What is your Church focus: Christ or Law?

 

This week’s Audio link

 

What is your Church focus: Christ or Law? 

Oct. 10, 2010

 

Throughout Scripture we are told that a person is not saved by keeping the law but by grace through faith.

And thank the sovereign grace of God that there are many people who have believed the message of grace.

However, they believe that they must now put themselves back under the principle of law keeping for their sanctification- their rule of Christian life.

To put a Christian under the law as a means of making them holy is totally unscriptural and unwittingly produces the opposite effect.

Today most churches that I have studied know very little about living the Christian life by grace through faith.

 

Col 2:6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 

Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

Eph 2:9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Gal 6:12 As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.

Gal 6:13 For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.

Gal 6:14 But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Gal 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.

Gal 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.

 

Purpose: To learn from Scripture that to place a Christian under the law as a rule of life is blatant unbelief in the Holy Spirit’s revelation concerning how a Christian is to grow in Christ. The focus of the Christian life is Christ not the law.

Php 1:21  For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

 

Text: Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

 

    http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/rulelife.htm

 

To emphasize this important truth, let us see what the Bible does not say:

 

1) Philippians 1:21– For to me to live is reading my Bible, memorizing Scripture, praying at least 15 minutes daily

 and witnessing at every opportunity.

 

2) Philippians 3:8– I count all things but loss for the excellency of trying to guard my tongue,

 trying to overcome my bad habits and trying to have my daily devotions.

 

3) Philippians 3:10– That I may do this and avoid doing that and that I may force mysel

f to witness and avoid every appearance of evil. 

 

4) Revelation 2:4– Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thydaily Bible

 reading schedule and thou hast broken thy New Year’s resolutions and thou hast failed to keep the 10 Commandments.

 

5) 2 Corinthians 5:9– Wherefore we labour [lit., we are ambitious], that, whether present or absent,

we may watch our temper, keep following our strict diet, memorize verses, get enough rest,

 and not watch too many bad television shows.

 

From:  http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/rulelife.htm

 

Three errors have troubled the church concerning the right relation of law to grace:


1. Antinomianism- the denial of all rule over the lives of believers; the affirmation that men are not required to

live holy lives because they are saved by God’s free grace, “They profess that they know God;

but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate” (Titus 1: 16). 
“For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation;

 ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude verse 4).


2. Ceremonialism- the demand that believers should observe the levitical ordinances.

 The modern form of this error is the teaching that Christian ordinances are essential to salvation.

“And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said,

Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved” (Acts 15:1).

 
3. Galatianism – the mingling of law and grace; the teaching that justification is partly by grace, partly by law, or,

that grace is given to enable an otherwise helpless sinner to keep the law. Against this error, the most wide-spread of all,

the solemn warnings, the. unanswerable logic, the emphatic declarations of the Epistle to the Galatians are God’s conclusive answer. 
“This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish?

having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:2- 3).

 

1. Gentiles were never under the law of Moses in the first place.

 

Rom 2:12  For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law

Rom 2:13  (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified;

Rom 2:14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law,

are a law to themselves,

Rom 2:15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves

their thoughts accusing or else excusing them)

 

Rom 9:3  For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh,

Rom 9:4  who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God,

 and the promises;

 

Exo 19:5  Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to

Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.

 

Deu 5:1  And Moses called all Israel, and said to them: “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your hearing today,

that you may learn them and be careful to observe them.

Deu 5:2  The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.

 

2. Christ death was the fulfillment of the law and the end of the law principle.

 

Rom 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

 

Luk 16:16 “The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.

 

Joh 1:17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

 

Heb 9:15  And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions

 under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

Heb 9:16  For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

Heb 9:17  For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.

 

Heb 7:14  For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood.

Heb 7:15  And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest

Heb 7:16  who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life.

Heb 7:17  For He testifies: “YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.”

Heb 7:18  For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness,

Heb 7:19  for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

Heb 7:20  And inasmuch as He was not made priest without an oath

Heb 7:21  (for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said to Him:

“THE LORD HAS SWORN AND WILL NOT RELENT, ‘YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK’ “),

Heb 7:22  by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.

Heb 7:23  Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing.

Heb 7:24  But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.

Heb 7:25  Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

Heb 7:26  For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;

Heb 7:27  who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s,

for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.

Heb 7:28  For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son

who has been perfected forever.

 

Gal 4:4  But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,

Gal 4:5  to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

 

Eph 2:15  having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances,

 so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,

 

Col 2:14  having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way,

 having nailed it to the cross.

 

3. The indwelling Holy Spirit became the new power and rule of life for the believer and not the Law of Moses.

 

Gal 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

 

Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

Gal 5:2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.

Gal 5:3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.

Gal 5:4 you have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

 

Gal 3:1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ

was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?

Gal 3:2 this only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?—

Gal 3:3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?

Gal 3:4 have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?

Gal 5:16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Gal 5:17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another,

 so that you do not do the things that you wish.

Gal 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

 

Gal 2:19 For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God.

 

Rom 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Rom 7:4  Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—

to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.

Rom 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death.

Rom 7:6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve

 in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

 

Joh 7:37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.

Joh 7:38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

Joh 7:39  But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given,

 because Jesus was not yet glorified.

 

Joh 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—

Joh 14:17  the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him,

for He dwells with you and will be in you.

Joh 14:18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

 

Act 19:1 And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus.

And finding some disciples

Act 19:2 he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard

whether there is a Holy Spirit.”

Act 19:3 And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.”

Act 19:4 Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him

who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”

Act 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Act 19:6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.

 

Psa 51:11 Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

 

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

Rom 8:3  For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh,

 on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,

Rom 8:4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Rom 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but thosewho live according to the Spirit,

 the things of the Spirit.

 

4. Christians have a Love Relationship with Christ, not a Legal Relationship with Him. Our new life with Christ begins at Mt. Calvary

not at Mt. Sinai and our new life in Christ is now in heaven with the resurrected Christ where we come to the throne of Grace and not Law.

 

Rev 2:4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

 

Gal 2:20  I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;

and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

 

Joh 14:15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.

 

Rom 13:8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.

Rom 13:9  For the commandments, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY,” “YOU SHALL NOT MURDER,”

“YOU SHALL NOT STEAL,” “YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS,” “YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment,

are all summed up in this saying, namely, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

Rom 13:10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Rom 13:11  And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.

Rom 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.

Rom 13:13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.

Rom 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

 

Gal 5:13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Gal 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

 

Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,

Tit 2:12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,

Tit 2:13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

Tit 2:14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for HimselfHis own special people, zealous for good works.

 

2Ti 2:4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please himwho enlisted him as a soldier.

 

Luk 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

 

The Christian life is not a list of “THOU SHALT’S and “THOU SHALT NOT”S.

 

It is all about a LOVE RELATIONSHIP with THE PERSON of JESUS CHRIST through the

 

Word of God and the Holy Spirit of God.

 

 

 

 2Co 3:18  But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord,

are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

 

 

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