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Lesson 11: The Christian Life *

Introduction: Are you loving the law more? Last week we learned that the law is not our enemy, but rather God's instruction manual for a better life. We decided that only if we seek unbridled self-benefit is the law our opponent. If that is true, then why does Paul indicate that the law is a problem for us? Is it because we all seek unbridled self-interest? We need to learn more! This week we plunge more deeply into the idea that we need to re-educate our thinking to understand that the law is both our friend and our benefactor. We need to become lobbyists for the law! If that sounds strange, let's dive into God's word and see what He has to say about the law!

  1. Law of Benefit


    1. Read Deuteronomy 28:1-6. What does obedience do for our life? (It rains blessings down on us. If you want to learn the full extent of the blessings, read Deuteronomy 28:7-14.)


    2. Read Deuteronomy 28:15-20. What does disobedience of the law do for us? (It creates endless trouble. If you want to learn the full extent of the curses, read Deuteronomy 28:21-68.)


    3. Read Malachi 3:8-12. What happens if we pay tithe? (Blessings flood over us so that we do not have enough room to store them.)


    4. Read Ephesians 5:28. What happens if we are loving towards our spouse? (You get blessed with a spouse who loves you back. Loving your spouse is like loving yourself.)


    5. Read Revelation 21:10-11 and Revelation 21:18-21. What kind of place is the New Jerusalem? (We've never seen such a rich place. It is swimming in gold and precious jewels.)


    6. Why does God make such lavish promises to us? Is He trying to bribe us? Or, is wealth and prosperity the natural outworking of His law? (All of the above? We cannot deny that God has a consistent theme that obedience to the law pays big dividends.)


      1. What happened to the gospel theme of self-denial? How do we explain that Jesus told the young ruler to sell all (Luke 18)?(What if we said that self-denial (obedience) brings great blessings? The ultimate result of denying self is just the opposite of self-denial?)


  2. Breach of Contract


    1. Read Job 9:32-35 and Job 13:17-23. For what is Job asking? (A fair trial against God. Job has a case, he has an argument, and he needs to find a judge who is over God so he can get justice.)


      1. What kind of legal claim will Job be making against God? (Breach of contract. Job knows about God's law of benefits. If you obey, you prosper. That is the deal. The deal is not being properly applied in Job's case, and he wants to sue God.)


    2. Read Job 1:8-11. What does Satan want? (He is against the law! He objects to the "obey and prosper" deal. Imagine that - Satan being against the law!)


    3. Read Revelation 12:12-13 and Revelation 12:17. Who is Satan targeting? (Those who believe that Jesus is God and Savior, and who also obey God's law.)


      1. Does Job's story teach us why Satan has targeted the commandment keepers and what He has in mind for them? (He wants to peel them away from allegiance to God. Job shows us that one way Satan does this is by disrupting the law of benefit.)


    4. Think about this a minute. If you were Satan, would your only strategy be to break the link between obedience to the law and great blessings? (No. I would try to give the illusion that disobedience to the law gives great blessings.)


      1. Do we see this today?


      2. Does Satan have a valid point in the Job conflict? That God is bribing Job? (No. Satan does not like the system, because it is giving him fits. God's law is intended to bless and protect His people. How is Satan going to peel away God's followers if they think (know) that following God brings great blessings and protection against evil?)


    5. Read Job 1:12. How can you explain this? Why doesn't God just say to Satan, "You know the law, it is operating properly here. Go play in the street!"


      1. This is very important, friend. Why did God create a law that always gives benefits to those who obey? (Because God loves us. Love stands behind the benefits. Just as love stands behind our gifts to our children.)


        1. The question is, do our children get confused and think the presents are an end in themselves? That is Satan's challenge here: does Job realize that you give him things because you love Him? Or, does Job just love the things?


      2. What does this teach us about the way that the law of benefits operates? (Like gravity, it is the law. If we obey we are blessed. Satan seeks to disrupt this law, and he does it with God's consent, because God wants us to understand the bigger picture of His love to us.)


  3. Big Picture Thinking


    1. Let's go back to basics. We are saved by grace alone, not by any of our own works. How should we view the law? As the enemy? As something irrelevant? (No! The law is our best friend because obedience to it carries great blessings.)


      1. Is this how you really feel?


      2. Go back to Revelation 12:17. Is Satan the only one fighting on his side? (Fallen angels and fallen humans have the same goal - that they seek to break the link between obedience and blessings. They seek to portray disobedience as the road to blessings.)


        1. If we are attracted more to disobedience than to obedience, what does that mean? (It means we do not have a proper view of the law. It means that Satan and his crew have converted us to their way of thinking. It means the natural heart is raising its ugly head.)


    2. Let's test what we have been discussing. If you currently have a major problem in your life, what is the cause of the problem? If you have a past that gives you pain, what is the source of the pain? (Our study says it should logically flow from some combination of three reasons:


      1. You disobeyed God, you broke the law of benefits;


      2. Someone else disobeyed God, and thus disrupted the law of benefits for you; or,


      3. Satan supernaturally (like Job) disrupted the law of benefits in your life.)


    3. Read Romans 7:10-13. How does the wonderful law of benefits cause death? (The law has both a spiritual component and a natural component. Sin (a failure to keep the law) brings death. I cannot obey the law, so I deserve death. That is why we need grace. That is the spiritual component. On the other hand, the law is "holy, righteous and good," and if we want to be benefitted and blessed, we will do our best to obey the law.)


      1. How did we get to the point that the wonderful law of benefits would, without Jesus, kill me? (Look again at Romans 7:11. The entry of sin is the reason.)


    4. Friend, has this lesson convinced you that in light of grace, the law is your friend? In the battle between good and evil, it is incredibly important to understand the benefit of the law. Those who are saved understand this positive connection with the law. Will you commit today to be a lobbyist for the truth that the law blesses us, sin does not carry benefits?


  4. Next week: Last things: Jesus and the Saved.
* Copr. 2012, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.

© 2017 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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