Laymanointing

…. they were unschooled, ordinary men …. they had been with Jesus …. the crippled man healed standing with them – Acts 4:13,14

What did Jesus teach on law & grace, faith & works? – A fresh look

It helps to have a clear understanding of what Jesus taught about law, grace, faith & works,
so that  we won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching (Ephesians 4:14 NLT), hype or buzzwords.

For example,
Law and grace, faith and works how do they work together in our salvation?

We receive salvation by grace without works
however, faith without works is dead
Is there a contradiction or a mis-understanding?

We are under grace, not under the law,
so, … is the law abolished?

Let’s examine Jesus life and His parables on the following pairings:

** Grace through faith
** Grace and works
** Grace and law
** Faith and works/acts
** Legalism or Faith & Grace

How can we explain this clearly & simply for lay people, teenagers,
… or new believers without any background  in the Bible?

We’ll use the stories of Jesus.
God did not send us an instruction manual, or a book of theoretical, conceptual thoughts,
instead He sent us His full expression of himself, Jesus,
to live amongst us, and face our challenges of life.
Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9)

An example is worth a thousand words.
We’ll look at the following examples in Jesus’ life:

** Jesus and the 2 men on the cross.  Parable of the lost, prodigal son.
** The parable of the Pharisee and tax collector
** The parable of the landowner and workers in the vineyard
** The woman caught in adultery
** The parables of the  good Samaritan, and the sheep and goats

btw, … these stories also illustrate in detail, most of the beattitudes in Jesus’ sermon on the mount (Matthew 5:1-12)

Jesus taught through parables and His life narrative.
His Truth is interwoven & embedded in His life story and through His parables.

Like music, … stories are the language of the heart.
The use of Jesus’ stories is especially useful in teaching children,
and introducing others to Jesus, who have never heard of Jesus before;
without boring them with abstract theological jargon.

In whatever culture, everyone loves to hear a good, heart moving story,
… or stories with a nice twist in the end.
Stories move the heart.


Some key verses to bear in mind, while reading this post.

1 John 4:19
19 We love, because He first loved us.

Ephesians 2:8-10 (NASB)
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship,created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

James 2:17 (NASB)
Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.


 

Grace through faith

When Jesus was crucified on the cross,jesuscross2

Luke 23:34, 39-43 (NASB)
33 When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.
34 But Jesus was saying,
Father, forgive them;
for they do not know what they are doing.”

39 One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him (Jesus), saying,
“Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!”

40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said,
“Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?

41 And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds;
but this man has done nothing wrong.”

42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!”
43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

At Jesus’ crucifixion, there were 2 other men who were crucified along with Him.
The first man hurled verbal abuse at Jesus.

In spite of his own suffering and agony, the second man boldly stood up for Jesus,
“this man has done nothing wrong”
and with whatever strength he had left,
he said to Jesus,
“Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!”

Somehow, the second man knew Jesus was innocent.
He understood that the Messiah, Jesus will return alive in His kingdom.

The second man, by faith, believed and acknowledged Jesus is the Christ(Messiah), the Savior,
who will return alive,
and he freely received God’s salvation by God’s grace.
Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise

Grace — unearned, undeserved, freely given.

As they were in death throes,
the second man did nothing to receive his salvation, or deserve his salvation.
In fact, he was next to Jesus because of a crime deserving death.

No works at all,  no sacraments, no time to be baptised
This man received the free gift of salvation from Jesus,
whilst Jesus was  paying the price for this man’s sins,
and the sins of the whole world on the cross.

He came totally empty handed to God,
open handed to receive,
the open arms of Jesus stretched upon the cross,
as His blood-soaked, bruised, wounded
nail-pierced hands reached out
to him.

Grace, mercy, love, faith.

In the eyes of the world,
his crime was so, .. so bad,
deserving death,
his life worthless to them

unworthy of any earthly mercy
the earthly court decree

as he waited to face His Creator,
and face his final judgment,
his Mediator, Advocate, Savior
stretched on the cross,
alongside him,

between heaven and earth,
redeemed him, justified him,
made him worthy
with His precious, priceless blood
as he called His name,
“Jesus!”
in his final breaths

Grace, mercy, love
he received
by faith

His outstretched hands
removed his sin
as far as the east is from the west,

spotless, blamess,
whiter than snow,
he walked joyfully into eternity
with His Savior and Lord.

for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Romans 10:13 (NASB)

… And He (Jesus) was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.
Isaiah 53:12 (NKJV)

“And we indeed are suffering justly …
we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds”

The second criminal openly acknowledged his wrongdoings.

John 3:16,17 (NKJV)
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world through Him might be saved.

Its not clear what the second man’s crime was, to deserve a death sentence.
As he lived through his final moments, his final breaths on earth,
he met Jesus,… he believed in Jesus and His word,
and entered paradise with Jesus,
his sins  and crime eternally forgiven,
100% paid for by Jesus blood.
whoever believes in Him …  have everlasting life.

Hence, no matter how great his crime or sin was …
or how late in life he made the decision to follow Jesus,
…. even moments from death, in his final breaths (like this man),
the scripture promise is clear:

that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord,
and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead,
you will be saved;

10 for with the heart a person believes,resulting in righteousness,
and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
Romans 10:9,10 (NASB)

Hence for the second man,
it was  by grace he has been saved through faith;
and that not of himself, it is the gift of God
Ephesians 2:8 (paraphrasing)

by grace through faith
we received
the gift of God — God’s forgiveness & salvation.

While the others who stood around Jesus
mocked, insulted and sneered at Jesus, who hung on the cross,
this man received God’s free gift of salvation.

Right after Jesus died,

Now the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said,
“Truly this was the Son of God!”
Matthew 27:54 (NASB)

So … at the cross,
the religious leaders, chief priests, scribes, elders condemned Jesus, rejected Him as the Christ (Messiah),

Instead,
a criminal, sentenced to death for a serious crime,
and a group of Gentile soldiers, men of war and violence,
believed in Him.

10 For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save
that which was lost.”
Luke 19:10 (NASB)

In heaven, … it will be really interesting who we’ll meet.

Paul wrote of himself, 
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners
—of whom I am the worst.
1 Timothy 1:15 (NIV)

Once we realise our true unworthiness,
then, … we’ll begin to truly taste the abounding grace of God with gratefulness,
and humbly begin to see others through His eyes. 

It does not matter what our background or what our past was.
His grace & love is freely available for anyone and everyone today.

Its comforting to know that even when this man hit rock bottom, when there was nothing else he could do, …. God did not abandon him … His hand reached out to him.

Its also worth noting that the second man, like us,
initially was an unbeliever.
At the beginning of the crucifixion,
he too joined in insulting Jesus.Jesusman

The robbers who had been crucified with Him were also insulting Him with the same words.
Matthew 27:44 (NASB)

34 But Jesus was saying,
“Father, forgive them;
for they do not know what they are doing.”

Luke 23:34 (NASB)

Forgiveness in the face of excruciating injustice & suffering.

Jesus undying love drew him to faith.
Forgiveness is powerful.

Love melts the heart.

Jesus gave up His right to be right,
so that we may be made right with God,
to walk the right path,
in right relationship with God.

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness,
but is patient toward you,
not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9 (NASB)

It took a while before the second man saw the light.
Jesus patiently waited with him on the cross.

Even in His agonising moments in death throes,
Jesus still tenderly ministered to a dying man … granting him his final wish.

Love & grace in action

We come to God
just as I am, … imperfect,
and in His mercy and grace,
we receive his salvation and restoration through Jesus’ perfect sacrifice.

Dear friend, if you have not believed in Jesus,
today you can,
by simply asking Him to come into your heart.


Grace and Works

Luke 18:9-14 (NASB)
And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt:

10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

11 The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’

13 But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

15 And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He would touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them.16 But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”

Jesus’ parables mirror real life.
Jesus loved both the Pharisee and the tax collector.PhariseeTax2

The tax collector stood in his disgrace,
made worse by the Pharisee’s remarks about him,
unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying,
‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’

The tax collector came empty handed, … spiritually bankrupt.

He came humbly to receive from God.
He was hungry to be made right with God, seeking for forgiveness.
He went home made right with God, receiving the Lord’s amazing grace and mercy.
He was commended by Jesus.

His sins were forgivenHe has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. Psalm 103:12 (NLT)

His simple, quiet  7-word prayer
touched the heart of God.

Matthew 3:3,6 (NASB)
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

The Pharisee prayed … but was praying this to himself.
In his self-righteous pride, he confidently boasted how good he was,
his deeds/works of devotion, piety.
“I fast twice a week;
I pay tithes of all that I get.’
In his self-righteouness, the Pharisee prided himself as far superior to the sinful tax collector,
in his prayer he arrogantly despised and derided the tax collector.

… love does not envy or boast;
it is not arrogant 
or rude.
It does not insist on its own way; …
1 Corinthians 13:4,5 (NKJV)

May the Lord help us to walk in humility and love.

While the tax collector’s opening words began with “God ….”,
the Pharisee’s opening words began with “I … , I …”.

The Pharisee’s prayer to himself was not heard by God,
he received silence from Jesus,
un-answered prayer.

Psalm 36:2 (NIV)
In their own eyes they flatter themselves
    too much to detect or hate their sin.

The reason why Jesus shared this parable was
to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous,
that they can be made right with God by their own religious, pious works.
— “I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’
They thought by self-effort, they could earn God’s approval and righteousness.

In another instance, Jesus spoke to the Pharisees,
“You are those who justify yourselves before men,
but God knows your hearts … (Luke 16:15 NKJV)

The Pharisee came to justify himself before God
by his devout works.

Instead, God justified the tax collector,
the sinner,
by grace.
His short, simple, helpless cry was heard.
‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’

The Pharisee said,
“I am not like other people”
The self-righteous Pharisee was puffed up with pride.
He paraded his spiritual credentials and achievements in God’s house for all to see and hear.
“I am not like … swindlers, unjust, adulterers,
or even like this tax collector”
In his pride, he openly condemned others who were not like him, or did not measure up to his standard,
“I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’

In the end,
the humble and contrite tax collector was justified before God.

everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,
but he who humbles himself will be exalted. Luke 18:14

God’s righteousness is received by faith through grace;
there’s absolutely nothing we can boast about, in ourselves or our works, or achievements or credentials.
And for that matter, every spiritual gift from God, and answers to prayer are received by faith through grace.

1 Corinthians 1:29-31 (NASB)
29 so that no man may boast before God.

30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus,
who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,

31 so that, just as it is written,
Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

The tax collector was justified before God.
What does the word justified mean in the Bible?

Luke 18:14 (MSG, Mounce, AMP)
Jesus commented, “This tax man, not the other, went home
made right with God

I tell you, this man went down to his house
upright in the sight of God

I tell you, this man went to his home
justified [forgiven of the guilt of sin and placed in right standing with God] … 

justified = made right with God, upright in the sight of God, forgiven of sin, in right standing of God.
made righteous in the eyes of God.
His relationship with God restored, …. in right relationship with God.

Therefore,

Galatians 3:11 (NASB)
Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident;
for, 
The righteous man shall live by faith.”

Paul cites the examples of Abraham & David:

Romans 4:2-8 (NASB)
For if Abraham was justified by works,
he has something to boast about, but not before God.

For what does the Scripture say?
Abraham believed God,
and it was credited to him as righteousness
.

Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due.
But to the one who does not work,
but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly,
his faith is credited as righteousness,

just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom
God credits righteousness apart from works:

Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven,
And whose sins have been covered.
Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.”

When Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
this happened more than 400 years before the Law was given through Moses;
i.e. before the Law.
Hence, the grace of God towards people is also found in the Old Testament, before the Law.

Jesus gave examples of God’s grace extended to Gentiles in the Old Testament,

And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
Luke 4:27 (NASB)

The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
Luke 11:32 (NASB)

Today, God’s grace is freely available to all of us,

38 Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that
through this Man
(Jesus) is preached to you
the forgiveness of sins;
39 and by Him
everyone who believes is justified from all things
from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.

Acts 13:38,39 (NKJV)

The law of Moses could not justify a person,
only through faith in Jesus is there forgiveness of sins
and justification before God.

Hence, the New Covenant is better than the Old Covenant,
But now He (Jesus) has obtained a more excellent ministry,
by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant,
which has been enacted on better promises.
Hebrews 8:6 (NASB)

The tax collector received the forgiveness of sins,
and by his faith in Him, the tax collector was justified before God.

Matthew 5:8 (NASB)
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they shall see God.

Salvation is not earned or a reward for our ‘good works’,
rather, its … the gift of God
received by grace through faith,
we receive the forgiveness of sins,
& are made upright and right with God.

Jesus is right for all that’s wrong in our lives.

Hence,
For by grace you have been saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves,
it is the gift of God;

not as a result of works,
so that no one may boast.
(Ephesians 2:8,9 NASB)

... it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God;
not as a result of [your] works
[nor your attempts to keep the Law],
so that no one will [be able to] boast
or take credit in any way [for his salvation].
(Ephesians 2:8,9 AMP)

Continuing in the book of Luke, after this parable of the Pharisee and tax collector, Jesus said,

“Truly I say to you,
whoever does not receive the kingdom of God
like a child will not enter it at all.”
Luke 18:17 (NASB)

Thank God,
for God sees not as man sees,
for man looks at the outward appearance,
but the Lord looks at the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7 (NASB)

For thus says the high and exalted One
Who lives forever, whose name is Holy,
I dwell on a high and holy place,
And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit
In order to revive the spirit of the lowly
And to revive the heart of the contrite.

Isaiah 57:15 (NASB)

The contrite, humble tax collector left the temple revived.

In the parable of the landowner and workers in the vineyard in Matthew 20,
the workers who joined in the 3rd, 6th, 9th and final hour received the same wage.

11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner.
12 ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour,’
they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.

13 “But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius?
14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you.
15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’
Matthew 20:11-15 (NIV)

Those who worked many hours and those who only joined in at the last hour,
all received the same benefit,
this is God’s grace, … generous & impartial.


Grace and Law?

One day,

John 8:1-11 (NASB)
Early in the morning Jesus came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them.

The scribes and the Pharisees *brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they said to Him,

“Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act.
Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women;
what then do You say
?”

They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them,

“He who is without sin among you,
let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. 10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her,

“Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?”

11 She said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said,
“I do not condemn you, either.
Go. From now on sin no more.”

The woman — caught in adultery

The religious mob poised ready to exercise judgment on her sin 
just waiting for Jesus to say so.
“the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women;
what then do You say?”Jesuslaw2

The religious mob based their question on the authority of Moses.
However, the religious mob conveniently mis-quoted the Law.
(appeal to authority fallacy)

Here’s what the Law actually says,

Leviticus 20:10 (NASB)
If there is a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, one who commits adultery with his friend’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

The religious mob said, she was “caught in adultery, in the very act
But, where is the man, the adulterer ?

Furthermore, in Deuteronomy 19:15-18  there needs to be 2 to 3 witnesses, and a thorough investigation; i.e. innocent until proven guilty, beyond reasonable doubt.

An injustice of justice.
A show trial.
A kangaroo court.

Also, the Law says
 Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor
or being partial to the rich and powerful.
Always judge people fairly.
Leviticus 19:15 (NLT)

(furthermore, in another similar preceding case, David and Bathsheba were not stoned)

Hence, Jesus response to the religious mob was
“He who is without sin among you,
let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

The religious mob had mis-quoted God’s word,
i.e. lied.

Instead of pointing to the woman’s sin,
Jesus wisely pointed the religious mob to  examine their own hearts,
exposing their high-stake bluff
thus, adverting a meaningless massacre.

Instead of giving them His judgment on the case,
Jesus wisely boomeranged the judgment decision back to the religious leaders,
with His condition — He who is without sin among you
The ball, or rather stone was in their court.

It is worth noting the tone and manner in which Jesus spoke to the religious leaders,
knowing their intentions.

While they were confrontational, … Jesus did not confront them of their sin.
While they accused the woman, … Jesus  did not accuse them.
While they were ready to exercise judgment … it was not the time for Jesus to execute His final judgment.

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness,
but is patient toward you,
not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9 (NASB)

Jesus was gracious and respectful to the religious leaders.
He was firm on where He stood, … without adding fuel to the flame.

A true example of meekness under fire,
responding in the opposite spirit.

Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Matthew 5:5 (NIV)

His measured response, quenched the misguided challenge from the religious leaders.
And in the silence that followed,
… they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones,
and He was left alone, and the woman
His silence silenced them.

Jesus wisdom turned the emotionally tense and charged atmosphere,
into a moment where His peace and grace reigned.

On that early morning,
there was only One amongst all
who was truly without sin

and He said to the woman
“I do not condemn you.”

Grace and mercy tilted the balance of justice for the woman.

Jesus also did not condemn the religious leaders who opposed Him.  Grace was also freely & impartially available for them to receive, … if they wanted to.

Jesus final words to the woman clearly demonstrates
the fine balance of grace and law in the New Covenant,

“I do not condemn you,”Grace, … forgiveness, made right & upright with God

“Go. From now on sin no more.” Law … walk in righteousness, follow Jesus.

(What’s the Law? … more in the next section on Faith and Works)

By His grace, the woman received 100% forgiveness of sin from Jesus, made right with God.
By His grace, through Jesus, she was saved from death to life.

She was made right with God,
so that,
she could begin walking right with God,
in right relationship with God.

Romans 8:1 (NASB)
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world through Him might be saved.
John 3:17 (NKJV)

From now on sin no more.
Jesus upheld the standard of the law;
sin as defined by God’s unchanging standard, the law.

Romans 7:7 (NASB)
…  I would not have come to know sin
except through the Law …

The law defines what sin is,
according to God’s standard (not ours).

The more we understand God’s righteous requirements,
the more we appreciate His grace and forgiveness for us, with grateful hearts.

If  Jesus did not say sin no more
than the woman would be free to do whatever she wanted,
or return to what she used to do,
even after meeting Jesus and receiving His forgiveness;
i.e. no standards to follow & live her new life in Christ.

Jesus said to His disciples,
If you love Me,
you will keep My commandments.
John 14:15 (NASB)

Loving God = keeping God’s law

What is God’s law?

29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
There is no commandment greater than these.”
Mark 12:29-31 (NIV)

Paul explains further:
The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command:
Love your neighbor as yourself.”

10 Love does no harm to a neighbor.
Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Romans 13:8-10 (NIV)

Paul wrote,

Romans 12:1,2 (NIV)
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters,
in view of God’s mercy,
to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God
—this is your true and proper worship.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

in view of God’s mercy,
by His grace and the Holy Spirit help,
… a heart change, a mindset change,
a lifestyle change,
sin no more

yielding ourselves to God’s word and the Holy Spirit.

Romans 6:14,15, 17,18 (NASB)
14 
For sin shall not be master over you,
for you are not under law
but under grace.

15 What then?

Shall we sin
because we are not under law but under grace?
May it never be!

17 But thanks be to God that though
you were slaves of sin,
you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,

18 and having been freed from sin,
you became slaves of righteousness.

Jesus said, “sin no more”,
be freed
from being a slave of sin  … to become a slave righteousness
based on the un-changing yardstick of what is sin, 
i.e. the Law.

Paul said,
20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God
and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds.
Acts 26:20 (NIV)

demonstrate our repentance and turning to God,
by our deeds, acts, life.

Hebrews 10:15-17 (NIV)
15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:

16 “This is the covenant I will make with them
    after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
    and I will write them on their minds.”

God’s covenant with us
— God’s law inscribed in our hearts, on our minds,

17 Then he adds:

“Their sins and lawless acts
    I will remember no more.”

“We are “not under law” as a way of justification,
and we are “under law” as the God-given pattern of life.”
— Alistair Begg

“The Law send us to the Gospel,
that we may be justified,
and
the Gospel sends us to the law again
to enquire what is our duty in being justified.”
— Samuel Bolton

“The law released from its ceaseless obligation to condemn ….
(the law) is free in Christ to become the means of grace
it was also intended to be ….

for in Christ the law becomes a minister of life
to those who set their feet in its path.

The prohibitory ‘You shall not …’
becomes the promissory ‘You shall not …'”
— Alec Motyer

A heart change, a lifestyle change,
God’s law written in our hearts and minds.

Another way to see this is,

repentance and abandonment of dead works (dead formalism),
and evil works,

… faith toward God     (Hebrews 6:1 AMPC, NASB)
through Jesus

and, having received Jesus,
created in Christ Jesus
for   good works,
which God prepared beforehand
so that we would walk in them.
(Ephesians 2:9 NASB)

Thus,

Ephesians 5:1, 8-11 (NASB)
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;

for you were formerly darkness,
but now you are Light in the Lord;
walk as children of Light

(for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),
10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.

11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;

Let’s look again at Abraham.

Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.
Genesis 15:6 (HCSB)

This is God’s testimony of Abraham life,
“because Abraham obeyed Me and
kept My charge,

My commandments, My statutes
and My laws.”
Genesis 26:5 (NASB)

In this verse in Genesis 26, God mentions that Abraham obeyed the Lord, His commandments, His statutes and His laws;
this happende more than 400 years before the Law was given through Moses;
i.e. before the Law!

Abraham was justified,
made right with God, by faith through God’s grace.

By faith, Abraham walked right with God,
obeying God’s commandments, statutes and laws,
because Abraham loved God.

Jesus said,
If you love Me,
you will keep My commandments.
John 14:15 (NASB)

Hence, as can be seen in Abraham’s life,
justified by faith through grace,
and obeying God’s commandments go hand in hand,
as we express our love to God.

We know that we have come
to know him
if we
keep his commands.

Whoever says, “I know him,”
but
does not do what he commands
is a liar,
and
the truth is not in that person
.

1 John 2:3, 4 (NIV)

know him —  keep his commands — living out truth

Furthermore, in the sermon the mount, Jesus said,

Matthew 5:17-20 (NASB)
17 
“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets;
I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.

18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law
until all is accomplished.

19 Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments,
and teaches others to do the same,
shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but
whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

20 “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 7:12,13 (NASB)
12 In everything, therefore,
treat people the same way you want them to treat you,
for this is the Law and the Prophets.

13 Enter through the narrow gate;
for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.

14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

For an explanation on
how Jesus fulfill the Law, click here

The Law and the Old Covenant are not synonymous
(see footnote at the end of post)

As we go through life,
sometimes we stumble, we sin,

If we say we have no sin,
we deceive ourselves,
and the truth is not in us
.

Thank God,

If we confess our sins,
he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9 (ESV)

as Jesus taught us to pray,

Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us …

Luke 11:4 (NIV)


It’s important for us to note that
when we over-emphasize grace beyond and above the law,
or diminish the law,
then, … we unwittingly stray into a dimly-lit lawless alley.

Grace becomes an excuse to live in whatever way we desire,
waving the “we are under grace, not law”  banner.

Paul clearly points this out,

Romans 6:14,15, 17,18 (NASB)
14 
For sin shall not be master over you,
for you are not under law
but under grace.

15 What then?

Shall we sin
because we are not under law but under grace?
May it never be!

In Jude’s letter he describes what he observed when this is stretched to an extreme,
… ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God
into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

Jude 1:4 (NIV)

in a sense,

… To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.   Hebrews 6:6 (NIV)

God’s  priceless gift, Jesus paid everything He had to redeem us,
Let’s not treat His grace carelessly.

In the sermon on the mount, Jesus said,

Matthew 7:21,23 (NASB)
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me,
you who practice lawlessness
.’

He also reminded us …. its all about matters in our hearts,
… not just extreme outward acts, ….

21 for where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also.
Matthew 7:21 (NASB)

as well as, our heart attitude towards others

14 For if you forgive others for their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

15 But if you do not forgive others,
then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.
Matthew 7:14,15 (NASB)

Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.
Psalm 119:11 (NASB))

When we lose sight of God’s complete Word, His Truth as our guide,
(by cherry picking snippets of the Bible)
we stray down into dim-lit alleys,
away from the Way, the Truth and the Life.

They claim to know God,
but by their actions they deny him. …
Titus 1:16 (NIV)

“Cheap grace is preaching forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession.
… Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”
— Dietrich Bonhoeffer


Faith and works/acts

Through Moses, the Law was summarised as:

12 “Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you,
but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

13 and to keep the Lord’s commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?

16 So circumcise your heart, and stiffen your neck no longer.
17 For the Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe. 18 He executes justice for the orphan and the widow,
and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.

19 So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.
Deuteronomy 10:12, 13, 16-19 (NASB)

Years later, the prophet Micah reiterated,

The Lord has told you, human,
what is good;

he has told you
what he wants from you:

to do what is right to other people,
love being kind to others,
and live humbly, obeying your God.
Micah 6:8 (NCV)

One day, Jesus was asked,

Luke 10:25-47 (NIV)
25 And a lawyer stood up and put Him (Jesus) to the test, saying,
“Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 And He said to him, What is written in the Law?
How does it read to you?”

27 And he answered,
You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart, and with all your soul,
and with all your strength, and with all your mind;
and your neighbor as yourself
.”

2And He said to him,
You have answered correctly;

do this and you will live.”

“what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
… “do this and you will live.”

Jesus summarised the Law into 2 love laws – love God and love our neighbours,
as was precisely articulated by the lawyer who asked Jesus.
Thus, during Jesus time, the religious leaders knew the summary of What is written in the Law.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul,
and with all your strength, and with all your mind;
and
your neighbor as yourself
.”

This is the part for us to do.
(& this has been the consistent message from both the Old and New Testament.)

A living out of the 2 commandments, … a lifestyle.

And it all began with God loving us:

John 3:16 (NKJV)
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Through Jesus, God invites us into a love relationship with Him and to others.

1 John 4:16-21 (NASB)
16 … God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
17 By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment;
because as He is, so also are we in this world.

18 There is no fear in love;
but perfect love casts out fear,
because fear involves punishment,
and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

19 We love,
because He first loved us
.

20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar;

for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen,
cannot love God whom he has not seen.

21 And this commandment we have from Him,
that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

Hence, the 2 love commandments are actually inter-related,
one expressing the other, and each other,
i.e. the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen,
cannot love God whom he has not seen.
Either we follow and live out both … or none at all.

Let’s look into the Old Testament,
where are these 2 commandments (which Jesus referred to) found in the Law ?

Deuteronomy 6:4,5 (NASB)
“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Leviticus 19:18, 33,34 (NASB)
18 ‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people,
but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

33 “‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them.
34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born.
Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.

Love those similar to us (ethnically, culturally, human groupings, etc),
and also love others who are not (foreigners).
i.e. anyone & everyone.
Overcome hate with love.

Back to the Lawyer in Luke 10,
he still had one more question,

29 But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus,
“And who is my neighbor?”

30 Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. 31 And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion,34 and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’

36 Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor
to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?”

37 And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.”

Then Jesus said to him, Go and do the same.”

In this parable, the Samaritan showed mercy toward the man who was robbed, by helping him in practical ways, … while the priest and Levite did nothing.

Matthew 5:7 (NASB)
Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall receive mercy.

The Samaritan reached out to a total stranger,
… half-dead, robbed, stripped, beaten … a bloody mess,
expecting nothing in return.

Although not stated, … while hearing this parable, in the Jewish Lawyer’s mind … the first person in the story who was beaten by the robbers could be a Jewish man.
At that time, Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans (John 4:9 NLT)

Matthew 5:9 (NASB)
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called sons of Godsamaritan

Along the lonely, deserted part of the road between Jerusalem and Jericho,
when no one was watching
… the 2 religious leaders conveniently walked pass the other side,
while,
the Samaritan spontaneously reached out, & helped.

The true test of a man’s character is
what he does when no one is watching.

― John Wooden

Although the priest and Levite both had faith in the temple
their actions/works in everyday life situations
betrayed their faith, their belief.

The priest and Levite offered sacrifices and burnt offerings in the temple,
however,
in everyday life,
the Samaritan quietly sacrificed his time and money to help a total stranger in need,
expecting nothing in return.

All 3 men, all saw the same scene, … the same man in need,
only the Samaritan
when he saw him, he felt compassion,
his heart was moved to help,
he saw with his heart.

In another parable,
the parable of the sheep and the goats,
Jesus said,

34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me somethingt o eat;
I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink;
I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;

36 naked, and you clothed Me;
I was sick, and you visited Me;
I was in prison, and you came to Me.’

40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you,
to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine,
even the least of them, you did it to Me.”
Matthew 25:34-36,40 (NASB)

Whatever is done to help or bless the least person,
Jesus says, “you did it to Me”

The acts mentioned by Jesus in this parable
are not great acts, or great sacrifices or devout church activities,
furthermore, its not outcome focused (eg someone got healed or saved).

Rather,
its as simple as giving a thirsty person something to drink,
(nothing to boast about).  Even a child can do this.

According to Jesus, each time we quietly, humbly serve others,
like the good Samaritan
Jesus said,
“you did it to Me”

Hence, having faith in God, & loving God,
is expressed through practical deeds of loving others in everyday life.

1 John 3:18 (NIV)
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech
but with actions and in truth.
 

James echoes the parable of the good Samaritan

James 2:14-17 (NASB)
14 
What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works?
Can that faith save him?

15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?

17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.  (NIV)

17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough.
Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. (NLT)

Hence, our faith is expressed through acts of love,
through practical good deeds, works, action.

“what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

… “do this and you will live.”
“Go and do the same.

There’s a part for us to do.

Hence, following the commandments of the Lord,
being righteous and loving God,

is aboutsin no more
and alsoshow mercy to others“;
living according to God’s word
i.e.,
not doing bad things to harm others,
and also,
doing good things to bless others.

Therefore,

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

10 For we are His workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Ephesians 2:8-10 (NASB)

11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
Ephesians 4:11,12 (NASB)

We cannot be saved by our works, … human effort,
However, we are saved for good works, work of service
— loving God and loving our neighbor.

we are His workmanship, His masterpiece,
created …for good works,
which God prepared beforehand
As a follower of Jesus,
God has prepared beforehand good works  for us to do, and
He has created in us the ability to accomplish them.

Matthew 5:14, 16 (NASB)
14 You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.

16 In the same way, let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your Father in heaven.

Shining His light = good deeds/works

Shining His light through our good deeds/works,
bring glory to God.


Earlier, we shared about grace taken into extreme,
here’s the flip side,
… following strictly, religiously a rule book of piety,

Legalism … or Faith & Grace

Works and law taken into an extreme … becomes legalism,
void of faith, grace … love, … & joy.

(The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.)

So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus,
“Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?”

6  Jesus replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:

“‘These people honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
    their teachings are merely human rules.’

8 You have let go of the commands of God
and are holding on to human traditions.”
Mark 7:5-8 (NIV)

The word traditions appears 4 times in this passage.

The Pharisees were fixated about following rules,
rather than
fixated on God and following Him.

Clean hands … or a clean heart?

Pressured conforming behavior … or a changed heart.

In discipling others, or in our parenting
we can un-consciously teach or emphasize or model legalistic law,
and become a good Pharisee,
rather than a loving relationship with Jesus and one another.

Whenever we emphasize a set of rules or standards,  expectations,  traditions
of what a Christian needs to do  or is expected to do/fulfill,
a list of “shoulds’, “musts’ and “oughts”
… legalism silently creeps in.

By directing such rules or expectations at others, this may result in anger, frustration and resentment when others fail.  In extreme cases, public shaming is used to get others to toe the line.
And when religiously applied to oneself, the emotional consequence is guilt.

A rule-book, a book of methodologies,
is totally different from

a living, joyful relationship with Jesus and one another,
a daily walk with out loving Savior.

5 … our competence comes from God.
He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant

not of the letter but of the Spirit;
for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
2 Corinthians 3:5,6 (NASB)

11 Clearly no one who relies on the law
is justified before God
,

because
the righteous will live by faith.”
Galatians 3:11 (NIV)

a series of ‘thou shalt’ and ‘thou shalt not’,
a ‘doing‘ performance-driven treadmill,
which wears us out,

leading down a slippery road of guilt/shame traps … and condemnation,
of not being able to live up to that “standard”,
driven by fear of punishment to perform, to live up an image.

God is then perceived as far away, … impersonal,
… the judge,
just waiting for us to fail,
seldom pleased with us.

Also, slowly, … a self-righteous, divisive, critical, ungracious, un-compassionate attitude develops, … a competitive spirit arises.

1 John 4:18,19 (NASB)
18 There is no fear in love;
but perfect love casts out fear,

because fear involves punishment,
and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

19 We love, because He first loved us.

Its always easy to give people theory, methods and standards,
than a living  example.

21 “Do not handle!
Do not taste!
Do not touch!”?

22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings.
23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom,
with their self-imposed worship,
their false humility and
their harsh treatment of the body,
but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
Colossians 2:21-23 (NASB)

However, the kingdom of God is not about mere man-made rules of piety,

for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but
righteousness and
peace and
joy in the Holy Spirit
.
Romans 14:17 (NASB)

Right living, relational and experiential according to God’s word.

We love,
because He first loved us.
1 John 4:19 (NASB)

Hence,
by sharing with others the grace of God,
through a living & healthy relationship with Jesus,
inspired by how much God really loves us, how much He treasures us,
we help others respond in love to God,
respond in love to their neighbors from their hearts,
Developing a healthy personal relationship with God & others.

1 Corinthians 5:14,15 (NIV)
14 
For Christ’s love compels us,
because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.

15 And he died for all,
that those who live should no longer live for themselves

but for him who died for them
and was raised again.

Motivated, inspired, moved, compelled by Christ’s love
to live for him who died for us and was raised again.

Hence, its not about what
we have to do,
or must do
or need to do
guilt-trip, shame-trip schemes,
in order to please God,
(i.e. performance-driven, legalistic, religious)
rather,
its what

we love to do”,

to please Him
with grace from our hearts,
and graciousness & compassion towards one another’s weaknesses.

Not driven by rules, or fear,
rather, … inspired & nurtured by God’s love.

Love can’t be taught … its caught from others who unconsciously, instinctively live it out in everyday life,

That’s what Jesus came to show us.

Living lovingly in our daily lives.
That’s the hard part.

We love,
because He first loved us.

20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar;
for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen,
cannot love God whom he has not seen.

21 And this commandment we have from Him,
that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

1 John 4:19-21 (NASB)

Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue,
but in deed and truth.

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other;
let us show the truth by our actions.
1 John 3:18 (NASB, NLT)

When we realise our true unworthiness,
then, … we’ll begin to truly taste the abounding grace of God with gratefulness,
and humbly begin to see others through His eyes,
being patient and gracious with others.

1 Corinthians 13:4 (NASB)
Love is patient, love is kind

1 Thessalonians 5:14 (NASB)
14 We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly,
encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

Proverbs 10:12 (NIV)
Hatred stirs up conflict,
    but love covers over all wrongs.

On a further note,
beyond mere legalistic rules of ‘Thou shalt not’ ….

As a Jesus follower,
Jesus has given us even   greater privileges  of  “Thou shalt do”s
to enable us to joyfully be a blessing to others, and comfort them with His peace.

Luke 17:20 (NASB)
And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith;
for truly I say to you,
if you have faith the size of a mustard seed,
you will say to this mountain,
‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move;
and nothing will be impossible to you
.

Mark 16:15-18 (NASB)
15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.
17 These signs will accompany those who have believed:
in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues;
18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”


We’ll close with a summary through testimonies of God’s grace and love.

Here’s one Chinese woman’s testimony in the 1930s, of experiencing  Jesus grace and forgiveness of her sins.  Set free from her guilt and shame.

“It was just at if I were a great bandit, and after hot pursuit the soldiers caught me and dragged me before the Mandarin;
and instead of denying everything.
I confessed everything,

and the Mandarin did not say,
“Take her away and execute her,”

but he said,
“she has confessed,
it is no longer held to her account.

Go home in peace.”

—  Monsen, Marie, The awakening revival in China (1927-1937), a work of the Holy Spirit, China Inland Mission 1961.

Here’s a South Korean pastor’s story

… Reverend Son Yangwon.
In the late 1940s, during the Yosu rebellion in the South.  Son’s two sons were killed by communist youths.  When the rebellion was put down and one of the killers was apprehended and sentenced to be executed,
Son successfully interceded with the South Korean police to spare him.
Not only that, he went on to adopt the youth.

— Timothy S Lee, Born Again Evangelicalism in Korea, University of Hawai’i Press, 2010


In conclusion,

Jesus said,
14 You are my friends
if you do what I command.

15 I no longer call you servants,
because a servant does not know his master’s business.

Instead, I have called you friends,
for everything that I learned from my Father
I have made known to you.

John 15:14,15 (NIV)

Are we Jesus’ servant or a friend?

1 John 4:19
19 We love, because He first loved us.

Have we tasted of His love for us?

Galatians 5:6 (NASB)
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything,
but faith working through love.

2 Thessalonians 1:3 (NIV)
We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so,
because your faith is growing more and more,
and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.

Is our faith being expressed through love in everyday life?

Our faith grows by the measure our love grows for others,
Living out His love through good deeds, blessing  others.
faith working through love.

Ephesians 2:8-10 (NASB)
For by grace you have been saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
10 For we are His workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them
.

Amen, Praise God!


Footnote:

Its important to note that the Law and the Old Covenant are not synonymous or the same thing.

Hebrews 9:6, 13 (NIV)
But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.

13 By calling this covenant “new,”
he has made the first one obsolete; (
i.e. the old covenant)

and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.

In a simplified way, it is like …
a contract between 2 parties with benefits and obligations/responsiblities.

The old contract has been canceled.

A new contract with full benefits has been drawn up with the same 2 parties,
with the full essence of the terms and conditions in the old contract.
Furthermore, all the terms and conditions have been 100% fulfilled by the one offering the new contract.

Its up to the other party to decide whether they want to accept the contract,
and with the offerer’s help,
maintain/uphold the terms and conditions throughout the duration of the contract.

Its up to the other party to accept or reject the contract.

The New Covenant through Jesus death and resurrection,
has set aside the Old Covenant given through Moses

However,
there are still obligations for us to keep:
‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Therefore,

John 1:17 (NIV)
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

is a continuum not a replacement.
There is no ‘but‘ in the original Greek version of this verse,
meaning law and grace and truth
is in both the Old & New testament,
God has not changed.

Grace and truth was present with Abraham (before the Law),.
Abraham believed God,
and it was credited to him as righteousness
.”
Abraham experienced God’s grace and truth

and … also the time between Abraham and Jesus,
when David wrote:

2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,

10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.

11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
14 For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.

17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
18 To such as keep His covenant,
And to those who remember His commandments to do them
Psalm 103:2-4, 10-14, 17,18 (NKJV)

John117


Further Reading:

What did Jesus teach on Law? How Jesus fulfill the Law? The Law of Love (click here) 


 Grace | Foundations

by 林弟兄, bro Lim
April 12, 2016
laymanointing.wordpress.com

Copyright © 林弟兄 bro Lim, Laymanointing, 2014-2016 – All Rights Reserved
Creative Commons License


 

 

Advertisements

Information

This entry was posted on April 12, 2016 by in Foundations, Stepping Stones and tagged , , .

Blog Stats

  • 12,785 views from 108 countries
Albania Argentina Armenia Australia Austria Bangladesh Barbados Bahamas Bahrain Belgium Belize Bolivia Bosnia & Herzegovina Botswana Brazil Brunei Bulgaria Cambodia Cameroon Canada Chile China Croatia Curacao Cyprus Czech Denmark Estonia Egypt Ethiopia European Union Fiji Finland France Georgia Germany Ghana Grenada Guatemala Guyana Honduras Hong Kong SAR Hungary India Indonesia Ireland Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jordan Kenya Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Lithuania Luxembourg Macedonia Malaysia Malawi Malta Mauritius Mexico Montenegro Mozambique Myanmar (Burma) Namibia Nepal Netherlands New Zealand Nicaragua Nigeria Norway Papua New Guinea Pakistan Oman Peru Philippines Poland Puerto Rico Qatar Romania Russia Rwanda Saudi Arabia Serbia Singapore Slovakia Slovenia South Africa South Korea Spain Sri Lanka St Vincent & Grenadines Sweden Swaziland Switzerland Taiwan Tanzania Thailand Trinidad & Tobago Turkey Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uzbekistan Venezuela Vietnam Zambia Zimbabwe

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 32 other followers

%d bloggers like this: