What are the rules?  Part 1

Do we like to know what the rules or laws are?

Do you think that it is important to have rules or laws?

Do people want to know what the rules or laws are to go to Heaven?  What are they?

Humanity has never been good at following laws.

What is the first thing a person wants to do after they have been told not to do something?

In the beginning there was only one rule, let’s look at that for a moment.

Genesis 2:15-17
[15] The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it. [16] And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, [17] but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

1.We already know the story, what happened?

2.In the beginning we had one law or commandment; do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

3.We can see in the book of Genesis that there are no rules mentioned that refer to things that people knew they were to do.  For example Cain and Abel knew that they were to give God an offering.

4.The further in time we get away from God and the Garden of Eden the more rules there are.  By the time of Leviticus we have 630 laws that are to be followed.

5.Why do you think it became necessary to receive more and more rules as time passed by?

6.Does God want us to follow rules for the sake of following rules?

Isaiah 29:13-14
[13] And the Lord said: “Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men, [14] therefore, behold, I will again do wonderful things with this people, with wonder upon wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden.”

1.What was God upset about?

2.Were their words and actions lining up with their hearts?

3.Was it their religious activity that God wanted?

4.What was it that he desired from them?

5.Does this mean God does not want his laws to be fulfilled?

Matthew 5:17-18
[17] “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. [18] For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

1.Jesus said that he came to fulfill the Law.

2.Why did Jesus need to fulfill the law if it was not possible for us to fulfill the Law?

Romans 3:9-20
[9] What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, [10] as it is written:“None is righteous, no, not one; [11] no one understands; no one seeks for God.  [12] All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”  [13] “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” [14] “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” [15] “Their feet are swift to shed blood; [16] in their paths are ruin and misery, [17] and the way of peace they have not known.”  [18] “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” [19] Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.  [20] For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

1.It is God’s law that convicts us of our sin.  There has never been a person that could fulfill all the requirements of the Law other than Jesus Christ.

2.What about you?  Can you fulfill all the requirements of the Law, even now as a believer?

3.For how long?  A minute, an hour, a day, a week . . . . .?

4.So what then can we say - apart from Christ do we have any righteousness of our own?

Romans 8:1-4
[1] There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. [2] For the law of the Spirit of life has set you
<http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/search/?q=romans+8%3A1-4> free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. [3] For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, [4] in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
1. God says that the requirements of the Law are fulfilled in us not by our own righteousness but by life in the Spirit.  We have been made righteous not by our own works or actions but by Jesus Christ and his shed blood at Calvary!

Ephesians 2:8-9
[8] For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, [9] not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

1.Why is it important for us to know that Salvation is by Grace and not by works?

2.Does this mean that as believers we can live any way we please?

2 Corinthians 5:15
[15] and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

1.Now as in the beginning we are given the same commandment and the same choice - obey God or disobey God.

2.We can have a relationship with God or the religion of men.

3.Which one do you have?

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