Fulfilling the Whole Law (Gal. 5:13-15)
Sabbath School Lesson 2017 Quarter 3 Lesson 11 Thursday
Read top dark section and first paragraph,
Many have seen the contrast between Paul’s negative comments about “doing the whole law” and his positive assertions about “fulfilling the whole law” as paradoxical.
What do you think of the answer to the difference between doing the law and fulfilling the law? What do you understand the difference to be?
What about the last sentence regarding trying to earn God’s approval for doing what the law requires? Does God approve of doing what the law forbids?
Read second paragraph,
“This is not to imply that those who have found salvation in Christ do not obey. Nothing could be further from the truth. Paul says they “fulfill” the law. He means that true Christian behavior is much more than the outward obedience of just “doing” the law; it “fulfills” the law. Paul uses the word fulfill because it goes far beyond just “doing.” This type of obedience is rooted in Jesus (see Matt. 5:17). It is not an abandonment of the law, nor a reduction of the law only to love, but it is the way through which the believer could experience the true intent and meaning of the whole law!”
What do you think about the sentence “It is not an abandonment of the law, nor a reduction of the law only to love; it is the way through which the believer could experience the true intent and meaning of the whole law!”
Can the law be reduced to love? Can God’s law ever be anything other than some aspect of love?
What is revealed by the statement? A level of understanding that has yet to comprehend reality as God created it.
Read the last paragraph,
“Although it is a quotation from Leviticus, Paul’s statement in Galatians is ultimately rooted in Jesus’ use of Leviticus 19:18. Jesus, however, was not the only Jewish teacher to refer to Leviticus 19:18 as a summary of the whole law. Rabbi Hillel, who lived about a generation before Jesus, said, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor; that is the whole law.” But Jesus’ perspective radically was different (Matt. 7:12). Not only is it more positive, but it also demonstrates that law and love are not incompatible. Without love, the law is empty and cold; without law, love has no direction.”
Thoughts? What would prompt such a conclusion as the last sentence? Do you hear a gross misunderstanding of God’s law?
It means they don’t comprehend love as design protocol or law, but as feelings, sentiment, emotions, compassion. They don’t comprehend how love functions.
Their statement of “the law and love are not incompatible” is just like saying, “breathing and life are not incompatible.” It is foolish. The reality the law is love, and until Christianity realizes that God’s law is love, the design principle life is built upon, we will struggle with a confused theology and distorted picture of God. Consider the pink section at the bottom:
“What’s easier, and why: to love others or simply obey the Ten Commandments?”
Again, what is the problem with this question? Love is fulfillment of the law! You cannot obey the 10 Commandment without loving others it is impossible.
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