‘Therefore, by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight; for by the law is the knowledge of sin’ Romans 3:20
“But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” (Romans 5:20)
We plan to continue our review of the message of the prophets, the Good News which shows how sinners can become righteous before God. We are still reviewing the Pentateuch, the book which God placed in the mind of His prophet, Moses. As we have seen, the Pentateuch of Moses, the first five books of the Bible, is of great value to all who desire to know the truth; it is the foundation which God established so that
we might verify everything we hear to know whether or not it comes from God.
In the beginning of the Pentateuch, we saw how our ancestor Adam sinned. His sin spread to all his descendants like a contagious disease, bringing sorrow, death and eternal punishment, as the LORD God had forewarned. But we thank God that the Scripture says:
“But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” (Rom. 5:20)
Yes, on the very day Adam and Eve sinned, God, in His grace, announced that He would one day send into the world
to redeem the children of Adam from the curse that sin brought.
In the last review lesson, we saw that God called Abraham, promising to make of him a new nation from which the prophets and the Redeemer would arise. Thus Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot twelve sons from whom came the twelve tribes of
Now let us continue our review to see how God used Abraham’s descendants, the Israelites, to teach mankind what the LORD God is like and which path sinners must take to escape God’s righteous judgement. Our lesson is called
In our study in the Pentateuch, we saw that God allowed the children of Israel to become slaves in the land of Egypt for four hundred years, as He had made known to Abraham long beforehand. When the time appointed by God arrived, He sent
to the Israelites. Moses was an Israelite who had grown up in the house of Pharaoh, the wicked king of Egypt.
God sent Moses to Pharaoh to say to him, “The LORD God says: ‘Let my people go that they may worship me!’” But Pharaoh refused and mocked, saying, “Who is the LORD? I will never let the people of Israel go!” Thus,
by means of nine terrible plagues which fell on all the people of the land except the Israelites. How-ever, the signs and wonders which God did before Pharaoh did not cause him to repent and obey the word of Moses. God said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go!” Do you remember what that plague was? Yes, it was
the death of the firstborn
in every household.
Thus, we saw that God killed the firstborn in the house of Pharaoh and in all the houses of Egypt. But He delivered the firstborn of the Israelites, because of
the blood of the lamb
which they had sprinkled over the doors of their houses. For God Himself had promised, saying: “And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt” (Exodus 12:13) Thus, because of the blood of the lamb, God passed over the houses of the Israelites, not killing their firstborn. This is how
As we have seen, the story of the Passover day has
a deeper meaning
than the deliverance of the children of Israel from Pharaoh’s power. For the Scripture says: “Now all these things happened unto them for examples, and they are written for our admonition (warning), upon whom the ends of the ages are come” (1 Cor. 10:11) The story of the blood of the lamb which the Israelites sprinkled over the doors of their houses so that God would spare their firstborns from death and deliver them from Pharaoh is an illustration. It illustrates
the way of salvation
established by God to save sinners from the taskmaster who is more wicked than Pharaoh, that is, Satan!
The Word of God shows us that all the children of Adam are like slaves! The Lord Jesus declared in the Gospel, saying, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever commiteth sin is the servant of sin” (John 8:34) And since all the children of Adam are slaves of sin, they are also slaves of Satan because
What is absolutely certain is that whoever is Satan’s slave has no way to free himself! Can a slave free himself? Can he give something to his master so that he will allow him to go free? That might work with a good master, but it will not work with a master like Satan. Like Pharaoh, Satan will never willingly allow his slaves to go free!
Oh, how we, the children of Adam, are cursed! Is there anyone who can deliver us from the power of Satan who has made us his slaves? Yes, praise be to God,
there is a Deliverer!
God has sent to us One who can liberate us! That One is the powerful and righteous Savior who came from heaven, of whom all God’s prophets bear witness.
In the Pentateuch, we read how God promised to crush the head of Satan through the holy Redeemer who would be born of a virgin. In the Psalms, we heard how the prophet David wrote that this Redeemer, whom God calls His Son, would be put to death in a terrible way–that He would be tortured and that
In the book of the Gospel, we read much about this wonderful Redeemer. He is Jesus, the son of Mary, who lived a perfect life and then died on the cross for our sins and rose again from the tomb. Yes, Jesus is the One who fulfilled what God’s prophets had written long beforehand about the Savior of sinners.
God’s Word calls Jesus Christ “the Lamb of God.” Like the lambs slaughtered on the day of the Passover–
Jesus shed His blood to save us from judgement.
Approximately one thousand five hundred years after God delivered the Israelites by the blood of a lamb at the first Passover, God allowed the sons of Adam to nail Jesus, the Righteous Messiah, to a cross. And it was on the day of the Passover feast that He was nailed to the cross. Thus, just as Jesus fulfilled what Abraham’s sacrifice pictured, so also, Jesus fulfilled what the Passover lamb pictured. The people that crucified Him on that day were acting in ignorance, but God had planned the sacrifice of the Messiah before He created the world. (see Revelation 13:8; Acts 3:17)
Jesus is the perfect and final Sacrifice for sin. The blood of Jesus Christ is the price that God required to redeem the children of Adam from the dominion of sin. Accordingly the Scriptures declare: “For even Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us” (1 Cor. 5:7) “For when we were yet without strength, in due time
For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8)
Leaving the story of the Passover, let us now try to remember what we learned concerning the holy law, which God entrusted to the Israelites. In our research in the Pentateuch, we saw how God revealed His holiness and glory to Moses and the Israelites in the wilderness, descending upon Mount Sinai in fire and thunder and lightning. Thus God passed on to the Israelites His Ten Commandments and many other commands, which is called
the Law of Moses.
God commanded them, saying: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind: You shall have no other gods before me! You shall not make for yourself idols! You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God! Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy! You shall love your neighbour as you love yourself: Honour your father and your mother! You shall not murder! You shall not commit adultery! You shall not steal! You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour! You shall not covet your neighbour’s possessions!” And to these holy commandments, God added these words: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law,
and yet offend in one point,
he is guilty of all” (James 2:10) “Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them” (Galatians 3:10) That is what the holy law which God committed to Moses declares!
Friend, have you kept this holy law of God which requires you to be absolutely perfect in thought and word and deed–from the day of your birth until the day of your death? Every day and every hour, night and day, you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. Also, you must love your neighbour as you love yourself!
You and I know that we have not fulfilled it! The Scripture says: “There is none righteous, not even one!” (Romans 3:10) “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8) None of us have ever fulfilled everything that God requires, because we were all born with a sinful nature.
Perhaps some would ask: If none of us can fulfil the law of Moses, why then did God give it to us? Is God Someone who wants everyone to perish? No.
God is Love,
and does not want anyone to perish! Then why did God give sinners His holy commandments, when He knew perfectly well that no one could keep them? What is the purpose of those command-ments? God has answered that question when He says: “Therefore, by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight; for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20) “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe” (Galatians 3:22)
Thus we discover that God entrusted His holy commandments to sinners, to show us our imperfection before Him, and to show us our need for Jesus Christ who bore for us the curse that sin brought. Among men,
the Lord Jesus Christ
is the only One who kept the holy law which God entrusted to Moses. As we have seen, Jesus was very different from the descendants of Adam, because
Jesus is the Eternal Word of God, who came down from heaven, and was born of a virgin. Jesus took on a body like ours, but did not take on our evil nature. That is why, when He was on earth, He could say: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil” (Matt. 5:17) Did you hear what Jesus said? It is a very deep and wonderful truth. Jesus said that He came into the world to fulfil the holy law which God entrusted to Moses!
Do you understand what this means?
Jesus did for us what we, the children of Adam, could never do for ourselves! He fulfilled God’s holy law, and after that, He shed His blood on the cross to bear the curse of the law for us and to save us from God’s righteous judgement!
Jesus did not deserve to die, because
He had never sinned.
However, to complete the plan of salvation which God had promised through the prophets, the Lord Jesus, of His own will,
gave His life for us.
And after He shed His blood to pay our debt of sin, God raised Him from the dead on the third day! Listen to what the Holy Scripture declares concerning this. It says: “There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus … For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh” (Romans 8:1,3).
on what are you hanging your hope?
Are you relying on the Good News of God about the Righteous Redeemer who bore the punish-ment for your sins? Or are you still relying on your own “good” works? Do not forget what the Word of God declares, when it says: “Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them …
being made a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree … that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life!” (Galatians 3:10,13; John 3:16)
In the coming study, God willing, we will complete our review of the Scriptures of the Prophets and see how Jesus the Messiah fulfilled everything which the prophets prophesied concerning Him, thus opening a door of salvation and peace for the children of Adam!
May God give you insight into what we have studied in this lesson. And remember this promise from God Himself:
“There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1)
We would invite you to answer the questions attached and send them together with any questions that you might have