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Mixing Grace With The Law

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Mixing Grace with the Law
by Eddie Fourie


Mixing Grace with the Law is a toxic mixture far more poisonous than the Law on its own. It holds the false promise of a cure to our heart-shaped void but is unable to deliver the antidote. Paul calls it an outright perversion of the Gospel he preached (Eph 2:7) - a false religion that slowly poisons us, robbing us from the gift of God’s grace. It only leaves us burdened with guilt and shame in our attempts to please God. Such a false religion exists as much among Christians today as it did in the days of Paul. It shows itself in such rituals as reading more of the Bible, praying at least an hour a day, witnessing more for Christ, paying tithes to the church and much more in order to be a “good Christian” that God will find pleasing. On its own there is nothing wrong with those things, but when they are done to earn God's righteousness then one has entered into legalism.
Upholding the law cuts a believer off from Christ. Either Christ lives and the law is abrogated, or the law lives and Christ must perish. Christ and the law cannot live side by side. If what killed our relationship with God in the garden was eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, then the equivalent in the new covenant is mixing law and grace. The result of both is the same; it destroys our relationship with God because it attempts to know God and effect right living without God’s life itself. It wants to do that which only God can do, it wants to be free of God. The law and grace are diametric to each other, and under the new agreement of Christ we are not under the law, but under grace only.

Paul spells out in Romans that the law cannot effect right living, not because the law is not righteous in all its demands, but because the flesh weakens it. The flesh always fails miserably when it tries to keep the law, and it always will. Without God’s life, NO flesh can keep the law. Paul goes a step further to explain that where the law increases, so WILL sin. It is such a serious matter that an entire book in the New Testament devotes itself to the subject when Paul reinstructs the bewitched Galatians about a Gospel of righteousness by grace alone and not through works.

Paul was right about grace, because in the words of Martin Luther: “The Gospel (of grace) is true because it deprives men of all glory, wisdom and righteousness and turns over all honor to the Creator alone. It is safer to attribute too much glory unto God than unto man.”

Legalism is any belief of salvation where any part of it is based on anything other than the imputed righteousness of Christ. When someone introduces anything done by, or in the believer that makes him or her more saved, holier, fit for the kingdom or entitled to any part of the inheritance and reward of grace, then that person is preaching legalism. Introducing such a notion makes the rest of his message irrelevant. Such a person may say that Christ's righteousness is the only ground of salvation. He may even say that Christ's blood and righteousness is the only way that God can be just and justify the ungodly. However, if he does not make it clear that Christ's righteousness alone entitles the sinner to salvation and the entire inheritance, then he has not preached the Gospel. If he does not make it clear that all the works and efforts of sinners are excluded in this area, then he has not preached the true gospel of Paul. Usually this idea is preached when dealing with the issues of sanctification and holy living.

Mixing law and grace creates a ‘doer’ or works-righteousness based religion, and Paul underscores that we cannot do this:
“And if it is by grace, it is no longer by works, otherwise grace would no longer be grace.” Rom 11:6

What shall we say then? — that the Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness obtained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith, but Israel even though pursuing a law of righteousness did not attain it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but (as if it were possible) by works. Romans 9:30-32

Incidentally, this scripture in Romans 9 in addition with multiple scriptures in the Old Testament is Biblical proof that God entered into the old covenant law with only the Jewish people. God did not enter into the old covenant agreement of the law with the Gentiles in any form or shape. Introducing this into Christ’s salvation message is a deviation from both New Testament teaching of salvation through grace as well as Old Testament law to Israel only. It was only through Christ’s death that the Gentiles received salvation and entered into God’s salvation plan for all men (Jew, Greek, slave, freeman, male, female).

But what about the Scripture where Christ said he did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it? Legalism tends to focus on the first part of that statement, and conveniently ignores the second part and that scripture, and the book of Hebrews telling us the old covenant was fulfilled and became obsolete. It was part of God’s salvation plan for Christ to fulfill all the demands of the law, thus completing that old contract.

Christ was the only righteous man that walked the earth, and the only person that could fulfill all the demands of the Law. He had to fulfill the old covenant to make it obsolete so he could usher in the new covenant. The only way we come to the Father is through his Person and not by any of our works. God provided himself in Jesus to fulfill the righteous requirements of the old covenant so it might be done away with.

God’s heart's desire from the beginning was to live within, and those who lived under the old covenant only understood God from the outside. Christ flipped that world upside down and showed us that his person alone is the answer to God’s law, and that only by knowing him as our life are we able to live righteous before God. It’s a life that starts from within, working its way outward. Only Christ can live the Christian life and only God can make a man as he intended man to be. We enter into this life by faith, knowing that we no longer live, and that Christ is our life. Where the law attempts to conform us to a certain behavior, grace does the opposite of transforming us into the image of God, knowing that only God can work in us to will that which is his desire for us.

Christ gave us a far better covenant. Grace makes us free and Jesus calls us to hand over our autonomous self in unshaken confidence because we are loved by the Father right where we are at in the journey. Christianity happens when men and women accept with unwavering trust that their sins have not only been forgiven, but forgotten, washed away in the blood of the Lamb. Thus, my friend archbishop Joe Reia says, “A sad Christian is a phony Christian and a guilty Christian is no Christian at all.” - Brennan Manning

Finally, I have created a little quiz to discover how legalistic one might be. Let me immediately add this disclaimer: It’s not scientific and the questions are based on some of the discussions we have had over the last couple of months about grace and the law. It’s for informational purposes only, so please don’t sue me if you don’t like the result. Hopefully it makes you understand the gravity of not mixing grace with the law. I would be the first to admit that I have some streak of legalism in me - I think we all do to a certain extent.

An excerpt from Eddie's Blog:
 
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I tried to go but you must be a member to view... I am really having a hard time wrapping my head around this I do not want to be legalistic ... but I think I am confused by what the Law is completely.. So can people have 12 spouses and murder neighbors and it all be ok because of grace.. I am not trying to be rude in any way I am just not getting it so if you could please explain to me what the Law is and what exactly is legalism... I am starting to wonder if I dont understand it at all.. Thanks JF

Joyfully ~ Jlu
 
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Jesuslovesu said:
I tried to go but you must be a member to view... I am really having a hard time wrapping my head around this I do not want to be legalistic ... but I think I am confused by what the Law is completely.. So can people have 12 spouses and murder neighbors and it all be ok because of grace.. I am not trying to be rude in any way I am just not getting it so if you could please explain to me what the Law is and what exactly is legalism... I am starting to wonder if I dont understand it at all.. Thanks JF
Joyfully ~ Jlu
The law that is refered to in this article is the law of the old testiment, levitical law and mosiac law.
 
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If I may add to your message jf, the following is from biblegems.com, and may help add further clarity to this subject...

Understanding The Age Of Grace
There Is A New Covenant


There is no argument or debate over the existence of an Old and New Covenant, but the misunderstandings arise when discussion of their differences occurs. The fact of their existence, and the difference when it comes to the Levitical sacrificial system are remedial and perhaps not misunderstood by anyone other than unbelieving Jews. Romans 9:31-33 “But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” However, the difference between Old and New goes beyond the sacrificial system, as we will see shortly. First let us look at the fact of God’s establishing a New Covenant.

The Scriptures are abundant with record of this fact so let us look at a few. Hebrews 7:18-19 says, “For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.” In this context we have been learning of the change in the high priesthood specifically, due to Christ’s superiority. Nonetheless the provisions regarding a high priest were part of the law in general which is the theme of this portion of Hebrews. One author writes, “the whole section is devoted to showing how far superior grace is to law, how much better Christ is than the shadows of Him in the Old testament”[1]. The noun “disannulling” is only used twice in the Bible. Both times are in Hebrews. The word means a setting aside, abolition, to put away.[2] Its verb form is translated despise, reject, bring to nothing, frustrate, disannul, cast off.[3] A synonym for the word is cancellation.[4] So we see then; that the law “answered the end for which it was designed – that of introducing a more perfect plan, and then vanished as a matter of course”.[5] Matthew 5:17, 18 “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” The law has not vanished in the sense that it has disappeared without a trace, but the change is in our relationship to the law. The law has not changed in what it says, but our relationship to the law has changed Hebrews 7:11-12 “If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Mel-chis-ed-ec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.”

The first Covenant then was a Covenant of law and the second, and better, is one of grace, as we shall see. As Macdonald puts it, “The first covenant, though good and perfect in itself, was weak because it depended on man as one of the contracting parties”.[6] Unlike the Old the New Covenant is an everlasting and eternal Covenant Hebrews 13:20 “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,” The New Testament is also much more preferable, in fact it is better than the Old Testament. Hebrews 7:22, 8:6. “By so much was Jesus made, a surety of a better testament.” “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.” For this cause it is sad to hear some, who attempt to present themselves as spiritual, say if they had to choose between having a copy of the Old or New Testaments they would rather have the Old when the Bible reveals that the promises of the New are so much greater.

How Is The Covenant New?

We have seen that the Old Testament has not ceased to be in the sense that God has failed to preserve His Word; however there have indeed been changes in our relationship to the old law covenant. It is understanding these changes that will determine whether or not we grasp the concept of the way the New Covenant is different. Again, we are reminded that the Old has become null and void.

Romans 7:7 “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” The Old Testament was not done away with because it was evil, but because a New Covenant has been made and it thus takes the place of the Old because it is better. This is simple logic. A new and updated agreement will supercede an old and outdated agreement, such as in the case of a will, or a deed. The existence of the new, automatically assumes the nullification of the old. The Old Covenant has changed in our accountability to the details or letter of the contract. We still have a responsibility to uphold the morality and principles behind the law, but the observance of the laws themselves has been done away with. This is true not only of the Levitical sacrificial system (which was a part of the law) but of the Old Covenant as a whole.

The law as a whole was a shadow or picture of better things to come, not just the sacrificial laws. Hebrews 8:5 “Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.” Hebrews 9:1 “Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.” Hebrews 10:1 “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.” I Corinthians 13:10 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

What is of greater importance: a law or the reason for which that law was established? Before I married my wife it would have been wrong for me to be physically intimate with her, yet now that we are married that rule no longer governs our relationship. The moral law that fornication is wrong is still valid and to be upheld, but now it is no longer applicable to my wife and I because our position has changed. Laws are created for a reason and given a certain set of conditions and circumstances. When the circumstances or situation are not present then the law is not applicable even though the reason for establishing the law is valid and should be upheld for its truth in principle. That is why God has provided judges and rulers and courts – to determine if a given law is applicable in a given situation. Thus it is with the Old Testament. Our Position has changed (due to Christ and His sacrifice) because of the New Testament, thus the Old is set aside. And yet we adhere to and uphold those moral principles and eternal truth of which the Old was founded upon.

Christ Is The Key

The question now begs to be asked what set of circumstances and situation has changed that our relationship to the law has changed? Hebrews tells us that Jesus is the mediator of the New Covenant. Hebrews 9:15, 12:24 “And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” “And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” His death on the cross, and shed blood mark the beginning of a New Covenant between God and His dealings with man: Matthew 26:28, ”For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Salvation has always been based on looking to Jesus, whether looking ahead or looking back. However, the covenantal relationship between God and man changed when Christ died and brought in the New: Hebrews 10:9, “…He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.” Jesus is the one who has delivered us from the law. Romans 7:6 “But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.”

Forgiveness Of Sin

The forgiveness of sin or salvation from sin as we have said has never been in the law. This is easily understood from the past aspect of our salvation: our justification. Hebrews 8:12 says, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” We have been released from the penalty of sin once we appropriate the sacrifice of Christ for our own soul. There have been those who have taught a works salvation, and certainly today there exist many cults; which promote a works based, law-keeping type of salvation. Yet the Scriptures are clear that we are made right not by the law, but through faith in Christ. Romans 3:28 “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” II Corinthians 3:6 “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”

There are many who understand this truth in relation to justification, but are seriously gone astray when it comes to the present aspect of our salvation, namely sanctification. Our salvation has not come to us by law keeping and thus neither have any of the aspects of our salvation. Galatians 3:2-3 “I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” Hebrews 10:10 tells us, “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” II Thessalonians 2:13 “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:” We are able to lead separated lives by the power of the Spirit not by our personal record of law keeping, or rule following, or standard upholding.

Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,” Ephesians 5:9 “Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” The fruit and graces that we bear in our lives are of the Spirit not the fruit or evidences of good law keeping. What initially sets us apart from the world is the fact that we are gloriously and mercifully saved. It is shameful, but nonetheless true, that some lost persons live better moral lives and have higher standards than some of God’s elect. Yet, dare we say that the faithless are then sanctified?

It is the blood of the New Covenant and nothing but the blood that has sanctified us and enables us to be separated from the world. Matthew 25:31-32 “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:” II Corinthians 6:17. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” The Scriptures reveal that those who are not sanctified by God in salvation and who separate themselves are without the Spirit. Jude 18-19 “”How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.” Hewitt well states that the law’s “unprofitableness or uselessness is made plain by its inability to…impart spiritual power that men may obey the law.”[7] Legalism in part refers to those who place salvation in the hands of the law, but likewise to those who place their sanctification in the same hands.

Grace and Mercy Under the New Covenant

God has always been in His character a God of mercy and of grace for He is unchangeable. Hebrews 6:17 “Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:” However, these aspects of God’s character are now more readily accessible under the New Testament. The God of the New Testament was indeed a God of grace and mercy, but whereas that mercy was veiled it has now been unveiled and we may come boldly and directly to the mercy seat and throne room of the grace of God. Hebrews 4:16, 10:19-20). “…I must not forget that, amid all the blessed aspects of full salvation hinted at here, the one perfection specially in mind is the perfection of communion with God. The test of all priesthood is its ability to give access to God, and the perfection of Christ’s priesthood is that the uttermost sinner may come by Him to God and find full acceptance, a glad welcome, as a son beloved.”[8]

There is a definite distinction indeed between the law and the grace of God. Galatians 2:21 “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” John. 1:17. “And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.” The law gives us what we deserve; God in His mercy spares us from what we deserve and even gives to us that which we do not deserve in His grace. The consequences of sin under the Old Testament were most often harshly and swiftly applied. Hebrews 10:28 “He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:” Those who have done despite unto the Spirit of Grace are worthy of even greater consequences, but those consequences are often withheld by the patient mercy and grace of God in this age. The mercy of God rejoices against judgment under the New Covenant. James 2:13 “For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.” There are always consequences to sin. But those consequences are not always experienced immediately or even in this lifetime. This is because we are no longer subject to the harshness of the law.

The Harshness Of The Law

Here is another area in which many have failed to understand the age of grace in which we live. “It will be a sad day for those who cling to ‘traditions’, church ‘standards,’ and ‘articles,’ when their lives will be examined not by those, but by the living Word of God.”[9] Many of these of which others hold on to are based on the Old Covenant which has passed away with the harshness thereof. Again we must remember that all of the law has been set aside, not just the Levitical sacrificial system. It is a fearful thing to fall under the judgment of God, but it is the right of God alone to execute vengeance. Hebrews 10:30 “For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.” Those who promote capital and corporate punishment have failed to understand this in light of the New Covenant and our release from the particulars of the letter. It is interesting that those who would administer corporal punishment do not also follow the letter in stoning their consistently rebellious children to death. Deuteronomy 21:21 “And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.”

Those who are immature wish to impose the law and their own personal preferences upon others. Romans 14:1 “Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.” The Sabbath day is an example of this. Romans 14:5 “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike, Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” Paul taught this principle from the issue of circumcision Romans 2:29 “But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” Jesus taught that, “you have heard that it hath been said…but I say unto you.” Where it had been said was in the law. We are to show mercy to those that would do evil to us, not render their just deserts to them. Tithing is another example.

Tithing was a part of the law. It is again interesting that those who believe we must tithe do not follow the entire letter in this matter. The law required several tithes, which would amount to considerably more than ten percent. Many teach that because Abraham gave a tithe to Melchizedek that we are to tithe in this age.[10] Those who follow the New Covenant pattern for giving generally give more because they do so freely out of a cheerful heart and not because they “have to”. We are no longer under the harshness and strictness of the law. Titus 3:9 “But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.”

CONCLUSION

Those believers who still have the desire to put themselves under the law are so to speak; still milk-drinking Christians, because of their failure to listen to and understand the Scripture’s teaching on the mater of a New Covenant. Hebrews 5:12 “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.” In a sense they have fallen from the grace of God because they keep themselves from enjoying the freedom we have in Christ Jesus. We are now under a new law, the law of liberty, which is in Christ Jesus. Some have taken unbiblical freedom in discarding the spirit of the letter and pass off the morals and principles of the Old Covenant. These attempt to give themselves license for their sin and carnality. Others attempt to legalistically mix the Covenants and live under both causing confusion and disorder. One old preacher summarizes well saying, “The very expression ‘a New Covenant,’ in itself makes the former testament null and void. It served its purpose up to the cross. Now that ‘which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away’. It is pathetic how few Christians understand that the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ has freed us from all obligation to that temporary dispensation. It is to be feared that many who sometimes sing of such liberty fail really to understand its import.
 
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There is also an excellent study to be found here, and is worth a complete read! Law of God http://www.christinyou.net/pages/lawgod.html

"In what ways is the Law of God fulfilled in Christians today?

God's intent has always been to restore mankind to His created intent so that the character of God could be displayed in the behavior of man by the grace of God unto the glory of God. The Law of God given to the Jewish people was a prelude to that over-arching salvific and sanctifying intent of God.

So it is that Paul can say in Romans 8:4 that "the requirement of the Law can be fulfilled" in Christians who "walk according to the Spirit." The character of God is expressed in our behavior by the grace of God, by the life of Jesus Christ lived out through us. More specifically, the character of God's Love is to be evidenced in the behavior of Christians. "God is love" (I John 4:8,16). Paul explains that the manifestation of God's Love is the fulfillment of the Law (Rom. 13:10). "He who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the Law" (Rom. 13:8). To the Galatians Paul writes, "the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself'" (Gal. 5:14). In so loving our neighbor, we will "bear one another's burdens and thus fulfill the Law of Christ" (Gal. 6:2).

By referring to "the Law of Christ," Paul brings the concept of Torah all the way around to its original meaning of "the divine directive." The living Lord Jesus who indwells Christian people is the Living Torah! Jesus Christ is the dynamic divine directive in the lives of God's People. Jesus Christ is Lord, implying the authoritative direction and guidance of God in the lives of Christians. The static written Law has come to the completion of its purposes so that the dynamic directive of God in Christ, "the law of Christ," may be operative in Christian behavior. Thus it is that Paul speaks of himself as being "under the law of Christ" (I Cor. 9:21), and exclaims with gratitude the Christian liberty of functioning by "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8:2).

The writer of Hebrews quotes from Jeremiah, indicating that new covenant Christians have God's laws "put into their minds and written on their hearts" so as to become the People of God (Heb. 8:10; 10:16). Jesus Christ, the living Torah, does indeed live in the Christian to become the divine directive in his life and to manifest the divine character.

James writes in his epistle of "the perfect law" (James 1:25). The Greek word translated "perfect" is teleion derived from telos, the word used by Paul in Romans 10:4 to describe Christ as the "end" of the Law. The end-objective of God in the Old Testament Law has been fulfilled in Jesus Christ, who now becomes the "perfect law," divine directive brought to its divine end, allowing God to function within man according to His created intent, God's perfect order restored. Christians can "fulfill the royal law" (James 2:8) as the King, Jesus, reigns in their hearts and manifests God's love toward others. What a privilege to not have to live by a law of bondage to external regulations but by "the law of liberty" (James 1:25; 2:12), enjoying the freedom to be and do all that God wants to be and do in us."


...and further The Grace of God http://www.christinyou.net/pages/gracegod.html

"God's grace is as broad as God Himself, His every expression. Grace must not be limited to redemptive grace or regenerative grace or conversion grace or justifying grace. When grace is defined predominantly by the benefits bestowed by God in Christ rather than by the dynamic Being of God in Christ, it degenerates into a "fix-it" commodity, rather than the ever-present and continuous dynamic of God's activity expressing His character."
 
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Coconut thank you for the posts because I need to understand (and I am not) I have not read thru it all yet because today is a very very busy day but this eveing I will read thru it..

I know sometimes when people ask questions it may come across rude or something but I am really asking... I have no CLUE what exactly is the Law.. I thought it was washing hands a certain way and animal sacrifice (still not trying to be cheeky just am letting you know what I thought it was or part of it was)

I have only been walking with the Lord for 1 1/2 years so I have much to learn so I ask questions..

Once again thank you for the detailed answer
Love in Christ
Bobbie
 
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No problem at all Bobbie, to truly seek after truth demands a reader think for themselves, to question and reason, and to never settle for another mans theology (regardless of who he is, or how enlightened he claims to be) unless his teachings are proven to adhere to the teachings of Christ!
 
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Others attempt to legalistically mix the Covenants and live under both causing confusion and disorder. One old preacher summarizes well saying, “The very expression ‘a New Covenant,’ in itself makes the former testament null and void. It served its purpose up to the cross. Now that ‘which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away’. It is pathetic how few Christians understand that the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ has freed us from all obligation to that temporary dispensation. It is to be feared that many who sometimes sing of such liberty fail really to understand its import.
Good posts Coconut.Thank you.

No problem at all Bobbie, to truly seek after truth demands a reader think for themselves, to question and reason, and to never settle for another mans theology (regardless of who he is, or how enlightened he claims to be) unless his teachings are proven to adhere to the teachings of Christ!
Excellent advice Coconut!

I know sometimes when people ask questions it may come across rude or something but I am really asking... I have no CLUE what exactly is the Law.. I thought it was washing hands a certain way and animal sacrifice (still not trying to be cheeky just am letting you know what I thought it was or part of it was)
Praise God for your honesty Jesuslovesu, this is not rude, I think when someone puts shame on someone for asking questions is rude behavior.
 
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Thank you all for going deep into the truth and mysteries of Gods Salvation , through Jesus Christ . I have much to add , but too many onions cause the soup to become bitter , and hard to swallow . Great job , and may all these truths be revealed by the Holy Spirit , to all who are seeking . Peace and Grace to all Gods Children now and forevermore . Mike
 
Member
The fruit and graces that we bear in our lives are of the Spirit not the fruit or evidences of good law keeping. What initially sets us apart from the world is the fact that we are gloriously and mercifully saved. It is shameful, but nonetheless true, that some lost persons live better moral lives and have higher standards than some of God’s elect. Yet, dare we say that the faithless are then sanctified?

I read this and went whoa!!! I have only ready one of the posts so far Coconut I will finish it !

Jiggy thanks! I want to learn and I have many questions so I ask them :smile:


See I want to make sure that I dont get hung up on what I was "taught" and what is Christ... I also want to make sure I dont buy anything false..

Thanks ! :love:
 
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jiggyfly said:
Mixing Grace with the Law
by Eddie Fourie


Mixing Grace with the Law is a toxic mixture far more poisonous than the Law on its own. It holds the false promise of a cure to our heart-shaped void but is unable to deliver the antidote. Paul calls it an outright perversion of the Gospel he preached (Eph 2:7) - a false religion that slowly poisons us, robbing us from the gift of God’s grace. It only leaves us burdened with guilt and shame in our attempts to please God. Such a false religion exists as much among Christians today as it did in the days of Paul. It shows itself in such rituals as reading more of the Bible, praying at least an hour a day, witnessing more for Christ, paying tithes to the church and much more in order to be a “good Christian” that God will find pleasing. On its own there is nothing wrong with those things, but when they are done to earn God's righteousness then one has entered into legalism.
Upholding the law cuts a believer off from Christ. Either Christ lives and the law is abrogated, or the law lives and Christ must perish. Christ and the law cannot live side by side. If what killed our relationship with God in the garden was eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, then the equivalent in the new covenant is mixing law and grace. The result of both is the same; it destroys our relationship with God because it attempts to know God and effect right living without God’s life itself. It wants to do that which only God can do, it wants to be free of God. The law and grace are diametric to each other, and under the new agreement of Christ we are not under the law, but under grace only.

Paul spells out in Romans that the law cannot effect right living, not because the law is not righteous in all its demands, but because the flesh weakens it. The flesh always fails miserably when it tries to keep the law, and it always will. Without God’s life, NO flesh can keep the law. Paul goes a step further to explain that where the law increases, so WILL sin. It is such a serious matter that an entire book in the New Testament devotes itself to the subject when Paul reinstructs the bewitched Galatians about a Gospel of righteousness by grace alone and not through works.

Paul was right about grace, because in the words of Martin Luther: “The Gospel (of grace) is true because it deprives men of all glory, wisdom and righteousness and turns over all honor to the Creator alone. It is safer to attribute too much glory unto God than unto man.”

Legalism is any belief of salvation where any part of it is based on anything other than the imputed righteousness of Christ. When someone introduces anything done by, or in the believer that makes him or her more saved, holier, fit for the kingdom or entitled to any part of the inheritance and reward of grace, then that person is preaching legalism. Introducing such a notion makes the rest of his message irrelevant. Such a person may say that Christ's righteousness is the only ground of salvation. He may even say that Christ's blood and righteousness is the only way that God can be just and justify the ungodly. However, if he does not make it clear that Christ's righteousness alone entitles the sinner to salvation and the entire inheritance, then he has not preached the Gospel. If he does not make it clear that all the works and efforts of sinners are excluded in this area, then he has not preached the true gospel of Paul. Usually this idea is preached when dealing with the issues of sanctification and holy living.

Mixing law and grace creates a ‘doer’ or works-righteousness based religion, and Paul underscores that we cannot do this:
“And if it is by grace, it is no longer by works, otherwise grace would no longer be grace.” Rom 11:6

What shall we say then? — that the Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness obtained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith, but Israel even though pursuing a law of righteousness did not attain it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but (as if it were possible) by works. Romans 9:30-32

Incidentally, this scripture in Romans 9 in addition with multiple scriptures in the Old Testament is Biblical proof that God entered into the old covenant law with only the Jewish people. God did not enter into the old covenant agreement of the law with the Gentiles in any form or shape. Introducing this into Christ’s salvation message is a deviation from both New Testament teaching of salvation through grace as well as Old Testament law to Israel only. It was only through Christ’s death that the Gentiles received salvation and entered into God’s salvation plan for all men (Jew, Greek, slave, freeman, male, female).

But what about the Scripture where Christ said he did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it? Legalism tends to focus on the first part of that statement, and conveniently ignores the second part and that scripture, and the book of Hebrews telling us the old covenant was fulfilled and became obsolete. It was part of God’s salvation plan for Christ to fulfill all the demands of the law, thus completing that old contract.

Christ was the only righteous man that walked the earth, and the only person that could fulfill all the demands of the Law. He had to fulfill the old covenant to make it obsolete so he could usher in the new covenant. The only way we come to the Father is through his Person and not by any of our works. God provided himself in Jesus to fulfill the righteous requirements of the old covenant so it might be done away with.

God’s heart's desire from the beginning was to live within, and those who lived under the old covenant only understood God from the outside. Christ flipped that world upside down and showed us that his person alone is the answer to God’s law, and that only by knowing him as our life are we able to live righteous before God. It’s a life that starts from within, working its way outward. Only Christ can live the Christian life and only God can make a man as he intended man to be. We enter into this life by faith, knowing that we no longer live, and that Christ is our life. Where the law attempts to conform us to a certain behavior, grace does the opposite of transforming us into the image of God, knowing that only God can work in us to will that which is his desire for us.

Christ gave us a far better covenant. Grace makes us free and Jesus calls us to hand over our autonomous self in unshaken confidence because we are loved by the Father right where we are at in the journey. Christianity happens when men and women accept with unwavering trust that their sins have not only been forgiven, but forgotten, washed away in the blood of the Lamb. Thus, my friend archbishop Joe Reia says, “A sad Christian is a phony Christian and a guilty Christian is no Christian at all.” - Brennan Manning

Finally, I have created a little quiz to discover how legalistic one might be. Let me immediately add this disclaimer: It’s not scientific and the questions are based on some of the discussions we have had over the last couple of months about grace and the law. It’s for informational purposes only, so please don’t sue me if you don’t like the result. Hopefully it makes you understand the gravity of not mixing grace with the law. I would be the first to admit that I have some streak of legalism in me - I think we all do to a certain extent.

An excerpt from Eddie's Blog: www.oxegen.us
Jesus said, "Do not think I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them." (Mt 5:17)

"So then the law is holy and the commandment is holy, righteous, and good. Did that which is good become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment, sin might become utterly sinful." (Rom 7:12-13).

The law, by itself, is not "bad." It was established by Almighty God through Moses. How can it be bad? Its not the law that is bad. Perversion of the law through legalism is bad. This is similar to the confusion we find over the reading of 1 Tim 6:10. Money is not a root of all evil, It is the perversion of money that is the root of all evil.

The law and God's grace mix nicely. Its the law and legalism that don't mix, because grace is excluded.


SLE
 
Member
SpiritLedEd said:
Jesus said, "Do not think I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them." (Mt 5:17)
"So then the law is holy and the commandment is holy, righteous, and good. Did that which is good become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment, sin might become utterly sinful." (Rom 7:12-13).
The law, by itself, is not "bad." It was established by Almighty God through Moses. How can it be bad? Its not the law that is bad. Perversion of the law through legalism is bad. This is similar to the confusion we find over the reading of 1 Tim 6:10. Money is not a root of all evil, It is the perversion of money that is the root of all evil.
The law and God's grace mix nicely. Its the law and legalism that don't mix, because grace is excluded.[/
I]
SLE


Hebrews 8
Christ Is Our High Priest
1*Here is the main point: Our High Priest sat down in the place of highest honor in heaven, at God’s right hand. 2*There he ministers in the sacred tent, the true place of worship that was built by the Lord and not by human hands.
3*And since every high priest is required to offer gifts and sacrifices, our High Priest must make an offering, too. 4*If he were here on earth, he would not even be a priest, since there already are priests who offer the gifts required by the law of Moses. 5*They serve in a place of worship that is only a copy, a shadow of the real one in heaven. For when Moses was getting ready to build the Tabernacle, God gave him this warning: “Be sure that you make everything according to the design I have shown you here on the mountain.”* 6*But our High Priest has been given a ministry that is far superior to the ministry of those who serve under the old laws, for he is the one who guarantees for us a better covenant with God, based on better promises.
7*If the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need for a second covenant to replace it. 8*But God himself found fault with the old one when he said:
“The day will come, says the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel and Judah.
9* This covenant will not be like the one
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
and led them out of the land of Egypt.
They did not remain faithful to my covenant,
so I turned my back on them, says the Lord.
10* But this is the new covenant I will make
with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their minds
so they will understand them,
and I will write them on their hearts
so they will obey them.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
11* And they will not need to teach their neighbors,
nor will they need to teach their family,
saying, ‘You should know the Lord.’
For everyone, from the least to the greatest,
will already know me.
12* And I will forgive their wrongdoings,
and I will never again remember their sins.”*
13*When God speaks of a new covenant, it means he has made the first one obsolete. It is now out of date and ready to be put aside.

1Tim. 6:10
10*For the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.

My translations read that it is the love of or for money is the root to many or all evils.
So then to apply your thought correctly The Love of the Law is the problem,right?

Galatians 5:1-4
1 So Christ has really set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don't get tied up again in slavery to the law.
2 Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ cannot help you.
3 I'll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey all of the regulations in the whole law of Moses.
4 For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God's grace.

Thanks for your thoughts brother but I choose to be a recipient of the New Covenant.
 
Member
Gal 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, [by keeping the law] but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

I choose the abundance of grace, not the burden of the law.
Amen jiggyfly!
 
Member

k4c

1 Corinthians 7:18-19 Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters.

Revelation 12:17 Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.

Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
 
Member
k4c said:
1 Corinthians 7:18-19 Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters.
Revelation 12:17 Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.
Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
So then what are the commandments of God?
 
Member

k4c

jiggyfly said:
So then what are the commandments of God?
The law of God is His Ten Commandments.

The difference between the old covenant Ten Commandments, which was written on stone, and the new covenant Ten Commandments is that the new covenant law will be written on the heart, not done away with.

Hebrews 8:10 Because finding fault with them, He says: "Behold, the days are coming,'' says the Lord, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah "not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them,'' says the Lord. "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: After those days,'' says the Lord, "I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

Matthew 5:17 "Do not think I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I did not come to destroy them. to give them their full meaning.

Matthew 19:16-17 Now behold, one came and said to Him, "Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?'' So Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.''


We are called to love God and neighbor. How we do this is through the law. This is what happens when God writes the law on our hearts.
 
Member
Exodus 20:1-17
The Ten Commandments
1*And God spake all these words, saying, 2*I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3*Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4*Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5*thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6*and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
7*Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
8*Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9*Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10*but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11*for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
12*Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
13*Thou shalt not kill.
14*Thou shalt not commit adultery.
15*Thou shalt not steal.
16*Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
17*Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ***, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

I am curious how do you keep the sabbath holy?
Are statues wrong?
 
Member
The Law was given to show us sin, and our need of a savior.
Without the law we didnt know what sin was, but now we see we cant keep the law perfectly for all it takes is to break one commandment and we are guilty of all.
Grace, and truth came by Jesus Christ.
He loved us so much he died to redeem us because as Jesus said in the garden,"If there be any other way, take this cup from me!" Yet not my will but thine be done.
There was no other way.
We couldn't be justified by the keeping of the law.
That would be like jumping to Hawaii, if you could you'd win.
Some may jump farther than another, but none can make it.
Jesus went to the cross, he knew we couldnt save ourselves.
Keeping his commandment now isn't legalism , it's Love.
His love for us first, and now our love for him, for what he did for us.
 
Member
I scanned everything, but what I wanted to say is this.

In the Old Testament, there were 10 commandments.

In the New Testament, Jesus gave us 2.

If we follow the 2 in the NT, we then follow the 10 because if we love...really love our neighbor than we won't hurt them in any way. So the 2 put the 10 all in those 2.

Please, Jesus, help us to love you above all and to love our neighbors as ourselves!
 
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