February 3, 2014

Deeper Still: Bible Tour (Law)


When we use the word 'law' in the context of Bible study we can mean a few different things, as it's not only contained to the Pentateuch (the first 5 books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy), but can be found in other genres of scripture, the numerous covenants*, and even in letters to Christians in the New Testament (NT). But here are five important reminders for us when reading and studying law and commands in the Bible...
  1. The law is not a to-do list limiting our fun or freedom, but rather God's laws were given to us for our benefit. They were (still are) God's way of showing us that when we follow His boundaries we avoid getting hurt. They protect us. 
  2. Obeying the law is not what saves us, and is not it's purpose. The purpose of the law was to show us our great need for a Savior, which we have in Jesus Christ. 
  3. Jesus Christ fulfills the whole law for us perfectly, since we're fallen and cannot.
  4. Old Testament (OT) law was the foundation of the Old Covenant. After Christ's death and resurrection, we received a New Covenant. In other words, some laws set up in the Old Covenant were not renewed in the New, as Christ fulfilled them. But, some laws we do see were renewed and given to us to keep through the grace of Jesus. For instance, we no longer practice animal sacrifice for the atonement of our sins, Jesus was the final sacrifice and atonement, so laws in the OT in regards to sacrifice we no longer abide by. But we do see that even after Christ's death we're still told not to commit adultery (a law that was a renewed command). This does not mean that if you commit adultery you cannot be forgiven and there is not grace for you, because there is and it's found in Jesus. This does mean that God still tells us that it's for our best interest, and that through grace-driven effort we fight against committing the sin of adultery. It's only through and by Jesus we hold to these commands, not our effort, and if we do break them it's only through and by Jesus that we're forgiven and have His grace and mercy extended to us.
  5. Even though Jesus fulfilled the law, the law in scripture still has a massive importance, remaining inspired from God, and therefore, is of great benefit for us. We don't ignore those parts of scripture.
Further Reading...

*Covenant is a massive theme throughout the entire Bible, and one I could barely scratch the surface with here, but I highly recommend going deeper in studying it... and I have to admit, it's probably one of my favorite aspect or way to go about Bible study as it's hinted at on nearly every page. (See Kingdom Through Covenant)

7 comments :

  1. Seriously loving this series, Natalie!

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    1. Glad you're enjoying Gennean! Your encouragement means a lot =)

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  2. Love this!

    We're studying the Bible chronologically at church right now, and are working our way through the Old Testament. My pastor said just yesterday the Law is the guidebook that shows us how to live in a way that reflects the holiness of God, and I really love that description. It's not a list of dos and don'ts, but rather the outlines of the response we naturally have to God in light of His love and faithfulness.

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  3. I'm currently making my way through the Pentateuch, so this was great timing. :) I second Gennean's comment, this has been really good for me right now. Sometimes my Bible study can become so robotic, and I don't want it to be that way. This has been provocative to remember the reasons I love the Word, and love knowing Jesus through it.

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  4. Getting up to date with your Deeper Still posts has been really encouraging! This serves as the perfect introduction to the Pentateuch. You've outlined some great reminders.

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