Sabbath: The Law of God

Read for This Week’s Study: Matt. 5:17-19, Matt. 5:21-44, Mark 7:9-13, Matt. 19:16-22.

gless10-2014cMemory Text: If you love Me, keep My commandments (John 14:15, NKJV).

Though many leaders in Israel highly exalted the law, some misunderstood its purpose, believing that they could obtain righteousness by obeying the law. As Paul was to write: For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God (Rom. 10:3).

This is why Jesus often questioned, and even disapproved of, the traditions of the religious elders (Mark 7:1-13). And their misunderstanding was why they criticized and confronted Him about His views of the law.

It is important to understand that, although Jesus criticized the openly legalistic practices of the Pharisees, He exalted the Ten Commandments, clearly affirming the perpetuity of the Decalogue and explaining its meaning and purpose. Christ Himself said that He had come to fulfill the law (Matt. 5:17). In many ways, His death was the ultimate revelation of the continued validity of God’s law.

This week we will analyze Jesus’ teachings in regard to the law and the impact His teachings should have in our lives.

*Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, September 6.



Sabbath: The Law of God — 9 Comments

  1. We need to pray daily for the refreshing of the Spirit of Christ if we are to submit to and fully understand the righteousness of God. May God use this lesson to transform His church and the world.

    • We must not only pray daily but continually throughout the day and night that the Spirit of God motivate us in every issue and situation.

  2. It's very important that as Christians we must be fully engulped in the word and study for ourselves. Recently a couple (jahovah witness) stopped by my house with an intent to convert me to their religion. In their arsenal were a number of text Including the memory verse. However they conveniently leave out verses 18-22 of matt 5. The point is we MUST study for ourselves.

  3. So far this quarter we have looked at SDA fundamental beliefs through the eyes of Jesus. These are not individual disconnected ideas, but form part of a harmonious belief set. Although it might be easier for some than others based on experience, it serves us well to try to make a connection between the topics; to see how the trinity relates to unity, how unity connects to mission, and mission to law, etc.

    Something to consider is why we have the God-given name of Seventh-day Adventist, instead of something about the cross, or Jesus the Chief Cornerstone. The name is connected to all we have studied before, but has something in particular to do with the law and our special end-time responsibility, and it ought not to be downplayed, because it is not universally pleasing.

    Notwithstanding the mistakes of the past (and the church has not been perfect) there was a time when the law was not so unpopular in the church, and people were called to leave all (Mark 10:28). Too often now the option is presented to just tweak a few things, while retaining one’s cherished dreams, precious opinions, way of life, and own law and standards (Romans 10:3).

    Still Jesus calls us to come home, back to Eden and observance of His law and standards.

    All who are weary, won’t we come home. Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, even now.

    • Hugh, I can't help wondering if some of the shift in emphasis has been related to the moral attitude of society at large. Yes, we did have open legalism in our ranks (more than today) at a time when, at least in American culture, work ethic and obedience to parents were values publicly held high. So it would be easy to preach a message of obedience to God's law. And it would be tempting to think that if one could get in good with parents by obeying or with the boss by working hard, then one could also get in good with God the same way.

      In the last decades, we've shifted to a much more independent spirit. The children of the 60s, who were raised with less moral foundation (or who rejected the foundation they were offered) have become parents with little to no foundation to give to their own children. (Thank God that not all followed that trend.) So it's not surprising that some today are more comfortable with thinking that God doesn't care about standards either.

      Yes, Jesus is calling. May God help me to hear His voice of truth. And may He help me listen not to the popular "gospel" of whatever worldly culture appeals to the sinner in me.

      • John,
        Yours is a credible assessment.

        Apparently in the mind of some the problem with the church was diagnosed as 'emphasis on the law.' "And so if we just sideline the law or deemphasize it a lot we would do so much better."

        The problem then is the same now - the heart of mankind, except now with the law far from the mind and lightly regarded there is little sense that anything is wrong (Romans 7:9). Sounds like the direction of Laodecea (Revelation 3:17). People actually feel its all good.

  4. A testimony of the Sabbath given by Northeast India new member, once Hindu, now Seventh-day-Adventist, is so heart warming. A missionary started a school in Tripura India. He took up on the idea of going out and buying a soccer ball, soccer boots, and playing with the people. Friendship evangelism is what we call it. The school was instrumental in starting a church and got the attention of the people who build one day churches. A hansom new church became a missionary to the Sabbath to the rest of the community. God blesses our forever faithfulness.

  5. Brethren help me understand the concept: Isn't Jesus Christ the Law incarnate? Great Controversy 478. Doesn't His life of FULL obedience to the law become the demonstration case for all of us; that if we totally rely on God, He will give us the strength to OBEY the commandments of God, and thereby be a reflection of the character of Jesus Christ?


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