Grace and the Law of God

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There is absolute danger when the Law is set against Grace. No true interpretation of the scripture can be accurate when the Law of God and Grace are opposing systems in doctrine.

If the later were the case, it would mean that God had taken opposing and contradictory attitudes towards men in these two different ages and would be contrary to the character of God who states “I am the Lord, I change not” in Malachi 3:6.

Instead of opposing systems, law and grace as revealed in the Scriptures are parts of one harmonious and progressive Godly plan.  Many Christian leaders and world governments have publicly repudiated God’s divine Law and made the great things of God’s law a strange thing.  In return, God has visited us with a wave of lawlessness in our nations, churches, homes, and social lives.

Anything now goes in our lawless generation that is devoid of God’s divine structure. There is nothing to guide the lives and thoughts of the young,  assist the middle aged in raising and supporting a godly family or to comfort the old in the spiritual preparation of leaving this world;  except the Word and law of God.

Christ said in Luke 24:44:

“And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.”

After reading these words of Christ in the verse above the question to ask yourself is:  Was there anything written by the prophets or in the psalms that Christ would do away with the law?

The answer, of course, is a resounding NO!   Christ states in Luke 16:17

“It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.”

God also declared, "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them";  Heb 10:16.

Christ said in Matt 5:7 :”I came not to destroy, but to fulfill”;  which is not to dissolve the obligations of the law and to release us from them, but to substantiate the law and make good all that it required.

But what about “nailing it to the cross” as is commonly taught by those who take Paul’s words in Col 2:14 out of context?

Actually, Paul is saying that the curse of sin and death, which is exposed by the law of God, is nailed to the cross by Christ’s sacrifice; along with the Old Testament sacrificial law, as Christ was now the sacrifice for our sins.

Paul in Romans 8:2 states;

“For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”

Paul also stated in Rom 2:13;

“For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.”

This present dispensation is spoken of as the age of grace, not because grace belongs to it exclusively, but because in it grace has been fully manifested by the death and resurrection of Christ.

When John declared that 'the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ' in John 1:17; he was contrasting law and grace, not as two contrary and irreconcilable systems, but as two related parts of one system.

The law was the shadow, Christ was the substance. The law was the pattern, Christ was the reality. The grace which had been behind the law came to light through Jesus Christ so that it could be realized.

It is a erroneous conclusion that supposes the Old and New Testaments are antagonistic with each other. The Old Testament is also full of grace and the New Testament is also full of Law.

As a matter of fact, grace had been in operation from the beginning. It began in Eden with the first promise of redemption immediately after the fall. All redemption is from God’s grace; there can be no salvation without it, and even the law itself proceeds on the basis of grace.

The law was given to Israel not that they might be redeemed, but because they had been redeemed.

The nation had been brought out of Egypt by the power of God under the blood of the slain lamb, itself the symbol and token of God's grace. The law was added at Sinai as the necessary standard of life for a ransomed people, a people who now belonged to the Lord. It began with a declaration of their redemption; 'I am the Lord thy God who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage' in Ex. 20:2. It rested on the basis of grace, and it embodied the principle that redemption implied a conformity to God's moral order. In other words, the very grace that redeemed Israel carried with it the necessity of revealing the law to Israel. The law was given that they might walk righteously in the relation which they now stood to God their creator as God is holy. The covenant of the law did not supersede the covenant of promise, but set forth the kind of life which those who were redeemed by the covenant of promise were expected to live.

The law was not a covenant of works in the sense that Israel’s salvation depended upon obedience to it. The devout Israelite was saved by faith in the promise of God, which was now embodied in the tabernacle services. He looked forward through the sacrifices to a salvation which they foreshadowed, and by faith accepted it, as we look back to the Cross and by faith accept the salvation which has been accomplished.

The Old Testament saints and the New Testament saints are both saved in the same way, and that is, by the grace of God through Jesus Christ alone.

Of course the people could not keep the law. It only brought sin to light and proved that righteousness could not come from their own efforts.

It has been often said, and said truly, "The New is in the Old contained and the Old is by the New explained!"

The Bible and the law as a whole, are not merely for the children of Israel while only certain parts of it are just for the Gentile believers. The Bible is a written revelation from God for the whole congregation of believers, Jew and Gentile alike are one in Christ!

It is indeed sad to see how little this elementary truth is grasped today and what dangerous confusion and false teachings this lack of scriptural understanding enables.

To read more about how God’s laws apply today according to the scriptures; go to our section “The First Believers and What they Believed”   Click Here

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