question that leaves us is this: What happened to the Moral Law after Adam broke the Covenant of Works?
01/13/16 – The Law at Sinai
Even though man lost his moral innocency and ability in the fall, the Moral Law continued to exist. Name some pre-sinai proofs of moral consciousness.
The great significance of Mount Sinai was that the “church” (Acts 7:38) was there constituted as a “nation” (Exodus 19:6).
Besides reiterating the Moral Law (Exodus 20:3-17), God also gave to Israel various civil and ceremonial ordinances.
The ceremonial laws prefigured Christ (Hebrews 10:1) and are therefore abrogated under the New Testament (Colossians 2:17, Daniel 9:27, Hebrews 9:10).
The civil laws maintained order in Israel (e.g., Exodus 21-23) and only the general equity of these laws remains binding upon all.
The complicated task of the Bible student is this: Distinguishing the moral, ceremonial, and civil elements of each particular law.
Exercise: What is the proper New Covenant application of Deut. 18:1, 20:6, 25:4? (Hint: 1 Cor. 9:1-14)
01/20/16 – The Law and Christ
Christ’s relationship to the Law is unique and can be examined from different angles:
As the “Second Adam”, Christ fulfilled the Covenant of Works through perfect obedience (Romans 5:18-19; 1 Corinthians 15:22).
As the “Prophet like Moses” (Deut. 18:15; Acts 3:22, 7:37), Christ established a spiritual nation (Hebrews 3:5-6, 1 Peter 2:5,9).
As the “Tabernacle” (John 1:14, 2:19-21; Colossians 2:9), Christ emptied the ceremonial system of its value (Mark 13:1-2; Hebrews 9).
None of the aforementioned fulfillments negate the Moral Law, but rather strengthen it (e.g., Matthew 5:21-48).
01/27/16 – The Law and the Christian
Many reject the idea that the Moral Law has any purpose in our lives after conversion. They speak as if Law & Love are always antithetical.
Moses, Jesus, John, et alia, disagree. They speak of Law & Love as always being united:
– Deut. 6:4, Leviticus 19:18
– John 14:15, 15:10-11
– 1 John 2:3; 5:2-3
Those who reject the scriptural connection between Law & Love forfeit many blessings and benefits:
– Comfort of the Spirit (John 14:15-16)
– Presence of Christ (John 14:18,21)
– Assurance of Salvation (1 John 2:5)
– Church Unity (1 John 4:20-5:2)
– Good Witness (Matt. 5:16, 1 Peter 2:12)