Law, Obedience, and the Sabbath
By Mark A. Finley
If we are saved by grace, what is the role of the law in the life of the Christian? Does God’s grace negate His command to keep the Sabbath? What part does obedience play in the Christian life?
Many sincere Christians have failed to find acceptable answers to these questions. In today’s lesson we will explore what the Bible teaches about this vitally important topic.
“Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name” (Rom. 1:5).
“… grace and apostleship for _____________________________________________to the faith.”
2. To what does God’s goodness lead? Put your answer on the line below.
“Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” (Rom. 2:4).
The goodness of God leads to __________________________________________________.
The New Testament word for repentance means a change of attitude, either for or against something. God’s grace changes our attitude about sin. His goodness leads us to turn away from sin and turn toward a life of obedience.
3. How did the apostle Paul describe the reasons Christ died? Read the text below and list the three reasons Paul gave.
“Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14).
Christ gave Himself for us to:
1. _______________________________us from every _______________________________.
2. _______________________________for Himself His own __________________________.
3. _______________________________for ________________________________________.
4. How do we show evidence of our faith?
“But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (James 2:18).
We show our faith by our _________________________________________________________.
5. What was the disciples’ response when Jewish authorities tried to silence their preaching?
“We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
The disciples’ motto was “we ought to ____________________rather than _______________.”
God’s grace led the disciples to obey Him. Turning their backs on God’s law would have been unthinkable. Keeping the seventh-day Sabbath was their loving response to the Christ who redeemed them.
6. Paul preached the message of salvation to both Jews and Gentiles in Antioch. When did he preach? Circle your answer.
“On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God” (Acts 13:44).
The gospel also took root in Pisidia, as Paul preached God’s grace in a synagogue on the Sabbath (see Acts 13:13, 14). These two specific examples of salvation by grace led to obedience in Sabbathkeeping.
7. How does the Book of Revelation describe God’s end-time people?
“Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Rev. 14:12).
God’s end-time people are distinguished by:
1. Keeping the _______________________________________________________________.
2. Having the ____________________________of __________________________________.
Faith leads to obedience, and obedience to God’s law is linked to Sabbathkeeping.
8. What is the only way to live a godly, obedient life? Circle the three words that say how this is done.
“Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart” (1 Pet. 1:22).
For the disciples, grace was the means of their salvation; obedience was the fruit, or result, of their salvation. The Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Godhead, gave them power to live godly, righteous lives. The Sabbath was part of that life of obedience. The Holy Spirit longs to do for us what He did for those believers. Let’s submit ourselves to Him.
Our next Bible study will examine the role of the seventh-day Sabbath in the final events of world history.