The Law and the Gospel

Scripture: 1 John 2:3-4
Date: 12/08/2012 
Lesson: 10
"God's entire moral law is what reveals our sin and, thus, our need for a Savior. The law and the gospel are, therefore, inseparable."
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Welcome to Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist church in Sacramento, California in the united states of America. We are so glad that you have joined us to study God's word together and we know that you're joining us from across the country and all over the world because we get e-mails from you every week that say 'we love listening to your study and studying with you.' 'We love singing with you.' And today is no exception. We are going to sing two of my favorite Christmas songs of the season. Our first one is hymn #125 - 'joy to the world'. This is also a favorite of many of you across the world.

Monique and jaquan in antigua and barbuda, shanelle and marek in australia, wilbert, silveiro, valencia, abelino, the tamay family, delia, zeidy, ameidi, alciro and elvia in belize, tino and Michael in California, dave and shavon in Canada, camilo in colombia, billy in Delaware, nicola in germany, wilfred, Karen, linda, diand, damar, hermie, deonne, jacqueline and zaria in grenada, kathrina in guam, corrine, cheryl and virgina in india, larry in indonesia, juliana, adjani, tamara, julian, dave, stephan, darielle, jolina and remekia in jamaica, magali and micha in mauritius, tina in Montana, beth in New York, Samuel in new zealand, abdul in nigeria, sandy, vern, jamie, jenny, jared and nelva in North Carolina, nang in Oklahoma, elisha and David in Oregon, betsy in panama, bj in the philippines, thandeka in south africa, eugene in thailand, petal in trinidad and tobago, lorna in turks and caicos island, carlos in venezuela and robert and Christa in Virginia. Now, for those of you that I didn't say your name, I know you love it too so you have to sing loud. 'Joy to the world' - hymn #125. We have reason to sing happily this morning because Christ is coming soon. We'll sing all four verses.

If you are an online viewer and have a special hymn that you would like to sing with us on a coming presentation, I invite you to go to our website and that is found at '' and you can click on the 'contact us' link and you can request any hymn in our hymnal and we'll sing that with you on a coming presentation. Our next song that we're going to sing - hymn - is #132 'o come all ye faithful'. This comes as a request from jizelle in antigua and barbuda, fernando in Arizona, ariel, jessica and Mark in australia, tasshena in the bahamas, Michael, leon, betty and brian in California, louisa, Esther and elizabeth in Canada, nicola in germany, dustin in honduras, reena and gladwin in india, juliana, adjani, tamara, julia, darielle, stephane and dave in jamaica, magalie, micha, karl and maisie in mauritius, ray, sandy, jessica, melissa and loretta in Michigan, selina and jonathan in the netherlands, marian in new zealand, rita in nigeria, ernestine in Pennsylvania, abel in puerto rico, julian, jasper and jewel in saudi arabia, vicki, veronica and stephen in trinidad and tobago, and natasha, rose, naomi and nathan in vanuatu. I think I got that one right this time. Hymn #132 - 'o come all ye faithful' and we'll sing all three verses.

Let's pray. Our Father in Heaven, how grateful we are, as we come before you and as we study your word, that you did come that first time and that you came as a small babe and you grew and you gave us an example of who we can be if we just bend our wills to you. And so, we thank you for the promise that you will keep us from stumbling and that you will save us for eternity. And so, as we celebrate this Christmas season and the birth of your coming - your first coming, we also long in our hearts and we cannot wait because we know that you are about to come again. So we thank you for the promise of your second coming and lord, just keep us faithful.

Keep us humble and keep us longing for you until we see you break through those clouds. What a glorious day that will be. We pray these things in your precious and holy name, amen. Our study this morning will be brought to us by Pastor Doug Batchelor, senior pastor here at Sacramento central. Good morning.

How is everybody? Are we on? Yep. Good to see you. I want to welcome all our friends. I want to thank our music leaders and musicians. I was just really impressed with the way jolyne was able to pronounce all those nations and names from around the world.

I don't think I could have done that - I would have got tongue tied. But it is fun to think about all our friends who are watching from, literally, just about every part of the globe. I think once we even got an e-mail from someone at a station in antarctica that said that they had tuned in. And so that's encouraging. It's a privilege.

I want to welcome those who might be joining us for the first time. We are going through our study guide dealing with growing in Christ and today we'll be on lesson #10. Before we get to that we like to tell people about an offer that we have that will go well with our study for today. Now today we're going to be talking about the law and the gospel and so we have a book that is perfect for that. A lot of misunderstandings about how new testament Christians apply the law - the Ten Commandments - in a practical way and the book is 'does God's grace blot out the law?' 'Does God's grace blot out the law?' We'll send this to you for the updated price of nothing.

All you've got to do is ask for it. It's offer #715 and call the number - it's on the screen if you're watching tv - let me say it for those who might be listening on the radio - that's 866-788-3966. Once again, that's 866-788 - oh, I'm sorry - yeah, 788 - it's the same thing as 'study-more'. So you can use the acronym or use the Numbers and we'll send you this free gift. Now, let's get right into our lesson and, again, I want to welcome those who are also part of the extended Sacramento central church family.

For those who are streaming the program now - I know for a lot of people they're watching this three weeks from the actual time we're recording. Thousands watch it streaming on the internet. Here at sac central we're going to be having a special concert. It's - jaime jorge is going to be doing a program tonight. It's a special benefit concert for abundant life broadcasting and just for any who might be in the Sacramento area you're welcome to join us for that.

Alright, our lesson for today, 'the law and the gospel' - #10 - and we have a memory verse, John 2, verses 3 and 4. I'm counting on our local class here to say this with me. John, chapter 2, verses 3 and 4 - are you ready? "Now by this we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He who says, 'i know him,' and does not keep his commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him." Wow - that's new testament. I've studied with a lot of people that have said, 'you know we are new testament Christians.

We are no longer under the law and their interpretation of not being under the law means that we no longer need to obey the law. But they are misapplying some verses in Romans and we'll talk about that a little later. It's a terrible misunderstanding. Now, when you say the word 'law' in the Bible, typically the law - not always but most of the time in the new testament and even the old testament when it talks about 'the law' it's talking about just sort of a broad comprehensive term that encompasses all of the law, all of the commandments, all of the recommendations and requirements of the Lord. You've got these civil laws and you have ceremonial laws and you've got health laws and you've got some social laws and then you've got, of course, the moral law of the Ten Commandments.

Most of the time when it says, 'written in the law and the prophets', it's talking about just the whole batch together, but when you read it in context sometimes, you can see that the quintessence of God's law is summarized in the Ten Commandments. I mean, God did something amazing - there's really no law that you can name - no good law anyway - that can't somehow be categorized under one of the Ten Commandments. We had a family in our church years ago - a different church I was pastoring and our first litter of kids were pretty small and we found out that they had three rules for their kids - just three rules. I said, 'you got it down to three rules?' They said, 'three rules. Everything falls under three rules.

' I said, 'that's pretty good, let me hear it.' They said, 'don't do anything that will hurt anybody, don't do anything that will hurt anything, don't do anything that will hurt yourself.' And the more we thought about it, you can fit just about anything under one of those three categories. And so, of course, they would then teach the young people how to apply those principles to everything they do when they make a decision. 'Now, is this going to hurt anybody?' 'Is this going to hurt you?' 'Is it going to hurt anything?' And boy, that pretty well covered it. And so, you might want to make a note of that. It's a good rule for any of us to live by.

And then, you know, the Ten Commandments are summed up in two great categories: loving the Lord with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength - so love for God - first four commandments. Last six commandments - love for your neighbor - your fellow man - and you should love your neighbor as yourself. And so, it's like Paul said, 'on these two laws hang all the law and the prophets - on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.' That doesn't mean that they are replaced by those two laws, that means that they are a summary of those two laws. You can't say, 'well, I'm just going to love the Lord and love my neighbor; I don't need to worry about the Ten Commandments anymore. It's okay to steal now because I love my neighbor while I steal from him.

' It doesn't work that way. Of course God wants you to keep the commandments. They're just a summary of that law. So - and, you know, one of the last things it says in the Bible - if you go to Malachi chapter 4 it says, 'remember the law of Moses my servant which I commanded him for all Israel in mount horab with its statutes and judgments. Behold I send you elijah the prophet.

' Moses sort of represented the great law giver. He was a type of Christ. And then when, on the mount of transfiguration, you find in Mark chapter 9, Jesus is flanked on the right and the left - later he would be flanked by two thieves but here on this mountain he's flanked by two prophets, Moses who represents the law and elijah who represents the prophets - the law and the prophets - is another way that the Word of God is summarized. But the law - it's really what we're talking about in our lesson today - the law and the gospel. Does the gospel replace the law? Some people think they're at odds.

You know, up until Jesus people were saved by works but now we're in the new testament - we're saved by grace and faith. Nobody in heaven will be there because of works. Everybody is going to be there because of grace and faith. The Bible says 'Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness." Right? So by what means is Abraham declared righteous? By works or by faith? By believing in God. Abel believed.

It talks about all of the old testament characters - they were men of faith. When you read in Hebrews chapter and it goes through that chronicle of that hall of faith and it's talking, of course, about only old testament characters there, they're all saved by faith. It talks about rahab and Abraham and gideon and sampson - they're all saved by faith. And so, the idea that the old testament you're saved by works and the law - new testament we're saved by grace because we're not under the law anymore - maybe I should talk about that real quick. When you hear the phrase 'we're not under the law but we are under grace' what does that mean? Does that mean that as new testament Christians we are no longer under an obligation to obey the law? When it talks about being under the law, it usually means that you are under the penalty of the law.

The penalty for the law - for breaking it - is death. All who have sinned are under that death penalty, but through faith in Christ, we are no longer under the penalty of the law, we are now under faith. We live by faith and grace. So does that mean now we can break the law? You know, someone asked that question - go with me to the book of Romans chapter 6 real quick. I think Paul actually talks about that.

I'm going to get a new Bible here. I've been carrying this Bible around since I started pastoring this church and it's showing a little wear and tear. Romans chapter 6, verse 1, "what shall we say?" Paul, of course, is talking about faith here and grace and it says, 'yeah, where sin abounded grace did much more abound.' "But lest anyone misunderstand," - chapter 6, verse 1 - "what shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not!" - Or God forbid! - "How shall we who are dead to sin" - now what is sin? Sin is breaking God's law. Now a good seventh day adventist answer - we quote where it says there in 1 John, 'sin is the transgression of the law' - and that's accurate. But, you know, that's not the only definition in the Bible.

I can think of oh, three or four definitions for sin. 'For him to know - for he that knows to do good and does not do it, it is sin.' 'All that is not of faith is sin.' 'All unrighteousness is sin.' So there's a few different definitions, but it is true, sin is the breaking of God's law. And he said, 'shall we continue in sin that grace might abound? God forbid!' We're dead to sin. We don't follow that anymore. We're dead to lawlessness and law breaking.

So, with that, let's get into the lesson a little bit. In the Bible - I told you the word 'torah' generally is referring to the whole package - or the word 'law' - in the old testament it's often 'torah'. For the jews, the torah principally was referring to the five books of Moses that you find there in the pentateuch. It's like you got the pentagon - a building with five sides - and so you've got the pentateuch - the five books of Moses were called the torah. Sometimes it referred to all of the laws of God in the old testament.

The law is just - it's sort of an ethereal term - it sometimes can be very specific to one law, one statute. Sometimes it was a sort of comprehensive term. And so, you've got the word 'torah' in the old testament that means 'direction or guidance. The direction or guidance of God.' In the new testament you've got the word 'nomos', which means - same thing - it means 'law'. It's a pretty good transliteration for our word.

Somebody look up for me Matthew 7:21. Let's just find out who has that. I gave out some slips - you have that over there? Let's go - who's got the microphones? Okay, richard's got a microphone. If you'd look that up for us. And while they're finding you with the camera, I'm going to read psalm 40, verse 8.

Psalm 40, verse 8, "I delight to do your will, o my God, and your law is within my heart." Now, the law of God is the best expression of the will of God. If you want to know 'what is the will of God?' How important is it that we do the will of God? "Love not the world nor the things that are in the world for if any man loves the world, the love of The Father is not in him. For all that's in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is of the world and the world is passing away and the lust thereof, but he that does the will of God will abide forever." He that does the will of God will abide forever. Alright, we're going to read this next - by the way, that was 1 John, chapter 2, verses 15 to 17. You're going to read for us Matthew 7:21 - go ahead.

Not everyone who says to me, 'lord, lord,' shall enter the Kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in Heaven." Are there a lot of people in the world that say, 'lord, lord'? And are they the ones that are going to be in heaven? Not necessarily. Not if they're not doing what? The will of God. And so, that's the real - that's the real discriminating truth is it's one thing to say, 'i am a member of a church' or 'i pray' or 'i go to church' and you go through all the religious outward forms and ceremonies. But if you're not doing the will of God - that's what he wants from us. The law of God is the best expression of his will.

Now the will of God expresses the character of God. When you read in the Ten Commandments - the law - the law is not something heavy or bad, the law is something that is good. It tells us that the law is 'just and holy.' Matter of fact, let me read this for you. I was going to do this a little later but I'll do it now. Psalm 19, verse 7 - psalm 19, verse 7 - some of you know this probably by heart - they've got a song about it.

"The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;" why would we get rid of something as just and pure? Matter of fact, somebody else look up for me Romans 7:12. Who has that verse? Right up front here - get a microphone here - Romans 7:12 - we'll have you do that in just a moment. And so, the Bible tells us that God's law is something that is beautiful. Now look at the character of God's law. I've posted this before and if - if someone'll help me remember I'll add this to our online notes at our website at 'saccentral.

org'. But the Ten Commandments are a transcript of God's character. You look at the characteristics of God's law, you're going to find out that they coincide with the character - notice: the Bible tells us, for instance, in Romans 3:26 that God is just. God, his essence, he is just. You know, the Bible says the law is just.

That's Romans 7:12. The Bible tells us God is true - John 3:33. The Bible also says that the law is true - Nehemiah 9:13. The Bible says God is pure - John 3:3. The Bible says the law is pure.

Now, I'm not going to have time to read all of these to you, but I'm going to just fly over real quick and just read what the characteristics are. Every single thing I'm going to read about the character of God I'm going to also show you - you look up the references online - that it corresponds with the law of God. So any attack on the law of God is an attack on the character of God. Follow me. God is just, his law is just.

God is true, his law is true. God is pure, his law is pure. God is light, his law is light. God is called faithful, his law is called faithful, God is called good, so is the law. God is spiritual, so is the law.

God is holy, so is the law. I'm going to pause here. You ready to read? Okay mike, go ahead, read your verse. Romans 7:12, "therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good." Alright, he just read one verse there - holy, just, and good. It says 'the law is'.

The Bible says that God is holy, just, and good. I'm going to keep going. I said holy here a second ago. The law is truth, God is truth. The law is life, God is life.

God is righteousness, the law is called righteous. God is perfect, the law is called perfect. God is eternal, the law is called eternal. God is peace, the law brings peace. God is the way, the law is called the way - psalm 119, verse 30.

God is sure, the law is called sure. God is unchanging, the law is called unchanging. God is called sweet, the law is called sweet - like honey. God is wise, the law is wise. God is our meditation, the law is our meditation.

God is our judge, enlightenment, love, clean, blessed, delight, wonderful, liberty, comfort, our song, merciful, knowledge, hope, life, sound, understanding, happiness, and joy. Everyone of those things I read it also says about the law. So when some people say, 'i don't want to go to that church. They talk about 'the law'.' Well, that means they talk about the Lord. Because if you really read the Bible, everything you're going to hear about the law reflects the character of God.

The law is an expression of who he is and yet, it's so vitriolic to hear people talk about 'oh, they're legalists because they talk about the law.' 'Pharisaical - law - huh!' And it's like it's a dirty word. Isn't is sad that in God's church the law would be looked upon as a bad thing when it really is the essence of his character? Isn't that right? What has the devil brought us to? Now there are people who can be legalistic and there are pharisees, but it's not the law's fault that people misapply any teaching of God. You see what I'm saying? And so to, you know, to separate the law from the law giver, you can become a legalist. But when you connect the law with the character of God all the commandments are good and holy and just and pure and perfect. And so - now having said all of that about the law, I think it is important to differentiate that there are differences in the law.

The Bible talks - and we'll get to this more when we talk about the Sabbath - some laws were more of a ceremonial nature and they came after sin and some were even described as being nailed to the cross. And so, we need to find out what those two laws are. Let me just illustrate a few verses that show the Ten Commandments are distinct and separate from the other laws. Alright, let me give you Deuteronomy 4:13, "so he declared to you his covenant which he commanded you to perform, the Ten Commandments; and he wrote them on two tablets of stone. And - and the Lord commanded me" - Moses was writing - "at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that you might observe them in the land which you cross over to possess.

" Do you see Moses making a difference? 'the Lord gave you the Ten Commandments - his covenant - and in addition, something separate, I also gave you statutes and judgements' - that he got from the Lord - Moses didn't dream these up. Another verse - after the Ten Commandments are given - what chapter do the Ten Commandments appear? Exodus 20 as well as Deuteronomy 5. But in Exodus 20 you've got the Ten Commandments. Now what's it say in Exodus 21? "Now these are the judgments which you shall set before them." So God speaks the Ten Commandments, writes it with his finger, puts it on the stone, then he says to Moses, 'now here's some judgments.' Additional law - separate law - is given. Kings 21:8, "and I will not make the feet of Israel wander anymore from the land which I gave their fathers - only if they are careful to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that my servant Moses commanded them.

" You see God making a distinction there? 'I commanded them and the laws that Moses commanded them.' God's making a distinction. Let me give you one more - there's others - 2 Chronicles :8, "and I will not again remove the foot of Israel from the land which I have appointed for your fathers - only if they are careful to do all that I have commanded them, according to the whole law and the statutes and the ordinances by the hand of Moses." Now don't miss that phrase 'by the hand of Moses' because that's a little different than the one we just read in 2 Kings. That will come up again. Alright, let me give you another one. Somebody look up for me - I just want to cue up for the next verse - James - the book of James chapter 1:25 - who has that? Over here.

Okay? Let me read one from Psalms 119. Have any of you read psalm 119? I don't know how somebody could read psalm 119 - what's that psalm about? The whole thing is about the word and the law of God and how beautiful and perfect it is. And it's just - it's so clear that David loved the law. But in psalm 119, verses 151 and , "you are near, o lord, and all your commandments are truth. Concerning your testimonies, I have known of old that you have founded them forever.

" Oh, let me read something to you here from Matthew - Matthew 19. In Matthew 19, verse 16, "now behold, one came and said to him, 'good teacher," - this is the rich young ruler - "what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life? So he said to him, 'why do you call me good? No one is good but one, that is, God." - Pardon me, I told you my Bible's getting stuck - "but if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments." So here the rich young ruler comes to Jesus, he says, 'what good thing might I do that I should inherit eternal life?' And Jesus said, 'if you would enter into life, keep the commandments.' Are we saved by keeping the commandments? And this young man said, 'which ones?' Now is - how many laws were there in the Bible? Someone said there's over 300 laws that you can identify and delineate including the Ten Commandments that they had and so, you can understand why this young man would say, 'which ones?' What does Jesus say? 'You shall not murder' - notice he doesn't say you shall not kill because that's actually not a good translation. The real commandment says, 'do not murder.' Jesus said, 'you shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, honor your father and mother, you shall love your neighbor as yourself' and maybe Jesus didn't get a chance to finish and read the one about coveting - he might have been interrupted by the young man who said, 'oh, I know those. You don't have to finish the list. I know that list of ten.

That's, I mean, that's kindergarten for any jew. We know that.' But Jesus only gave the Ten Commandments on the second table of stone that deal with man's relationship to his fellow man. He said, 'oh, do you really love your brother? Okay, I'm going to call you to be an apostle. Go sell everything you have, give it to the poor. Show how much you love your neighbor, take up your cross and follow me.

' Did he do it? No, it's a very sad story. But it's interesting - don't miss the point that Jesus said that if you would enter into life keep the commandments. But you can't do it without God's giving you a new heart. But he says, 'which ones?' And Jesus points to which ones. The ones that Christ wrote with his own finger - the Ten Commandments, right? Alright, I gave out a verse to somebody - what did I say? James 1, verse 25.

Are you ready for that? Go ahead. 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." So is the law of God called a burden? Is it called bondage? A yoke? Or is it called a law of liberty? And when he refers to it as a law of liberty, just in case you're wondering what law of liberty he's talking about, James 2, verse 11 - now here emily just read James 1:25 and it calls the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, 'not only a hearer but a doer of this law of liberty.' What is that law of liberty? James 2, verse 11, "for he who said, 'do not commit adultery,'" - what group of laws does that come from? The Ten Commandments, right? "He who said, 'do not commit adultery,' also said, 'do not murder.'" - Again, notice it says 'murder' not kill. What group of laws does that come from? Also from the Ten Commandments. "Now, if you commit no adultery but you do murder, you're a transgressor of the law. So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty.

" So what law is he calling the law of liberty? Well, no matter what you say, you know it at least includes the Ten Commandments because he specifies the Ten Commandments when he mentions the law of liberty. Let me give you another verse that I think bears that out. Back to psalm 119 - psalm 119, verse 44, "so shall I keep your law continually until new testament times" - it doesn't say that - "so shall I keep your law continually, forever and ever. And I will walk at liberty, for I seek your precepts." If a person is in prison in a just society, they have lost their liberty because they break the law, right? If you're - I mean there's some corrupt cultures where even innocent people are put behind bars, but if you're in a just society, most of the people behind bars are there - they've lost their liberty because they've broken a law. When we walk in the law we walk in liberty.

You see what that's saying? It's not a burden. It liberates. Most of you are free right now because you haven't killed and stolen last week - I'm hoping. Right? So you're at liberty. Well, it's true also, you're at liberty with God - there's great freedom in God when we walk in his will.

Romans chapter 6, verse 15, "what then? Shall we sin because we're not under the law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves who you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?" So Paul is making it pretty clear here that not being under the law doesn't mean you're free to disobey God's law. 'What? Shall we continue to sin? God forbid!' He says. You are the servant of the one you obey. If you obey the devil and you live in sin, you're a slave to sin, right? And if you obey God, you are a servant of God and you're free. When you obey his law you're free.

You obey the devil's law you're brought into bondage. Let me give you another verse on that. John 8, verse 34 - and somebody look up for me 1 Corinthians 8, verse 9 - who has that? I've got a hand right up front here - barry'll get you a microphone - hold your hand up so he can find you. Okay. I'm going to read the words of Jesus, John 8:34, and I'll read through verse 36, "Jesus answered them, 'most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.

'" - When you break the law you're guilty of disobedience - of sin - and you become a slave. "And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore, if The Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." Free of what? Disobedience and sin. Jesus came to save us from our sin. You know, it's true of every sin - every sin - any sin you can think of in your life in some way enslaves you - to different degrees because there are different degrees of sin - there are - yeah, all sin's deadly but there are different degrees of sin.

And there are different degrees of disobedience. You know how I know that? There are different degrees of punishment for the different laws. There could be a death penalty - when you look at the Ten Commandments - there could be a death penalty for the first six - first five commandments - it's the one about adultery - they - the seventh commandment - that could be dependent on a few factors. There was actually a way you could live through that, but there was no death penalty pronounced on the last four commandments. Oh no, wait, I said that wrong.

Yeah, thou shalt not kill there was a death penalty, but there's no death penalty pronounced on covetousness. There was no death penalty pronounced on false witness. You might have your stuff taken away. So there are varying punishments. There are varying degrees of sin, but every sin enslaves you.

The best example I can think of is alcohol. When a person becomes an alcoholic they know that they are slaves. But it's not just a person who's an alcoholic. There are people who are enslaved to video games - it controls their lives. There are people who are enslaved to shopping - they really are.

I went to visit this one dear soul - they were so embarrassed - they opened their garage - I was going to do some work for them - garage - had to work on the hot water heater - garage was absolutely packed with stuff they had bought online - boxes they hadn't even opened. They had this addiction to shopping. Buying things they don't need, they didn't use, they couldn't afford, in debt - it was an addiction. I'd never really seen it quite that bad before. And some people are addicted to food - it enslaves them.

They coordinate their whole day around these little rendezvous with things they're going to eat and instead of eating to live for strength, it's drunkenness. Some people are addicted to sex. I think we all know there's an epidemic of that because the internet has made it so readily available. Some it's drugs. Some it's work.

We kind of pat those people on the back, 'oh, they're a workaholic.' You know, there's all kinds of addictions and whatever your addiction is you become a slave to. So the idea that there's no more law but we can stay slaves, that's not true. God wants to save us from our slavery. That's the whole plan of salvation, right? That's when Moses came to save this nation from Egypt - it's to illustrate he wants to save them from the slavery. He wants to save us from our slavery to sin.

Whoever sins is a slave to sin. Alright, read for us - in Corinthians 8, verse 9. Right here, okay. But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak." The liberty that we receive in Christ was being abused even in Paul's day. People were saying, 'i have been saved from breaking the law and then they would take it to the next illogical step, 'i am therefore saved from obeying the law.

' And they said, 'because we are saved by grace and not by works, we don't need to obey anymore. Works don't mean anything.' Now Peter addresses that in 2 Peter 2, verse 18 - 2 Peter 2:18 - this is a good one. You haven't heard this one - you haven't thought of it maybe in this context, "for when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage." There are people who claim to be Christians in churches - my denomination as well as others - that's right - that will say, 'we are now in Christ. We are free.

We don't need to obey. Any concentration or focus on the law of God is called legalism.' And so they have these great swelling words and they'll say, 'grace, grace, grace.' And I'm not undermining the importance of grace, it's the only way I'm saved, but people have abused it. Do not let this liberty of yours be a cloak for sin. And while they speak these great swelling words, they themselves are brought into bondage. They're living still enslaved to their sins and they're talking about grace and faith and liberty and salvation and they think because they talk about those things and because God is so graceful - they abuse his grace.

They presume on his grace and they don't understand the importance of the law and obeying the law. One more on that same line - Galatians 5 - this is a book that is often used to misunderstand the law and grace. "For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." There's a liberty that God gives us when we are saved from the penalty of sin. We are free in Christ but we are not saved to sin, we are not freed to sin, we are freed from sin. You know, they had an interesting dynamic in libya after ghaddafi was slain - they had all of these rebels who rose up against his government and finally, when he was slain, now these guys who had sort of been this ragtag military, they became self-proclaimed police and every little band roaming around libya that had a few guns were making up their own laws - for their own convenience.

And they were going like soldiers into different towns and places claiming things because they say, 'we are the new law. We are free from ghaddafi but now we're in control.' And they begin to break the very laws that had been the foundation of any normal government. Their liberation was abused. That can also happen in Christ, you know what I'm saying? Alright, let's move right along here. I haven't been naming the categories, but right now I want to talk a little bit about the moral law today.

First thing to establish is when we talk about the law - it's interesting in America, a little while ago there was a judge - I don't remember how many years ago it was. Was it in ArKansas or Alabama that he wanted to have a monument of the Ten Commandments remain in the courthouse? Judge moore, I think was his name. It's true, the Ten Commandments are foundational but the government must not enforce the first four commandments. The Ten Commandments are on two different tables of stone for a reason. It's not because God couldn't find a big enough rock.

You know, it's like you've got a post-it note and you say, 'i couldn't get this whole message on here, I've got to tear off another one.' And keep going. And so God carved out a stone but he didn't realize how big his font size would be and when he got done with the first four he thought, 'boy, I didn't realize I needed another stone.' And then he got the other six on there. No, God deliberately picked two stones, why? First stone - commandments dealing with our relationship to God. Second stone - commandments that are more civil and social in nature. First are this relationship, second table this relationship.

Love to God. Love to our neighbor. Roger williams rightly said, 'America must be founded on the principles of all ten but the government should never enforce the first four.' Do you want the government telling you what the name of your God is? Do you want the government telling you what day to worship him or how to worship him? See what I'm saying? Or what his name is? Or should every American be free to make those decisions? But the last six commandments are universal in nature and the government must respect and enforce those. Did the Ten Commandments - were they just a Jewish law? What's your answer? Were the Ten Commandments just a Jewish law? How do you know? Well the Hebrews are still jews. Before - do you find laws that some of the Ten Commandments - even before the jews? When do you find them? Well, let's look at some examples here.

Genesis 4 - is that pretty early in the Bible? Genesis 4:6, the Lord says to cain, "why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door." Now, can you have sin where there's no law? No. Where there's no law there's no sin. So was there sin back in the days of abel and cain? Was it against the law to murder your brother? Back then - God called it sin, right? Alright, now go to Genesis 26:5 - someone's going to read that for me? I gave that to someone. Right over here. And tell you what, while we set up for that I'm going to read Genesis 39, verses 8 and 9.

You all remember when Joseph was being tempted by potipher's wife and - and it wasn't a subtle hint that she, you know, she wasn't just flirting a little bit. I mean, she like got ahold of him and said, 'lie with me.' That's what - it's not very subtle. And what does he say? This is Genesis 39:8, "but he refused and said to his master's wife, 'look, my master does not know what is with me in the house," - in other words, 'i am responsible for all that he has' - "and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one great in this house than i, nor had he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" Was adultery a sin back in Joseph's day? Did Joseph live before or after Moses and the Ten Commandments? Before.

I think I gave somebody Genesis 26:5. Who has that? Over here. Genesis 26:5, "because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws." Alright, so did God have commandments and laws and statutes before the Ten Commandments were given? The only thing that happened with Moses - Moses didn't think up the idea that lying was wrong or that adultery was wrong or that murder was wrong or that idolatry was wrong. What God had Moses do was codify for this new nation so that they would have it as a foundational document for their government that this was the law of God. So there'd be no doubt or no question, it was then written out.

You know, up until the time of Moses, a lot of the truth of God was given orally - passed on through the patriarchs and The Fathers, but at this point their life span was shortened, their memories were shortened, and God says, 'you need to write it down.' So he spoke it so there was no confusion. You know, I want to read a quote by adam clark. This is from 'adam clark's Bible commentary'. I couldn't agree more with what he says here. Some people say, 'well, you know, now in the new testament, we don't have to keep the law anymore, it's just love the Lord and love your neighbor.

Ten Commandments were nailed to the cross.' Listen to what adam clark says. "Though Christ is said to have fulfilled the law for us, yet it is nowhere intimated in the Scripture that he has so fulfilled these ten laws" - meaning the Ten Commandments - "as to exempt us from the necessity and privilege of being no idolaters, nor swearers, or Sabbath breakers, disobedient cruel children, murderers, adulterers, thieves, or corrupt witnesses. All these commandments, it is true, he punctually fulfilled himself and all these he writes on the heart of every soul that is redeemed by his blood." So the new covenant is the law of God not taken away - it's not a different law. It says the new covenant is 'I'll take my law' - meaning the existing law since he doesn't name another one - 'I'll take my law and write it on their heart.' Same law. Some people think the old covenant was one law and the new covenant is a different law.

It's the same law with a new motive written in the heart. So I think - say 'amen'. Isn't that right? If for no other reason than it'll humor me. Psalm 119, verse 5, the law and the gospel, "oh that my ways were directed to keep your statutes!" Don't you want that new heart where, through love for God, it becomes the natural impulse to obey him? Oh, that my ways were directed to keep your statutes! Then I would not be ashamed, when I look into all your commandments." Romans 3:19, "now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore, by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in his sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

" Now, is there still sin in the world? Do we still need the law? Do we still need the knowledge of sin? If Jesus came to save us from our sins, can you understand why the devil attacks the law? He attacks the law because if you do not realize that we're guilty of lawbreaking then you don't need anybody to save you from anything. But when we look into the perfect law and we see that there's something wrong - there's sin - it drives us to Jesus for redemption. So the devil hates the law because you take away the law - you take away the mirror that shows us our sin - and where there's no law there's no sin and where there's no sin you don't need a Savior from sin. That's why the devil is attacking the law. Did you get that? Where there's no law there's no sin.

That's what the Bible says. Where there is no sin, who needs a Savior from sin? If you have no law you don't need a Savior. And the devil is attacking the law. He's trying to take it away for that reason. You know, oliver wendell holmes said something once and I saved this because I thought it was a very pertinent observation.

"Law reflects but in no sense determines the moral worth of a society. The values of a reasonably just society will reflect themselves in reasonable and just law. The better the society, the less law there will be. In heaven, there will be no law. The lion and the lamb will lie down together.

The values of an unjust society will reflect themselves in unjust law. The worse the society, the more laws there will be." We've got people whose full-time job in Washington is to make new laws. You know why they're always making new laws? Because there's so much lawlessness. If everybody was obeying the Ten Commandments would they need all these other laws? No. They just - they have to - people keep trying to find a way around the law so they have to get more and more and more and more and more specific and regulate everything because people don't have it in their hearts.

Finally, we've got a couple minutes left - talk about the law and the Sabbath. I really need more time. You know, I'm just going to jump right to the verse that is most often misunderstood. Colossians 2 - do you have your Bibles? Colossians 2, verse 13. Someone look up for me 2 Chronicles 33:8.

Who has that? We've got a hand right here. Let's get you a microphone. You've got him spotted richard? Okay. Let me read Colossians :13 and 14, "and you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh," - notice the word 'circumcision' is being mentioned here. It tells you about what law he's talking about.

- "He has made alive together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting" - underscore the word 'handwriting' - "handwriting of requirements that was against us," - notice, underscore 'against us' - "which was contrary to us. And he has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross." Have you met people before that say, 'Ten Commandments - Sabbath was nailed to the cross'? And he goes on to say, "so let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come." What laws were nailed to the cross? I'll submit to you it's not the Ten Commandments he's talking about. Let the Bible explain itself. It tells us in Ephesians 2:15, "having abolished in his flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances." It was the ceremonial laws written by Moses in the ordinances. Alright, read for me please Chronicles 33:8.

And I will not again remove the foot of Israel from the land which I have appointed for your fathers - only if they are careful to do all that I have commanded them, according to the whole law and the statutes and the ordinances by the hand of Moses." The ordinances by the hand of Moses - taking away the handwriting. Notice that? And then he says, 'what was against us.' Deuteronomy 31:26, "take this book of the law," - he's not talking about the Ten Commandments - the book of the law. These are the ordinances by the hand of Moses written in a book - "and put it beside the ark" - not in the ark - what's in the ark? Ten Commandments. This is beside the ark. - "That it might be a witness against you.

" It was the law of commandments and ordinances by the hand of Moses that was a witness against them that was nailed to the cross, not the Ten Commandments. It's not talking about the Sabbath day, it's talking about the annual Jewish Sabbath days that were part of that book of laws written by the hand of Moses. Well friends, as usual, we run out of time eventually every week, don't we? Out of time again. I want to thank you, friends, for studying with us. Let me remind you one more time we have a free offer that's - you really need to ask for this book - I covered a lot of it in our study today - 'does God's grace blot out his law?' By joe crews.

I think you'll be blessed by that. And look forward to studying with you again next week. Impact your world. The Amazing Facts center of evangelism is the first and original Bible training school operating for over ten years. You'll receive practical training in personal and public evangelism.

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