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Law or Grace?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Chance7, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. Chance7

    Chance7 New Member

    United States
    Hi everyone. So, I’m having some really hard times trying to figure out the Gospel. Now, In the Bible it says that we are Justifien by faith apart from works of the law. Then it says that the love of the Torah will grow cold. Then it saus in revelations that people who eat pigs flesh will be destroyed. But then it says that if we could become righteous by the law, then Christ died for nothing. Then it says that Christ fulfilled the law and did not abolish it. Then it says that if we teach even one thing that is contrary to the law, we will be called least in the kingdom of Heaven. Then, However, Paul writes this:

    5 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

    2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. 3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4 You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love

    7 You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? 8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9 “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” 10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion, whoever that may be, will have to pay the penalty. 11 Brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. 12 As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!

    Now, I don’t know about you but it’s pretty clear here that Paul is talking about not being under some kind of law any more. He mentions Circumcision. He mentions all the feast days and things like that. And he clearly says that it’s “the book of the Law”. Which I believe is the Torah. I don’t understand. It’s all one big contradiction. Was he talking about the mosaic law and that the moral law is in full affect?

    If not, Answer me this: If we are no longer required to observe the feast days, become circumcised, or kill animals for animal sacrifices, then what about everything else. He also says not to let anyone judge them on what they eat or drink or on the keeping of a sabbath day. That seems pretty straight forward. At least to me. Otherwise, no one will get to Heaven. The mosaic law has 613 laws in it that you would have to obey Perfectly. That is impossible. Especially now. I’m a working class kid and we barely have any income. I can’t exactly break down and burn my stove and all the silverwear because they have pork on them. Or tell my mom to go outside in the middle of winter when it’s her time of the month. But besides that, here’s the thing, it was even said the law was a shadow of things to come. And that we are no longer a tutor. But the really important thing is, Paul said that these people were trying to add the Torah to their false Gospel and that they would be cursed by God for it! Look, I’m not saying that we no longer are expected to obey the moral laws, all of which Jesus taught. I just want to know what to do. Thank you, God bless you!
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. redleghunter

    redleghunter Thank You Jesus! Supporter

    United States
    Best advice is for you to read the entire epistle of Romans and not just verses pitted against each other out of context.

    Here is a great sermon by one of the best expositors of our time:

    Getting the Gospel Right
  3. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

    New Zealand
    It's quite simple really. The Scripture says, "Repent and be converted that your sins be blotted out."
    What this means is that we confess and repent of every known sin, put our full trust in the death of Jesus on the cross for us, and in His resurrection to give us eternal life. Then we get to grips with God so that the Holy Spirit will come into us to convert us to Christ. When that transformation takes place, the evidence of it will show in your life, and then you will know that you are saved. It is only after you are saved that you have the strong desire to live a holy life before God and to follow the laws of Christ. We don't follow the laws to be saved, but we get saved and converted first, then we follow Christ's laws because we are saved by grace.
    • Agree Agree x 2
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  4. 1stcenturylady

    1stcenturylady Spirit-filled follower of Christ Supporter

    United States
    Where in Revelation?
  5. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

    New Zealand
    It is from Isaiah 66:17, talking about those who have departed from God and who are joining in with the idol worshipers who eat swine's flesh and mice. But there are no food restrictions in the New Testament. It is not the eating of pork but it is departing from Christ and joining the worshipers of idols who are going to be destroyed.
  6. 1stcenturylady

    1stcenturylady Spirit-filled follower of Christ Supporter

    United States

    You are mixing up the laws for one thing. We are not justified by circumcision, keeping holy days, or by abstaining from certain meats. Those are what we call, Mosaic laws, or the "works of the law."

    Then we have the Ten Commandments, also referred to as the ministry of death, written on stone. 2 Corinthians 2:7. Romans 7 shows us that before Christ, trying to keep the commandments with our carnal sinful nature was nothing but a struggle, because the flesh cannot please God Romans 8:8. The Ten Commandments were to show us our SIN.

    Jesus was manifest to take away our sin, and in Him there is no sin. 1 John 3:5. So how is that accomplished? By our repentance Acts 2:38. We must fervently desire to be cleansed of all sin, even the desire to sin, and that is when Jesus will give us His Spirit. Romans 8:2 says, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ has freed me from the law of sin and death (the ministry of death). By walking in the Spirit we are no longer under the law. IOW, we accomplish the righteous requirements of the law in God's power through us.

    He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  7. 1stcenturylady

    1stcenturylady Spirit-filled follower of Christ Supporter

    United States
    What timeline is Isa. 66:17 referring to - Antiochus Epiphanes IV?
  8. bcbsr

    bcbsr Newbie

    I think Romans lays it out most clearly. You take for example Rom 4

    Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: "Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him."

    So the idea of being justified by faith apart from works is not simply referring to certain ceremonial laws, but rather to the generic concept of not qualifying for justification based upon doing things, but simply trusting in Christ alone to save you. And this is supported in many places such as

    Eph 2:8,9
    For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith— and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

    Contrasting justification by works versus justification by faith Paul writes in Romans 10

    4 Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
    5 Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: "The man who does these things will live by them."
    (Justification by works)
    6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: "Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’" (that is, to bring Christ down)
    7 "or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
    8 But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming:
    9 That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
    10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
    11 As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame."
    12 ¶ For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile— the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,
    13 for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
    (Justification by faith apart from works)

    Jesus also affirms that one's justification is finalized upon coming to faith.

    John 5:24 I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.
  9. Danoh

    Danoh Newbie

    Simple solution not adhered to by far too many...

    In the latter half of Ephesians 2, the Apostle of the Gentiles: Paul, Rom. 11:13, describes a Timeline under which God carry's out His dealings with man.

    It is a description of where God looks at things from.

    In Eph. 2:11, 12's Time Past, God is depicted dealing with mankind on the basis of whether or not they are of the Circumcision (the Nation Israel).

    Those outside of that (the Gentiles) were said to be cut off from Him, At That Time, and His instructions are based on this Circumcision distinction.

    In contrast to that, in Eph. 2:13-18's But Now, the distinction between the two groups has been done away, in Christ.

    While earlier, Eph. 2:7 described the Ages to Come.

    All you have to do, when attempting to sort things out anywhere in Scripture, is ask yourself 'what does this appear to be a part of within Ephesians 2's Timeline of God's dealings with men - Time Past, But Now, or the Ages to Come?'

    'And which group of people do these issues that I am reading about in Scripture, do they appear to pertain to, given what is being talked about - the Circumcision, or the Uncircumcision?'

    Take for example, Matthew 8:1-4 - does that have to do with the Circumcision (Israel) or the Uncircumcision (the Gentiles)?

    Same thing, say, as late as Matthew 23: 1, 2.

    Of course, following this simple key will meet with great resistance from many, who have long since ended up in the traditions of men about what's what.

    But Eph. 2's Three-Fold Division of Time, is the very Key, to gradually coming to better understand what's what, in the Bible.

    Time Past / But Now / Ages to Come.

    Rom. 14:5, in memory of Rom. 5:6-8, in each - our stead.
  10. Chance7

    Chance7 New Member

    United States
    So, we are saved so we can then keep all 613 laws? Oscarr? Or are you talking about the laws that Christ created? I guess I’ll have to read more. So many different people say so many different things.
  11. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

    New Zealand
    I'm not sure. Possibly.
  12. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

    New Zealand
    The Lord was fairly clear about us following the law of love. He said if we love God with all our heart, and love our neighbour as we love ourselves, then that covers the whole law and the prophets. It is not a matter of keeping a whole list of laws, but to live so that we show the fruit of the Spirit as in Galatians 5, rather than carry on in the works of the flesh as outlined in the same chapter.
  13. eleos1954

    eleos1954 God is Love Supporter

    United States
    They were going strictly by the law of Moses (works) and Paul was trying to get the point below across to them.

    Galatians 5:6

    For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. All that matters is faith, expressed through love.

    The laws of Moses were those nailed to the cross (sacrificial/ordinances - they do not save).

    Food guidelines - it's not a sin to eat meat, even pork. The food guidelines are stating ... this is or is not food for you. When you look at the not food for you ... they are predators and gods garbage can animals. So the food guidelines are in relation to what is good food for the body (healthier for the body).

    What we are to do?

    The moral laws - 10 commandments are eternal. The ark of the covenant is in heaven and the moral law is in it. God does not break his covenants ... mankind does.

    John 14:15

    If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

    We (strive - expressing our love) to do this with the motive being our of Love for Him, knowing that we can not fully fulfill them without Him ... for us to think so would be us believing in our own ability (works) and not His.

    Jesus (Holy Spirit) will help us do this ..... we will mess up and we repent and we are forgiven ... he will help us over come our sins ... we will get better (Him working in us and is a lifelong process) ... impossible for us to do this perfectly without Him. His perfection will be completed (imputed) in us at the 1st resurrection. We will be changed and become like Him (perfect and for eternity). Amen

    Philippians 3:14
    14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

    Walking with Him daily through His Word and prayer and treating others kindly/lovingly, this is pressing toward the mark.

    May the Lord peacefully rest in your heart daily as you press toward the mark with Him. Amen

    God Bless.
  14. Just Another User

    Just Another User Member

    United Kingdom
    I'll try my best to answer some of things you've said brother.

    Romans 5:1 says "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ"

    Remember that past tense brother.

    later on in Romans 5:9-10

    "Since we have now been justified how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath For if, while we were God’s enemies we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!"

    Can you see this the past and future tense brother?

    We were reconciled to God by the death of Jesus our saviour e.g. his Crucifixion.

    We will be saved from God's wrath by the life of Jesus our saviour of e.g. his Teachings.

    What Paul means is that when we were "Justified by faith not works" is that before we believed in Christ, we were slaves to sin and lacked the holy spirit. When Jesus died on the Cross, this gave everyone a chance to no longer be slaves to sin but slaves to Christ and to obtain the holy spirit. No matter how many good works you'll due, this can never arrive except through Jesus.

    However, whenever Paul talks about salvation in the future, e.g. he always talks about works. We can now do good works because we have the grace of God to overcome sin Romans 6:14 "sin shall no longer be your master because you are not under the law but under grace"

    Some examples of Paul showing works really, really matter.

    Ephesians 5:5 "For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God""

    Romans 2:6 "God will repay each person according to what they have done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, and immortality he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil,there will be wrath and anger"

    Romans 6:9-10 "Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God. Do not be deceived Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

    Just to nail home the fact that it's possible that we can throw away our salvation, here's 2 Peter 3:17 "Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position"

    Galatians 2:21 "I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"

    Hopefully that fits in for what I was saying earlier. Without Christ, we can not act in a righteous way. Remember, grace isn't the same as mercy. Grace means that God teaches us to act righteously and this is achieved when we have the Holy Spirit (Titus 2:11-12 but very abridged) The law Paul refers to here is the Law of Moses. The Law of Moses couldn't produce righteousness but the law of Christ can. This law is the teachings of Jesus which is found in the New Testament.

    Matthew 5:20 says that "For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven"

    The Pharisees held the Law of Moses to the highest degree and that was commendable to a degree. But now we have a greater law from a Sinless being, God become flesh. Our Messiah.

    Our Righteousness will surpass the Pharisees because Jesus has given us not the law of Moses but the law of the spirit.

    Matthew 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them"

    You see? The law has been fulfilled to be in it's real state. Or how Irenaenus (a very important mid to late 2nd century Christian and defender of Orthodoxy against the Gnostics) The law has been "extended and fulfilled."

    "You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, will be subject to judgment. But I tell you that anyone who is angry will be subject to judgment"

    You see? The law has been extended. Murder is a act while anger is something of the heart. The Pharisees didn't murder but now Christians can not even be angry. Our righteousness has exceeded theirs.

    "You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

    The law has been extended once again or been taken to it's real state. Christians again will be more righteous than the Pharisees. They don't commit adultery but we Christians don't commit lust.

    "Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all... All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’"

    The law have been extended once more. Pharisees made oaths while Christians fulfill every word that they say. Christians righteousness is greater.

    All the moral laws of the Old Testament are still in affect to this very day but now many are no longer literal and are taken to the extreme. I'll try to show that later.

    We are still under the law but not the Old Testament law. A law of the spirit rather than the flesh if you will.

    Hebrews 7:12 says "For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also."

    We are still Circumcised but no longer of the flesh.

    Romans 2:28-29 "A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart by the Spirit,not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God"

    This is what God really wants. Obedience to him and to do good deeds. Not following the Law of Moses and getting other people's praises.

    We also keep the food law despite Jesus saying "Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them" (Matthew 15:17-18)

    This is the new food law. Explained in the Letter of Barnabas an early to mid 2nd century letter (which is consistent with other early church writings).

    "What does he mean then (talking about Christ in Matthew 15:17-18)? That we should to join ourselves to those who fear God, those who meditate in their heart upon the commandments which they have received, … who ruminate upon the Word of the Lord. "

    In other words, our food law is to eat daily with those that are with Christ, who fear God and obey his laws.

    Another example.

    Hebrews 4:4 "For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: "On the seventh day God rested from all his works."

    Is now contrasted with Hebrews 4:8-9 "For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God."

    In other words, we no longer keep the Sabbath as a literal day and neither do we literally rest. Now we rest in Christ and keep everyday Holy by doing good works which please God. As Justin Martyr a mid 2nd century Christian said

    "The new law requires you to keep perpetual Sabbath, and you, because you are idle for one day, suppose you are godly, not understanding why this command was given to you"

    Or from Ignatius of Antioch. Appointed head supvisor of Antioch by the Apostle John himself writing in the 100s or 110s "Those who have been brought up in the ancient order of things have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath but living in observance of the Lord's day" (the Lord's day was just fasting on Sunday for respect of Christ's Resurrection but you still worked and did good works)

    Or from Irenaeus again "We learn from Scripture itself that God gave circumcision (as a sign). Ezekiel the prophet says the same concerning the Sabbaths: "I gave them my Sabbaths to be a sign between me and them"...These things, then, were given as a sign since they were given by a wise Artist (God); the circumcision of the flesh typified that which was of the Spirit. … But the Sabbaths taught that we should continue day by day in God's service"

    I think we need to remember that we are still circumcised and still keep the Sabbath but in a spiritual, fulfilled and non-literal way.

    Jeremiah 7:22 criticises the idea that God ever cared about animal sacrifices. Ultimately, sacrifices were always about turning towards God again and to obey him. An obedient nation would not need sacrifices.

    Jeremiah 7:23 says the command is to obey god.

    As I've covered, eating and drinking doesn't matter.

    Ultimately, they'll always be people who want to Judaize the Church. If it be to make Sabbath a literal day with literal rest. Old Testament laws. Food laws or whatnot. What need to do is to follow Christ's teachings and not our own or the Old Testaments.
  15. 1213

    1213 Disciple of Jesus

    If you are a disciple of Jesus, I recommend to live as he taught. When one man asked from Jesus the same question, Jesus answered:

    As he was going out into the way, one ran to him, knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except one- God. You know the commandments: 'Do not murder,' 'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not steal,' 'Do not give false testimony,' 'Do not defraud,' 'Honor your father and mother.'"
    Mark. 10:17-19

    Jesus also told about law:

    "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. A second likewise is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
    Mat. 22:37-39

    All law is fulfilled in that you love your neighbor as yourself.

    Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not give false testimony," "You shall not covet," [TR adds "You shall not give false testimony,"] and whatever other commandments there are, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love doesn't harm a neighbor. Love therefore is the fulfillment of the law.
    Romans 13:8-10

    If you are righteous, you understand that is good and you want to live accordingly. And those who are righteous, will get the gift that is the eternal life.

    These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
    Mat. 25:46

    It is not really because of any works, but because person has wisdom of the just, right understanding and attitude so that person wants to freely do what is good and right.

    But still, works are not meaningless, they tell is the "tree" good or bad.

    By their fruits you will know them. Do you gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree produces good fruit; but the corrupt tree produces evil fruit. A good tree can't produce evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree produce good fruit. Every tree that doesn't grow good fruit is cut down, and thrown into the fire.
    Mat. 7:16-19

    He who does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. To this end the Son of God was revealed, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever is born of God doesn't commit sin, because his seed remains in him; and he can't sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are revealed, and the children of the devil. Whoever doesn't do righteousness is not of God, neither is he who doesn't love his brother.
    1 John 3:7-10

    But what about all the “small rules” you may ask. And I would say, all God’s commandments or rules are good. God didn’t give them without good reason. But you should not obey them to gain eternal life. Only good reason to do so is that you love God.

    For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. His commandments are not grievous.
    1 John 5:3

    But about sacrificing, if you are righteous, you have no sin and you have no reason to sacrifice because of sin. And about judging, if you are not judge set by God, it would be wise not to judge, especially because of this:

    "Don't judge, so that you won't be judged. For with whatever judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you."

    Mat. 7:1-2

    If you fail in obeying all the rules, it is not end of the world, person can get into Kingdom of Heaven even then.

    Whoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and teach others to do so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever shall do and teach them shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

    Mat. 5:17-19

    If you have not done everything perfectly, I think what is required that you are honest and admit if you have not done everything by the rules. And it will be like in this:

    "Two men went up into the temple to pray; one was a Pharisee, and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed to himself like this: 'God, I thank you, that I am not like the rest of men, extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I get.' But the tax collector, standing far away, wouldn't even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."
    Luke 18:10-14

    Righteous person speaks truth in his heart.

    He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
    Ps. 15:2

    So, in conclusion, eternal life is for righteous. Righteous understands what is good and right and wants to do it freely. If you obey God’s commandments, don’t do it to earn salvation, that is not going to work. If you do it, do it because you love God. And remember, if you are a disciple of Jesus, he is the King, and true teacher. If you follow someone, I recommend to follow him, he is the good shepherd.

    "If you remain in my word, then you are truly my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."

    John 8:31-32
  16. BCsenior

    BCsenior Still an evangelist

    "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free."

    Concerning the above, I can easily prove that it means:
    Jesus has freed the new BAC from the bondage of sin,
    from actually having to sin (due to the old nature), etc.

    This is critical ...

    and it helps explain Paul in my signature below ...
  17. BCsenior

    BCsenior Still an evangelist

    Just as long as you realize that Paul was writing
    ONLY to "the faithful" in the church at Ephesus!
    Ditto for his epistle to the Colossians
    ... Eph 1:1 and Col 1:2.
    Are you faithful? ... Just wonderin'.
  18. Justin Helton

    Justin Helton New Member

    United States
    There is a reason for it to be called the "New Covenant" it is better than the old, Jesus came to TAKE sins away and he did so on the cross, so if there was even ONE law that could give righteousness then righteousness would've been by the law.
  19. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

    New Zealand
    I saw an interesting verse concerning law and grace which gives a very good comparison:
    And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. (Romans 11:6).

    What Paul is saying is that we cannot mix grace with works, otherwise we are trying to please God by debt and not the free gift. He says that if we are wanting to be saved and to continue living our Christian lives by works to remain saved, then it is no more of grace, and the person has to keep the entire law without fault, and because there is no grace, there is no provision for cleansing of past sins. But if our salvation and sanctification is by grace, then works become irrelevant, because it is all by the free and unmerited mercy of God. He also says:

    "By grace you have been saved through faith. It is not of yourselves, but it is the gift of God"
    (Ephesians 2:8).
    This means that we who have received Christ are already saved, because Paul says it in the past tense. He does not say, "you will be saved". He says "you have been saved".

    It is also interesting when Paul struggled with his thorn in the flesh, that God told him: "My grace is sufficient for you" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

    What this means to me is that God's grace and mercy is totally sufficient for my salvation, and the success of my on-going Christian life. He has good works for us to do, but they are what He ordained for us:
    "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" (Ephesians 2:10).

    This is not the keeping of the law to make us acceptable to God at any time. These are works of power that God has for us to do as part of our ministry and sharing of the Gospel with others. These are the works that come out of the fruit of the Spirit to make us true representatives of Christ in the world.

    The wonder and praise to God is that He, out of His grace and mercy chose us to salvation and gave us the faith to receive Jesus. We did not make the first move toward God. He made the first move toward us. He said that He had the sovereignty to make His own choice about who to save and not to save. That's what He said to Moses: "I will have mercy on whom I want to have mercy" (Romans 9:15). It is and always has been His own free choice,

    Some have criticised God and accused Him of not being fair or loving by saving some and not others, but His answer is, "Does the clay tell the potter how to mold it?" (Isaiah 45:9).
    But if through Adam's rebellion, we are all condemned and lost in our natural state, then it is not God who sends people to hell, because every sinner is going there anyway. God did not want that in the first place, but it all happened because Adam made a wrong choice. So, God is being quite fair and righteous by deciding to save those whom He wants to save and to leave the rest.

    So, if God, in His grace and mercy, chose me, and gave me the faith to receive Christ, and continues through His grace to keep me going on for Christ, how could I ever stop being thankful to Him and to continually praise Him for his wonderful mercy and grace toward me, who was a hopeless and helpless sinner?
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  20. 1213

    1213 Disciple of Jesus

    If you are a disciple of Jesus, I think it is quite simple thing, if you love God, keep His commandments. His commandment is that you love others as yourself.

    Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. A second likewise is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."
    Matt. 22:37-40

    … this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. His commandments are not grievous.
    1 John 5:3

    Therefore whatever you desire for men to do to you, you shall also do to them; for this is the law and the prophets.
    Matt. 7:12

    Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not give false testimony," "You shall not covet," [TR adds "You shall not give false testimony,"] and whatever other commandments there are, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love doesn't harm a neighbor. Love therefore is the fulfillment of the law.
    Romans 13:8-10

    But remember, don’t do it to earn salvation or something else, do it, if you love God and want to do His will, because of love. Only good reason to do so is love and that you understand it is good and right and therefore you want to do so.