Christian Churches of God
The Relationship Between Salvation by Grace and the Law
(Edition 2.0 19941217-20000408)
The paper commences with the biblical position of God as the source of salvation. The position of the law in relation to salvation by grace is discussed. The obligations under the law are discussed and it is explained why Christians keep the law.
Christian Churches of God
PO Box 369, WODEN ACT 2606, AUSTRALIA
(Copyright ã 1994, 2000 Wade Cox)
(Summary by Patti Gambier, Ed. Wade Cox)
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The Relationship Between Salvation by Grace and the Law
The argument that Grace has eliminated the requirement to keep the law is very old. It is based on false assumptions and distortion of Scripture. This paper accompanies the paper on Trinitarianism, which refutes these baseless and distorted claims. The starting point is that God the Father is the source of Salvation (Isa 12:2). God (El Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary 410) is my salvation .... YAH YHVH SHD 3050, 3068......has become salvation.
Christ, under direction from God, was the instrument of our salvation. Grace is undeserved pardon and God gives this pardon to those He calls, and hands to Christ for care and instruction. There is no salvation, except in Christ, who was given by God, so that sin might be forgiven (Acts 4:12).
The gospel is the power of salvation, through Jesus Christ (Rom. 1:14-17). God is worshipped according to the Scriptures. Christ was the intermediary, who gave the law to Moses, and brought salvation, from God. But he was not the One True God, and is not to be worshipped.
God brings us to repentance, which leads to salvation (2Cor. 7:10). All Scripture instructs in righteousness, and is able to instruct for salvation through faith in Christ's sacrifice (2Tim. 3:15,16). Christ was offered as a sacrifice for our sins, and becomes our propitiation, but this does not mean we can go on breaking God's Law, until Christ comes again (Heb. 9:28).
Revelation 22:18,19 says you can’t alter the intention of Scripture. Those who most incur Satan's wrath are those who are called saints and keep the commandments of God (Rev. 12:17, 14:12, 22:14). These are they who have the right to the tree of life - which should be the desired aim of anyone claiming allegiance to God the Father and having faith in the sacrifice of Christ.
In Matthew 5:18,19 and Luke 16:16,17 Christ states that not the smallest part of the law will pass away, until the plan of God is accomplished. Christ taught mankind to keep God's law, as he did.
In John 7:19 Jesus berated the Jews who wanted to kill him for not keeping the Law. Romans 8:7 says the carnal mind is enmity to God. Satan and the Jews were condemned by the obedience of Christ, as are the Christian structures of this world condemned that proclaim the law to have been done away.
Those who teach that will be least in the Kingdom of God - after pagans, heathens, atheists - they will be last. Doesn't this put fear into their hearts, that God has said this is their fate? Apparently not.
The erroneous argument of grace eliminating the law is based on "dead to the law" from Romans 7:4. Christ kept the law in the spirit, as we are admonished to do, and it is impossible to keep a law "spiritually" and not also do it "physically". Christ also kept the law in the flesh, but raised the whole intent of the law to a spiritual plane, one that we must recognise and attain to, as we are led by the Holy Spirit.
The law opens our minds to the knowledge of Good and Evil, and without the Holy Spirit we cannot keep the law (Rom. 7:5-7). The law is holy, just and good (Rom. 7:12) and emanates from the nature of God.
John 14:15 and John 15:10 tell us to keep the commandments and then Christ and God will abide in us.
In Matthew 19:17 Christ tells us to keep the commandments if we would enter Life. Surely that is the object of being a Christian?
So what was nailed to the stake in Colossians 2:14? Those who would eliminate the law, say it was the law that was nailed.
It was the "cheirographon" - the handwriting against us that was nailed there. It was the penalty, the price we had to pay for sinning. Eternal death, the penalty for sin, was nailed there. Christ paid the price, and his death and resurrection opened the way for all to be resurrected, each in his own order (1Cor. 15:22,23).
Matthew 22:36-40 details the two great commandments on which hang all the law and the prophets. The first great commandment is towards the only True God. That is the test of the last days – i.e. the Godhead, and the understanding that there is only ONE True God.
The Churches of mainstream Christianity, which proclaim a three in one God, and Christ as co-equal and co-eternal with God, fail that test.
Romans 7:13 - The law does not cause death, but sin, which is transgression of the law, brings death (1John 3:4).
The argument that the law is not spiritual, and hence not of the New Testament is false (Psa 119:1; Rom 7:22).
Romans 10:4 - for "Christ is the end of the law" is falsely applied by the rebellious ones. The "end" is the aim, the conclusion, the desired objective, being the point, and certainly not the cessation of the law.
Hebrews 8:10-13 - The law is written in the minds and hearts of God's people by the Holy Spirit. It is their responsibility then to live up to the greater expectation, to improve their conduct, their thinking, their way of life. They are judged at a higher level.
Commandment keeping is a prerequisite to the retention of the Holy Spirit (1Jn. 3:24; Acts 5:32).
Titus 2:10-13 shows that "the grace of God" (Jesus Christ) appeared for the salvation of all men, leading us to lead exemplary lives, as we await His appearance, which is our hope.
God is the Saviour of us. He calls, He leads us to repentance, He gives us to Christ (see John 6:44). Christ is the instrument of salvation. His sacrifice covers all points of the sacrificial law, so that there is now no need to kill an animal. That law is suspended now, but will be re-instituted under Christ's rule in the millennium.
Faith in this sacrifice is guarded by God for a salvation to be revealed (1Pet. 1:5). The outcome of faith is Salvation (1Pet. 9:10).
Sin reigned from Adam to Moses (Rom. 5:12-14). Therefore the Law of God was extant from creation. Moses received the written law. All have sinned (Rom. 3:23). Because God has redeemed men from sin, grace is exercised (Rom. 5:12-21). See Romans 8:1 - Those in Christ have no condemnation (Rom. 8:1). We walk according to the Spirit and are directed by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:4-6). So the law cannot be eliminated by grace, if the concept is you can only keep the law with the Holy Spirit. It is by the Holy Spirit we comprehend the extent and intent of the law.
The carnal mind is enmity to God, and does not submit to His law (Rom. 8:7). Therefore anyone teaching that grace eliminates the law, has an unconverted, carnal mindset. We need the Holy Spirit to keep the law in its full intent, and are called the Sons of God, co-heirs with Christ, and share in the resurrection etc. See Rom. 8:11-14, 15, 16; Jn. 1:17; Gal. 2:16, 20,21.
We become partakers of the divine nature (2Pet. 1:4). The law proceeds from the very nature of God. As God does not pass away, neither does His Law. We are obligated to keep it. Man's traditions claim the law and commandments are done away (Mat. 15:2-6; Mk. 7:3-13). We hold to the law and not traditions of men.
The oral law of the Pharisees made the written law of God a yoke and a burden to Judah. Be sure we don't let the yoke and traditions of Gnosticism, in the form of mainstream Christianity govern our lives. This mystery of lawlessness was operating in the church in Paul's time, and in John's (2Thes. 2:77-10; 1Jn. 2:3-5).
The love of the truth is essential to the saving of the elect (2Thes. 2:10).