The law given to Moses on Sinai didn’t nullify the promise made to Abraham; rather, it was given so Abraham’s descendents could realize what sin is and feel their need for God.
Timer, two Bible concordances, paper, pencils
Connecting with the Scripture Topic
- Write a single-paragraph story about a time in your life when someone broke a promise to you. Describe how you felt. If you’re willing, read your story to the rest of the class.
- Divide into two groups. Set a timer for five minutes. One group writes down past Bible promises God has kept, and the other group writes down future promises God has yet to fulfill. Use a concordance if you run out of ideas. When time is up, share your lists. Does God’s faithfulness in the past help you trust that God will fulfill future promises?
Sharing and Receiving Scripture
- God made a promise to Abraham; 430 years later, God gave Moses a law to obey so that the promise could be fulfilled. Are there conditions to God’s promise?
- Thought Questions
Read Romans 3:31. Why do we “uphold the law”?
- We will be judged by the law, even if we have faith.
- We need to try to be good, but Jesus died to make up for the times we will fail.
- We love Jesus.
- If we try hard enough, one day we’ll be able to obey completely.
- True faith understands the purpose of the law and strives to obey it.
Read Galatians 3:19-29. What is your understanding of the connection between the law and the promise of God fulfilled through Jesus?
- The law was only applicable until Jesus came and died.
- We still have to keep the law today, but we have Jesus to cover us when we disobey.
- We are justified by faith alone—nothing else.
- We are Abraham’s heirs; an heir cannot earn his or her inheritance.
- The law was given because of sin; we still need the law to show us our need for grace.
Read Galatians 3:16-19. Why did the law enter 430 years after the promise to Abraham but then seem to end with Christ?
- Humankind became more sinful after Abraham, so a law had to be made.
- The law didn’t end with Christ; Jesus’ death was the remedy to the consequences of breaking it.
- We will always have the law, even in heaven.
- Jesus’ death on the cross did away with any need for a law because we’re now saved by faith.
- Abraham had the law, too, but was close enough to God that he didn’t need it in writing.
Read Romans 5:6, 20, 21. What good news do these verses have for us today?
- The law was given so we would know what sin is and steer clear of it.
- When sin began to increase in this world, grace matched it—and then some!
- Jesus’ death came when we needed it most—when we were powerless.
- The promise to Abraham has not been forgotten.
- The grace of Jesus is what will give us our eternal life.
Applying the Message of Scripture
Gather in groups of two or three. Choose one of the following options and work on a solution. Then report back to your group when your facilitator says time is up.
- Option 1: If the Ten Commandments had been done away with at Jesus’ death, would you be glad that certain ones were abolished? Why or why not?
- Option 2: Imagine what it would have been like to be an Israelite when Moses read God’s law. How would you have reacted? Would you have thought the law was impossible to keep? Would you have thought that God had somehow changed and become demanding?
- Option 3: A friend tells you that he or she is “under grace” and that the law was “nailed to the cross,” so no one needs to worry about obeying it. What would you say to him or her?
Valuing Scripture in Your Life
- Read Romans 5:1, 2. If anyone has told you that you’re not good enough or that you’re lost, don’t believe him or her. You have peace with God through Jesus. You stand in grace. Take time to embrace that promise.
- Have you made a promise to God that you didn’t keep? What led you to break it? Knowing that you’re forgiven, make the promise to God again. This time, stay strong by connecting with God every day and surround yourself with strong Christian friends.