If you haven’t already, be sure to first check out our Salvation Part 1 Bible Study where we look at what salvation is and how we can be saved.
In this Bible study we’re going to look at what role the law plays in salvation, if any? But first let's recap and solidify the basics.
As in every study, our aim is to help you learn to study the Bible for yourself. Grab a Bible, notepad, pen and any other resources you need to get the most out of this time with God and pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you to the truth. Go through the questions using the Bible verses as a guide for answers and also ask God to show you more verses too. Don't forget to highlight and link verses together they are easier to find in the future.
What does the law have to do with salvation?
1. How am I saved? How can I experience salvation?
As we established in part one of our salvation study we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. God sent His Son, they called Him Jesus, He came to this world to die for the sins of the world. He lived a sinless life on Earth, enduring pain and suffering. Jesus bore the weight of all the sins ever committed on His shoulders and died a criminals death on the cross. The story doesn’t end there though, after resting in the grave on the Sabbath, (yes Jesus kept the Sabbath even in His death,) He rose again conquering death, hell and the grave once and for all! Salvation is ours when we believe by faith the sacrifice Christ made on the cross can cover our sins too and when by faith we accept Jesus as our Saviour.
2. If we are saved by faith what purpose does the law of God have?
The law of God gives us a knowledge of sin. It wouldn’t be fair if we were told not to sin but didn’t know what laws we were breaking would it?
3. What is sin?
1 John 3:4
Sin is transgression of the law (KJV) and that word transgression means violation, defiance, breaking the law or as the NKJV says lawlessness.
4. What effect does sin have on my life and my relationship with God?
5. How can I avoid sin in the future?
1 Corinthians 10:13
Through Christ! It is God who gives us the power to overcome. We must also remember that temptation is a normal thing and it is not a sin to be tempted. Temptation becomes sin when we give in to it. By the power of Christ, by asking for help, by developing a relationship with Him we can overcome.
6. How does the law link to sin? What purpose does it play in the process of salvation?
As we established earlier, keeping the law does not save you, faith in Jesus and His sacrifice does. Salvation is not about what you do but what God can do for you! The law acts as a mirror (2 Corinthians 3:18). When we look in the mirror we can see the dirt on our faces and the imperfections, but we cannot use the mirror to scrub them off or to wipe our faces clean. In the same way we have the law as a guide to see our sin, to understand where we have gone wrong, but it is not the law that we then use to clean ourselves up. We have to run to Jesus!
7. Why should I keep the law? What’s the point if it doesn’t save me? Does it really matter?
Keeping the law is an outward expression of love for God. If you love your spouse, if you love your parents, if you love your friends you go above and beyond for them not because you have to but because you love them. It’s the same with God. We keep His commandments because we love Him, we are grateful for all He has done and it’s an honour and pleasure to serve Him. In addition to this, God wants to bless us exceedingly and abundantly more than we can ever imagine but sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2) and ultimately the best things that God wants to give us.
8. Do I have to keep the entire law? Or can I just obey the parts I like?
James puts it simply, if you break one commandment, you break them all! You can’t just pick and choose God’s law stands forever and must be obeyed in its entirety. We see in the story of the rich young ruler how one thing in our lives can be a stumbling block and bring us down completely. (Matthew 19:16–30, Mark 10:17–31, Luke 18:18–30)
9. Where can I find the law of God in the Bible?
The Ten Commandments are found in Exodus 20 when God gave them to Moses and the children of Israel. Note that the commandments existed even before then, Adam and Eve knew the law because without it they wouldn’t have known they had sinned. Also the law originated in Heaven. Satan was cast out of Heaven with a third of his angels because they sinned. Without the law they wouldn’t have known it was sin.
Reflect: Spend some time reflecting on what you have learnt throughout this study.
What has this study taught you about God?
What have you learnt about yourself?
What action is God asking you to take?
We hope this salvation study has been helpful and fruitful! It’s been fun for to delve into what salvation really means. We have a Psalm 119:11 challenge for you - choose your favourite Bible verse from this study and memorise it.
Let us know which verse you have chosen in the comments below.