SDA Sabbath School Lessons
Sunday July 28, 1996

(Ps. 119:142)

The Scriptures speak of God as perfectly righteous (Ps. 97:2; Ps119:137; Jer. 23:6). "All unrighteousness is sin" (I John 5:17). "Sin is lawlessness" (I John 3:4, RSV). Because God is perfectly righteous, there is no sin or lawlessness in Him. What is lawlessness? There would be no way to define lawlessness, by contrast with righteousness, if there were no law by which God chooses to live. Lawfulness is what God is. Anything else is lawlessness.

Of what relevance is the fact that God's character has never changed? Mal. 3:6; Heb. 13:8; James 1:17. Have God's righteousness and His law always existed? Will they always exist in the future? Ps. 119:142, 152; Ps 111:7, 8.

God's character has never changed. In the eternal ages before our world was created, God was always perfectly righteous. He was in perfect conformity to the law of life, which He had established. His law defined His way of life and that of the perfect beings He had created. If God's law could be abolished or changed, the standard of His character would change. Under those circumstances, He could not be regarded as unchangeably righteous. God's law is just as immutable (unchanging) as His righteous character.

Lucifer and one-third of the angels sinned against God (2 Peter 2:4; Rev. 12:4, 7-10). "Where there is no law there is no transgression" (Rom. 4:15, RSV). Therefore, God's law existed in heaven before our world was created.

What additional evidence do we have that God's law existed before the fall of Adam and Eve? Rom. 5:12; Gal. 3:12; Isa. 43:27.

If no law exists, there is no such thing as sin (Rom. 4:15). Adam and Eve were created subject to the law of God. The fact that they were not given a written law in the Garden of Eden does not imply that no law existed. Their lives were in perfect conformity to the principles of life that governed all God's creatures. In their perfect state before the Fall, they lived by sight, not by faith. Their perfect union with God made it possible for them to obey and live. They lost their perfect fellowship with God and righteous lives when they chose to break God's law.

Redemption is the restoration of the image of God in humanity. What does this imply in regard to obedience to God's law?