The Law of God

The Law of God

Scripture: John 14:15, Matthew 5:17-19, Mark 7:9-13
Date: 09/06/2014  Lesson: 10
"One would be hard pressed to find in the life and teachings of Jesus anything implying that the Ten Commandments are not binding on Christians."

The Final Verdict (PB) by Dennis Priebe

The Final Verdict (PB) by Dennis Priebe
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Welcome to central Seventh-day Adventist Church in Sacramento, California. We are so thrilled that you're joining us to study God's Word together. We know that we have an extended family that covers this planet and we get together every week and we love to study God's Word because we love him and I'm looking forward to the day that's going to be very soon, when we can see Jesus face to face, all together, and bow before him. But until that day we will keep studying and we will keep singing together. Today is no different.

We're going to start with hymn #255 - 'I cannot tell why.' This comes as a request from joann in Canada, annessa in denmark, jean, mercy, mary and liza in italy and anucia in the maldives and many other people around the planet have requested #255 - 'I cannot tell why.' We're going to do the first, the second, and the last verses. I am so looking forward to that day when we will be with Jesus face to face, living forever the way that we were originally meant to be, amen? Amen. As you know, we have been going through our hymnal learning all the new hymns that are unfamiliar, new, haven't picked up for a long time - today's no different. Hymn #151 - 'Jesus walked the lonesome valley.' And this does come as a request from dave in Indiana and darren in Texas. So we are going to sing all three verses of #151 - 'Jesus walked this lonesome valley.

' Let's pray. Our Heavenly Father, we are so grateful this morning that you did walk that lonesome valley by yourself and that you paid the price that no one else could pay just to save us. We're grateful and because we are grateful and we love you, we come to worship you - to learn more about you and your love for us that we can take this love to others around us and that we can show others of what you've done for us and what you can do for them. Please be with Pastor Doug today as he brings us Your Word, lord. Just use him any way that you can to finish your work.

We pray these precious things in your name, Jesus, amen. Our study today will be brought to us by Pastor Doug Batchelor. Morning. Happy Sabbath. Thank you to our musicians, jolyne and debbie.

The violin sounded very nice with the piano for those songs. How is everybody? Good to be able to be here with you and to study the Word of God and I want to welcome those who are a part of the class around the country. Last week I was in Michigan for the national asi meeting and met a lot of our friends. The program was in grand rapids, Michigan, but people came from several states around Michigan and so we met a lot of folks who said they tune in for central study hour. And I want to greet you again and tell you - I promised them we would wave back at them next time so there you have it.

And, again, we're going to be going through our study dealing with the teachings of Jesus. If it's okay, I'd like to make an important announcement, coming this fall - you know, part of Sabbath school is talking about mission work and evangelism - there's going to be a very special evangelistic program. Some of you know, periodically, from year to year, we have something that's like a satellite evangelistic program or a net program where churches and homes around the country - if you have the internet or you're receiving these programs via satellite, you can participate. This fall, from October 31st - yes, we're going to begin halloween - we're going to be showing people the beast on halloween. No, but we're going to be doing a prophecy seminar.

It'll be starting October 31st and through the 22nd of November uplinking from albuquerque, new Mexico. That'll be a first. And churches all around the area in albuquerque are going to be coming together at the marriott pyramid hotel - that's right in the downtown area of albuquerque. We're going to be uplinking on abn and Amazing Facts television so any church, if you don't have an evangelistic program planned, you can do some evangelism in your church and in your home beginning October 31. That's a good way to spend the night.

And it will be going for 22 presentations and so all you've got to do is go to 'landmarksofprophecy.com' - just go 'landmarksofprophecy.com' - there's information how you can download the handbills, invite your friends - if you want to get the lessons you can, but anyone can do it for virtually nothing if you get the internet or the satellite and we encourage you to do evangelism. So I might say more about that later but I just wanted to put a plug in there because we believe in evangelism, amen? Now today's lesson is very important. We're dealing with 'the law of God' - it's lesson #10 in our quarterlies - lesson #10 in our quarterlies and the memory verse is one that I think everyone knows from John 14, verse 15. Matter of fact, if I started I bet you could finish it - "if you love me, keep my commandments." Let's do that again. Jesus said, "if you love me, keep my commandments.

" This is a commandment that really covers the essence of what salvation is all about. It all is based upon a love relationship. Jesus said the great commandments are summarized in love for God and love for each other. And so - we're basing - these studies today are based upon a number of verses - oh, you know what I forgot? Yeah, I was so distracted wanting to talk about the evangelistic program and forgot about the free offer. And this is - you know, you might normally think that when we talk about the law of God we would give out the Amazing Facts study guide that deals with the subject of 'written in stone'.

Actually, we're offering 'a love that transforms' and this is talking about living a Godly, Christian life and really how that all happens. Because of love for God, we live obedient lives. And so if you'd like a copy of the study 'a love that transforms' just call the number on the screen and it's -study-more or you dial -788-3966. We'll send that to you for free - 'a love that transforms.' Read it - it's a great study - and share it with somebody else. Alright, back to our lesson.

And we already went through the memory verse. Our lesson - dealing with the teachings of Jesus and the law of God. Now, there's a lot in the new testament about the law of God - certainly a lot in the old testament talking about the law of God. We're going to principally be dealing with the places where Jesus talks about the law. Under section #1 Jesus did not change the law.

Now that shocks some people. People think that, you know, there's the old testament ceremonial laws - are we still required to sacrifice? Yeah, what sacrifice though? It's the lamb of God now, right? But no, we don't have to carry out the ceremonial sacrifices anymore. Is the new testament clear that laws regarding circumcision and a number of the temple laws - that they are nailed to the cross - and that's why the veil was ripped when Jesus died on the cross. The veil in the temple was ripped from top to bottom. We're not under the sanctuary economy now, it is a spiritual sanctuary.

Jesus said, 'destroy this temple made with hands and in three days I will make one without hands.' And so Christ was speaking of his body and the church is the body of Christ and you are now living stones built on the cornerstone foundation of Jesus Christ so all of the ceremonial laws had a symbolic fulfillment that is very real now, but Jesus did not do away with the law of God, which is summarized in the covenant of the Ten Commandments. We're now living under the time of the new covenant, which is the same law written in a new place. Hebrews chapter 8, verse 10, 'a new covenant I will make with them...i will write my law on their hearts.' So lest somebody misunderstand this - oh, we'll just get people set up - we have some microphones and if - who has Luke 16:17? You'll be first - wherever you are. Hold your hand up. Manjeet - let's get a microphone over here for manjeet.

And I think the next one is going to be Matthew 7:12 - and that'll be over here. Okay, jolyne, you can take that microphone there. Did Jesus change the law? Romans 10:4 - it says, "for Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." How many of you have heard it said before that Jesus came to do away with the law? 'He came to - we're not under that old law anymore, we're now under the law of love.' And then they read verses like this here in Romans 10:4, 'Christ is the end of the law - period - so we don't have law anymore. We are now not under the law - we're under grace.' But you play that out the way that some people say it and what does that mean? Does that mean it's okay, now, to break the law? And I've been in many churches where I've heard sermons about 'we're not under the law now, we're under grace.' And people say, 'amen.' And you and I believe that too, don't we? Rightly understood we believe it. But does that mean that now that we're under grace and we're not under the law, Christians are free to steal? No.

Does it mean Christians are free to worship other Gods or pray to idols? Or use his name in vain or to commit adultery or to kill or to covet? Is that what it means? No, of course not. So when Jesus says - or Paul, actually - says that we're not under the law but we're under grace and Paul says that Christ is the end of the law, does that mean it's the end of the ten commandments - that we're no longer under obligation to keep the Ten Commandments? You think about what that would mean and - obviously not because sin is the transgression of the law. And do people still sin? So they must still be transgressing the law of God, right? And the Ten Commandments is the cleanest expression of God's law. The first four commandments deal with our love for God. The last six commandments deal with our love and our relationship with mankind.

All of the law - the ten commandments - is summarized in this love relationship and this love relationship. That is eternal. It is unchanging. What Paul meant when he said Christ is the end of the law - you read the end of the verse. He is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

So we do not obtain righteousness by obedience. Is anyone going to be in heaven because they were made righteous by virtue of obeying. 'Oh, but what about in the old testament, were they saved by works and now we're saved by grace?' Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness. Abraham was saved by faith as surely as you and I are saved by faith. We are all condemned.

'There is none righteous, no not one. We have all broken God's law. We have all fallen short.' Them in the old testament. Us in the new testament times. We all need to be saved by grace.

They were saved by faith looking forward to the cross and so, as a sign of that they had the covenant of circumcision and they sacrificed lambs, all looking forward to the day when John the baptist would say, 'behold the lamb of God.' We are now saved by faith and something that we see happened when Jesus died on the cross. We're saved by faith looking back at the cross. But we're all saved by faith in the cross. Nobody is saved by righteousness. We are saved by believing in Christ.

Isn't that right? So God's - God's method of saving man has always been by the virtues of Christ. Nobody's going to be in heaven and you're not going to have old testament Christians - believers - walking up to new testament Christians and say, 'you guys are lucky. You were saved by faith. We had to work our way in.' But that's the way it's preached. There's two dispensations and there's one group that's going to be in heaven, 'Moses is there because of his righteousness.

' Moses sinned and Abraham sinned and David sinned and they were all saved by the mercy of God. Read psalm 51. And so that's a big misunderstanding. Listen to what Jesus said in Matthew 5:17. This is a really clear verse.

"Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." Matter of fact, in Luke he doesn't even use that word 'fulfil' but some people think fulfill means 'to do away with.' Have you heard that? Jesus fulfilled the law and what they say when they mean that - or when they say that they mean he did away with the law. Well, Jesus was the fulfillment of certain ceremonial laws but Jesus said, 'do not think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets.' He's talking about the Ten Commandments because he recites several of the ten commandments in the following verses in the sermon on the mount. What does fulfill mean? When Jesus came to John the baptist and John, knowing he was the Messiah said, 'oh lord, why are you coming for baptism? That represents cleansing from sin and you're the sinless one. You need to baptize me.' And Jesus said, 'no, suffer it to be so now, for thus it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness.' Does the word 'fulfil' mean 'to do away with?' Did Jesus come to do away with the law? Would Jesus say to John, 'I'm getting baptized to do away with all righteousness?' Fulfill means 'to fill something full.' If I hand you a pitcher and say, 'fulfill it.' You wouldn't dump it out, you'd fill it up. And so fulfill means 'to complete.

' Jesus came to complete all righteousness. His life was a perfect life. That's what that's talking about. So - let me finish reading what it says here in Matthew 5:17, "do not think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.

For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled." - A jot and tittle were in the Hebrew writing, similar to our little period or the crossing of a 't' - the smallest characters. He's saying, 'even the smallest character of the law - the punctuation will not change till all is fulfilled or kept or filled up. And then he goes on and says, "whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least" - and that word 'call' there means 'spoken of; as' - he will be spoken of as least "in the Kingdom of heaven;" - they're not there but the people in the Kingdom of heaven speak of them as least. You got that? It's not saying they'll be in heaven, they'll just have a lower position; it means those in the Kingdom of heaven speak of them as the lowest. Whoever does - whoever breaks the law and teaches others to break - isn't that what the devil does? Teaches people to break the law? Whoever does that is spoken of as the least in the Kingdom of heaven.

"But whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the Kingdom of heaven." So if this morning you think Pastor Doug's being legalistic because I believe in doing and teaching the law. According to Jesus, they are spoken of as the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. He wants you to be a doer and a teacher of the law - and that's great. Alright, go ahead, we're going to read Luke 16:17. Manjeet, I think we're ready for that.

Luke 16:17, "and it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail." You know one reason God said it's easier for heaven and earth to pass away? First of all, what did God write the ten commandment law on? Stone. Do you write anything on stone if you want it to be temporary? He wrote it on stone. And then where was it placed? The Ten Commandments were placed where? In the ark of the covenant. When you read in Revelation and it says - and I think it's - is it chapter 11, verse 19, "then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of his covenant was seen in his temple." Temple of God opened in heaven - ark of the covenant - what's in the ark? Ten Commandments - so for you to do away with the law of God, you have to do away with heaven because God has a copy there. Some people argue that the original is there but I think it's a duplicate.

I won't go into that - oh, maybe a little bit. When Moses brought the ten commandments down, how many tables were there? Two. How many sides were they written on? Both sides - it says, 'written on the front and the back' - two tables. That could mean two copies. When you make a contract, how many copies are there - if you make a covenant with somebody? One for you.

One for them. One on earth. One in heaven. So hidden somewhere in Jerusalem is the ark of the covenant. I think the two tables are in there.

I think that God may have a copy. I don't know but I think there's a copy in heaven. But somewhere hidden in a cave in Jerusalem, I think, is the ark of the covenant. But in Revelation it appears in heaven. Some have wondered, in the same way that God took the tree of life to heaven before the flood - because it's in the new Jerusalem, right? Maybe he took the ark up before Jerusalem was destroyed.

I was just telling you what some of the theories are. I think it's still hidden in a cave over there. Alright, that was too much information. Malachi 3:6 - does God change? "For I am the Lord, I do not change;" - Hebrews 13:8, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." And, by the way, who is the one who delivered the Ten Commandments to humanity? Who was up there on the mountain with Moses? 'All things' - the Bible says, 'all things that were made were made by him and without him was not anything made that was made.' And so, when it says the lord hewed these stones and wrote with his finger, all things that were made were made by him. Who wrote that law? It's Jesus' law.

Jesus doesn't have a different law from The Father. I just - people out there that think there's one God in the old testament and Jesus is very different from the God of the old testament and The Father is a tyrant and he's cruel in the old testament and Jesus is loving. And Jesus came to try to save us from the wrath of The Father that want to destroy us. People have this picture in their mind and they forget that Jesus said, 'my father himself loves you.' And Jesus said, 'for God so loved the world' - the father - 'that he gave' - the son. So who's giving more? What would hurt more? So this idea that they're two different Gods - but people have that picture in their mind that Jesus is trying to save us from the wrath of The Father and it's The Father who's the law giver and Jesus who's the grace giver.

No, they're the same God. 'Hear, o Israel, the Lord our God is one God.' It's not two different Gods. That law is the law of Jesus. Alright, let's go to the next section. 'Jesus deepened the meaning of the law.

' Alright, Isaiah 42:21 - this is a prophecy about the coming Messiah and it says, "the lord is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law and make it honorable." So what would the Messiah do with the law? Magnify. When you magnify you shrink, right? You have a shrinking ray gun and you make it smaller. No, magnify does what? It blows it up. It enlarges. So when Jesus came in his teaching, did he detract from the law or did he magnify the law? Why would he magnify the law? Because he was a legalist? Let me explain.

When you magnify the law, you magnify the Lord because the law of God is a perfect expression of the Lord. The law is a reflection of his character. Now I'll try to include this with my notes. I don't know if dianne is listening in the studio but she always reminds me to put my notes online. Don't let me forget to also put this special study online.

I didn't write this. I don't know who did. It's just on the internet standing alone. There's no name on it but it's a great study I've used before and it simply has different attributes and it shows Scripture where you find these are the attributes of God's character and then you find the same Scriptures that say they are attributes of the law - or similar Scriptures. For instance, the Bible says that God is love.

Isn't that right? We all know that. 1 John 4:8, 1 John 4:16. The Bible says the ten commandments is love - Romans 3:8-10 - Galatians 5:14. The Bible says God is perfect Matthew 5:48 - it also says his law is perfect - James 1:25; psalm 19:7, "the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul." The Bible says, 'God is holy.' I won't give you all the Scriptures. You'll have to download this because that's a lot of Scriptures - we'll be here for awhile - won't get into the lesson.

Let me just go through what the characteristics are. It says God is holy; his law is holy. God is eternal; his law is eternal. God is truth; his law is truth. God is pure; the law is pure.

God is good; the law is good. God is spiritual; the law is spiritual. God is just; the law is just. God is faithful; the law is faithful. They're both light.

They're both life. They're both righteous. They're both true. They're both peace. They're both honorable.

They're both great. They're both wonderful. They're both the way. They're both sure. They're unchanging.

They're wise. They're enlightened. They're blessed. They're happy. They're merciful.

They're understanding. They're delight. They're liberty. They're knowledge. They're hope.

They're our meditation. Everything the Bible says about God it also says about the law. So when people diminish the law who are they diminishing? They're diminishing God. Another reason it's important to magnify the law - this is why Jesus came. He was the embodiment of the law.

He lived the law. He says, 'I have kept my father's commandments - what he said? - Some people say, 'didn't Jesus sin because he broke the Sabbath? No, John is saying the pharisees accused him of breaking their sabbatical laws - they weren't flaws in the Bible. Jesus was also accused by the pharisees of being a glutton. Was he? He was accused of being a samaritan. He was accused of having a demon.

They accused him of all kinds of things. Jesus never sinned. He is the sinless one, amen? And so he came to magnify the law. Now, what is sin? Sin is the transgression of the law - that's the most clear Bible - it's almost like a dictionary definition. Why did Jesus die? Angel told mary, 'you'll call his name Jesus for he will save people from their sin.

' If you don't have a law - Paul says, 'where there is no law there is no sin.' Doesn't he say that - Romans? So if you have no law you have what? No sin. If you have no sin, who needs a Savior? When you magnify the law, we look in the perfect law like a mirror, we see our sin, we realize our need of the Savior, we run to Jesus. The devil hates the law because where there's no law there's no sin - no sin, you don't need Jesus. You got that? So he's always attacking the law. He's diminishing the law - even in Christian churches.

And so they become some other kind of church where they get together for all kinds of other social reasons and have some kind of counterfeit concept of what salvation is. But if you really love the Lord, you will love his law because they're one and the same. How can you say you love Jesus and you love murder at the same time? You know, you just go through the commandments. How can you say you love Jesus and then you abuse his name? Of course, if you love the Lord you're going to love his law. Alright, keep going.

'Jesus deepened the meaning of the law.' 2 Corinthians 3:5, "not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." Now what is Paul talking about? Jesus came to magnify the law, especially showing the Spirit of the law where the pharisees were emphasizing the letter. Let me give you an example of that. Matthew 5:21 and 22 - red letter - Jesus is speaking - "you have heard that it was said to those of old," - from a long time ago - "'you shall not murder.'" - Now where does that come from? Ten Commandments. Notice Jesus doesn't say 'do not kill.' Because the Hebrew actually says, 'do not murder.' If you pluck a weed, you're killing, technically, but that's not breaking the Ten Commandments. If you squash a mosquito, you're killing, but it's not murder.

Murder's different. Murder is the taking of one human of another human innocent life. When police shoot someone in self defense that's not murder. When a soldier fights an enemy, do we call them murderers? No. People have misunderstood that commandment.

They say, 'why does God say 'don't kill.' And then he sends David out to kill Goliath. That doesn't make sense.' Well, it's not murder for soldiers. Murder is a taking of innocent human life.' So Jesus quotes it the correct way here in the new testament. He said, 'you've heard it said by them of old, 'you shall not murder.' And whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you, 'whoever is angry with his brother without a cause will be in danger of the judgement.

And whoever says 'raca!' - Or 'you fool!' - Shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, 'you fool!' Shall be in danger of hell fire.' Raca means 'worthless one.' And so what does Christ say? 'I've come to show you the spirit of the law.' the Spirit of the law is not just literally murdering somebody, it's being angry and having murder in your heart. It's not just the action, it's the attitude. It's not just the letter, it's the Spirit. And he gives several other examples.

And I may be running ahead of myself. Jesus said, 'you've heard it said by them of old you shall not commit adultery.' That's the letter of the law - one of the Ten Commandments - 'but I say unto you, whoever looks upon a woman to lust after her in his heart' - and ladies, it goes both ways - 'is guilty of adultery.' Now it's not just the action of adultery, it's the attitude, Jesus said. He not only wants to change our behavior, he wants to change our hearts because if you get the spirit of the law, you will keep the letter. If I learn to forgive my brother in my heart and I'm not angry with my brother, am I going to contemplate murder? So it starts in the heart. If I can learn not to lust in my heart, am I going to commit adultery? So when you're keeping the spirit of the law, you will keep the letter of the law.

Now while I'm on that point, let me talk about the Sabbath for a minute. Oh, by the way, Jesus - he uses several other examples of the Spirit and the letter. Jesus said, 'come unto me and I'll give you rest.' And how many of you have heard someone say, 'well, we don't need to keep the Sabbath commandment anymore because we have the spirit of the law now, we don't need the letter.' Have you heard that? But when you keep the Spirit of the law, will you break the letter? If you're keeping the Spirit of the law that says, 'don't commit adultery, are you going to physically commit adultery? 'See, I'm not thinking it in my heart, I'm just doing it with my body.' Or if you say, 'I'm not going to really murder, I'm going to keep the letter of the law' - I mean, 'I'm going to keep the Spirit of the law, I'm not going to think murderous thoughts. I am going to actually shoot people, but I'll have the right attitude in my heart. I'm keeping the Spirit of the law.

' Whenever you really keep the Spirit of the law you will also keep the letter. And so, if you're keeping the spirit of the law, 'come unto me and I'll give you rest.' Will you want to rest that special holy day that God's given you with him? So whoever is keeping the Spirit will want to keep the letter as well. Alright, who has - talking about the deeper meaning of the law - somebody has Matthew 7:12 - over here. I think we're ready. Matthew 7:12, "therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

" More than once Jesus sums up the law and the prophets in saying it's love for God and love for your neighbor. Amen? And he said, for instance, in Matthew 22:35, one who was a lawyer "asked him a question, testing him, and saying, 'teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?' Jesus said to him, 'you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'you shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Now I have heard people say - you probably have too - Jesus came to fulfill the law. We don't have to keep the ten commandments anymore because he gave us the new covenant, which is 'love the Lord with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.' Have you heard that? Where did Jesus get 'thou shalt love the Lord with all thy heart?' Did he think that up or was he quoting the old testament? That's Deuteronomy. That's the old testament - chapter 6.

And where did Jesus get 'thou shalt love thy neighbor as yourself?' Leviticus 19:18. I always remember that one because I think about world war I - 1918 - at least for us it was. Some other countries got in there sooner. So that really is the opposite of that. It's love your neighbor, right? And so Jesus was simply saying this has always been the summary of the Ten Commandments - love the Lord and love your neighbor.

And yet, I hear pastors say, 'oh, we don't need the ten commandments anymore, Jesus gave us a new law. Just love the Lord and love your neighbor.' But if you love the lord will you keep the first four commandments? And if you love your neighbor you'll keep the last six that's why he said, all the law and the prophets hang upon - is held up by - these two great commandments. And again you have Jesus saying he has a new covenant. In Mark 14:24. "This is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many.

" So no question, Jesus said 'new covenant.' Now, when did Jesus do that? Communion service - last supper - what we call the last supper - the Lord's supper. What was the Lord's supper? Passover. We all still in agreement? He said, 'I've longed to eat this passover with you.' What was the passover all about? The angel of judgment was passing by because they had the blood of the lamb. They were going to have death of the firstborn of the family unless they had the blood of the lamb applied to the door - or the threshold and door of the house. And because of that, that angel of judgment went by.

Well, Jesus wasn't doing away with the law, he was showing the full meaning of it. That angel of judgment passes by us because of the blood of Christ. So he said 'a new commandment.' John 13:34, "a new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another." Did Jesus have perfect love? Did Jesus have the kind of love he wants us to have? Did Jesus keep his father's commandments? And so, if we love like Jesus loved, and Christ said, 'father, I pray that the apostles and believers will be one with each other the way you and I are one. How are Jesus and The Father one? Perfect love. And Jesus obeyed the law of the father.

He said so. How are we to be one? The same way Christ and the father were one. So this idea that this new covenant means that now we are liberated to disobey, that is so incongruous with the teachings of Jesus. But somehow the devil has got these diabolical doctrines being preached from Christian pulpits that once you're saved you are now free from obedience. Is obedience legalism or is obedience the result of love? 'If you love me' - Jesus said - what? - 'Keep my commandments.

' The last thing it says in the new testament, Revelation 22, 'blessed are those who keep his commandments that they might have a right to enter into the gates of the city and eat from the Tree of Life. Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus.' I mean, you just - and that's, again, Revelation. You see it all through the Bible - this principle - and yet in Christian pulpits I'm hearing pastors - it breaks my heart - telling people 'don't worry about the law.' Yes, you don't have to worry about the ceremonial law, but the ten commandments? Yes, if you love the Lord, you'll want to do his will. What's the best expression of God's will? It says, 'I love to do thy will. Thy law is in my heart.

' The law of God is the will of God. It's the very nature of God. Alright, someone look up for me Corinthians 7:10. I don't know who would have that verse. We gave out some verses - they look like big fortune cookies.

Okay. Just a - we'll get to you in just a moment. We're not quite ready. Jesus and the seventh commandment. What's the seventh commandment? 'Thou shalt not commit adultery.

' Right. This is a test, friends. You should know that. I mean, we ought to know - every Sunday school child should know the Ten Commandments, right? And so we ought to know these. This isn't just for pastors to know that.

You remember when the rich young ruler talked to Jesus. He said, 'good master,' - this is later in the lesson - 'what good thing shall I do that I might have eternal life?' Christ said, 'why callest thou me good. None is good save one, that is God. But if you would enter into life, keep the commandments.' He said, 'which ones?' Jesus starts going through the Ten Commandments. He says, 'all these I've kept from my youth.

' - Every child knows that - every Jewish boy and girl knew the Ten Commandments. They're doing better than some Christians, right? Do you know if you go out on the street - I ought to do this - go out on the street and ask the average person - find Christians - say, 'can you quote the ten commandments to me?' Some of them can maybe get 50%. It's amazing. We ought to be able to quote the Ten Commandments, amen? Alright, Matthew 5:27, "you have heard that it was said to those of old, 'you shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." So Christ is saying the best way to preserve marriages is to make sure your heart is not going in the wrong place. You know, typically, how adultery happens? Very rarely does a happy - happily married couple have one of the partners - spouses - wake up one day and say, 'you know, today I think I'll just commit adultery.

I'm going to go see if I can find someone to commit adultery with.' It doesn't usually happen that way. They enter into an intimate relationship. First of all, there's problems with intimacy, usually, within the marriage. There's problems with their relationship. They're not in - they're not being one the way they should be one and in communion.

And, as a result of that, somebody else - at the office or some other friend of a friend starts showing an interest and they start saying, 'boy, this person's so nice - unlike my husband or my wife.' And they seem to have all these strengths and all these characters and 'boy, if I could find a man or a woman like that.' And then they start to talk together and they start sharing things they shouldn't share and in their minds they begin to open a door. It happens in the heart first. And then, all of a sudden, the man places his hand on her shoulder because she starts to cry. And then she throws herself - her head - on his shoulder and starts to sob, 'my marriage is falling apart.' And he says, 'come, let me help you. I'll comfort you.

' And that's often how it happens. One thing leads to another and if we don't allow it to happen in the heart, it will never happen in the life. You just don't even go there. So Jesus' teaching on the seventh commandment was not that - he didn't lower the standard. Notice this: Matthew 5:31, "furthermore, it has been said," - speaking, again, in old testament - "'whoever will put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement.

' But I say to you," - now is he going to lower the standard or raise it? So Jesus didn't come to make the law smaller, he came to make it bigger - "but I say to you, whoever will put away his wife saving for the cause of fornication causes her to commit adultery; and whoever shall marry her that is divorced commits adultery." Matter of fact, the disciples - Matthew 19, verse 7, they came to Jesus and said, "why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?" 'It's biblical to divorce. Why did Moses allow this?' - "He said to them, 'Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts," - God made a provision to protect wives because of the hardness of your hearts - but this was not the beginning - it was not so - "I say to you, whoever divorces his wife except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery." That's Matthew 19. It says a similar thing in Mark. So did Jesus - how did he feel about divorce? You know, it's interesting. People think that Jesus came to reduce the Ten Commandments.

You know one of the ones I hear? It's very interesting. 'We don't have to pay tithe anymore, that was an old testament law. And I think, well, did Jesus come and lower the giving standard for new testament Christians? If it's not tithe, what is it for new testament Christians? It's higher, not lower. You read in the new testament - in the Bible - old testament - tithes and offerings. Tithe was a tenth, offerings you could determine.

In the new testament no man said that all - aught that he had was his own, but they sold their houses and lands - liquidated their assets and laid them at the disciples' feet. So people who say, 'tithe, why? We're not under the old testament. That's too expensive. Tithe - ten percent - are you kidding me?' Oh, you want to be a new testament Christian, that's fine. You look at what they did in the new testament with their possessions and, boy, it wasn't ten percent.

I mean, barnabas, he sold his land. They were selling their houses. They were putting it on the altar to spread the gospel. I mean, it wasn't a lower standard. It was a higher standard.

You would be happy to go back and at least keep the old testament tithe. We've got Christians that aren't even paying a tithe today and they think they're Christians. They don't want to keep a new testament giving standard - they're not even keeping the old testament giving standard. Isn't that right? New testament is a higher standard. And it's that way with marriage too.

But, sadly - you know, there's a statistic going around - it's actually not true - there's a statistic that says that the divorce rate in the church is just as high as in the world. That's actually not true. Of professed Christians, the divorce rate in the American culture among professed Christians is just as high as the public in general. But that's not telling an honest picture. A lot of professed Christians don't actually attend church.

Barna did a study - the church survey group - among church- going Christians - marriages fare better than the public. But there's still a very high divorce rate. Whereas, in the world - I forget the exact percentage - it may be up to 50 percent - in the church, it may be 38 percent. So it's better, but it's still pretty bad. And so, what was Jesus' standard about marriage? By the way, read what Paul says about marriage - and that's the next verse in 1 Corinthians 7:10 - who has that? Over here.

Go ahead, you're up. "Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: a wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife." Alright, so again, notice what Paul is saying. We're talking about the teachings of Jesus.

Paul says, 'not i, but the lord.' So he says, 'I'm quoting what the Lord Jesus said.' And he's referring back to these verses in Matthew and Mark that we just read about marriage, that sometimes there are irreconcilable differences and if two Christians are married and, for whatever reason, they separate. He says remain unmarried. You don't have the right to bounce from marriage to marriage, biblically. I know that sounds pretty stern. There are only two cases I find in the new testament where remarriage - well, three cases - remarriage is allowed.

Paul says, 'if a spouse dies.' That's why, during the wedding vows, it says, 'till death do you part.' Right? You're free to remarry. Paul says that, right? If you are two pagans - now listen carefully, this is 1 Corinthians 7, 'if you're two pagans and one of you learns about Christ and you say, 'I want to be a Christian.' And your pagan spouse - husband or wife - says, 'I didn't sign up for that. I'm going to continue worshiping jupiter.' This happened a lot when the gospel was spreading. And he says, 'oh, I'm leaving you. I don't want to be a Christian.

I'm out of here.' And you're abandoned by your husband or wife - Paul says, 'if they're willing to stay with you, stay married even though they're pagans because you being a believer will have a sanctifying, converting influence on your unbelieving spouse and your children. Stay in the marriage if at all possible. That's what he says. That's why Peter says that the believing wife, by her chaste conversation can have a converting influence on her unbelieving husband as they behold your humble behavior. Stay together if you can.

But if they are determined to leave, it says, 'let them depart.' A believer is not under bondage in some cases. If you're abandoned and you did not marry with the covenant of being a Christian - you didn't understand that, then you're free, it says, to remarry. God did not expect you then to raise your children alone. So do you get the difference there? So that's the other difference. And then the third caveat is Christ says, 'saving for the cause of fornication.

If one of the partners violates the wedding vows and - through fornication - through adultery - then the other is technically free. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try to reconcile. Reconciliation is always better. And so if there's any redeemable qualities in the relationship, reconcile. There are cases where pastors have recommended divorce.

I mean, I've talked, before, to men or women that are perpetually having scandalous relationships. I knew this one lady, her husband was always on the road, and he was philandering with the red-light district and was not at all repentant. And she said, 'what do I do?' I said, 'he's not even remorseful about it. He's flaunting it.' I said, 'i'd divorce because you can catch a disease, for one thing.' I said, 'there's times when - it's very sad - but there are biblical grounds.' So Jesus' standard, though, is a very high standard. Alright, I've said too much on that subject.

Now we're going to go to Jesus and the fifth commandment, 'honor your father and mother.' Who's going to read for me Mark 10:19? Do we have a microphone somewhere? Over here. Jolyne? We'll get you ready. I'm going to read Mark 7, verse - wait, you know what? I'm going to start with Exodus :17 - notice this: Exodus :17, "and he who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death." That's pretty serious. So how - how serious was it, in Bible times, to speak disrespectfully - have you ever seen teenagers cursing at their parents? You ever - have you ever been out in public and you see teenagers yelling at their parents and talking back to their parents? Oh boy - and as hard of a time as I gave my parents, I - you sassed your parents - my grandmother, she taught me that. I talked back to my grandmother one time and she said, 'let me see your tongue.

' I stuck out my tongue - she slapped me on the bottom of my jaw - made me bite my tongue. I'm not recommending that, I'm just telling you what my grandma did. But, you know, you make this connection between pain and events and you just don't forget. And so, every time I'd talk back to her, boy grandma came down hard. And she knew you've got to obey your elders.

You notice how, sometimes, you learn best with pain? I was riding my four-wheeler around in the hills one day and I parked for a second and all of a sudden I got shot - I thought - it turns out I got stung by a yellow jacket and then another one. I had parked on a yellow jacket nest and I didn't know what was happening. All of a sudden I felt like I'd been shot. I went 'ow! What was that?' And 'oh!' You know, and pretty soon I realized that this was a cloud of yellow jackets. And I took off - I got out of there in great pain.

I don't know how many times I got stung. I still ride around those same hills - this has been 20 years ago - I always remember that spot. Pain teaches you, you know that? You will never forget that spot. The yellow jackets - they're dead and gone long ago. They're not there anymore, but I never forget that little hill where that happened.

Sometimes God has to teach us that way, doesn't he? Because you just - that's how you remember sometimes, through suffering. How did I get on that? Oh, honor your father and mother. Alright, read for me, jolyne, Mark 10:19. Mark 10:19, "you know the commandments: 'do not commit adultery,' 'do not murder,' 'do not steal,' 'do not bear false witness,' 'do not defraud,' 'honor your father and your mother.'" So among the commandments that Jesus repeats to the young ruler - 'honor your father and your mother.' Right? And then Jesus goes on to say - Mark 7:10, "for Moses said, 'honor your father and your mother'; and, 'he who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.' But you say, 'if a man says to his father or mother, 'whatever profit you might have received from me is korban' - (that is, a gift to God)," - by whatever you might have profited by me, he's free. Let me explain what korban means.

The pharisees had manufactured a law that if you didn't want to have to support your parents in their old age, all you had to do was declare that all of your possessions would be willed to the temple when you're gone. Then you're free to live on them as long as you want and you can't give it to anybody else because it's holy money now. And it was this loophole so you could live with all your money any way you wanted. But you couldn't give it to anyone else because you promised to will it to the temple. They made up this law to enrich themselves to violate the law that says 'honor your parents in their old age and take care of them.

' They had no social security or medicare back then. Your children took care of you in your old age. Jesus said, 'you have made the commandment of God of none effect by your traditions.' So Jesus did not lower the standard, he says, 'not only do you honor your parents, but one way you honor them is - they took care of you when you were young. If they get old and feeble, you take care of them,' right? And so he raised the standard. And I'm running out of time.

'Jesus and the essence of the law.' Let me jump along to this last section here. Matthew 19, verse 20 - now I'm going to jump over - I'm going to jump down to James 1:25, "but he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does." What is this perfect law of liberty we're to look into? James explains in the next chapter - James 2, verse 11, "for he who said, 'do not commit adultery,' also said, 'do not murder.' Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law." What two commandments are those about? The Ten Commandments, aren't they? 'Do not commit adultery,' 'do not murder' - part of the ten commandments. It says you're a transgressor of the law. Listen to how he closes. I'm still in James 2, verse 12, "so speak and so do" - what does God want us to do with the ten commandments? Do it.

"So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty." The Ten Commandments is called the law of liberty. I think george macdonald is the one who said, "a free will is not liberty to do whatever one likes, but the power of doing whatever one sees ought to be done, even in the face of otherwise an overwhelming impulse. Here lies freedom, indeed." In doing what you know ought to be done is where real freedom comes from. It's in doing the law of God and the will of God, amen? Well, there's more about the law of Jesus and - please send for the free resource that is called, 'a love that transforms.' It's 866-study-more - 866-study-more. We'll send you that study guide.

God bless you until we study together again next week.

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