July 6, 2014
This week’s study is titled,
‘How Do Law and Gospel fit together?’
Read Matthew 5:17-20.
Let’s look at this in two parts.
1. Matthew 5:17-19.
Discuss in your group,
According to John 1:16-18 is there any obvious differences between the Law and the Gospel?
Read the comment below and then ask yourself the question above again.
‘Law and grace (the combination of God’s ‘unfailing love and Faithfulness’) are both aspects of God’s nature that he uses in dealing with us. Moses emphasised God’s law and justice, while Jesus Christ came to highlight God’s mercy, love, faithfulness and forgiveness. Moses could only be the giver of the law, while Christ came to fulfil the law (Matthew 5:17). The nature and will of God were revealed in the law, now the nature and will of God are revealed in Jesus Christ. Rather than coming through cold stone tablets, God’s revelation now comes through a Person’s life. No one ever saw God. Jesus is both God and the Father’s unique Son. In Christ God revealed his nature and essence in a way that could be seen and touched. As we get to know Christ better, our understanding of God will increase.’
With these thoughts in mind read Jesus’ answer to Philip when he asked ‘Lord show us the Father and we will be satisfied.’ John 14:8-10.
Also read the Apostle John’s account of the disciple’s time with Jesus. 1 John 1:1-4.
Discuss further in your group the differences between the Law and the Gospel?
Read the following from Luke’s message….
‘So then, here’s how the law and the Gospel work together. In both the Old Testament there is grace, Gospel and law. The Old Testament contains the Gospel, but in bud form. The New Testament is the Gospel in full flower.
So, we would say that the law comprises everything in Scripture which is a revelation of God’s will in the form of a command, that’s a do this, or a prohibition, that’s a don’t do that. And the Gospel embraces everything, whether it be in the Old Testament or in the New, that refers to the work of reconciliation and redeeming love of God in Jesus. And each one of these two parts works together. The law seeks to awaken our hearts to sin, while the gospel aims at awakening saving faith in Jesus Christ. The work of the law is a foreshadow to that of the gospel. It makes the sinner aware of the need of redemption.’
Discuss in your group how the law and the Gospel work together in bringing people to faith in Christ.
Can knowing this be helpful for you when sharing the Gospel with the unsaved? If so,how?
It has been said….
‘The law shows us our sin, the Gospel shows us our Saviour’.
Read Paul’s words regarding the ‘worthlessness of relying on the law compared to the infinite value of faith in Christ to make us righteous in God’s eyes’. Philippians 3:2-9. How would you explain this to an unsaved person?
2. Read again Matthew 5:20.
As children of God through our faith in Christ what words of warning does Paul give in Galatians 5:1?
Are there any things you can think of which can be binding legalism that could try to steal away our ‘freedom in Christ’?
On the other hand how are we to live so as to use our ‘freedom’ in the way God intends? Read Galatians 5:13-14.
Read Galatians 5:16-26. Discuss the difference between living by the power of the Holy Spirit within us compared with allowing our sinful nature to control us.
Extra Thoughts from Luke’s message….
God’s Word is good, it’s eternal, lasting and finds it’s purpose in Jesus. He’s the one that fulfils it all, the prepuces, the types, imagery, sacrifices, ceremonies, and sabbaths.
In Jesus, they find their purpose. Not only that, but God’s Word will not disappear. This means, rather than the law and the prophets now being done away with, they are pointers, by God’s grace to the need for Jesus. So we read them seeing our dependency on the finishing work of the cross. We see the charter of God, the depravity of man and the Grace of God towards us in our fallen and lost state.
In God’s good time, Jesus was born, under the curse of the law and took that curse upon Himself, taking your sin and dying your death. And so completing a work of salvation for us and for all creation.
So then, how we read and teach and apply all that has gone before Jesus is still important. A right understanding of how Jesus has fulfilled it and will fulfil it is central to avoid an ant-law mindset or a good moral and works based understanding of what Jesus is about. And the answer to all of this centres on righteousness. What makes a person right, morally and positionally before God? It’s not what we do. And it’s not about thinking more positive. God has initiated a new way, in which has set His law deep within the hearts of His people. Thereby causing His people to love God and His ways. And in Jesus, this righteousness is given to us. God accepted Jesus on your behalf, when ew trust Him. So it matters not where you were born, what you have done or haven’t done, what’s been done to you. Jesus’ work on your behalf is what counts. And in this new life, we live by the grace and strength of God. And through the Word of God, we obey in our own lives and we teach others, not do better and try harder, but the glorious news that Jesus has come, worship Him. Treasure Him. Delight in Him.
Do we show the same grace that we have been show to others? For that is the real test of Godliness in the Kingdom of God.