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Law and Grace

Many honest souls, being deceived, believe that to be saved one must be obedient to God and can be saved only by doing the works of the law, the ten commandments. By obeying these laws they seek to please God. This is called legalism and no believer will be motivated to godly living and service until we see ourselves not serving the law but responding to God's grace, Romans 6:14. The first part of Romans 6:14 tells us that when we are saved, sin's control over us has ended. The second part tells us that we are no longer under the law but we are under grace, which will cause the good works to follow. In Ephesians 2:8-10 we see that it is by grace we are saved through faith and it is a gift of God, not something that we earn by doing good works, so no one can boast. Verse 10 goes on to tell us that we are created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God has ordained that we should walk in them. We do good works because we are created to do that and because of what God has done for us, not for salvation. Grace frees us from both sin and the law. The strength of sin is the law and deliverance from the law delivers us from sin's dominion in our lives, 1 Corinthians 15:56.

What about the law?
The key word from Exodus 20:1 through Malachi 4:6 is “law”. The key word used from the crucifixion in the Gospels to the end of the book of Revelation is “grace”. John 1:17 says, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” Of course law existed before Exodus and began with Adam when he was given the command not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Genesis 2:17. Grace, likewise, was shown prior to the Gospels in that the Lord supplied Adam and Eve with coats of skin, Genesis 3:21. The law from Sinai to Calvary dominates that time just as Grace Dominates the time from Calvary on. The law, given to the Israelites, takes in the whole system of government for Israel when in the land which included the Commandments Exodus 20:1-17, the Judgments, Exodus 21:1 to 24:11, and the Ordinances Exodus24:12 to 31:18. The law gives us God's righteous standards. These must be fulfilled or the offender must be punished. However, the law is not the basis for justification but for condemnation, Romans 7:12, 14; 1 Timothy 1:8-10; Galatians 3:11-12. The law demands perfect obedience and because man cannot obey it perfectly it is a ministration of condemnation and death, 2 Corinthians 3:7.

  • The law causes us to know sin, Romans 7:7.
  • By the deeds of the law no flesh shall be justified and it is by the law the we have knowledge of sin, Romans 3:20.
  • The law was given because of the transgressions of man and was given until Jesus Christ came, Galatians 3:19.
  • If one offends in one point of the law they are guilty of offending in all points, James 2:10.
  • The strength of sin is in the law, 1 Corinthians 15:56.
  • Without the law sin is dead, Romans 7:8.
  • The law is our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ so that we could be justified by faith, Galatians 3:24.
  • When the fullness of time came God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, who was made under the law to redeem those that were under the law so that they could receive the adoption of sons, Galatians 4:3-5. The adoption referred to here is the Roman adoption when a man took his own son and made him a full grown son. So the day God saves us we are brought into the family of God as full grown sons.
  • What the law cannot do:
  • By the deeds of the law no one can be saved, Romans 3:20.
  • No one can be justified by the works of the law, Galatians 2:16; 3:11.
  • Righteousness does not come by the law, if it did then Christ died in vain, Galatians 2:21.
  • The law cannot make man righteous for it is weak in the flesh, Romans 8:3.
  • We cannot be justified the the law of Moses, Acts 13:39.
  • The law cannot make anything perfect, Hebrews 7:19.
  • What about grace? Just what is grace?
  • Grace is God's love toward mankind, Titus 3:4.
  • God saved us while we were still sinners because of His love, Romans 5:8.
  • God loved the world so much He gave His only Son so that those that believe on Him could have everlasting life, John 3:16.
  • Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, 1 Timothy 1:15.
  • Grace is God showing the riches of His mercy toward us through Jesus Christ, Ephesians 2:7.
  • As has been said by many others, grace is:
  • g = God's
  • r = riches
  • a = at
  • c = Christ's
  • e = expense
  • God's grace and His purpose:
  • In Titus 2:11-14 we find:
  • that the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.
  • salvation brings a change in our attitude, ambition, and action.
  • Christ gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity.
  • Christ gave Himself for us that He might purify us and make us a people zealous of good works.
  • that we should live godly, looking for the return of Jesus Christ.
  • We are justified by His grace and made heirs to the hope of eternal life, Titus 3:7.
  • His grace is able to build us up and give us an inheritance among those that are sanctified, Acts 20:32.
  • We are justified by faith and have access through this faith to His grace wherein we stand and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, Romans 5:1-2.
  • We are justified by His grace through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ, Romans 3:24.
  • His grace made us acceptable in the beloved, in who we have redemption and forgiveness according to the riches of His grace, Ephesians 1:6-7.
  • If one is under grace they are extended mercy and forgiveness as a result of repentance and resolve to obey God, Romans 6:14-15.
  • It is by grace through faith that we are saved and it is a gift of God, Ephesians 2:8-9.
  • We can come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and grace in time of need, Hebrews 4:16.
  • It is clearly shown that grace not only saves, it gives us standing, it gives us an inheritance, it redeems, it bestows, it justfies, it builds up, it makes accepted, and gives us a throne that we can come to for mercy and help. It gives us hope and teaches us how to live.
  • Grace and law are not to be confused.
  • It is faith that makes it possible for God to save sinners by His grace.
  • If salvation is by grace then it isn't by works, otherwise grace is no more grace, Romans 11:6.
  • If salvation is of works then it is no more of grace, otherwise work is no more work, Romans 11:6.
  • If one works for salvation then the reward is not reckoned of grace but debt, Romans 4:4.
  • If one doesn't work but believe's on Christ that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness, Romans 4:5.
  • If the inheritance is of the law then it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise, Galatians 3:16-18.
  • Paul tells us in Romans that sin shall not have dominion over us, and that we are not under the law but under grace, Romans 6:14.
  • What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law? God forbid! Romans 6:15.
  • The righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us who walk after the Spirit, Romans 8:4.
  • It is grace that motivates believers and teaches believers to to maintain good works. Grace teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and to live soberly, righteously and Godly in this present world, Titus 2:11-12.

How many of us are sinners? Paul says we are all sinners, Romans 3:23. Then in Romans 6:23 we see that the wages of sin is death. So by sinning we earn death which, in this case, is the second death. The first death is our physical death which is the separation of the spirit and soul from the body. The body goes into the grave and the spirit and soul of a believer go to heaven with the unbelievers going to hell. For those who are sent to hell there is a resurrection and judgment at the great white throne for degrees of punishment. These unbelievers will be cast into a lake of fire to be there forever (this is the second death), Revelation 21:8.

Clearly we cannot be eternally separated from God and go to heaven. However, when we accept what Christ did for us on the cross we are buried with Him into death and raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father and now we should walk in newness of life, Romans 6:4. Our old man was crucified with Christ that our body of sin might be destroyed and that we should now not serve sin. We are considered dead and are free from sin, Romans 6:5-7. So Christ paid for our sins by dying on the cross in our place and now we are no longer under the curse of the second death, Revelation 2:11; 20:6.



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