Sunday Mornings at the Movies.
Welcome back to the Church of Corinth. Corinthians: the Sequel (aka 2 Corinthians: Volume 13 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes) is now available as paperback and eBook. Don’t miss the exciting conclusion to the movie. It is heart wrenching as all get-out, let me tell you. Surprise endings are the icing on the cake, and this is some tasty cake! Simply click here to order.
Oh, but a sequel is always more comprehensible if its parent movie is seen first, and then the prequel afterwards. So you would do well to read 1 Corinthians: Volume 12 first, and then read 2 Corinthians: Volume 13. But not to fret. You can still enjoy the sequel, should you choose to skip her mama. So what are you waiting for? Get yourself to our online bookstore and fetch your own copy! Simply click here to order.
Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ [Galatians 6:2].
We concluded our last study with a Jewish lawyer, who tried to embroil Jesus in an ongoing contention between the various rabbinic schools of thought back in the day. This lawyer asked Jesus which commandment in the Law of Moses He thought was the greatest of them all. Jesus responded,
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets [Matthew 22:37-40].
Rule #1 for Bible study teaches, “A text without a context is a pretext.” Lest we find ourselves wading in a pretext, let’s begin by establishing the context of Jesus’ answer to the lawyer.
The lawyer wanted to know which commandment from the Law of Moses was chiefest of all. The context for the lawyer’s question was the Law of Moses. Jesus’ answer was to identify the chiefest commandment, and then to add the second chiefest commandment to the mix. The context for Jesus’ answer was also the Law of Moses.
In providing His answer Jesus quoted from two places in the Law of Moses. The chiefest commandment is to be found in Deuteronomy 6:5. The second chiefest commandment is located in Leviticus 19:18. This means the law espoused by Jesus was the Law of Moses.
Yea, even more, Jesus claimed the entire Law of Moses was fulfilled via obedience to the two chiefest commandments which He identified. Anyone who loved God with his entire being, while simultaneously loving his neighbor as much as he loved himself, in actuality did fully obey the Law of Moses.
Jesus’ position taught that the Law of Moses could not be obeyed outwardly alone. For example, it wouldn’t be sufficient for me to give the tithe and refrain from working on the Sabbath, all the while I resent giving the tithe and can’t wait for the Sabbath to be over so I can make more money. No! I have to give the tithe and obey the Sabbath from my heart first and foremost; then the outward obedience would follow.
This brings us to the “3 L’s”: Law, Legalism, Love. The Law of Moses was the Lord’s legal code for the Promised Land. It was in force during the tenure of the Israelites in the Promised Land during Old Testament times. Being the Word of God, the Law was perfect. There was a problem, to be sure, but the problem wasn’t with the Law. It was with man.
The Israelites, and all men, were and are sinners. Therein lies the problem. The Law was made for sinners. The purpose of the Law was to show sinners their inability to obey God perfectly. In this way sinners can recognize their need for a Savior, One who can bring them back into fellowship with God.
Hold that thought until the next study. We will finish the discussion then. For now let us betake ourselves to the prayer closet for some fellowship with the Lord.
To further research this issue, I direct you to my book Deuteronomy: Volume 5 of Heavenly Citizens in Earthly Shoes. To purchase my books please go to: