Is the Law of Moses still valid today?
Discussion Guide for Romans 7:1-13
To a religious person it should seem very odd that Romans spends so many words talking down the first five books of the Bible. After all, as Christians, we actually do hold the law of Moses in high esteem for the following reasons:
- Yahweh spoke it
- God gave the law to his beloved people
- The law reflects the nature and character of God
- Israel’s identity with God is found in the law
- The law contains some really great ideas for a just society
Despite our love for the law, Romans nails shut the coffin lid on the idea that the Law of Moses can possibly justify any person before God.
If anyone thinks that they have a better plan than Moses, they might as well toss that plan into the grave as well. No system of morality is sufficient to convince an evil and sinful heart that it should love and submit to a righteous and holy God.
Faith in Christ requires that we remove faith from any system that promises the potential to earn our salvation. This is what is meant when Paul speaks about dying to the law (Romans 7:4).
God’s Plan is Not the Law
God’s plan was never to save anyone through the Law. Salvation has always been through faith.
The law of Moses did not create sin. Sin entered the world the moment that Adam disobeyed God.
Every son or daughter of Adam has subsequently disobeyed God.
In spite of this long history of sin, there are many people who go on with life pretending that they are good people. The Law established the holiness of God in such a way as to remove any doubt that a man can reach God’s standard on his own.
The entire purpose of the Law was to show us WHY we need to have faith in Christ!
How Does the Law Work?
Let’s illustrate what Paul means in Romans 7:7-11. Try this exercise in your group:
Everybody close your eyes and try not to think about a pink polka-dotted elephant.
Don’t think about the long snout, how much food it eats, or how ridiculous it would be for an elephant to walk through the forest wearing polka dots.
How many people succeeded?
The law works in the same way. It tells us some of the specific things that we do to violate the holy character of God. When we see our hearts and minds running toward the places the law tells us we cannot go, we should see how much of a foothold that sin has gained in our own lives.
- What was your view of the law of Moses before you started studying Romans?
- Is it obvious to most people that no one could ever keep the entire law?
- What is significant about dying to the law (Romans 7:4-6)?
- Why does religion drive people to do the very things they preach against (Romans 7:7-8)?
- Is the law to blame or are we to blame (Romans 7:10-13)?
- Did God use the law to bring you to faith in Christ, or did you come from a more non-religious background?
Prayer for Missions
We have a few folks from Venture who joined a mission team in East Africa from March 21-30. In praying for that team, remember the refugees, who are primarily women from Muslim backgrounds. They have been receiving training in how to teach the Gospel and plant churches among other refugees. Pray for the Gospel to produce fruit for years to come.
Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash
Based on ancient Jewish traditions, worn-out holy books, scripts, parchments that cannot be of use anymore due to aging, cannot be destructed. They are placed into a genizah or are buried in a sacred place in cemetery. – Mount of Olives, Jerusalem