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Lesson 6 for May 10, 2014

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not!

On the contrary, I would not have known sin except
through the law. For I would not have known covetousness
unless the law had said, You shall not covet. (Romans 7:7)
The law defines sin.
If the law didnt exist, we couldnt know
what is right and what is wrong. We couldnt
tell we were sinning or not.
Thats why the law can condemn us. It
makes our sin clear to us; and the wages of
sin is death. (Romans 6:23)
Paul said that the sting of death is sin, and
the strength of sin is the law. (1 Corinthians
and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all
things from which you could not be justified by the law of
Moses. (Acts 13:39)
The law defines sin, but it cannot
forgive it.
The law cannot turn a sinner into a
righteous person.
So God devised a plan to save
humankind from sin: Jesus death.
For what the law could not do
in that it was weak through the
flesh, God did by sending His
own Son in the likeness of sinful
flesh, on account of sin: He
condemned sin in the flesh.
(Romans 8:3)
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse
for us (for it is written, Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree)
(Galatians 3:13)
We all are under the curse of the
law: for all have sinned and fall
short of the glory of God.
(Romans 3:23)
We may perfectly keep the law from
now on, but we could not be free
from the curse of our past sins. We
deserve death.
But thanks be to God, who gives us
the victory through our Lord Jesus
Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57)
How are Christ and the law related? Did Jesus
abolish the law so we could overcome sin?
The mediatorial work of Christ commenced with the
commencement of human guilt and suffering and misery, as
soon as man became a transgressor. The law was not abolished
to save man and bring him into union with God. But Christ
assumed the office of his surety and deliverer in becoming sin
for man, that man might become the righteousness of God in
and through Him who was one with the Father. Sinners can be
justified by God only when he pardons their sins, remits the
punishment they deserve, and treats them as though they were
really just and had not sinned, receiving them into divine favor
and treating them as if they were righteous. They are justified
alone through the imputed righteousness of Christ. The Father
accepts the Son, and through the atoning sacrifice of his Son
accepts the sinner.
EGW (Selected Messages, vol. 3, cp. 22, pg. 194)
In the illustration it was the death of the
husband that freed the wife from the law.
In the application it is the death of the old
sinful self that releases the believer from
the condemnation and dominion of the
law and frees him to be joined to Christ.
Therefore, as death frees the wife from
the claims of the marriage law, so that she
may properly marry another, so the
Christians crucifixion with Christ releases
him from the dominion of sin and law, so
that he may enter into a new spiritual
union with the risen Saviour.
(SDA Bible Commentary, on Romans 7:4)
Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through
the body of Christ, that you may be married to anotherto Him who was
raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. (Romans 7:4)
Paul explained the difference between living under the law and living under
grace (Ro. 6:14). He used three examples: baptism (Ro. 6:1-8), slavery (Ro.
6:16-23) and marriage (Ro. 7:1-6)
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ
Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the
Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me
free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2)
What is the law of the Spirit that makes me free
from the law of sin and death?
The law is not different, but the relationship
between the believer and the law is, after his or
her conversion.
The same law that was death when I was in the
flesh (Ro. 8:8) is now law of the Spirit of life
because I am in the Spirit. (Ro. 8:9)
If I live in Christ, I will be glad to fulfill His law by
the power of the Holy Spirit. Because the law is
holy, and the commandment holy and just and
good. (Ro. 7:12)
When the Spirit of God reveals to man the
full meaning of the law, a change takes place
in his heart.
EGW (Selected Messages, vol. 1, cp. 26, pg. 212)
In summary, the death of Jesus powerfully
demonstrated the permanence of Gods law. When our
first parents sinned, God could have abolished His laws
and taken away the penalties for violation. However,
this would have meant a miserable existence in a
lawless society for the earths inhabitants. Instead, God
chose to send His Son as a Substitute for us, in that He
received the just penalty for sin as required by the law
on behalf of all people. Through Jesus death, the entire
race stands in a new relationship to God. This means
that any one of us, through faith in Jesus, can have our
sins forgiven and stand perfect in Gods sight.
Keith Burton (Sabbath School Quarterly, Fridays section)