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Lesson 7: Christ, the End of the Law *

Introduction: What does "the end of the law" mean? If someone said "the end of you," you would be seriously concerned that "end" meant "death." What else could it mean? If you have a boss who leaves the company, you could reasonably say, "That's the end of him!" "That's the end of her!" Is that the way the Bible means ( Romans 10:4) that "Christ is the end of the law?" Let's plunge into our study of the Bible and see!

  1. Better Adam

    1. Read Romans 5:12-13. Who is this "one man?" (This refers to Adam.)

      1. What law was in affect when Adam sinned? This says that sin is not taken into account when there is no law, and the Ten Commandments were given to Moses long after Adam's sin! (Read Genesis 2:15-17. God gave Adam the law against eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God may have given other laws, but at least we know specifically about this one.)

    2. Read Romans 5:14. What did Adam's sin bring? (Death, just as God warned in Genesis 2.)

      1. Who is the "One to come," and how is Adam a pattern for that person? (This refers to Jesus. Of the several ways in which Jesus was like Adam, the most relevant one here is that they both had a huge impact on life and death for those who followed.)

      2. Why do we see a reference to death reigning "from the time of Adam to the time of Moses?" Why throw Moses into the discussion? (This makes clear that the law in question is the Ten Commandments.)

  2. Sin Shield

    1. Read Romans 5:15-16. How is the "trespass" of Adam and the "gift" of Jesus so different? (Adam brought death and Jesus brings life!)

    2. Read Romans 5:17-19. In battle, we like to brag about how many enemy soldiers it takes to equal one of their soldiers. What is the "equivalence" statement here? (Adam's one sin brought death to everyone who followed. Jesus' gift brought grace to everyone. It erases many sins and brings righteousness to all "who receive" it. It is a powerful grace.)

    3. Read Romans 5:20-21. Adam had one law and one tree to avoid, or at least so it seems. Why would God add the Ten Commandments to increase the amount of sin? (The reason is to increase our knowledge. Recall that the moral law was given to us by a loving God to help us avoid being harmed by the operation of natural law. We now know more about the right direction to take, we now have guidance to avoid making terrible mistakes in life, and the really good news is that grace increases with the number of laws.)

    4. Imagine that you are a parent and you give your child one rule. Let's say that rule is to be home by 10 p.m. Would you be a good parent? Would you have a good child? (Your child would have a very limited opportunity to disobey you. But, your child would be subject to all of the injuries every other child faces - except your child has no guidance from you!)

  3. Law and Grace

    1. Read Romans 6:1. We learned that Jesus brought us life, that His grace covers many sins, and that the law was given to increase sin. We could be forgiven for thinking that sin is not such a bad thing. Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? (If we give our children more than one rule, does that mean they should violate as many rules as we can give?)

    2. Read Romans 6:2-4. How did we "die" to sin? If violating the moral law means that we open ourselves to be harmed by the operation of the natural law, how can we ever die to sin? (This is important. Sin affects us in two ways. One is very practical and immediate: you sin and you get in trouble. Some natural law kicks in. You lose your temper and punch someone, they are likely to punch you back. The second is the long-term effect of sin. It brings eternal death. When we are baptized, we symbolically die in Jesus. As Jesus paid the penalty for our sins by His death, so we die in Jesus for our sins. As we rise from the waters of baptism, with Jesus we rise to live a new life. The penalty of eternal death has been paid through Jesus.)

      1. Is this the end of the law? If so, how? (It is the end of the power of the law to kill us eternally for our sins. Just like the spouse who died is no longer bound by the marriage vow, so when we die in Jesus the penalty for sin is paid. However, since sin caused Jesus' death (and, in Him, our death)why would we want to sin? Why would we want to be so stupid as to ignore the immediate problems that sin brings?)

  4. Maps and Slavery

    1. Read Romans 6:5-7. Have you heard of zombies? In the United States we have this crazy, un-Biblical, fictional idea in books, television and movies about people who died, but who continue to live in some diminished capacity. They are called "zombies." If you were a zombie, would you worry about dying? (No. You already died. Romans tells us that since we already died in Jesus, we do not need to fear death from sin. We enter into new life with Jesus through His resurrection.)

    2. Read Romans 6:15-18. What should motivate us to try to live in accordance with the law even though it can no longer kill us when we are united with Jesus? (Have you ever been addicted to something? Have you ever been damaged by your sins? The natural laws are still alive and well. If you want to avoid the slavery that comes from sin, then you need to avoid sin.)

    3. Read Romans 6:19. We are weak, how do we avoid the slavery of sin? (We make a decision. We decide to offer ourselves "to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness" or "offer ... in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness." You are saved by grace. You died in Jesus for your sins. Now choose who you will serve!)

      1. How many of you can attest to the fact that sin is addictive? That it leads "to ever-increasing wickedness?" (If you have found this to be true, then it shows how important it is to turn away from sin.)

  5. Pure Grace!

    1. Read Romans 7:14-20. Can you identify with this?

    2. Read Romans 7:21-23. Can you identify with this?

      1. Notice that this discussion follows the discussion about dying to sin that we discussed in the prior chapter (Romans 6). Is Paul describing the life of someone saved by grace? (Paul is describing himself! The fellow who was inspired by God to write Romans 6 is obviously someone saved by grace.)

    3. Read Romans 7:24-25. I just encouraged you to choose to be a slave to righteousness. Can we be a slave to both? (Paul says that his mind is a slave to God and his sinful nature a slave to sin.)

    4. Read Romans 8:1-3. If you feel like Paul, what is the Bible's message for you? ("There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Praise God!)

    5. Read Romans 8:4-5. Is Paul contradicting himself? I thought his mind was a slave to God and his sinful nature a slave to sin? Paul just got through saying he did things he did not want to do. How can he say that we must not "live according to the sinful nature?" ( Romans 8:3-4 tell us that we fulfill the requirements of the law through Jesus. Nevertheless, we find a war going on in our life, just like Paul. Even though the war is going on, we are saved! "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." ( Romans 8:1)But, we must choose to live in accordance with God's law.)

    6. How do you choose properly? (Read Romans 8:9 and Romans 8:5. You ask the Holy Spirit to live in you. You set your mind on what the Spirit desires!)

    7. That still is unclear. Paul already told us ( Romans 7:22-25) that his mind was in the right place, but his body was not. His mind is already set "on what the Spirit desires." What else can we do? Or is, "we do" getting us off the right track? Is this just "God do?"

    8. Read Romans 8:12-14. What does this say about our obligation? (We do have an important part in this. But our part is a partnership with the Holy Spirit to "put to death the misdeeds of the body.")

    9. Is this a correct summary? The law no longer poses the threat of death to us, because at our baptism we died for our sins in Jesus and rose to a new life. However, the law is still important to us. Among other things, it is a roadmap that keeps us from becoming a slave to our sin addiction. Even in the new life, we find that the practical battle for sin rages every day. But, the key to this is to choose daily to ask the Holy Spirit to help us to set our minds on what God wants and to put to death the sin in our life.

    10. Friend, will you accept this challenge? Will you accept the free gift of eternal life, and take up the daily challenge to live a life led by the Holy Spirit, a life in which you choose to live as a son or daughter of God?

  6. Next week: The Law of God and the Law of Christ.
* Copr. 2014, 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.

© 2021 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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