Four: Are Law and Grace Opposites?
Many Christians have been told that God’s grace means that we no longer need to be obedient to the law of God, even though Paul, from whom they claim this idea, says the exact opposite in Romans 6:15-16. Paul clearly says that we are servants to whatever we obey: sin unto death, or obedience unto righteousness. Is your goal in Christendom death or righteousness? If death, then go ahead and sin (transgress the law – 1 John 3:4), but if your goal is righteousness, then be obedient unto the law.
Many have been led to believe that law and grace are opposites, but they are not. Both law and grace are immutable in God’s universe. The opposite of law is lawlessness. The opposite of grace is merciless judgment. We don’t want either lawlessness or merciless judgment. It would be a complete twisting of Scripture to say that Yeshua came so that lawlessness could abound, or to say that those who show their love of Yeshua by keeping his commandments (John 14:15) will be shown merciless judgment.
Who does Scripture tell us will have right to the tree of life? Revelation 14:22 – they that do the commandments. What will make us be called great in the kingdom of heaven? Matthew 5:19 – doing and teaching even the least of the commandments. How do we enter into eternal life? Matthew 19:17 – keeping the commandments. Who does the enemy attack? Revelation 12:17 – those who keep the commandments. What can be said of those who do not keep the commandments? 1 John 2:4 – he is a liar and the truth is not in him. Do any of those verses sound like God’s people are not to follow his law?
Some say that Jesus replaced God’s commandments with only two – Matthew 22:37-40, love God with all thy heart and soul, and love thy neighbor as thyself. Instead of serving as proof that the Old Testament laws were voided, these are actually Old Testament quotes. (Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18). What Jesus was really teaching is expressed in the last verse of this passage: “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” This simply means that everything commanded by the law and taught by the prophets can be summed up in those two ideas. If you love God above all else, you won’t have other gods above him, worship idols, take his name in vain, or profane his Sabbaths. If you love your neighbor as yourself, you won’t steal, kill, or sleep with his wife. As long as you love God above all and your neighbor as yourself, you will also be obeying “the law and the prophets”.
No one believes that Jesus died on the cross so that we could have other gods before him and worship idols. No one believes that Jesus died on the cross so that we could steal, kill and lie. Yet they think it is okay to forget the only commandment that starts with the word remember, because it is only when you bring up the Sabbath commandment that people will start objecting by saying such things as, “We aren’t under the law” or changing the subject by saying, “We should worship God daily.” Yes, we should, three times a day (Daniel 6). But what they don’t realize is that if we are not under God’s Sabbath, we are also not under his perpetual covenant (Exodus 31:12-17) of which his Sabbaths are a sign.
So now we are back to the question in the first paragraph. Is your goal in Christendom death or righteousness? If death, then go ahead and disobey the law, but if righteousness, then be obedient unto the law. All of it. If you break one, you are guilty of breaking all (James 2:10). If we break one, and repent, then he is faithful and just to forgive us (1 John 1:9). But where are we told we can break even one of them any time we want without repentance and be forgiven? No where. We were given grace for obedience, not in place of obedience. (Romans 1:5)
You can’t pick and choose which of God’s commands you should keep. Your only choice is to choose this day whom you will serve (Joshua 24:15). Do you choose sin, or obedience?
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