Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Law” is defined in the Concise Oxford Dictionary as “a rule or system of rules recognized by a country or community as regulating the actions of its members and enforced by the imposition of penalties”. The Law which is most critical to people today should be God’s Law. One first may think of God’s Law as the Ten Commandments. Found in Exodus 20:1-17, God’s Law establishes a set of “regulations” for His people to live by. Ecclesiastes 12:13 states, “Here is the conclusion of the matter. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” These regulations, our duties, are nicely summarized for us by the Apostle Paul:

(Romans 13:10)1NIV New International Version Translations – “Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law.”

Jesus did not come to do away with God’s Law because laws offer all of us directions for living. The Apostle Paul also reminds us that we must obey God’s Law in his first letter to the church of Corinth. The city of Corinth was prominent in the first century. It is in Greece on an isthmus between the Aegean and Ionian Seas. This location guaranteed its importance both militarily and commercially. Corinth was the capital of the Roman province Achaia. It was a prosperous city but also known for its immorality. Corinth was a vile place to visit or live. Because of its sleazy reputation, a new Greek word was coined, korinthiazomai, which meant “to live immorally like a Corinthian.”

The Christians at Corinth enjoyed friendly relations with outsiders. Believers dined with nonbelievers (1 Corinthians 10:27), and outsiders might have attended some of their Christian meetings (1 Corinthians 14:24-25). Christianity at Corinth was quite comfortable with the dominant culture surrounding them. It was maybe too comfortable for Paul’s liking. By patronizing prostitutes and participating in pagan cultic meals, the Corinthians were conforming to the behavior patterns of the larger society that surrounded them. In his first letter, Paul urged them to foster a sense of being at odds with the world, giving them perfect advice, to live as Jesus lived.

Paul’s letters to the Corinthians make up his largest body of work directed to an individual congregation. His two letters address problem areas that are still often problems in churches today. The church at Corinth had divided loyalty to different leaders. Paul rejects this disunity, telling the church members to focus on Christ. There was gross immorality in the Corinthian church, and it was being tolerated. Paul tells the church they must exercise church discipline (1 Corinthians 5—6). Also, believers were taking each other to court, and Paul says they should handle disagreements among themselves (1 Corinthians 6). There was some confusion about whether it was better to be married or single, and how married people should relate to each other. Paul clarifies those issues for them and the church today (1 Corinthians 7).

(1 Corinthians 11:1) – “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”

Paul simply says, if you want to know how to live, if you want to live a life pleasing to God, then look to Jesus. Our Lord was a teacher, a teacher of God’s Truth. He promoted eternal life through His life over the lure of promises coming from our world. Jesus taught us how to pray and exist in tumultuous times. The best part of Jesus’ life is that He defeated death and showed us that the way to eternal life was through Him. Because of His sacrifice on the Cross, our sins are forgiven. Now, as pure creations of God, we can be at peace with God. This relationship with Jesus is meant to bring us hope and joy. We all know these things because Jesus, the Son of God, the Word became flesh and presents to us the perfect model of a holy life.

(John 5:19) – “Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”

Jesus reveals what God is really like. He does so by revealing what we should be like. Because Jesus was fully human, fully alive, He teaches us how to live by the way He lived. Jesus teaches us how to pray by the way He prayed. Through Jesus’ examples of mercy, He teaches us to be merciful. By His temptations, Jesus teaches us how to fight temptation, cope with life’s traumas, and find courage. As Christians, we need to model Christ and show people what life in this world is about. Life is not all about taking, receiving, or taking advantage of opportunities. Life is also about helping and serving others. In John 13:1-17, there is the example of Jesus washing the feet of His disciples. He gave us this example because life needs to involve service to others, especially service to one’s family.  We need a map to guide our journey through this world. The life of Jesus is our map because He shows us, God, in human flesh.

Our world is fortunate because the map of Jesus’ life is well published. The Word of God is available, in print, multi-lingual, on tape, on CD, in movie form, and found in churches, homes, bookstores, and human hearts everywhere!

(Luke 2:40-47) – “And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him. Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished.”

Here in the Apostle Luke’s Gospel, we get a glimpse of exactly how Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. He fulfilled all expectations of righteousness and represents the perfect human being. Everything that we would rightly hope to experience and become can be seen in Jesus and how He lived His life. Jesus is completely holy and healthy as a person. That is why Jesus is our example. Luke points out that Jesus had a loving family who took his education on religion seriously. Jesus spent time in church (the temple courts) where he listened, learned, and shared His faith with others. Jesus took His education seriously! What a wonderful adventure and spiritual pilgrimage our life can become if we follow in the steps of Jesus Christ!


  • How would you develop a map of Jesus’ life to follow for yourself?
    • Ideas to Explore: Read God’s Word. Avail yourself and your family of the resources of a local congregation to learn about who Jesus is.
  • What societal pressures are there today that make it difficult to lead a Christ-like life?
    • Ideas to Explore: The hate and lawlessness in our society. The desire for pleasures. The power of evil. What else can you think of?
  • What has personally impressed you about the human side of Jesus’ life?
    • Ideas to Explore: He took no shortcuts because He was God. He was obedient to an earthly mother and father. His life’s journey, map, is not much different than that of many other humans. Jesus was a peaceful person, always obeying God’s Law.
  • What do you think Jesus struggled with the most?
    • Ideas to Explore: Same things you struggle with? What do you think those struggles were?
  • What is the best way to establish a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?
    • Ideas to Explore: Believe He is alive! Know that He loves you! Know that He knows you!
  • How is our environment today like the city of Corinth?
    • Ideas to Explore: Our churches must exist within a pagan world yet must be different than the world. The affluence of our environment often corrupts our religion.
  • 1
    NIV New International Version Translations