The Law of God (Discipleship Training)
The Law of God: Of the many topics we must work through in our discipleship, our relationship to the law of God includes perhaps the most ongoing, practical issues that we will deal with on a day-to-day basis. On one hand, the Bible tells us in the strongest and most frequent language that we cannot be saved by our works. Adam’s sin was representative for us, so that his guilt transfers to us. There is no way for us to do enough good works to overcome that debt.
On the other hand, the Bible consistently urges and commends us toward good works—not as though we can be saved by them, but as the purpose for which we were saved. We are not saved by works, but we are saved for works. Good works are not the merit for our salvation, but the fruit of the salvation that Christ has accomplished for us.
To learn to love the law of God as the path God has appointed for our lives—not for our salvation, but for our sanctification.
Read and discuss:
- Psalm 119:97: We should love the law of God.
- Luke 17:10: We are unworthy servants who can do no more for ourselves than our mere duty.
- Romans 3:20; Galatians 2:16: No one can be justified by works of the law.
- Romans 10:5: Righteousness by the law requires that we live by the law perfectly.
- Romans 13:10; Galatians 5:14: Love is the fulfillment of the law
- Ephesians 2:8–10: We are not saved by works, but we are saved for works.
- Titus 3:4–8: God did not save us by works that we do, but he saved us in order that we may devote ourselves to good works.
- Hebrews 11:6: Without faith it is impossible to please God, so that the works of unregenerate people cannot ultimately please God.
- James 2:18–22: Good works are the fruit of living, active, saving faith.
Read and discuss:
- Westminster Confession of Faith, Ch. 16, 19
- Westminster Larger Catechism #91–97
- Westminster Shorter Catechism #39–40
- What is our relationship to the law before we believe in Christ? Are there any commandments that we must fulfill before we can be saved?
- What is our relationship to the law after we believe in Christ? Must we do anything to stay saved?
- If our obedience to the law is not the basis on which we are saved, or stay saved, then why should we do good works at all?
- What does it mean when the Bible points to love as the fulfillment of the law?
- Have you struggled with worrying that faith in Christ is not enough for your salvation, as though you have to do something more to be saved? How do these doctrines (and the doctrine of justification) help us to navigate those doubts and fears?
- Do you love the law of God? Is it your meditation all the day (Psalm 119:97)? If not, why not? How might you cultivate love for the law of the Lord, by God’s grace?
- Do you see good works as the fruit of your salvation? What is one area where you need to repent from sinful works and ask God to strengthen you for good works, by grace?
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