Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Covenant series #3: Law and Grace

The following are some common misconceptions about Christians and God’s Law

Misconception # 1. Old Covenant saints were saved by keeping the Law and New Covenant saints are saved by grace.
Correction No one since the Fall of Adam under the Old or New Covenant was ever saved by attempting to keep God’s Law. That would be an utter impossibility. Romans 3:19-20 No one is capable of keeping God’s law perfectly. Read Romans 4 and you will see that Abraham was not saved by works, nor by keeping God’s moral law nor by keeping the ceremonial law. In the first place God’s moral law and ceremonial law did not come along until 430 years after Abraham. Where there is no law, there is no transgression of the law. Romans 4:15

The Law was not given to save men in any age. It was given to show God’s holy standards and to convince all men that they had come short of God’s holy standards and that they were transgressors of the Law. Galatians 3:10 shows us that The Law curses us. The Law condemns us as we see our total inability to keep it. It shows us our need of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus. Galatians 3:19-26 The Law slays us because of our inability to keep it. Romans 7:9-11

Romans 3:20 tells us “By the deeds of the law, there shall no flesh be justified in His sight.” In Hebrews 11 we have a long list of Old Testament saints who were saved; not by law keeping, but by faith in God’s grace alone. No, they did not put their faith in Jesus’ shed blood for that blood would not be sacrificed until Jesus came 2000 years after Abraham. Instead, they put their trust in the promised Saviour who was typified by the countless animal sacrifices of the Levitical ceremonial system.

True, New Covenant saints are saved by grace, and so were the saints under the Old Covenant. From the days of Adam and Eve to this present day, every sinner who has looked to God for salvation has been saved by the grace of God through faith in His provision, whether it was an animal sacrifice under the Old Covenant or the sacrifice of Christ under the New Covenant. Under the Old Covenant the animal sacrifice was made in anticipation of the perfect and final sacrifice of Christ, the promised Seed of Abraham. If Christ had never come to this earth, died for our sins and risen again then all the animal sacrifices offered under the Old Covenant would have been in vain. No one would be saved.

Misconception # 2 If you are saved by grace, it doesn’t matter how you live since you can never lose your salvation.
Correction What a terrible misconception! Only the devil could come up with such an idea and place it in the minds of depraved men and women. The Apostle Paul is horrified by the idea. In Romans 6:1 he asks that rhetorical question “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” Then he thunders back, “GOD FORBID! How shall we that are dead to sin live any longer therein?” With that reply Paul launches into an explanation of how to live victoriously over sin. Thank God for His grace that saves and for His grace that enables us to live the Christian life by faith. For a further explanation of this truth go to the article on VICTORY on this site.

True, God gives eternal life to those who trust Christ. John 3:16 True, those of us who trust Christ can never lose the salvation God has given to us by His grace. John 10:28-29 Romans 8:29-39. For more on this, see the article on ETERNAL SECURITY.

When He saves us, He totally changes our hearts so that we hate our sins and desire to live a pure life and bring glory to Him. If that has not happened in your heart, you need to be born again. You are deceiving yourself if you think you are a Christian.

Misconception #3 It is our calling to bring about Christ’s Kingdom (Christianize society) on this earth now through implementing God’s laws on society.
Correction The Puritans who founded America established this nation on Biblical principles. Four hundred years later we are still experiencing the blessings of that noble experiment. But we must never forget that the unregenerate heart is only evil continually. Because of that fact, we face an uphill battle today to try to legislate morality in our land by forcing citizens to live by God’s law. As Christians we can be examples and we can let our Light shine, but we cannot force unregenerate citizens to live by Biblical standards. That will only happen during the Millenium when Jesus rules this earth with a “rod of iron”.

Our calling is not to Christianize America. Our calling is to evangelize America. That is, we are to help others understand God’s holy standards and help them see how far short we have all come in attempting to meet those standards. Then we are to give them the good news of what Christ has done for us in dying for our sins and rising again for our justification. When God brings salvation to a sinner, God begins the work of sanctification and He enables a believer through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit to live out the righteousness of God’s Law. Our responsibility is to evangelize. God does the Christianization in the heart of a believer. Though Christians differ on this; I believe Christ is returning to personally reign over this earth. Psalm 2, Isaiah 11, 35, Zechariah 12-14, Luke 1:30-33. II Timothy 2:12, Revelation 19 and 20

Misconception # 4 In addition to trusting Christ, we need to observe certain ceremonial laws and OT feasts in order to be stronger and better Christians.
Correction The short answer is NO, we do not need to observe the Ceremonial Laws given to Israel under the Old Covenant. That means, we do not need to observe any of the Feasts, including the Passover. We do not have to observe the practice of circumcision as a religious ritual. We do not have to observe the Sabbath. All of these were symbols, pictures and types of Christ. We have Christ. We do not need the symbols.

God’s moral laws, embodied in the Ten Commandments and in the Sermon on the Mount, are holy, just, good and spiritual. Romans 7:12, 14 Christians as well as godly Old Testament saints love God’s Law. We desire to keep His law. Psalm 40:8, Romans 7:22. A Christian is not guilty of legalism for wanting to do right.

The problem is that no matter how hard we try, we fail miserably to keep God’s Law perfectly. That’s where God’s grace comes in. Thank God for His grace. We are saved by God’s grace when we receive Christ as our Saviour. God not only saves us from the penalty of sin, but by His grace He gives us the power to begin walking a new life of obedience, bringing glory to Him. Titus 2:11-14 Has God started this work in your life?

Advertisements

May 27, 2006 - Posted by | Covenant Series

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.