Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Does God’s Grace Make The Law ‘Unnecessary’ ?

Most Christians grow up in a church-world where they are taught that the 10 Commandments are one of the following:

- Moses’ Law

- Fulfilled (to them, meaning “finished”, “completed”)

- Impossible to live up to

- or, are covered by Grace

The biblical reality is that none of these are true. I was also taught these things and didn’t know any better until I began to study the subject myself. We must continuously ask ourselves; do we believe in man, or God?

As always, I ask you, I plead with you to check everything I say with the Bible. I’m just a sinner like you. But, I implore you to also believe the Bible!

I will try to biblically answer many questions. Questions like:

In what sense are Christians free from the Law?

What does it mean to be under the Law?

Does God’s grace nullify the 10 Commandments?

Is a Christian justified in breaking ANY of the 10 Commandments because he is under grace?

What attracts me to Bible study is the fact that you can use the intellectual disciplines of logic and reason. Child-like belief does enter into the picture, of course – you either believe in God or you don’t, but Christianity can be argued with reason.

So I’ll start with a basic truth. When a person commits a premeditated murder, stands before a judge and jury, is found guilty, and given a sentence; then he must fulfill the requirements of that judgment. It may be death!

The Bible clearly establishes that ALL OF US are guilty of sin (Romans 3:23) and that the wages of sin (our sentence) is death (Romans 6:23). Did ya ever wonder why we die?

As the old saying goes; it’s because we’re all guilty, guilty as sin!

Does God define what sin is? Yes! Sin is defined as transgression of the Law (1 John 3:4). What Law? Why, the Big 10, of course (Romans 7:7).

All of us have been caught red-handed. We must acknowledge our crime and take the punishment – death!

The human sinner tries to justify himself so the sentence won’t be carried out. He uses “works”, but it’s no good. Can man even justify himself by always obeying the Big 10? No, afraid not! (Romans 3:20)

Here’s a great illustration. A thief is sentenced to 10 years. By his works (the 10 years in prison) he has justified his freedom. But what if a person is sentenced to death as we are? No amount of time spent in prison will fulfill the requirement of our sentence. No matter how hard we try to follow the Big 10 until the sentence is carried out we will never be justified! Without the shedding of blood no remission for our sin will be allowed. (Hebrews 9:22-28)

Now hold on, Tiger! You’re proving the point that the Big 10 doesn’t matter, right!

Nope, you’ve got to keep reading the Bible. Our very logical and reasonable friend Paul tells us different.

Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Rom 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

… Paul continues in Chapter 6 …

Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Rom 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

Whoa! I’m confused now, Tiger. Paul just said we’re under grace NOT THE LAW!

Sure. But Paul also said, “God forbid”, and that because we Christians are under grace we should not SIN. And what is SIN?

TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You’ve got to appreciate Paul’s logic here! If I were a Zen Buddhist I would say; Paul has just taken Yin and Yang, wrapped them both up in a complete circle, and one-hand clapped them into an immutable truth – we Christians must obey the Big 10 because of the love Christ has for us (declared through His grace) and because of the love we have for Him!

(my apologies to the Zen Buddhists out there) : )

Christians shouldn’t obey the Big 10 because of works, but because of LOVE ! And to think some people say Christianity has no intellectual appeal. Can you imagine!

… I’ll explain further …

Yes! We are saved by GRACE, not works. (Romans 3:20) So, why do we need the Law? Because the Law is a mirror.

What! Now your making up things!

Nope. Read this:

James 1:23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;
James 1:24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.
James 1:25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

Yes, it’s referring to the Big 10!

You see; although we are “under grace and not the Law” we should still practice the Law. This logic may seem odd, but Paul explains it this way:

Rom 3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

In other words, those who are under the Law and are guilty of breaking it are under condemnation of the Law. This is the case with Jews, before the advent of Christ. Christians are not under the Law, but under grace. Paul later states:

Rom 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith.
Rom 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.
Rom 3:29 Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also,
Rom 3:30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.
Rom 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

So, Paul, in his “law professor-like” logic establishes the Big 10 through faith!

A more down to earth illustration will help. (because Paul can be hard to fathom)

A murderer has been sentenced to death in the chair. This man is truly under the Law, under the guilt, condemned by the Law (like the Jew). Just before he’s executed the man receives a pardon from the Governor! (Jesus) The man is no longer under the Law but under Grace! The Law no longer condemns him. (he’s now like the Christian)

Because he is free to go and under grace is he also free to break the Law?

No! Of course not! In fact, now that he knows he’s been pardoned by the Governor he is so grateful and loves the Governor so much he will do anything to keep from breaking the Law!

Do you begin to understand why it’s so important to get on your knees and literally BEG for forgiveness when we sin? You see, by transgressing the Law, we have just made a mockery of the love and grace of our dear Savior Jesus Christ! We have also demonstrated that we think nothing of His sacrifice!

And if we continue to do this, there will ultimately be no more forgiveness of our sin!

All of us see sin around us. The United States, especially in these times, is running rampant with crime and it can only get worse. This crime is present because of transgression of God’s perfect Law.

Honestly now, is there anyone out there who wishes to place man’s law above God’s supreme Law?

rest in peace, Joe – I can’t wait to see you

The Observer


Because Christians are under God's grace always does it mean he's always "saved"? Can a saved man be lost? The answer is yes because man chooses to turn away from God, not God away from man.

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