Last week I started showing you, through scripture that we as New Testament Saints are not under the Law, neither should these two covenants (the Old covenant and the New covenant) be mixed together. Many Christian organizations and denomination today do this. I believe that the Apostle Paul references this concept in the following verse:
15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV)
I believe we as mature ministers need to know how to divide the Word of God. We should know the difference between the Old and New covenants and not try to mix the two together as Saint Paul explained in the Book of Galatians.
This week I will show you why I say the “The Law is for WIMPS.” Why I say that the New Covenant is superior in every way to the Old Covenant of Law. I will show you once again why those who try to mix the two are dealing with some serious spiritual issues.
Since I became a Christian, I have seen that the Message of Grace preached in even the most conservative denominations is a weaker and softer approach to the Law. Somehow these churches believe that the Old Covenant Law is for the John Wayne spiritual types and the New Covenant Grace message is for the Robin Williams spiritual type person. They believe that those who can keep the law are the spiritual army drill sergeants and hard core spirititual types. For everyone else these churches believe that God gave them the “Grace message” because it a let many off the hook and is the wimpy approach to God for those who can not hack it.
Just the other day, I was talking to my wife about how some family members of ours. hates a preacher in Guatemala, who preaches the grace and faith message. They say, “he is of the devil” and that their STRICT legalist denominational church is so superior and never would preach the grace message. Well bad news for them. Number one, they are misguided and two, I will show you by the Word of God how the Gospel of Grace in the New Testament is way more demanding and tougher then any Law message. This is the point to my Part ii message.
JESUS VS RICH YOUNG RULER
Mark 10:17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’”[c]20 And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Here is a teaching about a rich young ruler that has been taken out of context a lot. I want to point out in this article that the rich young man, was very secure in himself, his riches and his spirituality and probably his position in life. He comes to Jesus I believe, in hopes of bolstering his already high opinion of himself. This young man (the law keeper) tells Jesus (messenger of grace), that he has kept all the law from his youth. He was so sure of himself and his righteousness. Jesus out of compassion (grace) shows this man, what he was lacking. Go sell all you have! Jesus is not telling us that we must sell all we have and be poor to be in his kingdom. He was showing this young man, to make a point to him! This young man’s god was money and he was not keeping “the law” as he thought he was. He went away sorrowful. Under the Law, you can get a false sense of security in your religion. This man was full of pride and so was the Pharisees that Jesus had to deal with. Grace 1, Law 0
Jesus (the women caught in adultery) vs the Scribes, Pharisees
John 8: But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.2 Now early[a] in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. 3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught[b] in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded[c] us that such should be stoned.[d] But what do You say?”[e] 6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.[f]7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up[g] and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience,[h] went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her,[i] “Woman, where are those accusers of yours?[j] Has no one condemned you?”11 She said, “No one, Lord. ”And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and[k] sin no more.”
The Pharisee thought once again that they had Jesus in a “catch 22.” They figured that either way Jesus would answer they had him. If Jesus condemned her, they would have pointed out that His grace went only so far and He was just like them. On the other hand, if Jesus lets her go, He would be violating one of God’s own commandments of the Old Testament. That would show He was not from God and was a false teacher. So they finally had Him! I believe at this point they began to realize something about their attacks against Jesus. It seems Jesus always trampled on their traditions and their doctrines. As we read the Bible, to us it looks like Jesus many times breaks the law and violates God’s Word. In fact however, Jesus never violated God’s Word but instead destroyed man made laws. As you study the Bible, you will find that the Pharisees and religious leaders turned God’s 10 Commandments into 613 laws and traditions. God gave only 1o, but they had made tradition after tradition. What God meant for good, the religious leaders turned into a millstone around the neck of the people. The law was burdensome!
I believe when Jesus wrote in the sand, He wrote down the sins of the people. Then when He wrote the second time, I believe Jesus started writing names behind their sins, starting from the oldest to the youngest. They then started running away because Jesus exposed their darkness. They wanted Jesus to condemn the women for her sin, but I believe he was showing them they needed to deal with their own secret sins. All left and fled from the light of God. Jesus then looked around and asked the woman where are the people accusing you? He then, did not condemn her by the law but showed her grace.
A question here. Which is harder? To condemn her to death and get rid of her within 5 minutes or show her grace and offer her a new life with discipleship that will take a life time? That’s the difference between law and grace. It is easy to condemn, but it would take a lifetime of work to harvest a beautiful repentant life as Jesus did here. This story did not end here, but began with her as one of Jesus’ true followers. Grace 2 Law 0
Tax collector (sinner) vs Pharisee (law keeper)
Luke 18 9 Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
This round finds Jesus telling a parable of a tax collector, one of Israel’s most hated. Tax collectors were Jews but they worked for Rome. They habitually collected and made people pay more than was owed to cover their greed. So needless to say, they were hated. On the other end we have Israel’s so called finest. The highest in their religious order. The Pharisees, Scribes (lawyers), and Sadducees. In todays world we would consider them like the “Cardinals” who serve the Catholic Church in Rome. These men esteem the highest religious positions. But Jesus had a different opinion of these men. You see, those who hold tightly to the Law build it on self-righteousness and pride. They believe they are holding to the law but just as in the case of the young rich ruler in Chapter 18 in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus breaks through their deception and shows them the truth. No man is justified by the Law. No matter how good you are, no one can keep the Law. The bible makes this clear. Roman 3:23 All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. The Pharisee thought he was keeping the law and was righteous, but it was the tax collector who knew his place before God. Jesus makes it clear that the Tax Collector went home justified before the throne of God, while the Pharisee went home the same way he came to the temple, lost, full of pride and deceived in believing he was right before God. Grace 3 Law 0
Deceived and Full of Pride
I have ended with this story because it leads back to my original premise. People who live a legalistic life based on the Law believe 100% that they are “Gods best,” just like the Pharisee in this parable. He read out loud his own list of good deeds. He had no need of a Savior to deliver him because he was his own deliverer. But we read in Matthew 23: 1-18 that Jesus had finally had it with the Israel’s religious system and false teachers of His day by sharing the woes of the Scribes and Pharisees. I believe Jesus had had it with them. He showed them time and time again through Love and by the Word and by His deeds and His miracles that He was the Son of God. But nothing, not even raising back to life a man that had been dead for three days could convince them. This is how legalism works, it hardens the heart with deception and pride.
The Law is for Wimps II Conclusion
You might still be asking how is Grace tougher than the Law? No one can keep the law! I will show you a few example of what I mean, when I say there is no such thing as cheap grace and living under grace is a easy way out. I believe living under grace is more way more tougher then the Law. Heres is my examples.
How many laws and traditions are there under the Law? According to one source there are 613 laws and traditions.
Now how many commands are there living under Grace? I believe most will say two. Love thy God with all your heart, soul and mind and Love your neighbor as yourself. Those two commandments fulfill the Law. If you love someone you will not steal, lie, commit sexual sin or covet their possessions from them.
But under Grace the answer is an infinite number. Let me explain. Under grace we live by the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit directs every believer and guides him with God’s will and plan for their life. The Holy Spirit guides you in your life decisions, for example, who you should marry, where you should work, if you should buy that house or just rent etc. etc.
Remember Jesus is not only Savior of our life but our Lord and King. So when the Holy Spirit is at work in us, He is directing us, that is all of us who believe. So think of how many times the Holy Spirit is guiding all of us believers in the world with all of our decisions that need to be made on a daily basis. That number boggles the mind. This is truly a KING in charge of His Kingdom. How different our world would look if we all would really live in the spirit and obey His Word.
Understand this, when you read the New Testament, especially the from the book of Acts to Revelation. You are reading a lot of principles set down by God for His New Testament Church and how we who live under the Kingdom and the Lordship of Jesus Christ should be conducting our lives. For example marriage. God shows us that under grace a women is not a servant to her husband but should live in submission to her husband. On the other hand, men are not to be commanding submission and servitude but “loving his wife as Christ loves his church. This means God never forces anyone at any time to do anything. God never forces himself or His Lordship over anyone. We live under freewill. Give me one Law that can cover the depth of this subject? This is one example of living under grace. It takes the Spirit of God and a lifetime of walking with the Lord to begin to understand the love the Lord has for us. God gave us this principles to state who ever lives under my way shall prosperous in all their ways. God bless. Next week Part III
Written by Dennis Stauffer
Edited by Gary Green (Omega House)
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