Olsen Park Church of Christ

The Law of God

Introduction. For Bible believing Christians the central problem of the human condition is sin (Romans 6:23).  Sin is of such a consequence that it separates man from God (Isaiah 59:1-2).  If a person goes through life to the grave with sin on his or her account in the judgment he or she will be eternally separated from God in hell (Matthew 7:21-23).

            Note: In Matthew 7:23 “lawlessness” (1 John 3:4) Sin is lawlessness.  It is the violation of law.  This can be active or passive (James 4:17).  The question is how can we know the law that God holds man accountable to uphold?

            This morning I would like for us to study the subject of the law of God.  We are going to look at three periods of human history and the three bodies of divine law that governed man’s accountability to God.

I.  The Patriarchal Age (Romans 5:13-14).  Christians and non-Christians alike, because of Hollywood portrays such as Charlton Heston’s The Ten Commandments, know that the first written law that God gave to man was given to Moses.  That doesn’t mean that this was the first law.  How could there be sin if there was no law? There was law—not written law.

    1. Adamic Law (Gen. 2:16-17).  This was an oral law.
    2. Post-Eden Law (Gen. 4:7).  Note: “sin lies at the door”—no sin without law.
      1. Sacrifice (Gen. 4:3-5; Rom. 10:17).  Possibly firstfruits vs. a late harvest offering. 1 John 3:12 Cain’s works were “evil” and Abel’s were “righteous.”  Hebrews 11:4  Abel acted by faith.

                  God had told man what He wanted in worship to Him.  Abel obeyed Cain did not.  Some of the earliest written codes (Code of Ur-Nammu and Code of Hammurabi claim divine instruction.  I don’t believe that their were, but it does reflect a concept that God had spoken to man).

      1. Morality.
        • Dinah and Shechem (Gen.  34:7). There is a concept of right and wrong.
        • Joseph to Potiphar’s wife (Gen. 39:7-9).  He understood that this would be sin against God.

II.  The Mosaical Age (Deut.  5:1-5, 22).  While the Law of Moses was not the first law it was the first divine written law that the Bible records.  It was not given to all mankind but to the Jews (i.e. the descendants of Jacob, or those who became proselytes).

    1. Worship (Exod. 20:22-26).
    2. Morality (Lev. 18:1-9).
    3. Another Moses-Like Prophet (Deut. 18:15-18).
      1. New Covenant  (Jer. 31:31-34).

III.  The Age of Christ (Rom. 1:18-28; 2:12-16).  It is clear that during the time of the Law of Moses Gentiles were still accountable to God. Rom. 1:20-21 says God had “shown it to them”—Roman 1:28 “they knew God”—Romans 2:12-16 “did not retain God” but there was still law and there was still sin.

            The coming of Christ changed this situation. Note: what it accomplished.

  • It made onne standard of accountability (Eph. 2:11-18).
  • It brought the mosaic law to an end  (Romans 10:4).
  • It issued the new standard of judgment (John 12:47-48).
    1. Names of New Standard.
      1. New Covenant (Mt. 26:26-27).
      2. Gospel (Rom. 1:16-17).
      3. Faith (Gal. 3:23-25).
      4. Grace (Rom. 6:13-14).
      5. Law of Christ (Gal. 6:2).
    2.      Scope of Jurisdiction.
      1. All men, everywhere (1 Cor. 9:21; Acts 17:29-31.
      2. Punishment to those who do not obey (2 Thes. 1:9).

Kyle Pope 2010

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