What does it mean for us to follow God’s law?
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Read Matthew 22:23-40. What does Jesus identify as the greatest commandment in the law? Notice how Jesus’ statement is a summary of the ten commandments, which are themselves a synthesis of the 613 laws in the Torah. What do you think is significant about this?
Observe the structure of the ten commandments and discuss how they specifically describe practices of loving God and one’s neighbor (see Exodus 20:3-17).
Read Jeremiah 17:5-10. Which metaphors describe desperately sick hearts and which describe blessed hearts? Does humanity have any hope for having healthy, functioning hearts again (see Ezekiel 36:26-27 and Isaiah 61:1-3)? If so, how would we talk about that hope in our own words?
Read John 15:1-13 carefully and notice the metaphor Jesus uses to describe himself. How does Jesus fulfill the law and the prophets as the blessed vine/tree? How do we “abide,” or live, within his blessing?
Compare Exodus 19:3-6 and Exodus 20:1-3 with Galatians 5:1 and Galatians 5:13-14. Notice how these passages describe God’s identity and ours before giving a list of commands. How do you think remembering these identities can provide a foundation for following God’s commands?
How does the Spirit make us new, help us remember God’s redemption, and empower us to follow his life-giving ways (e.g. John 16:7-15, Galatians 5:16-25, Ephesians 1:7-14, Ephesians 2:3-7, Ephesians 3:4-18)?