Yesterday in Part 1, I have dealt with the following issues regarding Law & Grace:
- You will not understand Grace without Faith and vice versa.
- The Law had no mercy for violators
- That Jesus Christ completely redeemed us from our own sin (both purposefully and in ignorance).
- The Law and Grace cannot be combined in the same dispensation of time and not in the Church – or in other words, the Kingdom of God.
- God is definitely not impressed by your personal performance to keep specific denominational laws made by man.
In the second Part of this study, I would like to discuss the Law a bit further. How is it possible to bring the Law and Grace in the same context?
First of all; I am not an advocate for you to keep the Law (10 Commandments or the Sabbath) as some still do, but read further and listen to what the Spirit of God will reveal to you. The Law was up to John and the prophets and was intended for the people of Israel and not for the Church.
- Luk 16:16 “The law and the Prophets were prophesying until the time of John. Since then, the good news about the kingdom of God has been proclaimed, and everyone is trying to enter it by force. (ISV)
Secondly, you will never understand the true meaning of faith and grace if you are not aware of the letter of the Law and how it was applied. It is also through the study of these blood sacrifices and ultimately the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that teaches us the true meaning of the Righteousness of God – which is a complete study in itself.
In Galatians Paul writes the following:
- Gal 3:24- 25 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
Scripture clearly teaches that sin was revealed through the Law, and from the verse above we see the Law was also our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, so that we might be justified by faith now and no longer because of the obedience of the Law. In the same sense that sin was revealed through the Law and that it brought death with it, the Grace of God and new life was revealed by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross and through faith.
- Gal 3:26 says: “ For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”
We are now the children of God through faith in Jesus Christ and not according to the Law. Faith and the Law don’t mix. They are complete opposites and Paul writes the following:
- Rom 3:20 Therefore, no human being will be justified in God’s sight by means of the works prescribed by the law, for through the law comes the full knowledge of sin.
- Rom 7:6 But now we have been released from the law by dying to what enslaved us, so that we may serve in the new life of the Spirit, not under the old written code.
The 10 Commandments are divided into two major foundations of faith in God, which are:
- The love for God and to serve Him alone – no other gods or idols allowed.
- Our honest service and love towards our fellowman.
We have been released from the curse of the Law (death) through the death of Jesus Christ and also by dying to ourselves – in other words coming to repentance and accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in our life. (John 3:5). When you truly live for Christ, you will obey His commandments by serving God and man. In all the letters of Paul and even Peter, you will find the same principles of the 10 Commandments being explained just in other words; which are:
- “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
- ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matt 22:37 -40 – ISV)
The only difference now is you will want to obey them. It will not be enforced upon you as in the Old Testament, because the Lord said He will write His new commandments on our hearts.
- Heb 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
But what exactly does a law mean for us, whether in the context of the Old or New Testament? Let me describe it to you of what the Lord has revealed to me from a situation I experienced the past Sunday evening:
- Driving home from church, I was stopped by a Metro policeman in a road block. I knew in an instant that I had a problem because my vehicle license had already expired (long story) and at that very moment my driver’s license was not in my car (a big no-no in South Africa lately).
- I am fully aware of the law and what the consequences in these circumstances would be – a big fine! I don’t know about you, but my perception and past experiences with Metro policeman are they do not know the words “grace / mercy”. These words do not form part of their vocabulary. He called me out of the vehicle and showed the expired license disk and promptly informed me that he will have to write a fine of at least R1800 for the two offences.
- Needless to say that all my confidence and positive thinking flowed to my feet and vanished into the ground at that moment with visions and questions of;
- Where will I be able to get the money from in order to pay such a fine?
- Why Lord, why me?
- You know I don’t have the money to pay for all this?
- The policeman was already “sharpening” his pencil when I asked him “What about only a warning?” In actual fact I was asking him for mercy! I was somewhat stunned when he calmly said that I can go without any further ado. Wow! Immediately I thanked the Lord for His provision and grace in all circumstances – even when I am at fault! That is unmerited favor!
But that night the Lord revealed another side to this experience. I have received mercy at that point in time because of my attitude towards the situation and the policeman:
- I have accepted my responsibility and fault in this case of neglecting the requirements of the local law;
- I have accepted his responsibility of performing his duty.
- I was friendly and not hostile – the latter would only aggravate the situation.
- That meant: the right spirit and mindset from me set the ground for a miracle from God.
The Lord further revealed to me:
Even if we have been released from the curse of the Law, we still have to accept and acknowledge that the Commandments of the Lord are good and just. By doing this, we declare that we are not lawless or rebellious against the will of God. We still cannot do as we please, because then the will of God will not be in us. A person, who does not want to abide to the law, is lawless. God did not make us lawless by releasing us from the Law, but He has made us free from the curse of the Law by being in Christ.
- Gal 5:1 Christ has set us free so that we may enjoy the benefits of freedom. So keep on standing firm in it, and stop attaching yourselves to the yoke of slavery again. (ISV)
- 1Pe 2:16 Live like free people, and do not use your freedom as an excuse for doing evil. Instead, be God’s servants.
Only then will you truly understand and experience freedom through the blood of Jesus Christ. This brings us the point of the following scripture:
- Rom 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but continually be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you may be able to determine what God’s will is-what is proper, pleasing, and perfect.
You see, we do not have to perform according to some set of rules introduced by man in the church environment to find favor with God, because you will always fail to achieve the right or minimum standard set out. But when you continually renew your mind, you will be transformed by the Word of God and be in the perfect will of God – according to His standard for you!
So stop crucifying yourself of not achieving the set standards of a specific church. Follow the Word of God and continually renew your mind. Allow God to transform you to His image and glory.(2 Cor 3:17-18)
Stay connected for the next portion on this subject which will follow in due course. Please give us some feedback on this topic in regard with any questions or concerns you may have in this regard.
Eric Heath is the Senior Pastor of End Time Pentecostal Ministries in Danville, South Africa and also the President of Galilee International Ministries (SA) and he is available to minister on this subject as well as other major subjects concerning our life in Christ. He can be contacted through this website by completing the box as provided below.