Friday, June 14, 2024

law and grace

Ephesians 2:8

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

The widespread notion is that one can go to heaven by keeping the law, especially the Ten Commandments. But the law was not given to any people who had heaven for their hope. It was given to Israel, God's chosen people. They have their future on earth, not in heaven.

The law was not given to save but to convict folks of sin. It is like a mirror. You look into it and see how bad you are. You can no more cleanse yourself by the law than you can cleanse your face with the mirror.

"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith unto them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God" (Rom. 3:19).

Note that this is for those under the law, not for unbelievers who disregard the laws of God. And why do unbelievers resist the law?

"The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Rom. 8:7).

The law was added because of the great transgression, the idol in the wilderness. But it was given by grace, for it was to convict people of their sins and to turn them to Christ. So, the law was given that they might know sin and recognize it in themselves.

It can benefit us today to read about these people, their failures, even under the law, and the One Who came and fulfilled all the requirements of that law and then gave His Life as payment so that they might turn to Him and be saved by Grace.

Moreover, the law could not give life, no one could be justified by its deeds, and it could not give righteousness. But Christ can do all this and more. In the secret revealed to us today, we find that He can seat us together with Him at the Right Hand of God till He is Manifested in The Heavenly Places.

Again, we must note that the law could not give life. Death must be reckoned with. But there is a law in Romans 2:14, which is even today found in man.

One who believes and has the "new nature" does by this "new nature" the things contained in the law (and even more).

In Romans 6:3-5, baptism was known, and so they knew to consider the blessed fact of dying with Christ, being buried with Him, and being raised with Him to walk in the newness of life. It was the goodness of God that brought them to repentance.

The member of The Church, which is The Body of Christ today, enjoys a further identification with Christ, quickened, raised, and seated with Him in Heavenly Places. This identification is a far better incentive and more powerful than being under the law. So grace can bring about what the law cannot accomplish.

"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation, hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;" (Titus 2:11-12).

And the next verse...

"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;" (Titus 2:13)

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