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Why the Law Is Difficult #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
April 20, 2022 8:00 am

Why the Law Is Difficult #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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April 20, 2022 8:00 am

It's been said by some that since the 10 Commandments are part of the Mosaic Law, which was given to the Israelites, they don't apply to Christians. But is that true- Today Pastor Don Green continues Teaching God's People God's Word- he'll shed light on this very complex -and at times divisive- subject. Go ahead and open your Bible to Exodus 20, and we'll get started. --thetruthpulpit.comClick the icon below to listen.

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You and I we must understand the role of the moral law in the Christian life and that's why were undertaking this entire study. Is it so important to understand how the moral law applies to us today. Welcome back to the truth pulpit with Don green founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio hello again, I'm Bill Wright you know it's been said by some that since the 10 Commandments are part of the Mosaic law which was given to the Israelites that they don't apply to Christians today but is that really true today as Don continues teaching God's people. God's word will shed light on this very complex and at times divisive subject, open your Bible to Exodus chapter 20 as we get started here is done with part one of a message called why the law is difficult. Why is it difficult for us to get our mind fully around the moral law of God, the law of God. Why is that so hard.

Why did another apostle find it difficult to understand the things that Paul said about these things than the reason that were doing this is kind of twofold. One, I want to give you a kind of a broad sweep of the issues that are involved, but also to kind of lay it before you as a bit of a challenge to your soul little bit of a challenge to your motivation and what it is that you want in Bible teaching and in your understanding and your understanding of your own walk with God. This this is an opportunity for us to understand things at a profound level and for me anyway. I can only speak for myself that's what I want. I don't want a superficial approach to the word of God. I don't want to simply live on milk I want some meat in my diet. As the author of Hebrews speaks about in in Hebrews chapter 5. We need some meat and when we understand these things. It's going to do a number of things but one thing that is going to do is it's going to give us a far greater appreciation for the work of Christ on our behalf or as we understand these things we are going to grow in our reverence of the fact that he obeyed this great law perfectly and we are going to grow in our understanding of our own sinfulness and how far short, we fall of the glory of God and along with that, as we may, as we wed those two things together. We will only grow in our in our love and our appreciation for Christ because we will have a greater understanding of what he did on our behalf.

And rather than just playing. You know sentimental music off FM Christian music stations about Jesus kind of being like our boyfriend or girlfriend going to actually enter into a sober minded love for him that is rooted in the truth from Scripture, the truth about the law, the truth about Christ and the truth of our sin, and the truth of our salvation. And if were not going to do a name for that in our Christian lives.

I don't know what we're doing know what kind of games were playing.

If that's not what we ultimately want, so the study is going to help us in that direction today. I simply want to show you why it's a challenging study to embark upon going to give you four sections of understanding here. First of all it's it's difficult to understand the law simply because of the definition of law that's point number one why is law difficult. Number one, the definition of the law itself is difficult in Scripture, it is hard to understand the relationship between the law and the gospel because the very term law is used in many different ways in the Bible.

I'm not going to take the time to turn you to texts for these eight assertions that I'm about to make. If you're interested in them later.

You can email the church email me and I'll be happy to provide it for you. I just want to give you a sweep this to expose you to the nature of the issues that are involved. The word law is used in at least eight different ways in Scripture. Eight different ways. The word law identifies the book of Deuteronomy in Deuteronomy 27 in Luke 24 the term law refers to the first five books of the Bible, the Pentateuch, the writings of Moses and so it refers to Deuteronomy, it refers to all five books written by Moses law goes further in Matthew 22 distinguishes the writings of Moses from the writings of the prophets. It's used to draw a distinction between different sections of the Old Testament law. In Psalm 19 is used as a summary term for all of God's special revelation in the book of Romans law refers to the moral law.

That is the moral code that is written on the hearts of Gentiles, the things that non-Christians and he even understand implicitly because God wrote it on their hearts. Also in the book of Romans law can refer narrowly to a single statute of the law. One individual law in the midst of the overall revelation found in the Bible in Galatians 2 will look at this term later law identifies works that cannot justify you the works of the law are not able to justify you the works that you do in your own strength cannot save you and law is used to express that principle in John chapter 1 the word law identifies the entire Old Testament era.

The whole era before Christ and then grace is realized in the coming of Christ in John chapter 1 verse 17 that's a different distinct ways that the term law is used just in Scripture. And if you pick up any kind of detailed English dictionary, you'll find over a dozen meanings for the word law just in the English language. No look that makes it difficult. That makes it a challenge.

That means that we have to understand how law is being used in each individual passage in each individual tax. We can't just assume the way law is used in one passage is the same meaning that is intended in another passage that means it takes some patient study. It takes some thought. It takes some reflection each context in which the term law is found has its own Nuance that must be understood.

That makes it difficult. That means that it takes some effort to study these things and to come to grips with their meaning and part of the reason that I make that point. Thinking of the quote from Ezekiel Hopkins earlier where he quoted from Romans 614 were not on now under the law but under grace for some superficial teaching that one verse is used to justify the entire jettison being it's used to justify ignoring the law, ignoring the moral law, in particular because were not under law but under grace, we should see that something's wrong there that one single verse can't explain everything in light of the nuance that I just described to you. There is no single verse that explains all we need to know about the law of God in the Christian life. And so we we realize that we we step back from that. If were going to be serious Christians. We step back from that. We say okay apparently there's some work to be done now. There are in the room. Many of you are happy to do hard work in other areas you're happy to do hard work in your garden, you're happy to do hard work in your career, you're happy to do hard work at home happy to do hard work in the shop. Happy to do hard things for other people will if that's true, then isn't it obvious that for the sake of the glory of God for the sake of understanding his precious word. Isn't it obvious we should be willing to do some hard work in order to understand it, to apply ourselves to not resent it but to embrace it. Look at second Timothy chapter 2 second Timothy chapter 2 in verse 15 in verse 15 it says be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. It takes diligence to understand the word of God were not willing to take a superficial approach were not willing to accept the lazy spirit as we come to the word of God. How could we be. How could we be lazy in light of what Christ has done for us in light of the work that is done coming to heaven going to the cross going to the grave coming out alive ascending into heaven to intercede for us until were with him in glory. I was hard work on his part.

Well, the least we can do.

It seems to me is to devote the work to understand the word that is left behind turned back the book to first Timothy chapter 5, first Timothy chapter 5 in verse 17. My point here is not about the office of elder. But the work. Verse 17 the elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. It's hard work. It's hard work for us to understand these things and that's why the law is difficult to understand. It takes labor it takes effort we have to apply ourselves to this and so you know I'm I'm actually you know I'm I'm excited. I'm interested I'm I'm interested to see how this congregation responds to the work that's necessary to understand the law of God, I'm interested to see what the responses. I think this is going to be a good test for where our churches is really at to find out how people respond to this. I'm looking forward to that and I'm expecting the best.

But I realize this is going to have a winnowing effect on some, but it's worth it. God's word is worth it or Christ is worth it.

It is worth it to to understand what he requires from us in detail so that so that we can live a life that's pleasing to him in the time that he that we have left here on the earth. We want this, even though it's difficult. Is there anything worthwhile. That is there ever been gained without difficulty in attaining it as any athlete at the Olympics ever want to gold-medal without doing the hard work of training has any champion ever held up the trophy without hard work that led him there is anyone ever mastered a musical instrument and brought artistic beauty to our ears without the hard work that was necessary to do it no no, we understand that and we embrace it and other things in life.

What I'm laboring to emphasize here.

Let's not treat Christ cheaply is not treat his word cheaply by pretending that this is easier than what it actually is.

So the laws difficult to understand. First of all, by the very definition of the term itself.secondly secondly, the types of law. The types of law make it difficult to understand the moral law of God. Part of what makes this difficult to understand the relationship between the law and the gospel is this God gave three kinds of law to Moses when were speaking of law. There are different aspects to the law, there is the ceremonial law is I'm going to explain here in a moment the ceremonial law. The judicial law and the moral law. Now some Bible teachers again object to those categories.

They say that distinction is not laid out verbally in Scripture, but neither is the word Trinity which is a linchpin of Christian orthodoxy that say that's a false objection. It's a superficial objection.

We believe that our 1689 confession gets it right and so following that following what Scripture teaches. We recognize three different types or kinds of law that God gave to Moses. First of all, there is the ceremonial law. The ceremonial law that refers to the manner of Old Testament worship God gave to his people and his revelation to Moses, God require different kinds of sacrifices and priests and rituals and tabernacles. A tabernacle, not plural. He gave his people, different sacrifices and rituals to follow in the tabernacle and temple so that they could approach him before the coming of Christ, and that outward form of worship was what they practiced.

It was a shadow that was pointing to Christ. Look at the book of Hebrews chapter 10 Hebrews chapter 10, going to the right in your Bibles if you're still in first Timothy Hebrews chapter 10 in verse one it says for the law since it had only a shadow of the good things to, not the very form of things, can never by the same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near, the law was a shadow that was pointing to a future final sacrifice by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Look at verses 11 and 12. Every priest stands daily ministering in offering time after time the same sacrifices, which never can take away sins but Christ, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God in the Old Testament. The worship was different. Christ had not yet come.

So God ordained these animal sacrifices and different rituals to as an avenue of worship to him before the fulfillment that Christ would bring the Old Testament worship has been replaced in Christ, so that ceremonial aspect has been fulfilled by what Christ has done and is no longer practiced, but it's one aspect of the law and that makes understanding the law difficult. Secondly, another aspect to the laws of the judicial law. The judicial law that refers to the precepts that were given to the Jews in Exodus 21 to 23 to govern their civil state. They were a nation. They were an independent nation under God and God gave them precepts and regulations, and ordinances to govern how civil life in the civil state would be done. These laws govern Israel's daily life in matters of property rights and criminal punishment.

Most Christians believe that those laws were set aside when biblical Israel ceased to exist there in the first century after the destruction of Rome and earlier, you have the ceremonial law, the laws regulating worship. The judicial law regulating the matter of civil state, then thirdly thirdly, we come upon the moral law. The moral law, which is the subject matter of the 10 Commandments.

Generally speaking, moral law refers to the rule of righteousness which God gave in the 10 Commandments, the rule of righteousness that God gave in the 10 Commandments and as were going to see the 10 Commandments. Summarize they bring in 1 Concise Pl. The rule of obedience that God has given to man to govern his relations to God and the other men. The first four vertical the last six or horizontal. It's a summary of what God requires from men in their moral accountability to him that is distinct from the sacrifices that is distinct from the civil ordinances and when what you find as we study the moral law. The moral law expressed in the 10 Commandments is based on the unchanging moral nature of God. They are a revelation of his holiness.

They show us what God requires. They were a manifestation of his righteousness is an absolute standard of righteousness that applies to all men everywhere at all times. This is a like a universal umbrella that is overall of humanity from the beginning of time until the end that we are studying in dealing with the moral law sets a binding moral obligation for all men, for all time and that is not set aside by salvation in Christ is I'm going to explain in a moment. The law still instructs us law still teaches us. And so, in this age. You and I we must understand the role of the moral law in the Christian life and that's why were undertaking this entire study. That's why were undertaking this entire study. Is it so important to understand how the moral law applies to us today.

So why is the law difficult. Well, there are a lot of definitions there are a lot of different uses of the term, make it difficult. Secondly, there are different kinds of law in the Old Testament ceremonial judicial the moral law, by the way, in case any of you have that haven't been with us you you bristle against that idea that the moral law has relevance to the Christian today. We've done a couple of messages on this already, but just reading the New Testament, you find that the New Testament writers are repeatedly appealing to the words of the 10 Commandments, the themes of the new commandment in order to enforce the moral obligations of Christian life upon the readers if the law had been set aside and had no relevance. They would not appeal to it, but they do again and again. Christ did Paul did and so of course we need to understand these things.

Of course we need to know the implications.

How are we going to live lives, to the glory of God. If were not aware of what he were actually requires friends of I can just go on a bit of a tangent here and and make this observation part of the challenge in our ages that we live in a sentimental age just so wrapped up in in emotion and not clear thinking wrapped up in an age that denies any standard of absolute truth is well when actually there is absolute truth revealed in God's word. So between the combination of emotional and emotional approach to life in a culture that denies the standards of absolute truth were in a very vulnerable position by our environment to diminish the importance of the things were about to study this whole study is a frontal assault on that sentimental approach to life, and that standard of life and that approach to life that thinks truth is relative, you have your truth.

I have mine and let's not worry about it too much. All of those factors undermine an honest approach to studying the moral law because were conditioned to think that it doesn't matter. It does matter. Well, there's 1/3 thing that makes it difficult to study the moral law of God, going from broad and narrowing things down as we go along here and that's the use of moral law. The use of moral law. It's difficult to understand the law because it has different purposes, it has different effects and today I'm just going to summarize the things that we need to understand about it and clarify clarify what it is were talking about when we talk about the moral law in the Christian life.

Okay this is this is really really serious will start with some negatives and end up with a positive peer statement. First of all so important to understand so easy to fall off the beam on this very point.

If you're taking notes. Be sure to write this down the moral law is not for justification.

The moral law is not for justification. What I mean by that is this you cannot obey the 10 Commandments and gain salvation by them. The law was not given for that purpose. You cannot obey God enough in order to earn his favor.

You cannot obey God enough to get forgiveness of one sin, let alone the thousands and tens of thousands of others that you committed. We cannot earn our standing with God through obedience to the moral law. Scripture is abundantly clear on this. That's gone green. Bringing today's lesson to a close friend or listening to the truth pulpit and were glad you were with us today. We hope this message is blessed and encouraged you in your walk with God. If you'd like to hear it again more if you like to find out more about our ministry. Just visit the truth. once more. That's the truth. by Bill Wright, inviting you to join done green next time on the truth pulpit as he continues teaching God's people. God's word

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