Grace, Law, Truth, Faith, Works, and Saved
"Mark 16:15 preach the gospel to every creature. Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded: Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega,... 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, ... have right to the tree of life, and... enter ... the city."
I am a retired pastor of
the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.
Grace, Law, Truth, Faith, Works, and Saved
The Bible is full of truth. Be specific, let us say that Jesus says that he is the truth. Be more specific, what Jesus Christ tells us about eternal life is the truth. If we do what he tells us to do, we will inherit eternal life, it is the truth that pertained to us. So, let us do what he commands. The commandments of God are spiritual. But we are of the flesh. The flesh do not have the power to fulfill the commandments of God. So, God gives us his power to us, in case we strive to do what he tells us to do, so that we may be able to do the commandments (truth) of God.
John 1:17 says: "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." Moses gave the Ten Commandments and Laws. Jesus Christ gives grace and truth. We saw what grace is. But, what is truth? Psalm 119:142 says: "thy law is the truth." Referring to Jesus Christ, we see in Malachi 2:6 says: "The law of truth was in his mouth,." Romans 2:20 says: "... the truth in the law." So, the truth is in the law that is in the mouth of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ has revised the ten commandments and we have them as the commandments of Jesus Christ, and this is the "Truth." Jesus Christ gives grace with truth and they are one package. You may refer this link for: "What grace is."
'Truth' is superior to the old laws and commandments, as the blood of Jesus is superior to the blood of sheep and goats. John 8:31 says: "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32) And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Matthew 13:11 says: "He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given." So, Jesus Christ revealed the truth only to his disciples. Disciples are those who obey their master. So, Jesus Christ gives "grace and truth" to those who obey him. So, obey Jesus Christ, receive grace, and be saved
What is the truth that we have received from Jesus Christ? He has upgraded or enlightened the old laws and given them to us as his truth (it is the law of the spirit). Here are some examples of his commandments. Matthew 5 says: "20) For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. 21) Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22) But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: 27) Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28) But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 29) And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell." Jesus Christ requires us to obey more than the Old Testament Laws, but he also provides the means for us to do what he requires us to do. As he gives his commandments, he gives us grace, and grace is his power that rests upon us with his presence rules us. This grace is given to enable us to obey his truth. Let me give an example: An area the size of a tennis court is filled with trash. Your boss asked you to move this trash 100 yards away to the dump. You have a wheel barrel and a shovel. While you’re figuring out where to begin, the big boss walks up to you and takes you to another area the size of a soccer field filled with trash. He asks you to move it 1 mile to the dump. You are shocked and it is impossible to do. Then he gives you keys to a bulldozer, a big dump truck, and a bobcat jeep. Now, you are relieved and joyful since the job can be done very easily, even though the garbage to be moved is twenty times more than the first. What is the difference? It is the power equipments. This is the grace that God gives. We cannot overcome sins on our own. But with the grace of God, which is the very power of Jesus Christ that rests upon us, we can overcome all sins.
The word became flesh. John 1:14 says: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…" As a man, Jesus became grace and taught the word to men. Titus 2 says: "11) For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12) Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world…." Jesus prayed that God would sanctify people by the word, which is the truth. John 17:17 says: "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."
We must not stray away from the truth of the wholesome words of the Bible. That is, the truth must be understood from the perspective of the entirety of the Bible. The Bible does not, within itself, present contradictory truths. A doctrine that contradicts other verses in the Bible is a false doctrine, since it is not consistent with the wholesome words of God. Each verse from the word of God must be understood in context; God placed each verse in its unique location for this specific reason. We must be careful to take from each verse only the meaning which God has intended for that verse. It is deceitful to pick up random verses with an intent to interpret them as a lawyer, who twists truth to favor his clients. 1 Timothy 6 says: "3) If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness 4) He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5) Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself." Any teacher of the word of God whose teachings are not consistent with these three factors are false teacher. The three factors are: 1) consent not to wholesome words, 2) the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and 3) the doctrine which is according to godliness. According to the word of God, we must reject the preachers, who will not comply with these three conditions.
3. 'Commandments of Christ' replaces 'Laws of Moses'
John 1:12 says: "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:" The power to become the sons of God is not visible since it is spiritual and supernatural. God's grace is given to enable us to obey the truth, and the truth is the commandments of Jesus Christ. John 17:2 says: "As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him." Jesus Christ will give this grace, and it will lead to eternal life. Romans 8 says: "1) There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (i.e., grace and truth) hath made me free from the law of sin and death (i.e., ten commandments and laws of Moses)." Here, we see that the law of the Spirit supersedes the law of sin and death. We can obey the 'law of the Spirit' only by the grace of God that is spiritual.
Acts 15:1-35 and several other scripture verses say that the laws of the Old Testament, which include ten commandments, should not be imposed on New Testament believers, including converted Jews. The commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ will take its place. Please read Acts 15:1-35 as you find time. Here are a few verses address this issue: Acts 15 says: "5) But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. 6) And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. ... 10) Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11) But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. .. 19) Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: 35) Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also." Matthew 28 says: "18)Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." So, New Testament believers are under the commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ. Galatians 2:19 says: "For I through the law (of Jesus Christ) am dead to the law (of Moses), that I might live unto God." So, through the law of Jesus Christ, we are dead to the Old Testament laws, in order to live unto Jesus Christ. Galatians 3 says: "23) But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24) Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25) But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster." We were under the Old Testament laws and commandments as we are under a school teacher, in order to bring us to the commandments of Jesus Christ, which is of faith (doctoral research). When we are under the commandments of Jesus Christ, (which is the Law of the Spirit), we are no longer under the Old Testament laws and commandments (which was the school teacher). Romans 7:6 says: "But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. 7) What shall we say then? is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law:" Are the Old Testament laws and commandments sin? No. Yet, we are delivered from the Old Testament laws and commandments, to serve with grace, by the power of God, in newness of spirit. We are freed from the oldness of the letter of the laws, to obey the commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ. The law of the Spirit is harder, but if have grace that is of the Spirit, we will do it naturally and it will be easier.
Further, grace is a gift of God and we receive it through faith. Ephesians 2:8 says: "For by grace are ye saved through faith;" Romans 5:2 says: "By whom also we have access by faith into this grace." We prove our faith in God by doing what God wants us to do. James 2 says: "20) But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21) Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22) Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23) And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24) Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25) Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26) For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." Here, the example of faith is that Abraham obeyed God by laying Isaac on the alter, which is a work of obedience. If he has not done this, his faith would have been a dead faith. So, faith proven by works (i.e., obeying God), is the basic requirement to receive grace. Romans 1:5 says: "By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith …." Here also we see that obedience to faith in God is the prerequisite for grace. Please refer these links for study: "Faith", "Saved".
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God Bless You