[Thought Questions for Christ, the End of the Law May 14, 2014]
Intro. Read the title of this week’s lesson again. What does it mean that Christ is the “end” of the law? Hasn’t the law existed forever? Don’t we love God’s law in the same way the psalmist David did? Doesn’t the law reflect the character of Christ? Then how can Christ be the end of it? Take a long hard look at this week’s lesson because there are blessings around every corner.
1. Sin abounded, but not like grace did. What is the spiritual connection between sin and death? Between sin and grace? In Romans 5:20 Paul states that “the law was brought in so that the trespass might increase.” Then what benefit is the law to us? So we’ll sin more? Understand our sins better? Sin is “transgression of the law.” Do you have problems keeping the 10 Commandments? Does sin exist outside the violation of those 10 rules? Why does God offer the huge reward of eternal life to those who keep His commandments? What is the greatest command of all?
2. Jesus did it all. Did Jesus keep the law perfectly? Does His obedience cover our sinfulness? If so, why do we even need to think about the law and risk being called legalists? If not, what did Jesus’ upholding of the law do for us? If we love Jesus, isn’t that all He requires? Hasn’t His sacrifice solved the sin problem forever? What does the law give us as Christians that we can’t obtain outside of the law?
3. Wretched man. Do you ever feel worthless? condemned? unholy? spiritually unclean? Can you have those feelings even without committing sin that would be obvious to those around you? Do you think the “wretched man” of Romans 7 represents Paul before His conversion? Or afterwards? When we consider that sin begins as a mere thought and seems to be lurking in our lives continually, what hope is there for the Christian?
4. Law’s end. Have you noticed that many people think of Sabbath keepers as worshippers of the law? Why do people, even within our church, often develop an “allergy” to law because of its association with cold, dead legalism? Have you ever tried to convince someone that you’re not a legalist? If so, did you have any success? When the law points out our failings, how can that be a blessing to us? What is the “end” or the final goal of the law? How can we place God’s love at the center of every aspect of His law?
5. The Disciplinarian. In what way is the law our schoolmaster? Did you always love and respect your teachers? If you love God as supreme, will you welcome His instruction, His advice, and even His discipline as you walk with Him? Why are we so tempted to think of ourselves as free from legalism and yet caught up in trusting in the law as if it can save us? If we as a church love God and look for every possible way to share that love with others in and outside the church, can the law of God be seen as the law of love in us?