19. The Christian's Rule of Life
CR

1. WHAT IS THE BASIS OF OUR SALVATION?

1CR Eph. 2:8-10

  • Grace is what saves us—the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ won for us by His life, His death on the cross, and His resurrection.
  • We receive this grace—and the salvation it brings—by faith that Jesus will give it to us. Of course, Jesus didn’t go through all His sufferings just to leave us alone and unsaved. So when we believe in Him as our Lord and Master, He gives us His grace, which is His means of salvation.
  • But that’s not all: When we’ve received Jesus’ grace by faith, we love Him because of what He did for us. And that love creates in us a desire to serve Him—to do what He asks us to do. And that kind of relationship produces good works—keeping Christ’s ten commandments.
  • When we face the judgment—all humans will face it—God will look at the things we have done, not because these things save us, but because they are a witness as to whether or not we have really received the grace of Christ. If we’ve kept Christ’s ten commandments, God knows that our faith in Him is genuine, and He accepts us because of the grace we received via our faith in Jesus
  • 2. WHAT DOES GOD USE AS A STANDARD FOR JUDGING SINFUL HUMAN BEINGS?

    2CR James 2:8-12 The royal law = the Ten Command-ments.

  • God will use the Ten Commandments as a standard of judgment. When a person breaks even one of them he becomes guilty before God. James bases his statement upon the words of Solomon.
  • Eccl 12:13, 14 "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil."
  • Remember, keeping God’s commandments is only possible through the grace of Jesus which we receive by faith in Him.
  • 3. HOW DOES THE BIBLE DEFINE SIN?

    3CR 1 John 3:4 The Bible defines sin as the breaking of God's law.

  • Lawlessness is an attitude of rebellion that causes a person to disdain the law of God and thus God Himself.
  • We may wrong others, but the sin is against God.
  • Ps. 51:4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. Sin is also a lack of faith.
  • Rom 14:23 "But the man who has doubts is condemned . . . ; and everything that does not come from faith is sin."
  • Jesus came to take away our sins (vs 5), to win us to love and acceptance of Him so that He might forgive us and restore us to Himself. (SSLQ May 6, 1997)
  • Righteous in his sight by observing the law? No. rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.
  • Rom 7:7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, "Do not covet."
  • 4. IF THERE WERE NO LAW, WOULD THERE BE ANY SIN?

    4CR Rom. 4:14, 15 If there were no law there would be no transgression—no sin.

    5. FROM WHAT, EXACTLY, DID JESUS COME TO SAVE US?

    5CR Matt. 1:21 Jesus came to save us from our sins.

  • In the context of 1 John 3:4 and Rom 4:15, Jesus came to save us from breaking His law. But it is only as we stay close to Jesus that we can keep His law.
  • Jude 1:24, 25 To him [Jesus] who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
  • Jesus is able to present us without fault because, through His grace, we have been led to be obedient to Him. (Eph. 2:8-10)
  • 6. WHEN WE LOVE JESUS WITH ALL OUR HEARTS, HOW DO WE RELATE TO HIM?

    6CR John 15:14 Love for Jesus causes us to want to keep His commandments (KJV). Obedience is so important to our relationship with Christ, that He stated this admonition many places.
         
    John 14:21-23 Whoever has my commands and
            obeys them, he is the one who loves me
    . He who
            loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will
            love him and show myself to him." . . . . Jesus
            replied,
         
    "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.
           
     My Father will love him, and we will come to him
             and make our home with him.

    7. WHAT DO THE TEN COMMANDMENTS SAY?

    7CR Exodus 20:1-17 The Ten Commandments (paraphrased):
    1. God comes first in everything we do. He deserves our worship.
    2. Don't limit God by likening Him to, or worshiping, things.
    3. Show proper reverence toward God by protecting His holy Name.
    4. Remember God's creative power, and honor Him by observing the seventh day which He set apart as a holy day.
    5. Show respect toward parents and all others in authority.
    6. Reverence life, for it belongs to God.
    7. Protect the sanctity of sex—God's way of sharing His creative power with us. (Sex teaches us about our intimate relationship to God. This commandment protects the family which God initiated at Creation. [Gen 2:21-24])
    8. Show respect for the property that God has placed under the care of others.
    9. God abhors deceit of any kind. (All who use falsehood [and do not repent] will die the second death. Rev.21:8)
    10. Coveting (lust) underlies the breaking of every other commandment.

    8. HOW CAN WE SHOW OUR LOVE FOR JESUS?

    8CR John 14:15 We show love for Jesus by keeping His commandments.

    9. HOW DO WE GET THE STRENGTH TO KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS?

    9CR Heb. 8:8-10 Jesus wants to program us to keep His commandments—to keep us from sinning.
         
    • Those who allow God to do this ". . . are born of
             the Spirit and bear the fruits of the Spirit (Gal.
             5:22, 23). The change can be effected only by
             divine power
    . Only God can 'put' His law in the
             hearts of His followers, though, of course, not
             without man's consent and cooperation." 7BC 446

    End Note

    "It is not the greatness of the act of disobedience that constitutes sin, but the fact of variance from God's expressed will in the least particular; for this shows that there is yet communion between the soul and sin. The heart is divided in its service. There is a virtual denial of God, a rebellion against the laws of His government.

    "Whenever men choose their own way, they place themselves in controversy with God. They will have no place in the kingdom of heaven, for they are at war with the very principles of heaven. In disregarding the will of God, they are placing themselves on the side of Satan, the enemy of God and man. Not by one word, not by many words, but by every word that God has spoken, shall man live. We cannot disregard one word, however trifling it may seem to us, and be safe. There is not a commandment of the law that is not for the good and happiness of man, both in this life and in the life to come. In obedience to God's law, man is surrounded as with a hedge and kept from the evil. He who breaks down this divinely erected barrier at one point has destroyed its power to protect him; for he has opened a way by which the enemy can enter to waste and ruin." Ellen G. White, Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, (Pacific Press Publishing Association, Nampa, Idaho) pp. 51, 52