The Law of God in A Lawless World

This study is based on the sermon titled The Law of God in a Lawless World by Matthew Maher below.

Sermon Study

In Matthew Maher's sermon on "The Law of God in a Lawless World" based on 1 Timothy 1:8-11, he emphasizes the importance of allowing Scripture, not culture, to define our doctrinal, moral, and spiritual "property lines." The law of God is not arbitrary but inherently good, serving a purpose in our lives when used lawfully. It's clear that the law has three primary purposes: punitive, restrictive, and instructive.

Firstly, the punitive purpose of the law is to convict individuals of their sinfulness, not to prove their righteousness. It exposes shortcomings and highlights the need for redemption through Christ. Secondly, the law is meant to be restrictive, restraining evil and promoting goodness in society. It reminds us of our responsibility to live morally upright lives. Lastly, the instructive purpose of the law guides and guards individuals, helping them navigate life in accordance with God's will.

Reflecting on these insights, we are compelled to apply them to our lives. We need to continually assess whether we are allowing God's Word to shape our beliefs and actions or if we are succumbing to cultural pressures. Moreover, we must recognize that the law isn't there to make us feel self-righteous but to lead us to Christ's redemptive grace. Lastly, we must strive to live lives that align with the law's restrictive and instructive purposes, promoting righteousness and moral integrity in our daily interactions.

Discussion Questions

  • Ancient Landmarks and Spiritual Boundaries: According to Proverbs 22:28 (spiritually speaking), why are we instructed not to move the "ancient landmarks" that have been set? How might the shifting or removal of these boundaries, whether doctrinally, morally, or spiritually, impact individuals and communities? (Consider Proverbs 29:18 as well)

  • The Goodness and Lawfulness of God's Law: Reflecting on 1 Timothy 1:8, why does Paul affirm the goodness of God's law? How can we ensure that we are using the law of God lawfully in our lives and communities, and what might be the consequences of misusing it?

  • Threefold Purpose of the Law: Explore the three primary purposes of the law - punitive, restrictive, and instructive. In what practical ways can these purposes be seen in the Christian life today? Share examples from your own experiences or observations.

  • Conviction of Sinfulness: In your own words, explain the concept that the punitive purpose of the law is not to convince individuals of their uprightness but to convict them of their sinfulness (See 1 Timothy 1:9-10). How does this understanding impact our self-perception and our relationship with God and others?

  • Skewing and Removing God's Law: Why do you think there is a concentrated effort to distort or remove the law of God, both within the church and in the broader world? What are the potential consequences of these attempts to undermine what God has established in His Word? How can we counteract these trends?

  • Christian Walk and Trajectory: Reflect on 1 John 2:3-6. How do these verses encapsulate the Christian's journey and spiritual growth? What practical steps can individuals and the church take to align with the principles outlined in these verses, particularly in a world where the law of God is often marginalized or diluted?

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