A Summary of Christian Doctrine
An Adult Bible Study on the Basics of the Christian Faith
Lesson 4 — The Law, Purpose and Fulfillment
Opening Prayer & Introduction
Any transgression against God's law.
How has God revealed His Law to His creation?
1. He wrote it into people's heart at creation.
"since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them."*
2. He wrote it on two tablets of stone and gave it to Moses. (Exodus 19 and 20; Dueter-
Exodus 31: 18
"When the Lord finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the Testimony, the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God."
Note the sharp distinction between Law and Gospel: The Law teaches what we are to do; the Gospel teaches what God has done and still does for us in Jesus Christ. The Law shows us our sin and God's anger; the Gospel shows us our Savior and God's grace. The Law is proclaimed to sinners, especially the impenitent; the Gospel is proclaimed to troubled sinners only.
What are the 10 Commandments (Moral Law)?
1. You shall have no other gods.
Exodus 20: 3
2. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
Exodus 20: 7
3. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
Exodus 20: 8
Commandments 1-3 are often referred to as the First Table of the Law; they deal with our relationship with God. They are summarized in Matthew 22: 37:
"Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'"
4. Honor your father and your mother.
Exodus 20: 12
5. You shall not murder.
Exodus 20: 13
6. You shall not commit adultery.
Exodus 20: 14
7. You shall not steal.
Exodus 20: 15
8. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
Exodus 20: 16
9. You shall not covet your neighbor's house.
Exodus 20: 17a
10. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
Exodus 20: 17b
Commandments 4-10 are often referred to as the Second Table of the Law; they deal with our relationships with other people. They are summarized in Matthew 22: 39:
"And the second is like it: ‘ Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
What does God say about all these commandments (The Close of the Commandments)?
Exodus 20: 5-6
"for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to thousands who love me and keep my commandments."
What one word summarizes the 10 Commandments?
What does the Bible say about keeping the Law?
Leviticus 19: 2
"‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.'"
I John 1: 8
"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us."
Galatians 3: 10-11
"All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written; ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law' 11. Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, ‘The righteous will live by faith.'"
Romans 10: 4
"Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes."
Galatians 3: 13
"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.'"
John 14: 15
"If you love me, you will obey what I command."
II Corinthians 5: 14-15
"For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again."
What now is the purpose of the law?
I Timothy 1: 9
"We also know that law is made not for good men but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers,"
Romans 3: 20
"Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin."
Psalm 119: 105
"Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path."
I Thessalonians 4: 1
"Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more."
What then is the only hope for sinful human beings?
Romans 6: 23
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord."
Romans 3: 23-24
"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24. And are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."
John 3: 16
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
Acts 16: 31
"They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household."
Acts 4: 12
"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
*unless otherwise indicated, the Scripture references are taken from The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984.