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What Do We Mean … the Spirit and Intent of the Law?

A Study Outline


I. The “spirit and intent” of the law means thinking and doing what Elohim originally intended for mankind to think and do … to live righteously with himself, his family, his community, and his nation.

A. We avoid sin, which is the transgression of the law (I John 3:4), so we will not be cut off from our Creator (Isa. 59:2).

B. The essence: bring all thoughts, works, and deeds into captivity to Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).

C. Such captivity of our beings to Christ’s will is possible only through his Spirit dwelling within us.

1. Heb. 8: 10-11 (from Jer. 31:33-34)

2. Gal. 5: 23-24 ( fruits of the spirit )

3. Isa. 66:2 (humility)

4. Matt. 19:16-21

a. The servant is the greatest of all, one who gives to those that are helpless and in dire need.

b. We serve without notoriety, not hoping for something in return, even though God gives plenty of rewards (Luke 6:38). He is perfectly just to give us what we deserve.

D. The love of God in us summarizes the keeping of the law in its proper intent, as Christ kept it … and this is not a burdensome job (I John 5:3).

E. This “law of love” is to do onto others as we would like done onto us, the entire meaning of the law and the prophets (Matt. 7:12).

F. Christ fulfilled (4137, pleroo, “make replete, lit. to cram, to level up a hollow place, to furnish, imbue, satisfy”) the law and the prophets, showing us how to live them to the full (Matt. 5:17-19).

1. We must teach (1321, didasko, “to teach”).

2. Teaching is through our example and our words.

II. The laws of God and their intent, as elucidated by Jesus Christ.

A. The Basic approach used: Examine each commandment in the light Christ’s interpretation and application of it.

1. God cannot coerce us to perform the intent of the law, which is to bring our thoughts into conformity with it. We can perform the acts of some of the laws without actually breaking the outward requirements of those laws (such as not stealing, not bearing false witness, not killing, not committing adultery, honoring our father and mother, not making idols, etc.), but we cannot in any way fulfill other laws without having our inner thoughts conformed to those laws (such as not coveting, not worshipping false gods, not taking God’s name in vain, and not blaspheming our parents). Obedience to God’s laws ultimately involves an attitude of reverence to God’s will from the innermost being, a commitment to purify the heart and mind of anything except His viewpoint on all issues.

2. Christ is the “living law” for each of us.

3. I Sam. 15:22-23 (Obedience is better than sacrifice.)

4. Psa. 40:6-11 (Rather than burnt sacrifices, God wants us to delight in doing His will.)

B. Commandment 1. Love to God (Matthew 22:36-40)

I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt (sin), out of the house of bondage: you shall have no other gods before Me” (Ex. 20:2-3).

1. This is the basic, all-encompassing precept upon which all of the other commandments are based.

2. The “god” you follow determines all that you do.

3. Why is God so jealous of us?

a. He made us and knows what is best for us.

b. He does not want us to be harmed but, live a full and abundant life.

c. If we follow other gods — and whatever is not of God is of Satan — whose laws differ from His (based on carnality and exercise of fleshly lusts), we will not reap long-term joy in living and will miss out on a long, healthy, abundant life (3 John 3:2; John 10:10).

d. Going Satan’s way hurts oneself, not just angers the creator (Jer. 25:5-7).

4. We must do only what the Father, out true God, shows us to do, as did Christ (John 6:38).

5. Fear God only (2 Kings 17:35-39).

C. Commandment 2. Love to God (Matthew 22:36-40)

You shall not make onto you any graven image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, in the earth below, or in the waters under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God …”(Ex. 20:4-6).

1. The animals, fish, and birds are patterned after spirit creatures (Ezek. 11:10; Gen. 3:1), and many are likely not with the Creator’s mind.

2. We are to worship the Creator, not the creatures He has made (Rom. 1:25. Worshipping the creature and not the Creator is a trait of unclean people.)

3. When you worship creatures or things rather than the Creator you place an impediment between you and Him (Rom. 6:16. Whomever you yield yourselves as servants to obey ….)

4. Idols of wood, stone, metal, or anything placed before the True God cannot help you.

a. Psa. 135:15-18. Those that make idols are like them!

b. Jer. 10:5

c. Heb. 2:18-19

5. We are to worship and serve only the one true God.

a. Matt. 4:10 (from Deut. 6:13); 10:20

b. Josh. 24:14

c. I Sam. 7:3

D. Commandment 3. Love to God (Matthew 22:36-40)

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain …” (Ex. 20:7).

1. Vain (7723), shav, “desolating, destructive, ruin, guile, idolatry, uselessness”.

2. Our Creator’s name is to be always revered, for He made man.

a. Never mock the Creator.

b. Does the clay have a justification to tell the pot how it is made? (Rom 9:20-21)

3. We must hallow His name always

— We hallow (37, hagiazo, “make holy, purify, consecrate, venerate”) the Father’s name in our prayers.

4. Be zealous to serve God day and night (Luke 2:36-38 — Anna; I Tim. 5:5; Col. 4:12; Rom 15:30).

5. Never claim that He is not capable of doing something He said He will do; acknowledge His greatness.

E. Commandment 4. Love to God (Matthew 22:36-40)

“Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy” (Ex. 20:8-11).

1. Christ’s custom was to keep the seventh day as the Sabbath, and He does not change (Luke 4:16; Heb. 13:8; Mal. 3:6).

2. No servile work (5656, abodeh, “work of any kind”, from 5647, “to work, serve, till, enslave”)

3. Christ abhorred the do’s and don’ts of the Pharisees, who added their own petty laws never included in God’s original plans, such as restrictions on how heavy a load you can carry (Mark 2:3-12), what food you could eat (Matt. 12:1-8), healing (Matt. 12:9-14), distance to travel, and so forth.

4. It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath (Matt. 12:12), especially in emergencies and in times of stress and suffering.

a. Ox in a pit (Luke 14:5)

b. Sheep in a pit (Matt. 12:11)

F. Commandment 5. Love to your neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40)

“Honor your father and mother, that you may live long on the land that the Lord your God is giving you” (Ex. 20:12).

1. Honor (3513), kabad, “to be heavy, numerous, rich, honorable, to make weighty”

2. We must have a heartfelt concern for our parents like Christ had for His Father in the heavenly realm (John 17; I Cor. 11:3).

3. Provide for parents in their old age, both physically and emotionally.

4. Love one another within the ecclesia as a family.

a. Treat elders as fathers (I Tim. 5:1).

b. Treat younger men as brothers (I Tim. 5:1).

c. Treat elder women as mothers (I Tim. 5:2).

d. Treat younger women as sisters (I Tim. 5:2).

G. Commandment 6. Love to your neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40)

“You shall not murder” (Ex. 20:13).

1. Rather than simply refrain from killing your fellow man, truly love and serve him.

2. To hate your brother is to murder (Matt 4:21-22; I John 3:11-15), for your brother is made in God’s image (Gen. 1:27) and will most likely inherit the Kingdom someday.

3. God takes no joy in the death of the wicked.

H. Commandment 7. Love to your neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40)

“You shall not commit adultery” (Ex. 20:14).

1. Marriage is a sacred, life-long relationship typifying the eternal family relationship of Christ and the brethren with our heavenly Father (1 Cor. 11:3; Rev. 19:8-9).

2. The sanctity of marriage should be protected just as we must protect ourselves from idolatry; the penalty for adultery (Lev. 18:6-29) was the same as the penalty for idolatry (Deut. 29:18-20): death.

3. Even to look upon a woman to lust after her is adultery (and vice-versa for the woman; Matt. 5:27-30).

I. Commandment 8. Love to your neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40)

“You shall not steal” (Ex. 20:15).

1. The way of serving and loving your neighbor will make us want to enrich and assist him, not take from him (Matt. 20:26-28; Gal. 6:9-10).

2. Supply according to need (Acts 2:41-46).

3. This commandment is a result of breaking the tenth commandment.

J. Commandment 9. Love to your neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40)

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Ex. 20:16).

1. We are to be truthful in all ways, even as God’s word is truth (Matt. 17:17; I Cor. 5:8), which truth will lead to peace, fulfillment, and health.

2. If we face up to the truth in all things we will consequently be led to live Godly lives, and will avoid evil and do what is good (I Thess. 5:21).

3. Serving one’s neighbor will lead us to help him, not lie about him and subvert him.

K. Commandment 5. Love to your neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40

You shall not covet…” (Ex. 20:17).

1. Be content with what you have (Heb. 13:5-6; Philip. 4:10-13; I Tim. 6:6-11).

2. Someone else with greater material wealth than yours should be viewed as being a blessing from God, at which you rejoice with him, and not draw comparisons which belittle our intrinsic value in God’s eyes (2 Cor. 10:12), thinking that fewer possessions mean less value of ourselves. By viewing God’s true appraisal of us we should never be guilty of covetousness.

3. Heb. 13:5 states that God will never leave or forsake us, after stating we should not covet. We ought to have the security that God will provide our every need and avoid being caught up in materialistic pursuits. Note especially Matt. 6:24-34.