Can Grace Bend the Law? #19

Can Grace Bend the Law? #19

Grace does not do favors nor does the Law. The generous and compassionate householder satisfied both. He treated all his workers equally. The merciless servant begged his master for time to repay. His master was a gracious person, he had pity on his servant, released him, and he also cancelled his debt. The same servant went to a fellow servant, who owed him a mere fraction, he demanded payment, and he did not free the debtor, nor did he forgave him. His actions forfeited his grace. And because he did not forgive his fellow servant; he, himself, did not deserve to be forgiven. This was and this still is the Law Jesus used, and it is the way we earn our salvation. The “heart of grace is forgiveness” and it is a condition, which our Heavenly Father requires from everyone:

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15).

What Law Makes Grace Possible?

It is the Commandment “to love!” Regardless of what and who the person is, with whom I have conduct and dealings with. So, how do I receive such love? Well, it did not drop, all at once, from heaven. I had to determine to fill my heart with “grace” so that I could forgive in order to be myself forgiven. It is my relationship with my fellow human beings that determines my standing with God. The Apostle of Love, John Zebedee penned these words for us to follow.

Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that god sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his own Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we know and believe theloveGod has for us. God is love, and he with us who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. In this is love perfected with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because he first loved us. If any one says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should love his brother also (I John 4:7-21). 

What Is The Relationship Between Grace and the Law?

The Commandments of God and Christ keeps me from judging and incriminating myself. The Commandments direct me what I ought to do and avoid what I must not do. The Commandments also hold me accountable and responsible for what I do, and even for what I neglect to do. Grace and the Law are my partners in the Holy Spirit. Grace is the time God grants me and you to return to God; and for us to resume obeying His Laws and His Ordinances in our daily lives. If I do not repent, and if I do not begin to live within the Laws of God, and if I do not obey the Words of Jesus the Christ, then I trample on God’s Grace and make God’s Grace void. Also, when I do not obey the Laws of God, I also trample on grace! And therefore, I mock God and I deprive myself of my own salvation. Therefore, when I enter the “life of grace,” I also must display “grace” in my conduct and in my deeds. toward others. For “grace” to be instrumental, I must become “an agent that dispenses grace.” For in grace, through me, God extends “His Arms of Forgiveness” toward each other (Matthew 6:14-15). 

In the Ten Commandments, which Jesus restored, man has been given an idea of what man must do to qualify for the Kingdom of Heaven. And it is not just believing in being righteous, but also it is in doing what is right that Christ is looking for in all of us (Matthew 5:17-20). So, we must not presume that Paul would have dared to end the “Moral conduct of the Law,” which is essential and which is universal, for all men, to sustain life and their relationship with each other; for we are all children of the Creator God, whether we are saints or sinners. Now, what are we to do with the translator’s rendition of Romans 10:4, “For Christ is the end of the law, that every one who has faith may be justified”? There are three problems which face the idea that “Christ ended God’s Law to give faith a chance.”

First, the Greek word “telos” does not mean the end. “Telos” means the “completion” or “fulfilment” of something that was being temporarily used, until Christ could come and pay the ultimate “Price of Atonement” for man’s sins. The animals, the grains, and the rituals did not appease God.

Second, Jesus specifically came to fulfil God’s Law (plerosai). In fact, the word is to “set free from the Law” (katalusai). However, Christ did not set man free (katalusai) from God’s Law! Rather, Christ binds man closer to God’s Law. Grace does not operate on air — Grace operates on the human response to the “Will of God” (Matthew 7:21-23). It is God’s Law that makes man do what is right and what is just.

Third, Faith, by itself, without a rebirth, and without total transfer of allegiance from the world to Christ will not justify or qualify any one for the “Kingdom of Heaven” (John 3:3-7). To qualify and to remain in the Kingdom of Heaven and in the Church (body) of Christ, man has to partner with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:23).

Now, if Christ has ended anything — then — it was not the Law! The Law demanded that man does what is right. However, the Jewish traditions had replaced the Law of Moses (Matthew 15:1-20). The Jewish elders and Moses, amended God’s Laws to please their people. They allowed men to dismiss their wives and stone women on mere suspicion of infidelity; they did not hold children accountable for caring and honoring their parents, and they did not include outsiders in their “Second Commandment of Love.” On the Sabbath, no one could become ill or obtain help, and no one could eat without washing their hands. Before one entered the home of a Pharisee, feet had to be washed. Obligations and transgressions were remitted with gifts and offerings to the priests. Heavy iniquities were absolved with animal blood and sent into the desert with a goat. An elaborate and costly religious system with facilities, feasts, offerings, and daily sacrifices was designed to keep the Hebrews away from pagan shrines and from their gods. The tribe of Levi and of Moses were chosen to administer and enforce the demands of the system to the letter. All of this, Moses insisted, was from Yahweh and not of his own design. However, Yahweh was and Yahweh is very non-intrusive in what man wills and does! That also is the way the Spirit of God works in my life. God has given me a free hand to do what I want, and that is why not all of my decisions have turned out right. I do reap what I have sowed and so do you. I shall discuss this in another chapter. Paul put it eloquently:

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith (Galatians 6:7-10).

What does Grace Circumvent?

Grace does not replace good deeds because grace, itself, is the heart of good deeds and redemptive works. Grace does not accept nor does Grace cover the Jewish idea, which seeks the “favor of God” by their natural birth, religion, and tradition. In fact, religious practices and traditions restrict the very nature of Grace from functioning effectively. In the Jewish tradition, the priest and the Levite could not serve the victim on the road to Jericho; however, the Samaritan could (Luke 10:20-37). Their mercy did not extend to the outsiders. One morning my sons and I went to a friend’s Church. While the minister served communion, he had to break his vow to include us. I was not allowed to preach in his Church and other Churches in the community. When I retired and joined a Church closeby, I was not trusted with serving communion. In one of my early Churches, a caller on a Sunday morning asked over the phone, “Is God there in your Church?” I think I did invite him to come and see; however, today I would reply, “If you do not bring Him with you, you will not find Him here either.” God is Spirit! Therefore, God does not live in buildings, or in rituals, or even in worship. God lives in the human heart that allows Him to live in him or in her (John 14:23). It is when God’s Spirit joins with mine and your spirits that Grace becomes redemptively active. The Apostle of Grace wrote:

But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, If the Spirit of God really dwells in you. Any one who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness. If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit which dwells in you (Romans 8:9-11). 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patients, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. And those who are in Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passion and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another (Galatians 6:22-25).

All these fruits are deeds and works of Grace fostered and used by Jesus’ followers, and by people like you and I.

Can Grace Bend the Law? #19

Grace does not do favors nor does the Law. The generous and compassionate householder satisfied both. He treated all his workers equally. The merciless servant begged his master for time to repay. His master was a gracious person, he had pity on his servant, released him, and he also cancelled his debt. The same servant went to a fellow servant, who owed him a mere fraction, he demanded payment, and he did not free the debtor, nor did he forgave him. His actions forfeited his grace. And because he did not forgive his fellow servant; he, himself, did not deserve to be forgiven. This was and this still is the Law Jesus used, and it is the way we earn our salvation. The “heart of grace is forgiveness” and it is a condition, which our Heavenly Father requires from everyone:

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15).

What Law Makes Grace Possible?

It is the Commandment “to love!” Regardless of what and who the person is, with whom I have conduct and dealings with. So, how do I receive such love? Well, it did not drop, all at once, from heaven. I had to determine to fill my heart with “grace” so that I could forgive in order to be myself forgiven. It is my relationship with my fellow human being that determines my standing with God. The Apostle of Love, John Zebedee penned these words for us to follow.

Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that god sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his own Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we know and believe theloveGod has for us. God is love, and he with us who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. In this is love perfected with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because he first loved us. If any one says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should love his brother also (I John 4:7-21). 

What Is The Relationship Between Grace and the Law?

The Commandments of God and Christ keeps me from judging and incriminating myself. The Commandments direct me what I ought to do and avoid what I must not do. The Commandments also hold me accountable and responsible for what I do, and even for what I neglect to do. Grace and the Law are my partners in the Holy Spirit. Grace is the time God grants me and you to return to God; and for us to resume obeying His Laws and His Ordinances in our daily lives. If I do not repent, and if I do not begin to live within the Laws of God, and if I do not obey the Words of Jesus the Christ, then I trample on God’s Grace and make God’s Grace void. Also, when I do not obey the Laws of God! And therefore, I mock God and I deprive myself of my own salvation. Therefore, when I enter the “life of grace,” I also must display “grace” in my conduct and in my deeds. For “grace” to be instrumental, I must become “an agent that dispenses grace.” For in grace, through me, God extends “His Arms of Forgiveness” toward each other (Matthew 6:14-15). 

In the Ten Commandments, which Jesus restored, man has been given an idea what man must do to qualify for the Kingdom of Heaven. And it is not just believing in being righteous, but also in doing what is right that Christ is looking for in all of us (Matthew 5:17-20). So, we must not presume that Paul would have dared to end the “Moral conduct of the Law,” which is essential and which is universal, for all men, to sustain life and their relationship with each other; for we are all children of the Creator God, whether we are saints or sinners. Now, what are we to do with the translator’s rendition of Romans 10:4, “For Christ is the end of the law, that every one who has faith may be justified”? There are three problems which face the idea that “Christ ended God’s Law to give faith a chance.”

First, the Greek word “telos” does not mean the end. “Telos” means the “completion” or “fulfilment” of something that was being temporarily used, until Christ could come and pay the ultimate “Price of Atonement” for man’s sins. The animals, the grains, and the rituals did not appease God.

Second, Jesus specifically came to fulfil God’s Law (plerosai). In fact, the word is to “set free from the Law” (katalusai). However, Christ did not set man free (katalusai) from God’s Law! Rather, Christ binds man closer to God’s Law. Grace does not operate on air — Grace operates on the human response to the “Will of God” (Matthew 7:21-23). It is God’s Law that makes man do what is right and what is just.

Third, Faith, by itself, without a rebirth, and without total transfer of allegiance from the world to Christ will not justify or qualify any one for the “Kingdom of Heaven” (John 3:3-7). To qualify and to remain in the Kingdom of Heaven and in the Church (body) of Christ, man has to partner with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:23).

Now, if Christ has ended anything — then — it was not the Law! The Law demanded that man does what is right. However, the Jewish traditions had replaced the Law of Moses (Matthew 15:1-20). The Jewish elders and Moses, amended God’s Laws to please their people. They allowed men to dismiss their wives and stone women on mere suspicion of infidelity; they did not hold children accountable for caring and honoring their parents, and they did not include outsiders in their “Second Commandment of Love.” On the Sabbath, no one could become ill or obtain help, and no one could eat without washing their hands. Before one entered the home of a Pharisee, feet had to be washed. Obligations and transgressions were remitted with gifts and offerings to the priests. Heavy iniquities were absolved with animal blood and sent into the desert with a goat. An elaborate and costly religious system with facilities, feasts, offerings, and daily sacrifices was designed to keep the Hebrews away from pagan shrines and from their gods. The tribe of Levi and of Moses were chosen to administer and enforce the demands of the system to the letter. All of this, Moses insisted, was from Yahweh and not of his own design. However, Yahweh was and Yahweh is very non-intrusive in what man wills and does! That also is the way the Spirit of God works in my life. God has given me a free hand to do what I want, and that is why not all of my decisions have turned out right. I do reap what I have sowed and so do you. I shall discuss this in another chapter. Paul put it eloquently:

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith (Galatians 6:7-10).

What does Grace Circumvent?

Grace does not replace good deeds because grace, itself, is the heart of good deeds and redemptive works. Grace does not accept nor does Grace cover the Jewish idea, which seeks the “favor of God” by their natural birth, religion, and tradition. In fact, religious practices and traditions restrict the very nature of Grace from functioning effectively. In the Jewish tradition, the priest and the Levite could not serve the victim on the road to Jericho; however, the Samaritan could (Luke 10:20-37). Their mercy did not extend to the outsiders. One morning my sons and I went to a friend’s Church. While the minister served communion, he had to break his vow to include us. I was not allowed to preach in his Church and other Churches in the community. When I retired and joined a Church closeby, I was not trusted with serving communion. In one of my early Churches, a caller on a Sunday morning asked over the phone, “Is God there in your Church?” I think I did invite him to come and see; however, today I would reply, “If you do not bring Him with you, you will not find Him here either.” God is Spirit! Therefore, God does not live in buildings, or in rituals, or even in worship. God lives in the human heart that allows Him to live in him or in her (John 14:23). It is when God’s Spirit joins with mine and your spirits that Grace becomes redemptively active. The Apostle of Grace wrote:

But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, If the Spirit of God really dwells in you. Any one who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness. If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit which dwells in you (Romans 8:9-11). 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patients, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. And those who are in Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passion and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another (Galatians 6:22-25).

All these fruits are deeds and works of Grace fostered and used by Jesus’ followers, and by people like you and I.

All these fruits are deeds and works of Grace fostered and used by Jesus’ followers, and by people like you and I.