The Key to Eternal Life
Lesson 13

We have each been given but one life to live. Anyone with even a casual acquaintance with the Bible knows that it teaches that this life is not the sum of our existence and it is how we live this life that determines our future when our life here is completed. However, few give much real thought to the consequences of the choices they make and how those decisions will effect their future.

1. What does the writer of Hebrews tell us we will each eventually face?

Hebrews 9:27

2. What seemingly minor thing will be considered in the Judgment?

Matthew 12:36

3. Why are our words of such importance?

Luke 6:45

Note: Few realize how far-reaching is the influence of their words. Not only do they reveal the thoughts and intents of the heart, but long after we have been laid in the grave they will continue to influence others. The impression made by our words will surely result in being a blessing or in a cause of unhappiness and even of harm to others long after we are gone.

4. What did Jesus say was the key to gaining eternal life?

Matthew 19:17

5. What did Paul say was the fulfilling of the law?

Romans 13:10

Note: At one time when Jesus was asked which was the greatest of all the commandments, He replied by saying: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:37–40. In these few words, Jesus summed up the whole of the Ten Commandments. Broken down into their various parts, they are but rules for expressing our love and respect for God and our fellow man.

6. What is the key to remaining in Christ’s love?

John 15:10

7. How only are we justified before God?

Romans 2:13

8. From what did Christ come to save us?

Matthew 1:21

Note: Christ did not come to save us in our sins, but from them. The salvation He brings to us is not just a release from the penalty of sin, but victory over sin itself. Many read Galatians 3:10 where Paul states “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse,” and they stop right there and conclude that there is a curse in keeping the Law. However, to stop there is to miss the whole point because Paul continues: “For it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” The curse is not in keeping the law, but in failing to do so, which in our own strength we cannot do.

9. Why are all under the curse of the Law?

Romans 3:23

Anyone who seeks by good works to remove from himself the curse of having broken that Law will remain under that curse. We see this principle in the application of human laws. The laws of the land that prohibit an individual from defrauding or committing violence against his neighbor are not a curse, or a type of bondage. In fact, we would have to agree that they are the laws that insure liberty. To prevent blatant disregard of these laws and to insure the rights of the citizens they are designed to protect, there are certain penalties attached to them that are directed against those who break them. Therefore, while these laws speak liberty to the law-abiding citizen, they speak bondage to the one convicted of having violated them.

Once convicted of breaking the law, future obedience does not free anyone from the penalty which that act of disobedience brings. Obedience is not part of a merit system by which we can gain recognition for our accomplishment; rather, it is something that is just expected of all good citizens.

Consider the working of this principle in the area of something so simple as the laws governing traffic. Once convicted of breaking the speed law, one’s past driving record does not lessen the penalty, nor will his future good driving remove from him the obligation of paying the penalty.

In this respect, God’s Ten Commandment Law is no different. James refers to it as the “perfect law of liberty.” (See James 1:25.) The precepts of this Law are designed to protect our highest interest. Divided into two parts, the first addresses our relationship to God, showing us how to live in harmony with our Creator and Source of life. The second part insures the rights of the individual, protecting him from those who would deprive him of peace and safety.

10. What did the apostle say that the Law was?

Romans 7:12

Note: Were there something inherently wrong with the Law, we may know with confidence that Christ would not have kept it in every respect. See John 15:10.

11. If we are unable to keep the Law, how do we receive righteousness?

Philippians 2:13

12. From what has Christ redeemed us?

Galatians 3:13

Note: Good works are commanded, but we cannot do them. They can be done only by the One who alone is good, and that is God. If there is ever to be any good in us, it is because we have Christ living and working in us.

You will never find in any of Paul’s writings so much as a hint or suggestion that the Law is not to be obeyed, or that the Law has been abolished or changed. The question is not if the Law should be kept, but how it is to be kept. Though God is merciful and gracious, He will not clear the guilty. (See Exodus 34:6, 7.) That is, He will not lie, calling evil good. Yet, He provides a way by which the guilty may lose their guilt. The Law will then no longer be against them, will no longer shut them up, and they can walk at liberty.

13. What does the apostle say of Christ’s sinless life?

1 Peter 2:21–22

Early on the morning of October 19, 1864, a Confederate force under General Jubal A. Early, made a surprise attack on contingents of the Army of the Shenandoah, under the command of General Philip H. Sheridan. Under cover of the predawn darkness, and taking advantage of a fog that veiled their movement, Confederate forces quickly advanced as far as Middletown, Virginia. Meanwhile, Sheridan, who had been absent from the front on official business, upon learning what was taking place, made a rapid ride that was to later become famous. Rejoining his retreating troops, he rode rapidly to the front, where he rallied his men, and in an amazing turnaround, succeeded in breaking the Confederate lines, driving them back and winning a decisive victory.

Sheridan brought no reinforcements with him. How, we might ask, could the presence of one soldier, more or less, make such a profound difference in the outcome of the contest? The answer is found in the strength and leadership of that soldier. By his presence, Sheridan was able to transform a quaking mob into an efficient fighting machine, and thereby change the entire course of the battle. They were inspired by his spirit; made strong in his strength.

14. What is Christ’s assurance to us?

John 16:33 (last part)

15. What does the apostle tell us he was able to do in Christ’s strength?

Philippians 4:13

16. What is God able to accomplish in us?

Hebrews 13:21

If you fail of gaining eternal life, it will be because you have failed to keep the commandments of God. The light shining from the Word of God is sufficient to guide us along every step of the way to heaven, and those who lose the way will be without excuse.

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