81. The Law of God

The Law of God
Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man servant, nor thy maid servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates : for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
Thou shalt not kill.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Thou shalt not steal.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his man servant, nor his maid servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.

1. WHEN God brought His people out of Egypt, how did He republish His law?
“And the Lord spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice. And He declared unto you His covenant, which He commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and He wrote them upon two tables of stone.” Deut. 4:12,13. See also Neh. 9:13,14.

2. Where are the ten commandments recorded?
In Ex. 20:2-17.

3. How comprehensive are these commandments?
“Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Eccl. 12:13.

4. What inspired tribute is paid to the law of God?
“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.” Ps. 19:7,8.

5. What blessing does the psalmist say attends the keeping of God’s commandments?
“Moreover by them is Thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” Verse 11.

6. What did Christ state as a condition of entering into life?
“If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” Matt. 19:17.

7. Can man of himself, unaided by Christ, keep the law?
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5. See also Rom. 7:14-19.

8. What provision has been made so that we may keep God’s law?
“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Rom. 8:3,4.

9. What is the nature of God’s law?
“For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.” Rom. 7:14.

NOTE.-In His comments on the sixth and seventh commandments, recorded in Matt. 5:21-28, Christ demonstrated the spiritual nature of the law, showing that it relates not merely to outward actions, but that it reaches to the thoughts and intents of the heart. See also Heb. 4:12. The tenth commandment forbids lust, or all unlawful desire. Rom. 7:7. Obedience to this law, therefore, requires not merely an outward compliance, but genuine heart service. This can be rendered only by a regenerated soul.

10. How is the law further described?
“Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” Verse 12.

11. What is revealed in God’s law?
“And knowest His [God’s] will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law.” Rom. 2:18.

12. When Christ came to this earth, what was His attitude toward God’s will, or law?
“Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of Me, I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart.” Ps. 40:7,8. See Heb. 10:5,7.

13. Who did He say would enter the kingdom of heaven?
“Not everyone that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven.” Matt. 7:21.

14. What did He say of those who should break one of God’s commandments, or should teach men to do so?
“Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.” Matt. 5:19, first part.

15. Who did He say would be called great in the kingdom?
“But whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom.” Same verse, last part.

16. How did Christ estimate the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees?
For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Verse 20.

17. For what did Christ reprove the Pharisees?
“But He answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?” Matt. 15:3.

18. How had they done this?
“For God commanded, saying, Honor thy father and mother. . . . But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, . . . and honor not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.” Verses 4-6.

19. In consequence of this, what value did Christ place upon their worship?
“But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Verse 9.

20. What is sin declared to be?
“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4.

21. By what is the knowledge of sin?
“For by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Rom. 3:20. See Rom. 7:7.

22. How many of the commandments is it necessary to break in order to become a transgressor of the law?
“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For He that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, and yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.” James 2:10,11.

NOTE.-This shows that the ten commandments are a complete whole, and together constitute but one law. Like a chain of ten links, all are inseparably connected together. If one link is broken, the chain is broken.

23. How may we be freed from the guilt of our sins, or our transgressions of God’s law?
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9.

24. Why are we admonished to fear God and keep His commandments?
“Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Eccl. 12:13,14.

25. What will be the standard in the judgment?
“So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.” James 2:12.

26. What is said of those who love God’s law?
“Great peace have they which love Thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” Ps. 119:165.

27. What would obedience to God’s commandments have insured to ancient Israel?
“O that thou hadst harkened to My commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.” Isa. 48:18.

28. What is another blessing attending the keeping of God’s commandments?
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do His commandments.” Ps. 111:10.

29. In what does the man delight whom the psalmist describes as blessed?
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night.” Ps. 1:1,2. See Rom. 7:22.

30. Why is the carnal mind enmity against God?
“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Rom. 8:7.

31. How do those with renewed hearts and minds regard the commandments of God?
“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous.” 1 John 5:3.

32. What is the essential principle of the law of God?
“Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” Rom. 13:10.

33. In what two great commandments is the law of God briefly summarized?
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and
with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matt. 22:37-40.

NOTE.-“Does any man say to me, ‘You see, then, instead of the ten commandments, we have received the two commandments, and these are much easier’? I answer that this reading of the law is not in the least easier. Such a remark implies a want of thought and experience. Those two precepts comprehend the ten at their fullest extent, and cannot be regarded as the erasure of a jot or tittle of them. Whatever difficulties surround the commands are equally found in the two, which are their sum and substance. If you love God with all your heart, you must keep the first table; and if you love your neighbor as yourself, you must keep the second table.”-“The Perpetuity of the Law of God,” by C. H. Spurgeon, page 5.

34. What is said of one who professes to know the Lord, but does not keep His commandments?
“He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” 1 John 2:4.

35. What promise is made to the willing and obedient?
“If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.” Isa. 1:19.

36. How does God regard those who walk in His law?
“Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.” Ps. 119:1.