The following is the first sample lesson of Biblical Law I. It does require the use of a textbook which is why I have only put one lesson here as a sample. These lessons give additional comments on the textbook material. This sample will give you a good idea of the format the course will take. For a look at the foundational principles of Biblical Law and how it works with grace and love take the the complete and free course Master Life: An Introduction to Biblical Law.
Welcome. Please read Pages 1-27 in the Institutes Of Biblical Law. It is best to read the notes on each page as you read that page.
It is interesting that at one time God’s law was held to be the way nations were to be governed. The great attack in modern times by both the world and, in many cases, the church has been to undermine Biblical Law. We have departed from it and then we wonder why our world is in confusion. If the church cannot sound a clear trumpet call, who can?
Biblical Law impacted Western civilization. If not for the light of God’s Law we would still be struggling in the dark, not knowing what things did not work out. By steadily abandoning God’s Law today we are headed back into the dark ages. Peace, justice, and other benefits of the Law will be but a distant memory. We need to awaken our society to the necessity of Biblical Law...and it begins with convincing the Church - this shows how far we have already fallen.
The law has a vital role to play. Certainly, we must never try to use it as a way of gaining or maintaining salvation [legalism], but there is more to life than salvation. Salvation is the door to a great new world. The Law answers the questions: How now should I live? How should my family, my church, my nation, and every other relationship be governed? In God’s world what things are allowed and what things are not? What are the results for obedience or disobedience?
Justification relates to our right standing before God. It includes our salvation and standing before God in the righteousness of Christ and not by our own works. Sanctification relates to our Christian maturity and growing into the likeness of God. Christ perfectly kept the law and as we grow to be like Him we practice law-keeping in greater and greater ways. Our heart and desire is to keep the law. Progressively, the Holy Spirit works it into our lives so that more and more we reflect the beauty of the law-keeping nature of Christ.
Sometimes we come up with strange notions. We think being “spiritual” is some spooky, otherworldly thing. If someone sees angels every night, or reads their Bible for 12 straight hours, or fasts for a week, then they are spiritual. Being spiritual is simply living according to the Word of God as empowered by the Holy Spirit. That’s it. “High” experiences can be great, but true spirituality is proved in the day by day living out of the Word of God.
If we don’t like the shape the world is in, we can only blame ourselves. Society will follow the Church. If the Church can’t get its act together, can we expect anything else of Society? We are the leaders - where are we leading?
Law is religious so every society is built on religion. The humanistic claim to toleration and accepting everyone and what everyone believes is a smoke screen. To begin with, they are at war with Christianity - the Christianity of the Bible anyway.
There is no such thing as total toleration. It is ALWAYS a matter of what will be tolerated and what will not be tolerated. The toleration of sin shows intoleration for righteousness. The toleration of a murderer shows intoleration for the victim. And so on...
The old saying that law is Old Testament and grace is New Testament is wrong. In fact, EVERY dealing of God with man since the Fall of Adam is on the basis of grace [see Covenants]. There is no other way that it could be. Man, since the Fall, deserves nothing but death and Hell. Anything better than that is an act of grace. So grace is all through the Bible. Likewise, the New Testament also gives rules or laws. Grace and law work together in the total plan of God. They are not in opposition to each other. [See Life Line ]
Jesus used the terms “Law of Moses” and “Law of God” synonymously. It was God’s Law given through Moses. Moses did not originate the Law, he only communicated it.
We are deceived when we divide life into the Spiritual and non-Spiritual. We like to have everything fit into compartments. The fact is, all of life is Spiritual and to be under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Nothing is exempt. Jesus is Lord of ALL or not Lord at all. Sometimes we break things down into compartments or sections to be able to better study and understand them but we must never forget they are a whole. For example, a doctor may study the arm and how it works but he must never forget that it is part of a whole body. So we can study an area of life, but we must never forget that life is a whole life and everything works together or else it doesn’t work properly.
An aspect of Communion [the Lord’s Supper] is renewing our covenant pledge to the Lord Jesus Christ - like renewing a marriage vow. Renewing the covenant includes, of course, renewing our commitment to covenant [Biblical] law. We are public committing to order our lives, through the power of the Holy Spirit, according the laws of God. If we walk in callous disregard for Biblical Law we are making a false vow and will have to answer at the throne of God for it.
When we are saved we are required, and enabled by the Holy Spirit, to fulfill the original dominion command. This world is to be developed and governed for the glory of God. The Christian’s privilege and duty is nothing less.
We have no choice as to which law we live under. We are now children of the King and His Law is the only one we acknowledge. We are required to be submitted to man’s law as long as it does not require us to violate our King’s Law, nevertheless, we pray and work for the day when we will be under His Law alone. Man’s laws are grievous, His are not.
If the state is to be God’s servant and representative [in the matters of justice], it must follow God’s laws. If it follows ANY other law it is ultimately the servant of satan.
The Ten Commandments are summary laws. They give the general categories of law, if you like. The detailed laws give us the specific requirements and illustrated examples - called case law.
We would normally think of David’s sin as being against the persons hurt by it but first, and most important, it was against God. Every sin we commit, is first a sin against God and then against any of His creation affected by it. This means, that no matter what the sin, we should first seek forgiveness from God and then from others.
Minimum case law shows us how far the law will reach. In the example, this law even protects animals from abuse. The idea is that if it is theft to steal from an animal, how much more is it theft to steal from human beings. The law then does not have to cover every possible violation [statutory law - which is why we have so much confusion in law today] but only has to lay down the principle and show the extent of the law. Another example, there are no specific laws on wife abuse but there are strict laws on assault. If it is an offense to assault a stranger, how much greater an offense if one assaults a person they are sworn [in the marriage vow] to protect.
See Covenants .
Unfortunately there are a lot of Christians today who don’t believe God really expects them to fulfill the creation mandate. They have surrendered control of the physical world to satan and his followers - just like Adam - because they don’t want to take responsibility. They would much rather dream about heaven, tickle their ears with sensationalism, or just survive. God is expecting His people, through the Holy Spirit, to be more than conquerors in every area of life. Are we going to take God seriously or just retreat in a fantasy world?
The First Commandment
The law is not against grace [as we explain in Life Line ]. The law is one expression of grace. God did not have to give us the law. He could have left us in the dark, never knowing right from wrong, never being able to figure out why things did not work, never being able to work for a brighter future. The law was a gift of grace. It was man who took it and twisted it into a way of salvation. That was never the law’s intention. The law teaches us how life works, how to get the most out of life, and, most importantly, the things which please God.
God’s law must apply to all men in all society or He would not be just to judge all by it. It is vital that we see that God’s law be applied everywhere. We have to be careful that we are not out to “westernize” the world but to bring Christ to everyone and have His law rule over all. This certainly cannot be accomplish by force [military or otherwise], but must come as the Holy Spirit moves on the hearts of the majority of people who then order their lives and laws in obedience to the Word of God. If the majority of people in a nation are rebellious trying to force Biblical Law on them will only result in violence and bloodshed. We must recognize that Biblical Law is the only valid law - worldwide - but we need the power of the Holy Spirit re-creating sinful hearts into God-loving, God-fearing hearts first. Evangelism proceeds restoration.
Only Christianity is true. All other religions, including Judaism, are false religions leading people to death and hell. That is the fact. We don’t want to be arrogant or tactless about it, but everyone outside of Christ is on the road to hell and we need to lovingly reach out to them and offer them hope. Allowing them to go on in a false sense of security is ultimately cruel and eternally damning.
Manichaean = Follower of the teachings of Mani [AD 216-276]. Mani taught that there were two independent eternal principles, light and darkness, God and matter. According to Mani, Jesus and other religious leaders came in order to release souls of light from the prison of their bodies.
I wonder how many Christians realize that by rejecting Biblical Law and accepting the State’s law [or some other law] they have actually changed gods. They have placed another god above the God they claim to worship and serve. Any law above God’s law means a god above God.
Christian education is not a luxury. It is a requirement. Sports programs and “shops” are luxuries. The biggest “churches” in North America today are the public schools and their “pastors” and “high priests” are the teachers who shepherd young minds into the humanistic religion. We offer our children as human sacrifices on the altars of humanism and then pray for God to keep them out of trouble! And we wonder why we have so many problems today? [See Education By Theft and What The Bible Teaches About Christian Education .]
I disagree with the statement about worship in an unknown tongue. Yes, it is important for communication to speak in a known tongue and church services should be conducted in a way that people, especially new people, can understand them. However, there is place for the “unknown tongue” when communicating directly with God or, as God inspires, to talk to a person in a language they understand but the speaker does not.
We respond to the love and grace of God by keeping His commandments. Even Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” The commandments of Jesus, of course, include all of the Word of God for He is the Word.
Because God is jealous for His honour, He will see that justice is done in this life and/or the life after. God will not deny justice. Anyone outside of Jesus Christ will answer and be judged for every violation of God’s law. While we work to establish God’s justice in the world - as a witness to His Holy Character - we can also rest in the fact that ultimate justice rests in the hands of God. “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
”Karma” is the Buddhist/Hindu belief that the acts of this life will determine what stage a person is reincarnated into the next one.
Coming to God with honest questions and our struggles is not wrong. We all work through various trials when even our faith seems to fail and we feel as if God has abandoned us. It is not weakness or even honest doubt that offends God. Many saints of Scriptures and biographies of Christian men and women witness to this. It is the challenging of God, the refusing to believe or act unless He performs how we want Him to, that is sin. We do not make demands of God. We do not try to manipulate God into doing our will in our time. We are to line our life up with His will and trust Him to fulfill His Word in His time. “Hath God said?” Yes, God “hath” said - and we need to obey.
The entire course has 41 lessons. These are all available in PDF form. Check out the details at The Joshua Club. The required textbook, Institutes Of Biblical Law, may be purchased at our bookstore. Even if you are not interested in the course, this is a book which should be read by every Christian.
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