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Summary: So what can and cannot the Law do? The answer boils down to this: knowing what is right doesn’t mean we do what is right. Although ignorance of God¡¦s Word IS a major problem, we find that our sinful nature --that impulse to sin--is not defeated by info

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Pau’s Bar Mitzvah

(Romans 7:7-25)

Intro

1."Christian workers in the Middle East are encouraged by the enthusiastic response to Mel Gibson’s The Passion on the part of Muslims in Qatar, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates. They view this as an unprecedented method of sharing the gospel in otherwise closed Muslim societies.

"Until now we have only been able to show the Jesus film in Arabic to a handful of [Muslims] in the secrecy of a home setting.

"Any attempt to share the biblical message of Christ’s death and resurrection is usually considered an attempt to proselytize and is greatly discouraged by governments." Middle east missionaries

"Arabs have been drawn to the film by reports alleging that it is antiSemitic. Middle East missionaries say that the film has an additional impact on those consumed by this Arab-Jew hatred, given Jesus’ portrayal of love for one’s enemies in The Passion. Iraqi and Palestinian Christians report that anyone who speaks Arabic can understand some of the Aramaic spoken by Jesus in the movie."

"Missionaries report intense demand for viewing The Passion" (Source: Current Trends & Thoughts)

2. Although I still think the movie the Passion is too violent, I know many of you disagree. But I have always believed God could use this film, and I rejoice that He has ¡V perhaps more overseas than here at home.

3. But despite it’s perception of being anti-Jewish, and I do not believe that it is, it is crucial for we Christians to realize that Christianity is a form of Judaism, and that Jesus and the Apostles were all devout Jews. Hence today I bring up the subject of Bar-Mitzvah.

4. What does a Bar Mitzvah have to do with today¡¦s sermon?

5. Quite a bit, actually.

6. When Jesus was 12, He hung around the Temple longer than His parents realized; they panicked but finally found Him at the Temple, asking questions of the teachers. This was the custom for all devout Jews as boys prepared for their Bar Mitzvahs’ at age 13.

7. Bar mitzvah means, "son of the commandments" and signified that at the age of 13 a boy was now fully responsible to keep the Law of Moses.

8. Verse 9 of Romans 7, I believe, is referring to Paul’s Bar Mitzvah; before he was 13, he was not held accountable to the Law, only to obey his parents. But at age 13, he now took full responsibility to obey the entire law.

9. Paul had begun addressing a key issue: the believer’s relationship to the law. He first addresses the Jews in verse 1 (those who know the Law) and explains how they relate to God under the New Covenant. But there are many questions about the relationship of the Law to the Jewish believer, and, by principle, to the gentile believer who was never "under the Law" in the first place.

10. The Law has a legitimate purpose, but it is limited in what it can do.

11. I carry a cheap pocket knife; I broke good ones in the past prying or using as a screwdriver;a pocket knife is good for cutting, but is not meant to be a pry bar; it just is not intended for the purpose.


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