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Law or Grace?

Chris Buttery
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Many Christians, including pastors, view the Biblical teachings of God’s law and His grace at odds with each other. They say they both can’t exist in the Christian’s life. One has to go, and the one that is usually set aside is the law. But hold on minute. Is it possible to abrogate God’s law for the sake of grace? What do Jesus and the New Testament writers say about their relationship? Is grace needed because God’s law cannot be changed? Find out the answers to these questions and more in this crucial message by Pastor Chris Buttery.

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  • August 8, 2015
    11:30 AM
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This morning's message is entitled law or Grice law or Grace and we're continuing our series in the with the whole truth the whole truth. What would you do this is a question for you. What would you do you're a pastor and I know some of you just love that you're a pastor and a couple comes to you and they're seeking your blessing on their marriage. Now both are divorced previous spouses the circumstances of her divorce seem to be pretty straightforward. However his has been messy. He's been involved with another woman happened several years ago. Now both regret the path that they took and both have renewed their relationship with Jesus Christ which should be applied grace or law Grace would deemphasize the past and Laura would emphasize the previous marriage and not potentially allow remarriage another question What should the church do this when we can kind of get our heads together on what should the church do people who haven't been attending church for a long time they start to come back. Praise the Lord but they're not making any changes to their lifestyle they still pursue typical status symbols and they thought I don't think much about the little small deviant indiscretions that they still practice question Should the church offer grace to receive them back or should the church insist on law so that changes occur in their lives or should both work together in some happy way when we talk about God's grace and I want to do that for just a moment here this morning when we talk about God's grace it is something that should never be underestimated or under valued even though. Totally undeserved by grace the death and the rez. Direction of Jesus Christ office salvation from condemnation and from destruction salvation to eternal life by grace our identification with Jesus brings freedom. And life with God by grace. We partake joyfully of the Lord's Supper and with astonishment. We sit in loving fellowship with the king of the universe. This is Grace this is what Grace God's grace issues to you and to me. We have received all things as a gift of God's grace. But there's another theme in the Bible and that is God's law God's law both testaments the Old and New Testament tell of the importance of keeping and fulfilling God's requirements for a holy life and so the question here. The Smalling is how do we reconcile the gift of God's grace with the requirements of keeping God's holy law. The Ten Commandments. Now nothing in our faith is more important than a proper understanding of how grace and law work together. It was Martin Luther who said virtually the whole of scriptures and the understanding of the whole of theology depends upon the true understanding of the law and the Gospel. That's what he said. Over the last couple of months we've been talking about keeping twin truths of the Bible twin truths of the Bible in healthy tension to each other much like the strings on a string instrument these trues don't oppose to each other we don't pit one against the other we emphasize one over the other to the detriment of the other. And this is not merely a theological struggle that we go through from time to time but a struggle to maintain that healthy tension in our daily walk with Jesus Christ as well. As we've been discussing this topic. We've really been discussing the grace of God we've been discussing the grace of God grace is the key that helps us deal with these tensions like faith and works pride and humility strength and weakness great or slave. It is what allows us grace is what allows us to be honest it allows us to deal with our problems and to progress beyond our famous essentially Grace is the starting point for the Christian life for you and for me. Be that as a mighty few words are repeated more and understood less than Grace. If it has any meaning to the average church goer Grace refers to the free gift of salvation that God offers humanity. That's how we understand crisis God's free offer of salvation to humanity and as important as that is and it's essentially important. It's very important Grace is much more than just entrance into your saving relationship with Jesus entrance into faith. Now I understand and I'm not a Greek scholar but I understand the word of the Greek word we translate grace which is Karissa cow Reese was used to refer to anything that causes people to rejoice. It carried the connotation of beauty and of kindness charm favor and even gratitude other words like joy and gift of based on the same root in the Old Testament there are two Hebrew words. That's the New Testament in the Old Testament. There are two Hebrew words that express the idea of grace the first one is when not like the chickens that lay the eggs but H.-E. in the hen usually carrying the connotation a favor the connotation of favor it expresses the attitude of us a period to an inferior as in the case for example of Moses when he had. Rest God he said if I have found favor in the your sight. That's him another word is has seed has seed which is usually translated loving kindness or faithful love faithful love has see the shoes the existence of a covenant such as that which was made between David and Jonathan and between God and Israel between God and you and me together putting these two words together hand in his seed together these two words present grace and we can have it up on the screen for you on these yet on the swerving love of God That's grapes. Undeserving unswerving faithful love of God You see Grace is first of all God's unmerited favor toward you and toward me a faith points to the response to God's covenant Grace points to God's action toward establishing the covenant with humanity but it would be wrong to think of grace as an attitude of something that is separate from God. Someone said something pretty powerful. I'm going to quote it for us. He said grace is not something God gives us. But God giving us himself God giving us himself graces goes on to say God Grace is God Himself in active good will toward humans. It is nothing less than the power of God at work. On our behalf or for our benefit as a pretty good pretty good definition. I would think. And so it clearly has so clearly expressed in Jesus' parables God is like the shepherd who goes out to look for the lost sheep or the father who runs out to meet his wandering protocol son who is returned home. God's a standing reception of us is modeled in Jesus association with. Tax collectors and with prostitutes the message of the Bible is that God acts this way just because he's that kind of God There is nothing in the people be they prostitutes or be they Pharisees or religious leaders that causes that choice I want to take you in the Bible to the Book of Deuteronomy Chapter seven and look at a fascinating couple of verses here with me. Deuteronomy Chapter seven talking about why God chose Israel as his favorite people. If I if I could put it that way as chosen people. You'll notice it has nothing to do with the people themselves. It's all God General me Chapter seven verses seven through nine the Bible says the Lord did not set his love on you nor choose you because you were more in number you want mighty than of the other people. For you. Actually the least of all people. But because the Lord loves you. And because he would keep the oath which he swore to your fathers the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of bondage from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Therefore know that the Lord your God He is God the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love him and those who keep His commandments in other words Grace is amiss she hated by God and it is simply an expression of his nature like what the book ministry of healing page one sixty one has to say grace is an attitude of God exercised toward undeserving human beings we did not seek for it but it was sent in search of us and God rejoices to bestow His grace upon us. Not because we are worthy but because we are so utterly unworthy and I love the last sentence Al only claim to his mercy is what friends our great need. That's our only claim to God's mercy. You see. The ultimate revelation of God's grace is of course Jesus Christ. The incarnation of Jesus is the ultimate expression of God's grace in Christ the grace of God as the Scripture reading stated has been lavished poured out without measure upon undeserving human beings you and me and there are no limitations to who may receive this grace. We either take it as a gift or we don't take it at all as James Moffatt said think that translation. He put it all is of grace and grace is for all grace is for all what we find in Grace is a power in three areas where we finding grace is a power put on the screen for you here for Grace is a power that redeems our lives redeemed as Christ buys spec borders back with his sacrifice on Khoury so in grace we find a power that redeems life that a stablish is a saving relationship with with God And thirdly renders each one of us fit for service and for eternity. That's Grace Grace redeemed us grace a stablish is us in a relationship with Jesus Christ and Grace renders each one of us fit for service and fit for eternal life. That's Grace and that's God's grace over in the sixth volume of the testimonies page two hundred sixty eight. We have this quote We're going to put on the screen for you here like to read that for you. It says we owe everything to Grace. We have everything to Grace we're going to put it up on the screen. I think it's coming. I think it's coming. We are everything to Grace maybe we can put on the screen here it is we are everything to Grace. Free Grace sovereign grace. I want you to catch this. We owe everything to Grace free. Grace sovereign grace grace in the covenant ordained our adoption of grace in the Savior effected our redemption our regeneration our adoption to the airship with Christ man Grace is pretty powerful thing. Christ just doesn't work a mess into the family of God that regenerates us and changes us and prepares us for a life with God forever. That's grapes. You see one of the most amazing things about Jesus is the way that he enabled people to tell the truth about themselves. That's what Grace does Grace allows us to face the music Grace allows us to face the truth. Paul the Apostle Paul found his encounter with grace that allowed him to confess his persecution of the Church of God How easy would it be for you to admit that you had a short stint in the penitentiary a family your family had simply failed. Or you were deficient in a particular educational Korea. It would be an embarrassment for most people to share that with other people but what happens if you've met Jesus Christ what happens friends if you know that your sins have been forgiven by God's grace. You've moved past those failures and perhaps you went back to school. Would that make it easier for you to effectively relate to people because of those experiences is now alone longer what happened to you in the past is what Jesus saved you from and what he's doing for you now and he will continue to do for you into the future. That's Grace. You see our fear of being exposed. We often hide the truth about ourselves we don't want to risk being rejected we want to be liked and we want to be accepted. Imagine Peter with me for a moment. It's the night Jesus is there standing before polities he's being tried for. Times he didn't commit. Jesus arrest and as Peter moves around that corner. Even though he's what is he trying to do. He's trying to avoid recognition and he's trying to avoid any physical harm to come to himself and some of us some of us perhaps behave in the same way hoping beyond hope that our weaknesses and that our failures don't get recognized God Grace gives us the freedom to pull off the mosques think of John Wesley with me for just a moment if you would He was a part of a spiritual movement you know John Wesley the founder of the West and the Methodist Church. John Wesley was a part of a spiritual movement while he was a student at Oxford University in London he most regularly. He met regularly with his friends and they studied the Bible they prayed and later he was sent as a missionary to Indians here in the United States over there on the East Coast in Georgia the truth was that he was ill prepared and he failed and he wrote these words I went to America to convert the unions but a whole who shall convert me he was honest. What it was only I tried to fake it and appear spiritual what happened if you try to fake it appears spiritual he would never have allowed the Moravian Christians to lead him to faith and would the world would have been or what could I say here the world would be much poorer without John Wesley's existence. You see God knew the truth about John Wesley and he knows the truth about you and me as well. He values us none the less he woos us and he desires us to be in a saving relationship with him. Now we would make a big mistake. However if we thought of grace as merely out initial acceptance by God in the forgiveness of sins as wonderful in his powerful and as a liberating as that is. Grace is the starting point. Grace is present at every point along the way in your journey with with God and grace. Will be there at the end I want to turn that with me to draw chapter five over to the New Testament Romans Chapter five on reverses one and two with you here. Someone put it this way and I like it and it is based on these words here in Romans Romans Chapter five in verse one grace is as your starting point is present all along the way it is there at the end and it was and this fella put it this way he said Grace is not just the threshold by which we enter into salvation Grace is the whole house grace is not just the threshold by which we enter into salvation Grace is the whole house. You say Romans Chapter five Verse one the Bible says Paul writing therefore having been justified by faith we have world peace peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom also we have our friends access by was faith into this grace. You see in which we wear stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God Did you notice those words notice that through Jesus we also have access by faith into grace which we stand and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God Grace initially is essentially is the sphere in which each one of us live. Christians of all our lives as Christians is to be lived in the presence of an active a loving a caring God the same power that affects our entrance into faith is the same power of the power of grace by which you and I live and move and have grace. It's no accident that Paul begins and ends. Every letter with referencing to with reference to grapes in effect poll underscores that all of life is to be lived within the parameters within the confines of God's grace when Poland count. For example his full on in the flesh the message was my grace is sufficient for you Paul. That's what Jesus said to poll the whole Christian life is described according to Paul and Roman six both sporting as being under grace under grace poll. Bombus as they were traveling around visiting the Gentiles and preaching the Word of God They urged converts to continue in the grace of God for grace is not just something that makes us at the beginning of our journey draws us with us to the to the side of the Savior you see causes us to repent of us in turn from A and enter into this relationship with God Grace is with us every step of the way powerful stuff as an powerful stuff. Wonderful stuff God is good grace is what we all need grace is what we all need if the world were my audience and there would be one thing that I would want to get across. And that is the message of God's grace. There are some people have a pretty high estimation of their own abilities and they seek to chaff or chafe others as they try to prove themselves. There are others who lack confidence to the extent that they fear trying new things or even entering into a ministry that God might be calling them to sometimes they might feel both ways at the same time and I think we're all very familiar with those types of feelings but Grace both humbles and Grace empowers us when God makes us his children. It brings with it a power for successful Christian living here is the foundation for living God's grace. We are enabled to stand because of the gift of God's amazing grace. What we are we. Ah by the grace of God Grace therefore produces humility. It produces confidence prove provides freedom and release from same the grave. Also challenges us to strive and to move forward and Grace is both gift and responsibility all in one Grace is the essential ingredient the makes everything happen in your experience with Jesus Christ. You've got to say this morning thank God for God's grace. Thank God for God's grace. Now occasionally you meet somebody like this. You that haven't been to church for a number of years all the chafing at a specific command of God and they respond well I love God. Now I got my life to God Maybe five years ago ten years twenty thirty years ago he understands me. He knows my heart he accepts me just the way I am whether I'm doing everything he wants me to do or not you know there's a danger in having a superficial understanding of God's grace people hear the message about Grace and they draw wrong conclusions about it on hearing that salvation is a gift and cannot be and people have several final take it. Thanks so much. God will say yes to heaven and then there's just move on with their lives as if there's no change in these to be affected in their lives. There's nothing that changes in their hearts you say people have made their decision for Jesus and have gone on living as though nothing has happened in their hearts and in their minds. Nothing has changed to suggest that Jesus Christ is now Lord of their lives cheap price cheap grace. That's the expression that was made famous by Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his book The cost of discipleship cheap grace is grace without cost cheap grace is Christianity without discipleship cheap grace is faith without following in the way of the cross by the grace of God but the grace of God shows us is costly was costly for him because it sent His Son to Calvary's cross Grace received by us is always costly always costly for it will not leave us where we are grace comes as a limb as as as a limitless. Given us but also comes with with it. Limitless Demond and limitless power to meet the demands of God Bonhoeffer he learned that truth when he put he was put to death in a Nazi concentration camp Grace. If we are to avoid cheap grace and acceptance of grace must be accompanied by three things and we'll share these with you here. Number one obedience Grace God's grace must be accompanied with a beating from Genesis to Revelation the message is the same God's people and obedient people God's people are in a billion people as strange as the sounds they had to be perfect just as our Father just as our Father in Heaven is perfect these statements are not intended to and drive or drive or encourage someone to perfectionism. They simply mean that we are God's people. And as God's people. We have to reflect his character his goodness his grace and his Bahnhof sums it up. He says only he who believes is obedient and only he who is obedient believe so. Belief in Jesus grace the grace of God works in us obedience. The second thing to avoid cheap grace grace works in this gratitude. I would billions as all other christian acts has its foundation in gratitude everything in the Christian life flows from true gratitude to God In fact the a Greek word for Grace is also expressed as thanks for example although there is not an English translation the Bible can show a poll statement in second Christians to fourteen where he says The Thanks be to God uses the same Greek word car recess which is the same word used for grace. You see it is usually translated for grace. In other words Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the response in the hot of the person that recognize and values. What God has done and is doing to redeem and save them. You say that's the basis of things giving in the new testament religion as someone said religion is Grace and ethics is gratitude. I like that. That's the second thing to avoid cheap grace we Grace must come with obedience understand a grace comes with gratitude and thirdly Thirdly Grace. We are stewards we need to remember that we are stewards of God's grace that we are to extend God's grace to others first. Peter for and those ten. Peter says that we are stewards of God's grace. Just as Grace is the power of God at work in our lives. So it must be the power of God working through our lives. Grace is not passive if it's being received. It must be expressed the same forgiveness and love God gives us is to be mirrored in and through us grace brings logic this law Jess that keeps us from being small in our giving to God's work and the treatment of other people especially those who are in need and say when. Grace has changed and transformed our lives and becomes the basis of our worship through Thanksgiving and it is extended by us to other people then when we then we will have avoided cheap grace. That's God's grace brings obedience brings Thanksgiving and it extends itself to others but how are we to be obedient how we to be obedient. What are we to be obedient to how do we show our gratitude. What do we extend to others and answer these questions. We cannot ignore God's holy law now not a few Christians have had a very hard time understanding how grace and law fit together. One is a gift and the other is a it appears a requirement. We have seen that faith in our previous in my previous message that faith necessitates good works and obedience. But do Christians have to follow the law of God. The subject has bothered a lot of Christians. It's a strange phenomena. When you run into somebody and they're singing free from the. Or happy condition while the Psalmist a close and some one thousand nine hundred ninety seven. How I love your law. I meditated meditate on it all the days. How is it that many Christians have a negative view of God's law how the possible. How did we get here. Now certainly some of what Paul has written regarding the law has been unfortunately mis understood to mean that we are no longer under the obligation to obey God's law preachers have preached it. Parishioners have believed it and they've shared it with others but that can't be right that can't be right because the same pull under the same inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote in Romans Chapter seven and verse two Therefore the law is holy and the commandment holy and just and good either. Paul is bipolar which obviously can't be the case or many have mis understood two simple things one the proper role of the law of God The Ten Commandments and secondly to that which is typically termed the Law of Moses is thought to be the same as the Ten Commandments God's law. Now the law of Moses which is kind of deal with this one up front here the Law of Moses however is not the same as the law of God Amen and we know that when we study the Word of God If we were to stack up what we learn about the Law of Moses and we put it next to the law of God we realize that the Law of Moses was hand written it was written by Moses. But the law of God was what friends written with the finger of God That's right. The Law of Moses was made up of ordinances made up of ordinances a lot of those had to do with services at the Century and the and the types of offerings that people were to bring in the killing of lambs and goats and turtle doves and all of those types of things. Moses Law was hand written was made up of ordinances it was placed into the side of the Ark of the Covenant. It was given our after the entrance of sin and it ended up. It ended when Jesus was nailed to the cross. On the other hand the law of God The moral law of God. James calls it the law of liberty was written with the finger of God It's made up of commands and promises. It was placed inside the ark of God It is eternal and because the law of God could not be changed or abrogated in the Cessna tell you that Jesus' death on the cross. That's the difference between the Law of Moses and the law of God And so we understand when we read about the law of God We're not talking about the Law of Moses made up in ordinances placed on the side of the I give enough to sin ended when Jesus died on the cross. Let's take a look at what appears though because some people take some of the statements of Paul and I get all confused and discombobulated about what he writes It's got to go away. Sions chapter five when he talks about the law of God the laces chapter five. Let's take a look at what appears to be contradictory statements by Paul regarding the law of God and see if we can make a little sense out of them elation chapter five in verse thirteen and fourteen. Notice what the Bible says this is Paul writing and I'm ever inefficient that doesn't help elations chapter five and we're reading verse as thirteen and fourteen pole road for you. Brother and I have been called to walk liberty. We can talk about this next week. You've been called a liberty only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh but through love serve one another for all the law is fulfilled in one word even this saying You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Now their poll is propping up the law of God at least the last six commandments on the two tables of stone is propping up the law of God right there in Chapter five verses searching and fourteen. Paul instructs Christians to fulfill the law through love and loving their neighbor. Now a few verses later in verse eighteen notice what he says but you are led by the Spirit you are not what under the law. What the. On a second. He says you're not over that you're not under the law and yet go over to Romans chapter three verse thirty one that is what he says Romans Chapter three and verse thirty one. He says Do we then make void the law through faith. What does he say God forbid certainly not on the contrary was we established the law so he states the faith doesn't obliterate the law it in fact a stablished as a law of God and then we go over to Romans Chapter six and verse fourteen and then Paul sounds like he's flip flopping and going back and forth and he says for sin shall not have dominion over you for you are not under the law but you're under grace pole which one is a way to keep the law or to do away with the law. Are we under the law or we under Grace what are you talking about Paul and so some people get all confused when they read these verses and baps I've done that for several of you here today and I don't intend to but will take a look at this to be under the law. Let me see if I can make this clear to be under the law is simply to be on the it's condemnation. That's what to be under the law means as a matter of fact go with me to Romans Chapter three Romans Chapter three and listen to look here at verse nineteen and twenty poll just a list all these horrible deeds that come from the carnal hot. No man is good. He says none is righteous no not one and then he goes on to talk about all that a human being can do except it be for the grace of God and then in verse nineteen he says now we know that whatever the law says it says to those who are was under the law who is under the law if you're committing atrocities you're committing crimes or murdering what's going on. What does it mean to be under the law you are under it's well conned damnation and says to those who are under the law that every mouth may be stuff and all the world may become guilty before God to be under the law simply means to be under his condemnation certainly when a person trust their life to God and receive Jesus. As a lot inside. They are no longer under the law or no longer under the condemnation of the law anymore. They have recognized the need of a Savior. They repented of this seems they claim Christ perfect righteousness. They are forgiven. They are justified. They are no longer under the penalty of the law because they are broken God's law they are freed and longer under his condemnation. Maybe I can illustrate this for you share this little while ago I had been given a gift. I was given a car when I was in college and the friends that had given me the car in college lived in New Jersey and I was living in Virginia at the time and I ended up picking up the car and I was a so I was it was an answer to prayer. God knew I needed a cardinal. I didn't have the money I was in college and have the money to get a car needed to do various ministry things to graduate from college I just need the car I prayed about it as a god if you would favor me but if not I understand it's pretty pretty pretty tough thing to provide an individual calls me and he says I got a car for you. It was an answer to prayer so I I go pick up the car static and I'm just driving down the road and I found my find myself up on a hill and I'm driving down the road and it's got a like it's got the median in the middle of cars coming up the hill and I'm going down the hill and it's a windy road and I'm just cruise and down that windy hill and I'm not paying attention to the speed. I'm cutting in close to the edge as I come this way and I'm coming in close to the edge this way. I'm not using my blinker I'm just cruising down the hill. I'm having a good time. God has answered my prayers. And I see it down there. The red light special red light blue light blue light special there is a blue lights of the place officer red light special is that target you got to go to Target to get your red light special but the blue light special the blue light special he was down there at the bottom of the hole waiting for somebody to pick up enough momentum. But I would speed and he pulled me over pulled me over and I didn't know it was my first time I was being pulled over in the United States and I didn't realize that the police officers here are very serious and I. And I didn't want to be as I don't want to stop exactly on the side of the road because I figured that essentially if we stopped there could be dangerous for him and for me so I did the courteous thing I pulled down a street. I pulled into a grocery store. I believe it was and I parked myself there in the parking lot and he came over and he was mad when you see the lights. You need to pull over right away. Mr I said I'm so sorry I just plain myself and I didn't have a chance to explain myself let me see your license. Let me see your registration. So I gave it to him and I told him so officer I'm very sorry I'm very sorry and I apologize and he said well just wait a moment. So he went back to his car and you know what happens back there. They make you feel very awkward and like you feel like you're about to have a book Throw in a chair and typically it is it comes back to the card and has this funny look on his face and he says Son where you from I said I'm originally from a stranger because he recognized my accent. He said I'm just a little confused. And I started asking me questions about where else from and so on and so forth. He said Is this your first offense here in the United States. I said Yes sir. Be my first it will be my last and he said because it is your first offense. I'm going to let you go free and and I never got the police officer's name but I'd be sending him checks every month. If I knew his name and his address for letting me go for you and the amount that he would have charged. I would have been fined and so when he pulled me over and those lights were flashing I was under the law. I was breaking the speed limit. I was under the law. I was under its condemnation and then when he came by. And he said you know what your first offense can let you go for you know I wasn't under the law anymore I was on the cross. I was on the grace and not sure if it was just because he was gracious or confused because he was looking at my license and it was a Virginia license. He heard my accent I was from a stranger. He said I said I'm going to Pennsylvania from here and I'm driving in New Jersey. He was. He couldn't understand what was going on. So I'm not sure if it's just grace or confusion but anyway I think it was Grace. I think it was Grace and he let me go scot free. And so you know what I did. Don't you. You know what I did man he got back in his car. I put my Put put my foot on the pedal spun my tires kicked up some dirt took off. You know I didn't do that show my seatbelt was on check my revision mirror make sure the one outside was fine. Everything was right set up straight took most hands in the steering well and I slowly put my blinker on slowly slowly went out into the road and I drove off. And now I was under the obligation under the obligation of vindicating the good graces of the police officer and that's how grace works and God's law works friends. We've all broken God's law. The Bible says For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God in the wages of sin is death. We are under the condemnation of the law before we come to Jesus. But we recognize that we are sinners we recognize we've broken his law. We recognize that we need his saving grace and so we come to Jesus and we hear the words from Jesus son daughter you are forgiven you are forgiven and no longer are we under the condemnation of the law. Now we are under God's Cripes and being under his grace means that we are under great obligation to vindicate the good graces of the Great Law Giver of heaven and earth by obeying the law by His grace from now on. That's how kind of all works there to be under the law. And to be grace. You see the misunderstanding the misunderstanding of what happens to be appears to be negative statements Paul makes about the law coupled with an emphasis on these statements has resulted in many people unfortunately viewing the law as the opposite of grace and therefore completely negative and unnecessary element. We could take the time to talk about Satan's all out war on the law of God which is the episode impetus pitot behind the diminishing of God's holy law today but that message must be shared. Another time. The unfortunate consequences however we must understand is the downplaying of obedience in the Christian church but to correct this imbalance we must we need to listen to all of what the Scripture has to say on this particular subject. We need to know the proper role of God's law. Someone suggested. It's been proposed that that the law of God is actually an expression of God's grace. I think I like that. How about you. So expression of God's grace not agree with that there are many passages in the Holy Bible where the law can be seen as an expression of God saving grace. What does the Bible say about keeping the law. It will add years to your life it preserves you. It will give you wisdom. I mean that's that's a gift of grace isn't it. All those wonderful things the Israelites in the Old Testament didn't view the law as an oppressive burden they viewed it as a gift given from God that was to distinguish them from the idolatrous neighbors around them as they are by God's law so God's law the rule of law as an expression of grace. The law. Secondly doesn't come to us to invite us into a legal istic relationship with God It is not legalism but it is covenant. It is covenant. It is covenant. I think we're putting these on the screen. So the more the Lord didn't come as a legalism the covenant the Ten Commandments were given in the form of an ancient treaty stablish in a covenant between God and His people in the listen carefully the keeping. All of the commandments did NOT a stablished the covenant God established the Covenant by his well Grace established by his grace the commandments told the Israelites and they tell you and I to live how to live within the confines of that covenant the law or specified what there and our attitude and actions should be toward our neighbor. We need to keep in mind that the keeping the keeping of God's law does not save us keeping of God's law does not save us. Nowhere does the Bible present a way of salvation by keeping the Law of the Israelites they were called to be the people of God because of his grace. They were to keep his commandments in a B.B.S.. In obedience to the covenant granted to them that obedience however was grounded in their trust in God and his pledge to them. Salvation is always by grace through faith and such faith is expected to bring about the fruits of obedience to God's holy war you see you see when the rich young ruler came to Jesus in Matthew Chapter nineteen and he asked Jesus how can I inherit eternal life. What did Jesus say you can you can earn salvation. You can do anything to earn a total life. So what he said what did Jesus say Jesus said If you want to if you want to have life keep the commandments. He said keep the commands Jesus was not suggesting that the young man could earn his salvation on Jesus was suggesting that obedience is the standard of salvation that can only be attained by His grace. You see when Jesus specified he got into a specified several of the commandments. He wanted to get to to the laws intent with this young man young men and thought that it kept all of the comments until he was told to sell his possessions give to the poor and follow me. Obviously he did love his neighbor as he himself and was not willing to know how do you fulfill the intent of the law by demonstrating allegiance. God and following Jesus Jesus Jesus didn't use Paul's language in the story of faith and grace. But he talks about trusting in God and obedience to Him And so all the same it's all the same the whole Bible can be understood as an attempt to produce proper obedience to the law of God Jesus doesn't save us his saving act isn't just forgive us forgiveness. He wants us to keep the Law of God You see because that's the law of heaven and he's preparing you and I for heaven and fellowship forever up there proper billionths always excludes illegal istic observance. Rather it seeks obedience from the heart timidly back to Deuteronomy I want to show this to you. Deuteronomy Chapter five in verse twenty nine notice God has always sought for an obedience it comes from the heart the rich young rule of wasn't a bang. From the Heart. He was focusing on the letter of the law. I've done those things externally but when Jesus started a pure back the young and so to speak and get to the heart of the matter. Rich young ruler realized he wasn't ready wasn't willing to give his all to follow Jesus and keep all of the Commandments that come bomb and God asked us talk of by from the heart. It's a heart obedience Deuteronomy Chapter five and verse twenty. Raju there you are it says all of these words are that they had such a hot in them that they would fear me and always keep all my commandments that it might be well with them and with their children for have. You notice the benefit of the law. It might be what well with them that we keep in the law is not a curse keeping the laws for our benefit. But all that they had such a what hot in them. The hot in them that they would obey me is what God said. Now if the law is so good. How did it get such a bad reputation the enemies of enemy of Souls has certainly been successful in getting Christians to use the law for wrong purposes. I'm sure you. Think of laws today that are being subverted to something other than it's original intention writing to the young pastor Timothy Paul warns him as one who was going to preach and he was going to teach the the law and uphold the law. He said But we know the law is good if a man use it. It must be used lawfully the purpose of any law is to direct behavior. That's why modern laws have to do with actions we would mark a modern law that try to address our attitudes can you imagine having a law that says you've got to appreciate and accept and love the policies of the president of the United States just wouldn't happen would but God's Law His heavenly law directs both our action and our attitude that directs both our action and our attitude. This is one of the roles of God's law. You shall have no other gods before me on your father and your mother. You shall not covet run down that list of ten commandments and they all address attitude along with actions and all address as it should along with actions. You can't really honestly keep the seventh day sabbath. Unless it's in your heart to do so or you can go through the motions you say but it is not in your heart and that's where God wants it. He wants it in a ha. You may not be a murderer. But if you hate someone in your heart then you're just as bad off and you're guilty and under the condemnation of the Law The Law of God is intended to help people understand attitude and how their attitude has to be put into action. God's law has unfortunately been misused by people have forgotten that it directs both attitude and action and and this happens when people forget. People forget all people do the following number one focus on the letter of the law using it as a kind of checklist aka done there done that. Today I have done this today. Very good. I'm all good while disregarding its intent or its spirit which leads to a life that is narrowed to a life that is cold. To a life that is exacting people also forget that it. The Bible the Word of God The Law of God. The law of God is misused when people forget that it directs both attitude and action when they focus too much on the spirit of the law while ignoring its express commands which leads to a life that is loose. That is sentimental and to a life that is simply carefree Now some would suggest that the real problem with the law of God is not legalism because while Jesus rejected the legalism of the Pharisees. He never blamed the law for that and that would be correct but I suggest that the real problem with the law is that it enhanced to see what Paul wrote in Romans chapter three verse twenty one of the right Paul wrote that the purpose of the law was to give a knowledge of all sin. That's the purpose of one of the purposes of the law to give a knowledge of sin and I wonder whether I wonder whether that actually isn't such a bad idea. I wonder whether isn't isn't just a bad idea isn't isn't a bad idea. Such people do. People don't want to know people don't want to know Sam and so they cover their eyes the law says his sin and you've got it in your. I just wonder how many people want to walk out their door in the morning on their way to work with their parent leg tucked into their socks and I don't even know but if they were to look into the mirror then guess what they're saying they'll see that they'll see that parent like tucked into their sock or or something else couple of different color pairs of socks or different color shoes or whatever the law the mirror tells you the truth and the law of God tells the truth as well we don't don't we want that we want to know what is wrong and what is right now we want to know the difference so we can keep away from what is wrong. When did sin ever become. Fun enough to play with God wants us to know what sin is and that it's in our lives and he wants to get it out. It's only by His grace the laws. God can cons us the Lord God can clean us up can't do that you see only the blood of Jesus can now the same individuals I suggest that the law incites rebellion because you know you know human nature when you're told you can't do something. Guess what you want to do I want to do that very thing as a people blame blame the law because I feel it incites rebellion and they use Paul's words in Romans seven to justify them to go over their dream and seven I promise. We're coming to a close here Romans seven. There's just so much to talk about in this very important message but we've got to talk about it. Romans Chapter seven we're getting to the close here Romans Chapter seven verses seven through ten notice what shall we say then is the law sin. While I have a second. Why would Paul be asking a question why is is the last sin. Why would Paul be asking why is the is the law sin because simply sim and law so closely related in his mind sin and law are related in the same way in which criminal law and crime are related. Something is criminal. Only if a lord the picks it as such you break the law. Naturally you'll have the book thrown at you say so. He asked the question is is the loss in certainly not God forbid On the contrary I would not have known sin except the law for I would not have known covered just sniffs unless the Lord said You shall not covet but sin taking opportunity by the commandment produced in me all manner of evil desire for power from the law sin was dead. I was also once without the law but when the commandment came sin revived and I died. It seems to me that the law is not negative the law is actually very very positive in fact knowing the law has tremendous advantages according to what Paul wrote here. First of all in verse seven the law of God is revealing the law of God is revealing something straight discovers something that is crooked and a mirror reveals what we actually what we really look like someone such. Best of the other day that actually. I Phone selfies actually reveal the worst of you more than a mirror does that may be true that might be true if a person doesn't have any me that I recognize that they're the last that they've got to see in the are they going to look for a savior. They're not going to do so. So the law is positive is happy to reveal to you the truth. Why because it directs you to the Savior who can save you from your sin. Also the law of God is humbling as well. Paul wrote there in verse nine. It makes a good man look bad and that's a good thing that's a very good thing. It brings charges the law of God brings charges to us that we counted a scape except for the grace of God The Law of God causes us to flee into the arms of God's grace I would suggest that the law of God is a good thing I meant certainly I want to share a quote with you from great controversy port page four sixty eight and we're coming down the home stretch that I get that to you guys is that I put that on the screen. I may not have I may not have it's not there. So here we go. I'm going to read it to without the law. Men have no just conception of the purity the holiness of God all of their own guilt and uncleanliness they have no true conviction of sin and feel no need of repentance not seeing their last condition as violators of God's law. They do not realize the need of the atoning blood of Jesus the hope of salvation is accepted without a radical change of heart a reformation of life thus superficial conversions abound and multitudes A joining to the church who have never been united to Jesus Christ. Wow. The purpose of the law is to reveal sin lead people to Christ where radical transformation is to take place. You say you see when we use the law for purposes for which it was not intended that all will be well if we use the law for a purpose for which it was intended rather always will be well but if we seek to use the law as a means of entry into a saving relationship with God than one who frankly a person doesn't come to God. On the basis of of his or her own effort in keeping the law that law was not given as the ultimate answer to humanity who was given to humanity as the ultimate answer. Jesus Christ. That's right and Galatians chapter three verse twenty four Paul said the law is designed to help us and lead us to Christ you say by grace Abraham was given a promise and he trusted God that is and always has been the way only way into our relationship with God by faith through grace the message of the New Testament is that the fulfillment of that promise has been taken place in Jesus Christ. You see the law functions. No better as a way of maintaining our relationship with God than it does as a means of entering into that relationship. The means for both are the same by grace through faith you say when it comes to producing that which is right in our lives. The law cannot do the job a G.P.S. can tell you where to go but you need something to get you there. What do you need a lift in your car you going to gas going to gas and if you're on your feet you going to be calorie something like that at least you don't need it. G.P.S. can tell you where to go but it can help you get there you see the lore of God points us in the right direction but it takes the miracle working power of the Holy Spirit that that powerful life giving energy into our lives and beings by His grace His grace that transforms and changes us that will lead us to that destination ultimately you say it's sad to realize that many Christians think the law belongs to another era. Therefore it is irrelevant for today and that my friend is heresy in light of Christ coming we are to live the law by the power of the in drawling spirit. Now John Calvin John Calvin he referred to the third use of the law. He said. In addition to addressing both attitude and action and giving the knowledge of sin he. Said Thirdly the law is to profit. The lives of the Christian by revealing the will of God and encouraging obedience the third use of the purpose of law and that was John Calvin his third use we cannot as some Christians who merely quote Romans ten for that says Christ as in the war and of the law. We cannot conclude that as as as as. As a law being done away with we can just conclude that Paul wasn't saying that when Christ came on the saying the law doesn't matter. It seeks to exist. He was in fact saying that Christ was the goal of the law unto righteousness for everybody who believes Therefore the law is not irrelevant for Christian living Christ leads us to the law rather the Lord leads us to Jesus Christ who alone can save Paul wrote that the righteous requirements of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to The Spirit the Spirit of God writes God's law in our hearts and animals that was Romans eight four in Matthew seven those twenty one. Jesus said only those who do the will of the Father will enter into the kingdom of heaven you say and then Jesus said in John fourteen verse twenty one He who has my commandments and keeps them. It is He who loves me and he who loves me he will be loved by my father and I will love him and manifest Myself to him in the end for him. There is no contradiction between Grace and law when both are properly understood grace comes as a free gift but it brings responsibility law to comes as a gift that is to be lived out by God's grace. Christianity has both the Law of God and it has the grace of God that can only be opposed to each other when one is misunderstood or missed use law or taken apart from grace leads to a cold formal lifeless religion Grace taken apart from the Lord leads to him. Motional sentimental carefree religion friends no Christian no Christian might take God's grace and leave behind God's law to belong to the kingdom of God is to be involved and living out and practicing the laws of that kingdom no Christian deserves the name who is not demonstrating the power of God in their lives by a building is to his law no Christian institution whether be a school or a hospital or a church or business deserves to exist exist except to the degree that it shows that is that is changed. That is changing lives that its life has changed because of the grace of God. Show me a person. Show me a person who treats family associates people who are needy especially those who are a person believed to be under them and I will tell you the quality of that person's faith. Tell me how an institution makes decisions concerning people and I will know whether it is Christian or not being Christian is not evidence in what we say the theology we develop the books we read all the institutions. We build the evidence of our faith is in the grace of Christ expressed in our lives in our fidelity to God and His commandments and our service to mankind in closing I want to share with you a little story about a little man who had a big change in his life. You can read his story over there in the book a Luke his name was Jack here. He was a little man and here Jesus was coming to town and he wanted to see him but he couldn't see because of his stature and other folks were a little bigger than him and so the bible says he climbed a sycamore tree just so you can lay his eyes on Jesus. Now that he yes you know exactly as he was a law breaker. He was under the condemnation of the law he was a thief. He was a thief. And he heard of Jesus and the teacher. Of Jesus the work of grace did something wonderful and strange in his heart and he wanted to connect with Jesus and he wanted to know that Jesus had received him. When Jesus was walking with the crowd and under that tree looked up and he saw Zacchaeus there is a Zacchaeus. I'm going to come to your place and I'm going to eat with you. Bible says accurst hurry down Broad Jesus the cycles. Whoever was with Jesus that time came to his house and Zacchaeus looked at Jesus and he said Jesus. I've given half of what I own to the poor and everything that I've taken the stolen. I've given back four fold and I was at that point when Zacchaeus confessed that he was in the wrong as at the point where true repentance had worked reformation in the Zacchaeus was life. Jesus said to Zacchaeus to day to day salvation has come to your house so that he has was under the law but he sensed his need of Christ he knew he was a sinner came to Jesus confessed repent and repent does work Reformation the man was a changed man he was living now under grace and it was revealed in his life of obedience was that he as a thief anymore. Was no longer a thief Zacchaeus became an honest man and that's what Grace does Grace gets into the heart of a person and changes them Grace gets into the life of a person. And causes them to follow and obey God's commandments and God's law that's the purpose of grace to transform us to empower us and to ready us to enter into that place the place where the foundation of that government is the law of God The Law Of Love the law of liberty where grace and law happily meet together kiss together work together may that happen in our lives in preparation for that great day. When Jesus comes back and us is us in that place where we will know we will know no disobedience will be glorious brand just to be with Jesus living his lord that is being written on our hearts by such you will not experience that experience is this media was brought to you by audio first a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse. If you would like to listen to more sermon leave a Visit W W W audio verse or.

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