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https://plus.google.com/106371822244206552704 Pamela Gunn : Bufflehead, female (Brucephala albeola) Washington in March Taken around Tokeland near Westport, Washington...
Bufflehead, female (Brucephala albeola) Washington in March
Taken around Tokeland near Westport, Washington in March.
Bufflehead, female (Brucephala albeola) Washington in March
Taken around Tokeland near Westport, Washington in March.
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https://plus.google.com/111465211554194509764 Khan Zina :

The Seville Apartments in Logan Circle, Washington DC
The Seville Apartments offers large Studio and 1 bedroom apartments in the Logan Circle steps from downtown Washington, DC.
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https://plus.google.com/113025074336841467876 PhillyVoice.com : Guarding against deadly blows to the chest in kids' sports - WASHINGTON — A blow to the chest sometimes...
Guarding against deadly blows to the chest in kids' sports - WASHINGTON — A blow to the chest sometimes knocks the heart out of rhythm, and can kill. Fortunately it's rare. But most victims are otherwise healthy kid athletes. And survival hinges on fast use of heart-zapping defibrillators that not every athletic league or school keeps near the playing fields.
Guarding against deadly blows to the chest in kids' sports
WASHINGTON — A blow to the chest sometimes knocks the heart out of rhythm, and can kill. Fortunately it's rare. But most victims are otherwise healthy kid athletes. And survival hinges on fast use of heart-zapping defibrillators that not every athletic league or school keeps near the playing fields.
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https://plus.google.com/107828245453833141611 CrownHeights.com : Soviet Jewish underground rabbi Hillel Zaltzman made history by being honored at the US Senate in Washington...
Soviet Jewish underground rabbi Hillel Zaltzman made history by being honored at the US Senate in Washington, D.C. A special award was presented to him by Senator Ben Cardin (D-Maryland), who said that Rabbi Zaltzman is an inspiration to all. Samarkand…
US SEnate Honors Rabbi Hillel Zaltzman – CrownHeights.com

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https://plus.google.com/104088775913197830050 The Parker Property Team & Real Estate Investment Group : FOR RENT WONDERFUL 3 LEVEL A-FRAME HOME IN WASHINGTON, DC 83 O ST NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20001 Tenant...

FOR RENT

WONDERFUL 3 LEVEL A-FRAME HOME IN WASHINGTON, DC

83 O ST NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20001

Tenant Wanted. Use a realtor to help you seal the deal on this beauty.

Renovated end-unit Townhouse. This is lovely 3 level house 2 bedrooms 2 1/2 bathrooms town home with a loft (3rd bedroom). The top floor loft has it's own private bathroom with Jacuzzi. Hardwood floors through the property, open floor plan, a side patio. plenty of natural light. Open Kitchen with Granite counters & Stainless steel appliances, Washer & Dryer included and more.

Call Today!!!
Shaunte Parker
(202)670-6115

Visit us online for more information
visit:www.TheParkerPropertyTeam.com

‪#‎parkerpropertyteam‬ ‪#‎exit‬ ‪#‎isellDC‬ ‪#‎isellUpperMarlboro ‬‪#‎UpperMarlboro‬ #DC 
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https://plus.google.com/110354846669658054465 The Parker Property Team : FOR RENT WONDERFUL 3 LEVEL A-FRAME HOME IN WASHINGTON, DC 83 O ST NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20001 Tenant...

FOR RENT

WONDERFUL 3 LEVEL A-FRAME HOME IN WASHINGTON, DC

83 O ST NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20001

Tenant Wanted. Use a realtor to help you seal the deal on this beauty.

Renovated end-unit Townhouse. This is lovely 3 level house 2 bedrooms 2 1/2 bathrooms town home with a loft (3rd bedroom). The top floor loft has it's own private bathroom with Jacuzzi. Hardwood floors through the property, open floor plan, a side patio. plenty of natural light. Open Kitchen with Granite counters & Stainless steel appliances, Washer & Dryer included and more.

Call Today!!!
Shaunte Parker
(202)670-6115

Visit us online for more information
visit:www.TheParkerPropertyTeam.com

‪#‎parkerpropertyteam‬ ‪#‎exit‬ ‪#‎isellDC‬ ‪#‎isellUpperMarlboro ‬‪#‎UpperMarlboro‬ #DC 
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https://plus.google.com/103325366612293792435 Children's Home Society of Washington : We are closed today for #MemorialDay in honor of those who died while serving in our country's armed...
We are closed today for #MemorialDay in honor of those who died while serving in our country's armed forces.
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https://plus.google.com/117156621422393632238 Silicon Vikings : U.S.-#Nordic Leaders’ Summit Joint statement for promotion of innovation - @innorhouse is mentioned ...
U.S.-#Nordic Leaders’ Summit Joint statement for promotion of innovation - @innorhouse is mentioned http://bit.ly/1RyXWGe #NordicMade
Joint statement at the U.S.-Nordic Leaders’ Summit in Washington D.C. on 13 May 2016 - Suomen tasavallan presidentti
Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the United States reaffirm our deep partnership based on shared fundamental values.
2 minutes ago - Via - View -
https://plus.google.com/109498778202196694979 Shaunte Parker : FOR RENT WONDERFUL 3 LEVEL A-FRAME HOME IN WASHINGTON, DC 83 O ST NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20001 Tenant...

FOR RENT

WONDERFUL 3 LEVEL A-FRAME HOME IN WASHINGTON, DC

83 O ST NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20001

Tenant Wanted. Use a realtor to help you seal the deal on this beauty.

Renovated end-unit Townhouse. This is lovely 3 level house 2 bedrooms 2 1/2 bathrooms town home with a loft (3rd bedroom). The top floor loft has it's own private bathroom with Jacuzzi. Hardwood floors through the property, open floor plan, a side patio. plenty of natural light. Open Kitchen with Granite counters & Stainless steel appliances, Washer & Dryer included and more.

Call Today!!!
Shaunte Parker
(202)670-6115

Visit us online for more information
visit:www.TheParkerPropertyTeam.com

‪#‎parkerpropertyteam‬ ‪#‎exit‬ ‪#‎isellDC‬ ‪#‎isellUpperMarlboro ‬‪#‎UpperMarlboro‬ #DC 
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https://plus.google.com/107145689023320095268 Brian Ayres : Does God's Grace Blot Out the Law? Amazing Facts: The devil, through sin, has just about wrecked this...
Does God's Grace Blot Out
the Law?

Amazing Facts:
The devil, through sin, has just about wrecked this
world of ours. We live in an age of rebellion against
all restraint and law. Our nation stands aghast at
the big-city gang defiance of social order and property rights, including the right to live. Murder, robbery, and personal assaults have become the trademark of both urban and suburban 20th- century life.

Each day as we read the newspaper it seems that
the quality of life has edged downward a little bit
further. At times we are tempted to believe that
things can get no worse, and that conditions
have hit rock bottom. Yet, the next day, even
more violent, bizarre crimes are reported, and we
simply shake our heads in disbelief. It is difficult
to comprehend how a nation like America with its
rich Christian heritage could ever depart so far
from its founding principles. Even the non-
Christian countries are not plagued with as much
crime and overall violence as this so-called
Christian nation. More crime is reported in
Washington, D.C., in 24 hours than Moscow
reports in a full year. No doubt the reporting
methods are not the same, but it still presents an
alarming picture.
:
The problem becomes more serious when we
realize that lawlessness also reaches into the
area of religion and affects millions who would
never think of killing or raping. It is probable that
the great majority of church members in America
today carry few convictions against breaking at
least one of the Ten Commandments. A very
insidious doctrine has been developed in both
Catholic and Protestant theology, which has
tended to minimize the authority of God’s great
moral law. It has led many to look lightly upon
transgression and has made sin to appear
unobjectionable. In fact, sin has lost its horror for
multitudes and has become an acceptable mode
of life for both youth and adults. Witness the
current trends in lifestyle that support this view.
:
How many young men and women are living
together without benefit of marriage! Yet they do
not believe such living arrangements should be
designated as sin. A large portion of shoplifters
are professing Christians, and most of those who
belong to churches believe that there is no sin
whatsoever involved in violating the seventh-day
Sabbath of the fourth commandment.
:
How can we explain this paradoxical situation
among those who profess such high regard for
the Bible, and such love for Christ? This question
becomes more significant when we consider the
historical position of Christianity toward the Ten-
Commandment law. Almost all of the great
denominations have officially placed themselves
on record as supporting the authority of that law.
Yet very subtle errors of interpretation have crept
into the modern church, leading to the present
state of confused loyalty toward the Ten
Commandments. How earnestly we need to look
at that law and study its relation to God’s grace
and to salvation itself. Itis so easy to accept the
popular clichés concerning law and grace without
searching out the biblical facts by which we will
finally be judged. We must find authoritative
scriptural answers to questions like these: In
what sense are Christians free from the law?
What does it mean to be under the law? Does
God’s grace nullify the Ten Commandments? Is a
Christian justified in breaking any of the Ten
Commandments because he is under grace?
These are the questions we shall address
ourselves to in this important study.
l
l
CONDEMNED TO DIE:
Let us push aside the rubbish of confusion that
has obscured the truth about how men are saved.
Multitudes have heard emotional discourses on
sin and salvation, but they still do not understand
the logic and reason that require a blood
sacrifice.
:
Can you imagine the horror of standing before a
judge and hearing the sentence of death
pronounced against you? Probably not. But you
have felt the driving guilt and fear when God’s
Word stabs you with this sentence: “The wages
of sin is death” ( Romans 6:23 ). Why fear and
guilt? Because “all have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God” ( Romans 3:23 ).
:
The words are there and the meaning cannot be
mistaken. The word “all” might just as well be
spelled John Smith or Mary Jones or whatever
your name happens to be. The shocking fact is
that you are under the sentence of death! You
have been found guilty before the law, and there
is no court of appeal in the world that can reverse
the sentence and find you not guilty. The fact is
that you are guilty, just as guilty as sin.
According to 1 John 3:4 , “sin is the transgression
of the law,” and you must plead guilty to
breaking the law. Whose law did you break? Paul
answers quickly, “I had not known sin, but by the
law: for I had not known lust, except the law had
said, Thou shalt not covet” (Ro-mans 7:7). There
it is! The great Ten-Commandment law is the
one that was broken, and it demands death for
the transgressor.
:
In desperation the sinner searches for a way to
be justified in the sight of that broken law. How
can the sentence of death be turned aside? Can
man atone for his sins by obeying the
commandments of God for the rest of his life?
Back comes the answer in language that no one
can misinterpret: “Therefore by the deeds of the
law there shall no flesh be justified in his
sight” ( Romans 3:20 ).
:
Listen; there is a reason why works will not
justify a soul. If a man is found guilty of stealing
and is sentenced to ten years in jail, he may
indeed justify himself by works. By serving the
time of his sentence, the man may satisfy the
claims of the law. He is considered perfectly
justified and innocent because he has worked out
his deliverance by fulfilling the sentence. In the
same manner, a murderer may be justified by
works if he serves the fifty years of his sentence.
But suppose the sentence is death instead of fifty
years? Can the prisoner then justify himself by
works? Never! Even if he should work for one
hundred years at hard labor, the law would still
demanddeath. The truth is that “without shedding
of blood is no remission. … So Christ was once
offered to bear the sins of many” ( Hebrews
9:22–28 ).
:
This is why works can never save the sinner. The
penalty for sin is not ten years in prison or fifty
years at hard labor. The sentence is death, and
the law cannot be satisfied except by the
shedding of blood. That unchangeable law with
its unrelenting death sentence could no more be
removed than the throne of God could be toppled.
The guilt of the past cannot be erased by
resolutions of good behavior in the future. The
sinner finally is forced to confess that he owes
something that he cannot pay. The law demands
death and he cannot satisfy it without forfeiting
his own life for eternity.
l
l
THE LAW STILL BINDING:
Now we are brought to the question that has
created confusion for multitudes of Christians: If
the works of the law cannot save a person, is it
therefore necessary to keep the law? Apparently
this was a burning issue in the early church,
because Paul asked the same question in
Romans 6:1 . “Shall we continue in sin, that grace
may abound?” In other words, does grace give us
a license to disobey the law of God? His answer
is: “God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to
sin, live any longer therein?” (verse 2).
:
How interesting it is that Christians in this age of
relativism can invent their own definitions that
condone lawbreaking. The Bible says sin is
violating the Ten Commandments—the law which
has been described as irrelevant and old-
fashioned by many modern theologians. Don’t be
deceived. Every one of those great moral precepts
is just as timely and needful today as they were
when God wrote them on the imperishable tables
of stone. And nothing has ever happened to make
them less binding than they were when God gave
them. In fact, we are going to discover that
Jesus came to magnify the law and to open up
its spiritual application, making it more
comprehensive than the legalistic Pharisees ever
imagined. Under the distilling influence of Christ’s
perfect life of obedience, we can see the spiritual
details of law-keeping which are neither
recognized nor made possible apart from Him.
l
l
GOD'S LAW-A MIRROR:
At this point we must be very careful to
designate also what the law cannot do. Even
though it points out sin, it has no power to save
from sin. There is no justifying, cleansing grace in
it. All the works of all the laws would not be
sufficient to save a single soul. Why? For the
simple reason that we are saved by grace
through faith, as a free gift. “Therefore by the
deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified
in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of
sin” ( Romans 3:20 ).
:
Do not stumble over this crucial point. We cannot
earn forgiveness by working hard to obey. No
sinner can gain favor and acceptance with God
because he keeps the law. The law was not
made for the purpose of saving or justifying. It
was made to show us our need of cleansing and
to point us to the great source of cleansing,
Jesus Christ, our Lord. The Bible speaks of the
law as a mirror to show us what kind of persons
we really are. “For if any be a hearer of the word,
and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding
his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth
himself, and goeth his way, and straightway
forgetteth what manner of man he was. But
whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and
continueth therein, he being not a forgetful
hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be
blessed in his deed” ( James 1:23–25 ).
:
It is obvious to all that a mirror cannot remove a
spot from the face. Looking into the mirror all
day, and even rubbing it over the face, will not
provide any cleansing. Its work is to reveal the
spot and to point the dirty one to the sink for
actual cleansing. The law, in like manner, can
only condemn the sinner by giving him knowledge
of his condition and then pointing him to the
cross for true cleansing. “For by grace are ye
saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it
is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man
should boast” ( Ephesians 2:8 , 9). Paul further
emphasizes this point in Galatians 2:16 :
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works
of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ … for
by the works of the law shall no flesh be
justified.”
:
Right here we must consider one of the most
fallacious propositions ever set forth relating to
the law. Countless sincere Christians have
accepted the idea that the Old Testament
encompasses the dispensation of works and that
the New Testament provides for a dispensation of
grace. Under this garbled plan people were saved
by works in the Old Testament and by grace in
the New Testament. This is simply not true. The
Bible holds forth only one beautiful, perfect plan
for anybody to be saved, and that is by grace
through faith. Heaven will not be divided between
those who got there by works and those who got
there by faith. Every single soul among the
redeemed will be a sinner saved by grace.
:
Those who entered into salvation in the Old
Testament were those who trusted the merits of
the blood of Jesus Christ, and they demonstrated
their faith by bringing a lamb and slaying it. They
looked forward in faith to the atoning death of
Jesus. We look back in faith to the same death
and are saved in exactly the same way. Be very
certain that the entire redeemed host throughout
eternity will be singing the same song of
deliverance, exalting the Lamb slain from the
foundations of the world.
l
l
A "NEW" LAW OF CHRIST:
Some try to dispose of the Ten Commandments
on the basis of the “new” commandments of love
that Christ introduced. It is certainly true that
Jesus laid down two great laws of love as a
summary of all the law, but did He give the idea
that these were new in point of time? The fact is
that He was quoting directly from the Old
Testament when He gave those
newcommandments. “And thou shalt love the
Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy
soul, and with all thy might” ( Deuteronomy 6:5 ).
“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as
thyself” ( Leviticus 19:18 ). Certainly, those
penetrating spiritual principles had been forgotten
by the legalists of Christ’s day, and they were
new to them in relation to their life and practice.
But they were not intended by Jesus to take the
place of the Ten Commandments.
:
When the lawyer asked Jesus which was the
greatest commandment in the law, he received
the answer: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with
all thy mind. This is the first and great
commandment. And the second is like unto it,
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On
these two commandments hang all the law and
the prophets” ( Matthew 22:37–40 ).
:
Notice that these two love commandments
simply summed up “all the law and the
prophets.” They all hang upon these two
principles of love. Christ was saying that love is
the fulfilling of the law just as Paul repeated it
later in Romans 13:10 . If one loves Christ
supremely with heart, soul, and mind, he will
obey the first four commandments that have to
do with our duty to God. He will not take God’s
name in vain, worship other gods, etc. If one
loves his neighbor as himself, he will obey the
last six commandments that relate to our duty to
our fellow men. He will not be able to steal from
his neighbor, lie about him, etc. Love will lead to
obeying or fulfilling all the law.
l
l
NOT UNDER THE LAW:
Often we hear this argument in an effort to
belittle the law of God: “Well, since we are not
under the law but under grace, we do not need to
keep the Ten Commandments any longer.” Is this
a valid point? The Bible certainly does say that
we are not under the law, but does that imply
that we are free from the obligation to obey it?
The text is found in Romans 6:14 , 15. “For sin
shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not
under the law, but under grace. What then? shall
we sin, because we are not under the law, but
under grace? God forbid.”
:
How easily we could prevent confusion if we
accepted exactly what the Bible says. Paul gives
his own explanation of his statement. After
stating that we are not under the law but under
grace, he asks, “What then?” This simply means,
“How are we to understand this?” Then notice his
answer. In anticipation that some will construe
his words to mean that you can break the law
because you are under grace, he says, “Shall we
sin (break the law) because we are not under the
law but under grace? God forbid.” In the
strongest possible language Paul states that
being under grace does not give a license to
break the law. Yet this is exactly what millions
believe today, and they totally ignore Paul’s
specific warning.
:
If being under grace does not exempt us from
keeping the law, then what does Paul mean by
saying that Christians are not under the law? He
gives that answer in Romans 3:19 . “Now we
know that what things soever the law saith, it
saith to them who are under the law: that every
mouth may be stopped, and all the world may
become guilty before God.” Here Paul equates
being under the law with “being guilty before
God.” In other words, those who are under the
law are guilty of breaking it and are under the
condemnation of it. This is why Christians are
not under it. They are not breaking it—not guilty
and condemned by it. Therefore, they are not
under it, but are under the power of grace
instead. Later in his argument, Paul points out
that the power of grace is greater than the power
of sin. This is why he states so emphatically,
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye
are not under the law, but under grace.” Grace
overrules the authority of sin, giving power to
obey God’s law. This is the effective reason that
we are not under the law’s guilt and
condemnation and also why Paul states that we
will not continue to sin.
:
Suppose a murderer has been sentenced to death
in the electric chair. Waiting for the execution the
man would truly be under the law in every sense
of the word—under the guilt, under the
condemnation, under the sentence of death, etc.
Just before the execution date the governor
reviews the condemned man’s case and decides
to pardon him. In the light of extenuating
circumstances the governor exercises his
prerogative and sends a full pardon to the
prisoner. Now he is no longer under the law but
under grace. The law no longer condemns him.
He is considered totally justified as far as the
charges of the law are concerned. He is free to
walk out of the prison and no policeman can lay
hands upon him. But now that he is under grace
and no longer under the law, can we say that he
is free to break the law? Indeed not! In fact, that
pardoned man will be doubly obligated to obey
the law because he has found grace from the
governor. In gratitude and love he will be very
careful to honor the law of that state which
granted him grace. Is that what the Bible says
about pardoned sinners? “Do we then make void
the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we
establish the law” ( Romans 3:31 ). Here is the
most explicit answer to the entire problem. Paul
asks if the law is nullified for us just because we
have had faith in Christ’s saving grace. His
answer is that the law is established and
reinforced in the life of a grace-saved Christian.
:
The truth of this is so simple and obvious that it
should require no repetition, but the devious
reasoning of those who try to avoid obedience
makes it necessary to press this point a bit
further. Have you ever been stopped by a
policeman for exceeding the speed limit? It is an
embarrassing experience, especially if you know
you are guilty. But suppose you really were
hurrying to meet a valid emergency, and you pour
out your convincing explanation to the police-
man as he writes your ticket. Slowly he folds the
ticket and tears it up. Then he says, “All right,
I’m going to pardon you this time, but …” Now
what do you think he means by that word “but”?
Surely he means, “but I don’t want to ever catch
you speeding again.” Does this pardon (grace)
open the way for you to disobey the law? On the
contrary, it adds compelling urgency to your
decision not to disobey the law again. Why, then,
should any true Christian try to rationalize his
way out of obeying the law of God? “If ye love
me,” Jesus said, “keep my
commandments” ( John 14:15 ).
l
l
OBEDIENCE-THE TEST OF LOVE:
Someone may bring up the objection that after
the law has accomplished its purpose of pointing
the sinner to Christ for cleansing, it will no longer
be needed in the experience of the believer. Is
that true? No, indeed. The Christian will always
need the watchdog of the law to reveal any
deviation from the true path and to point him
back to the cleansing cross of Jesus. There will
never be a time when that mirror of correction
will not be needed in the progressive growth
experience of the Christian.
:
Law and grace do not work in competition with
each other but in perfect cooperation. The law
points out sin, and grace saves from sin. The law
is the will of God, and grace is the power to do
the will of God. We do not obey the law in order
to be saved but because we are saved. A
beautiful text which combines the two in their
true relationship is Revelation 14:12 . “Here is the
patience of the saints: here are they that keep the
commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
What a perfect description of faith and works!
And the combination is found in those who are
“saints.”
:
The works of obedience are the real test of love.
This is why they are so necessary in the
experience of a true believer. “Faith without
works is dead” ( James 2:20 ). No man ever won
a fair maiden’s heart by words alone. Had there
been no flowers, no acts of devotion, no gifts of
love, most men would still be searching for a
companion. Jesus said, “Not every one that saith
unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom
of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my
Father which is in heaven” ( Matthew 7:21 ).
:
Words and profession are not enough. The true
evidence is obedience. Today’s bumper stickers
reflect a shallow concept of love. They say,
“Smile if you love Jesus,” “Honk if you love
Jesus”; but what did the Master Himself say? He
said, “If ye love me, keep my
commandments” ( John 14:15 ). And that is
exactly what most people don’t want to do. If
love makes no demands beyond a smile or wave,
then it is welcome; but if the lifestyle must be
disturbed, the majority will reject it. Unfortunately,
most people today are not looking for truth. They
are looking for a smooth, easy, comfortable
religion that will allow them to live the way they
please and still give assurance of salvation. There
is indeed no true religion that can do that for
them.
:
One of the strongest texts in the Bible on this
subject is found in 1 John 2:4 . “He that saith, I
know him, and keepeth not his commandments,
is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” John could
write that with such assurance because it is one
of the most deeply established truths in the Bible.
Jesus spoke of those who said, “Lord, Lord,” but
did not do the will of the Father. Then He
described many who would seek entrance to the
kingdom claiming to be workers of miracles in the
name of Christ. But He would sorrowfully have to
say, “I never knew you: depart from
me” ( Matthew 7:21–23 ). You see, to know Christ
is to love Him, and to love Him is to obey Him.
The valid assumption of the Bible writers is very
clear and simple: If one is not obeying Christ, he
does not love Christ. And if he doesn’t love the
Master, then he doesn’t know Him. John assured
us, “And this is life eternal, that they might know
thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom
thou hast sent” ( John 17:3 ). Thus, we can see
how knowing and loving and obeying are all tied
closely together and are absolutely inseparable in
the life of God’s faithful people. The beloved John
summed it up in these words: “For this is the
love of God, that we keep his commandments:
and his commandments are not grievous” ( 1
John 5:3 ).
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IS IT POSSIBLE TO OBEY THE LAW?
Countless Christians have been taught that since
the law is spiritual and we are carnal, no human
being will ever be able in this life to meet the
requirements of the perfect law. Is this true? Has
it been given by God as a great idealistic,
impossible goal toward which converted souls
should struggle but never expect to attain? Is
there some hidden reservation or secret meaning
in the many commands to obey the ten great
rules God wrote on stone? Did God mean what
He said and say what He meant?
:
Many believe that only Christ could have obeyed
that law and only because He had special powers
that have not been made available to us.
Certainly it is true that Jesus is the only One
who lived without committing a single act of
disobedience. His reason for living that perfect,
victorious life is laid out in Romans 8:3 , 4 : “For
what the law could not do, in that it was weak
through the flesh, God sending his own Son in
the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin,
condemned sin in the flesh: That the
righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us,
who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.”
:
Do not miss the point that Jesus came to
condemn sin by His perfect life in the flesh in
order that “the righteousness of the law” might
be fulfilled in us. What is that righteousness? The
Greek word dikaima is used here, which means,
literally, “the just requirement” of the law. This
can only mean that Christ won His perfect
victory in order to make the same victory
available to us. Having conquered the devil,
showing that in the flesh the law can be obeyed,
Christ now offers to come into our hearts and
share the victory with us. Only by His strength
and indwelling power can the requirements of the
law be fulfilled by anyone. Paul said, “I can do all
things through Christ which strengtheneth
me” ( Philippians 4:13 ).
:
Not one soul can ever keep one of those Ten
Commandments in human power alone, but all of
them may be kept through the enabling strength
of Jesus. He imputes His righteousness for
cleansing and imparts His righteousness for
victorious living. Christ came in a body of flesh
like our own and depended wholly upon His
Father in living His life to demonstrate the kind of
victory which is possible for every soul who will
likewise draw upon the Father’s grace.
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JUDGED BY THE LAW:
Now, a final question about the subject of the
law: How many of the Ten Commandments does
one have to break in order to be guilty of sin?
James says, “For whosoever shall keep the whole
law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of
all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery,
said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no
adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a
transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do,
as they that shall be judged by the law of
liberty” ( James 2:10–12 ).
:
Every individual will be judged at last by the
mighty moral code of God’s law. To break one is
to be guilty of sin. The Bible indicates that the
Ten Commandments are like a chain with ten
links. When one link is broken, the chain is
broken. So it is with the law. Those who stand in
the judgment will have to meet the acid test of
the Ten Commandments. If a practicing thief
should seek entrance into the kingdom, he would
be rejected. This is why Paul says thieves will
not inherit the heavenly city. Furthermore, the
Bible specifically declares that liars, adulterers,
idolaters, and covetous men will not be in the
kingdom. Why? Because the Ten Commandments
forbid those things, and men will be judged finally
by that law. Not one person will be admitted into
heaven who is willfully violating any one of the
Ten Commandments, because breaking one is
breaking all.
:
Someone might object that this is making works
the basis of entering the kingdom. No. It is really
making love the qualifying factor. Jesus said that
the greatest commandment of all is to love God
supremely. He also said, “If ye love me, keep my
commandments” ( John 14:15 ). Those who
practice any known sin are really confessing that
they do not love God with all their heart, soul,
and mind. So it is the lack of love that shuts
them out—not the act of disobedience that
exposes that lack. Only when love is motivating
the obedience does it become acceptable to God.
Any other work is man’s vain attempt to earn
salvation and to deny the efficacy of Christ’s
atoning sacrifice.
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RANSOMED FOR WHAT?
A dramatic illustration of the law-grace doctrine
is seen in the story of the slave auctions in old
New Orleans long ago. Two planters were bidding
for an old Negro slave who kept shouting his
rebellion from the auction block. Finally, one of
the planters won the bid and took the slave in his
wagon back to the farm. Throughout the journey
the defiant black man declared that he would not
work for the new owner. When they arrived at the
plantation, the planter dropped the shackles from
the newly bought slave and said, “You are free to
go. You are no longer a slave. I bought you in
order to give you your liberty.”
:
According to the story, the old man fell at the
feet of the planter and said, “Master, I’ll serve
you forever.”
:
In like manner, we were all held in the bondage of
sin, condemnation, and death. Christ then paid
the price to secure our freedom from that
hopeless slavery. Lovingly He tells us that the
reason He made the sacrifice was to set us free.
What should our response be? Every ransomed
child of God should fall at His feet and say,
“Master, I love you for what you did for me. I’ll
serve you the rest of my life.”
:
Think it through for a moment. Jesus had to die
because the law had been broken. Sin demanded
death. If the law could have been abrogated, the
penalty of sin would have been set aside also.
“For where no law is, there is no
transgression” ( Romans 4:15 ). So strong was the
authority of that unchangeable law that God
Himself could not abolish it—not even to save His
own Son from death.
:
The old, old story of the two brothers is almost a
perfect illustration of both law and grace in
operation. The older brother was a judge. His
younger brother was brought before him as a
transgressor of the law. From all the evidence it
was clear to all thathe was guilty. The court was
tense. Would the judge mete out justice in such a
case? The judge looked at his brother and sternly
declared him guilty. Then he stunned the court by
imposing the maximum fine. But immediately he
left the bench and threw his arms around his
brother and said, “I had to do it because you are
guilty. I know you cannot pay the fine, but I will
pay it for you.”
:
The point of the story is dramatic in its impact.
The brother was forgiven, but the penalty was
not. It had to be paid. But by paying the
maximum penalty, the judge not only did not
abolish the law, but he greatly magnified it. He
demonstrated that its binding claims could never
be voided. In the same sense, God would not and
could not abolish the law to save His beloved
Son. It cost something to uphold the law and pay
the maximum penalty. No one will ever know how
much it cost the Son of God. But how thankful
we should be that His love was as perfect as His
justice. In His own body He bore the penalty,
satisfied the law, and justified the transgressor.
:
Can’t you see that no greater demonstration
could have been made to prove the permanence
of the Ten Commandments? In the entire
universe God could not have displayed a more
convincing and irrefutable argument in favor of
His law. Yet, in the face of this tremendous
exhibition, misguided millions of poor, feeble men
belittle the government of God by belittling His
law. They seem not to understand that the law is
only a reflection of His holiness and
righteousness. To speak of its abolition is to
border on treason against the divine government
of heaven.
:
Look into that holy law right now for a divine
revelation of what God wants your life to be.
Confess that you have no strength to live up to
that perfect standard. Then turn your eyes to the
only One who has kept that law perfectly and
who desires this very moment to enter your life
with enabling power. He will fulfill the
righteousness of the law—the just requirements
of the law—in you, so that you can say with Paul,
“Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live
in the flesh I live by the faith ofthe Son of God,
who loved me, and gave himself for
me” ( Galatians 2:20 ).
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https://plus.google.com/107145689023320095268 Brian Ayres : Does God's Grace Blot Out the Law? Amazing Facts: The devil, through sin, has just about wrecked this...
Does God's Grace Blot Out
the Law?

Amazing Facts:
The devil, through sin, has just about wrecked this
world of ours. We live in an age of rebellion against
all restraint and law. Our nation stands aghast at
the big-city gang defiance of social order and property rights, including the right to live. Murder, robbery, and personal assaults have become the trademark of both urban and suburban 20th- century life.

Each day as we read the newspaper it seems that
the quality of life has edged downward a little bit
further. At times we are tempted to believe that
things can get no worse, and that conditions
have hit rock bottom. Yet, the next day, even
more violent, bizarre crimes are reported, and we
simply shake our heads in disbelief. It is difficult
to comprehend how a nation like America with its
rich Christian heritage could ever depart so far
from its founding principles. Even the non-
Christian countries are not plagued with as much
crime and overall violence as this so-called
Christian nation. More crime is reported in
Washington, D.C., in 24 hours than Moscow
reports in a full year. No doubt the reporting
methods are not the same, but it still presents an
alarming picture.
:
The problem becomes more serious when we
realize that lawlessness also reaches into the
area of religion and affects millions who would
never think of killing or raping. It is probable that
the great majority of church members in America
today carry few convictions against breaking at
least one of the Ten Commandments. A very
insidious doctrine has been developed in both
Catholic and Protestant theology, which has
tended to minimize the authority of God’s great
moral law. It has led many to look lightly upon
transgression and has made sin to appear
unobjectionable. In fact, sin has lost its horror for
multitudes and has become an acceptable mode
of life for both youth and adults. Witness the
current trends in lifestyle that support this view.
:
How many young men and women are living
together without benefit of marriage! Yet they do
not believe such living arrangements should be
designated as sin. A large portion of shoplifters
are professing Christians, and most of those who
belong to churches believe that there is no sin
whatsoever involved in violating the seventh-day
Sabbath of the fourth commandment.
:
How can we explain this paradoxical situation
among those who profess such high regard for
the Bible, and such love for Christ? This question
becomes more significant when we consider the
historical position of Christianity toward the Ten-
Commandment law. Almost all of the great
denominations have officially placed themselves
on record as supporting the authority of that law.
Yet very subtle errors of interpretation have crept
into the modern church, leading to the present
state of confused loyalty toward the Ten
Commandments. How earnestly we need to look
at that law and study its relation to God’s grace
and to salvation itself. Itis so easy to accept the
popular clichés concerning law and grace without
searching out the biblical facts by which we will
finally be judged. We must find authoritative
scriptural answers to questions like these: In
what sense are Christians free from the law?
What does it mean to be under the law? Does
God’s grace nullify the Ten Commandments? Is a
Christian justified in breaking any of the Ten
Commandments because he is under grace?
These are the questions we shall address
ourselves to in this important study.
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CONDEMNED TO DIE:
Let us push aside the rubbish of confusion that
has obscured the truth about how men are saved.
Multitudes have heard emotional discourses on
sin and salvation, but they still do not understand
the logic and reason that require a blood
sacrifice.
:
Can you imagine the horror of standing before a
judge and hearing the sentence of death
pronounced against you? Probably not. But you
have felt the driving guilt and fear when God’s
Word stabs you with this sentence: “The wages
of sin is death” ( Romans 6:23 ). Why fear and
guilt? Because “all have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God” ( Romans 3:23 ).
:
The words are there and the meaning cannot be
mistaken. The word “all” might just as well be
spelled John Smith or Mary Jones or whatever
your name happens to be. The shocking fact is
that you are under the sentence of death! You
have been found guilty before the law, and there
is no court of appeal in the world that can reverse
the sentence and find you not guilty. The fact is
that you are guilty, just as guilty as sin.
According to 1 John 3:4 , “sin is the transgression
of the law,” and you must plead guilty to
breaking the law. Whose law did you break? Paul
answers quickly, “I had not known sin, but by the
law: for I had not known lust, except the law had
said, Thou shalt not covet” (Ro-mans 7:7). There
it is! The great Ten-Commandment law is the
one that was broken, and it demands death for
the transgressor.
:
In desperation the sinner searches for a way to
be justified in the sight of that broken law. How
can the sentence of death be turned aside? Can
man atone for his sins by obeying the
commandments of God for the rest of his life?
Back comes the answer in language that no one
can misinterpret: “Therefore by the deeds of the
law there shall no flesh be justified in his
sight” ( Romans 3:20 ).
:
Listen; there is a reason why works will not
justify a soul. If a man is found guilty of stealing
and is sentenced to ten years in jail, he may
indeed justify himself by works. By serving the
time of his sentence, the man may satisfy the
claims of the law. He is considered perfectly
justified and innocent because he has worked out
his deliverance by fulfilling the sentence. In the
same manner, a murderer may be justified by
works if he serves the fifty years of his sentence.
But suppose the sentence is death instead of fifty
years? Can the prisoner then justify himself by
works? Never! Even if he should work for one
hundred years at hard labor, the law would still
demanddeath. The truth is that “without shedding
of blood is no remission. … So Christ was once
offered to bear the sins of many” ( Hebrews
9:22–28 ).
:
This is why works can never save the sinner. The
penalty for sin is not ten years in prison or fifty
years at hard labor. The sentence is death, and
the law cannot be satisfied except by the
shedding of blood. That unchangeable law with
its unrelenting death sentence could no more be
removed than the throne of God could be toppled.
The guilt of the past cannot be erased by
resolutions of good behavior in the future. The
sinner finally is forced to confess that he owes
something that he cannot pay. The law demands
death and he cannot satisfy it without forfeiting
his own life for eternity.
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THE LAW STILL BINDING:
Now we are brought to the question that has
created confusion for multitudes of Christians: If
the works of the law cannot save a person, is it
therefore necessary to keep the law? Apparently
this was a burning issue in the early church,
because Paul asked the same question in
Romans 6:1 . “Shall we continue in sin, that grace
may abound?” In other words, does grace give us
a license to disobey the law of God? His answer
is: “God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to
sin, live any longer therein?” (verse 2).
:
How interesting it is that Christians in this age of
relativism can invent their own definitions that
condone lawbreaking. The Bible says sin is
violating the Ten Commandments—the law which
has been described as irrelevant and old-
fashioned by many modern theologians. Don’t be
deceived. Every one of those great moral precepts
is just as timely and needful today as they were
when God wrote them on the imperishable tables
of stone. And nothing has ever happened to make
them less binding than they were when God gave
them. In fact, we are going to discover that
Jesus came to magnify the law and to open up
its spiritual application, making it more
comprehensive than the legalistic Pharisees ever
imagined. Under the distilling influence of Christ’s
perfect life of obedience, we can see the spiritual
details of law-keeping which are neither
recognized nor made possible apart from Him.
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GOD'S LAW-A MIRROR:
At this point we must be very careful to
designate also what the law cannot do. Even
though it points out sin, it has no power to save
from sin. There is no justifying, cleansing grace in
it. All the works of all the laws would not be
sufficient to save a single soul. Why? For the
simple reason that we are saved by grace
through faith, as a free gift. “Therefore by the
deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified
in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of
sin” ( Romans 3:20 ).
:
Do not stumble over this crucial point. We cannot
earn forgiveness by working hard to obey. No
sinner can gain favor and acceptance with God
because he keeps the law. The law was not
made for the purpose of saving or justifying. It
was made to show us our need of cleansing and
to point us to the great source of cleansing,
Jesus Christ, our Lord. The Bible speaks of the
law as a mirror to show us what kind of persons
we really are. “For if any be a hearer of the word,
and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding
his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth
himself, and goeth his way, and straightway
forgetteth what manner of man he was. But
whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and
continueth therein, he being not a forgetful
hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be
blessed in his deed” ( James 1:23–25 ).
:
It is obvious to all that a mirror cannot remove a
spot from the face. Looking into the mirror all
day, and even rubbing it over the face, will not
provide any cleansing. Its work is to reveal the
spot and to point the dirty one to the sink for
actual cleansing. The law, in like manner, can
only condemn the sinner by giving him knowledge
of his condition and then pointing him to the
cross for true cleansing. “For by grace are ye
saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it
is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man
should boast” ( Ephesians 2:8 , 9). Paul further
emphasizes this point in Galatians 2:16 :
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works
of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ … for
by the works of the law shall no flesh be
justified.”
:
Right here we must consider one of the most
fallacious propositions ever set forth relating to
the law. Countless sincere Christians have
accepted the idea that the Old Testament
encompasses the dispensation of works and that
the New Testament provides for a dispensation of
grace. Under this garbled plan people were saved
by works in the Old Testament and by grace in
the New Testament. This is simply not true. The
Bible holds forth only one beautiful, perfect plan
for anybody to be saved, and that is by grace
through faith. Heaven will not be divided between
those who got there by works and those who got
there by faith. Every single soul among the
redeemed will be a sinner saved by grace.
:
Those who entered into salvation in the Old
Testament were those who trusted the merits of
the blood of Jesus Christ, and they demonstrated
their faith by bringing a lamb and slaying it. They
looked forward in faith to the atoning death of
Jesus. We look back in faith to the same death
and are saved in exactly the same way. Be very
certain that the entire redeemed host throughout
eternity will be singing the same song of
deliverance, exalting the Lamb slain from the
foundations of the world.
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A "NEW" LAW OF CHRIST:
Some try to dispose of the Ten Commandments
on the basis of the “new” commandments of love
that Christ introduced. It is certainly true that
Jesus laid down two great laws of love as a
summary of all the law, but did He give the idea
that these were new in point of time? The fact is
that He was quoting directly from the Old
Testament when He gave those
newcommandments. “And thou shalt love the
Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy
soul, and with all thy might” ( Deuteronomy 6:5 ).
“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as
thyself” ( Leviticus 19:18 ). Certainly, those
penetrating spiritual principles had been forgotten
by the legalists of Christ’s day, and they were
new to them in relation to their life and practice.
But they were not intended by Jesus to take the
place of the Ten Commandments.
:
When the lawyer asked Jesus which was the
greatest commandment in the law, he received
the answer: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with
all thy mind. This is the first and great
commandment. And the second is like unto it,
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On
these two commandments hang all the law and
the prophets” ( Matthew 22:37–40 ).
:
Notice that these two love commandments
simply summed up “all the law and the
prophets.” They all hang upon these two
principles of love. Christ was saying that love is
the fulfilling of the law just as Paul repeated it
later in Romans 13:10 . If one loves Christ
supremely with heart, soul, and mind, he will
obey the first four commandments that have to
do with our duty to God. He will not take God’s
name in vain, worship other gods, etc. If one
loves his neighbor as himself, he will obey the
last six commandments that relate to our duty to
our fellow men. He will not be able to steal from
his neighbor, lie about him, etc. Love will lead to
obeying or fulfilling all the law.
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NOT UNDER THE LAW:
Often we hear this argument in an effort to
belittle the law of God: “Well, since we are not
under the law but under grace, we do not need to
keep the Ten Commandments any longer.” Is this
a valid point? The Bible certainly does say that
we are not under the law, but does that imply
that we are free from the obligation to obey it?
The text is found in Romans 6:14 , 15. “For sin
shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not
under the law, but under grace. What then? shall
we sin, because we are not under the law, but
under grace? God forbid.”
:
How easily we could prevent confusion if we
accepted exactly what the Bible says. Paul gives
his own explanation of his statement. After
stating that we are not under the law but under
grace, he asks, “What then?” This simply means,
“How are we to understand this?” Then notice his
answer. In anticipation that some will construe
his words to mean that you can break the law
because you are under grace, he says, “Shall we
sin (break the law) because we are not under the
law but under grace? God forbid.” In the
strongest possible language Paul states that
being under grace does not give a license to
break the law. Yet this is exactly what millions
believe today, and they totally ignore Paul’s
specific warning.
:
If being under grace does not exempt us from
keeping the law, then what does Paul mean by
saying that Christians are not under the law? He
gives that answer in Romans 3:19 . “Now we
know that what things soever the law saith, it
saith to them who are under the law: that every
mouth may be stopped, and all the world may
become guilty before God.” Here Paul equates
being under the law with “being guilty before
God.” In other words, those who are under the
law are guilty of breaking it and are under the
condemnation of it. This is why Christians are
not under it. They are not breaking it—not guilty
and condemned by it. Therefore, they are not
under it, but are under the power of grace
instead. Later in his argument, Paul points out
that the power of grace is greater than the power
of sin. This is why he states so emphatically,
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye
are not under the law, but under grace.” Grace
overrules the authority of sin, giving power to
obey God’s law. This is the effective reason that
we are not under the law’s guilt and
condemnation and also why Paul states that we
will not continue to sin.
:
Suppose a murderer has been sentenced to death
in the electric chair. Waiting for the execution the
man would truly be under the law in every sense
of the word—under the guilt, under the
condemnation, under the sentence of death, etc.
Just before the execution date the governor
reviews the condemned man’s case and decides
to pardon him. In the light of extenuating
circumstances the governor exercises his
prerogative and sends a full pardon to the
prisoner. Now he is no longer under the law but
under grace. The law no longer condemns him.
He is considered totally justified as far as the
charges of the law are concerned. He is free to
walk out of the prison and no policeman can lay
hands upon him. But now that he is under grace
and no longer under the law, can we say that he
is free to break the law? Indeed not! In fact, that
pardoned man will be doubly obligated to obey
the law because he has found grace from the
governor. In gratitude and love he will be very
careful to honor the law of that state which
granted him grace. Is that what the Bible says
about pardoned sinners? “Do we then make void
the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we
establish the law” ( Romans 3:31 ). Here is the
most explicit answer to the entire problem. Paul
asks if the law is nullified for us just because we
have had faith in Christ’s saving grace. His
answer is that the law is established and
reinforced in the life of a grace-saved Christian.
:
The truth of this is so simple and obvious that it
should require no repetition, but the devious
reasoning of those who try to avoid obedience
makes it necessary to press this point a bit
further. Have you ever been stopped by a
policeman for exceeding the speed limit? It is an
embarrassing experience, especially if you know
you are guilty. But suppose you really were
hurrying to meet a valid emergency, and you pour
out your convincing explanation to the police-
man as he writes your ticket. Slowly he folds the
ticket and tears it up. Then he says, “All right,
I’m going to pardon you this time, but …” Now
what do you think he means by that word “but”?
Surely he means, “but I don’t want to ever catch
you speeding again.” Does this pardon (grace)
open the way for you to disobey the law? On the
contrary, it adds compelling urgency to your
decision not to disobey the law again. Why, then,
should any true Christian try to rationalize his
way out of obeying the law of God? “If ye love
me,” Jesus said, “keep my
commandments” ( John 14:15 ).
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OBEDIENCE-THE TEST OF LOVE:
Someone may bring up the objection that after
the law has accomplished its purpose of pointing
the sinner to Christ for cleansing, it will no longer
be needed in the experience of the believer. Is
that true? No, indeed. The Christian will always
need the watchdog of the law to reveal any
deviation from the true path and to point him
back to the cleansing cross of Jesus. There will
never be a time when that mirror of correction
will not be needed in the progressive growth
experience of the Christian.
:
Law and grace do not work in competition with
each other but in perfect cooperation. The law
points out sin, and grace saves from sin. The law
is the will of God, and grace is the power to do
the will of God. We do not obey the law in order
to be saved but because we are saved. A
beautiful text which combines the two in their
true relationship is Revelation 14:12 . “Here is the
patience of the saints: here are they that keep the
commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
What a perfect description of faith and works!
And the combination is found in those who are
“saints.”
:
The works of obedience are the real test of love.
This is why they are so necessary in the
experience of a true believer. “Faith without
works is dead” ( James 2:20 ). No man ever won
a fair maiden’s heart by words alone. Had there
been no flowers, no acts of devotion, no gifts of
love, most men would still be searching for a
companion. Jesus said, “Not every one that saith
unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom
of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my
Father which is in heaven” ( Matthew 7:21 ).
:
Words and profession are not enough. The true
evidence is obedience. Today’s bumper stickers
reflect a shallow concept of love. They say,
“Smile if you love Jesus,” “Honk if you love
Jesus”; but what did the Master Himself say? He
said, “If ye love me, keep my
commandments” ( John 14:15 ). And that is
exactly what most people don’t want to do. If
love makes no demands beyond a smile or wave,
then it is welcome; but if the lifestyle must be
disturbed, the majority will reject it. Unfortunately,
most people today are not looking for truth. They
are looking for a smooth, easy, comfortable
religion that will allow them to live the way they
please and still give assurance of salvation. There
is indeed no true religion that can do that for
them.
:
One of the strongest texts in the Bible on this
subject is found in 1 John 2:4 . “He that saith, I
know him, and keepeth not his commandments,
is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” John could
write that with such assurance because it is one
of the most deeply established truths in the Bible.
Jesus spoke of those who said, “Lord, Lord,” but
did not do the will of the Father. Then He
described many who would seek entrance to the
kingdom claiming to be workers of miracles in the
name of Christ. But He would sorrowfully have to
say, “I never knew you: depart from
me” ( Matthew 7:21–23 ). You see, to know Christ
is to love Him, and to love Him is to obey Him.
The valid assumption of the Bible writers is very
clear and simple: If one is not obeying Christ, he
does not love Christ. And if he doesn’t love the
Master, then he doesn’t know Him. John assured
us, “And this is life eternal, that they might know
thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom
thou hast sent” ( John 17:3 ). Thus, we can see
how knowing and loving and obeying are all tied
closely together and are absolutely inseparable in
the life of God’s faithful people. The beloved John
summed it up in these words: “For this is the
love of God, that we keep his commandments:
and his commandments are not grievous” ( 1
John 5:3 ).
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IS IT POSSIBLE TO OBEY THE LAW?
Countless Christians have been taught that since
the law is spiritual and we are carnal, no human
being will ever be able in this life to meet the
requirements of the perfect law. Is this true? Has
it been given by God as a great idealistic,
impossible goal toward which converted souls
should struggle but never expect to attain? Is
there some hidden reservation or secret meaning
in the many commands to obey the ten great
rules God wrote on stone? Did God mean what
He said and say what He meant?
:
Many believe that only Christ could have obeyed
that law and only because He had special powers
that have not been made available to us.
Certainly it is true that Jesus is the only One
who lived without committing a single act of
disobedience. His reason for living that perfect,
victorious life is laid out in Romans 8:3 , 4 : “For
what the law could not do, in that it was weak
through the flesh, God sending his own Son in
the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin,
condemned sin in the flesh: That the
righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us,
who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.”
:
Do not miss the point that Jesus came to
condemn sin by His perfect life in the flesh in
order that “the righteousness of the law” might
be fulfilled in us. What is that righteousness? The
Greek word dikaima is used here, which means,
literally, “the just requirement” of the law. This
can only mean that Christ won His perfect
victory in order to make the same victory
available to us. Having conquered the devil,
showing that in the flesh the law can be obeyed,
Christ now offers to come into our hearts and
share the victory with us. Only by His strength
and indwelling power can the requirements of the
law be fulfilled by anyone. Paul said, “I can do all
things through Christ which strengtheneth
me” ( Philippians 4:13 ).
:
Not one soul can ever keep one of those Ten
Commandments in human power alone, but all of
them may be kept through the enabling strength
of Jesus. He imputes His righteousness for
cleansing and imparts His righteousness for
victorious living. Christ came in a body of flesh
like our own and depended wholly upon His
Father in living His life to demonstrate the kind of
victory which is possible for every soul who will
likewise draw upon the Father’s grace.
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JUDGED BY THE LAW:
Now, a final question about the subject of the
law: How many of the Ten Commandments does
one have to break in order to be guilty of sin?
James says, “For whosoever shall keep the whole
law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of
all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery,
said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no
adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a
transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do,
as they that shall be judged by the law of
liberty” ( James 2:10–12 ).
:
Every individual will be judged at last by the
mighty moral code of God’s law. To break one is
to be guilty of sin. The Bible indicates that the
Ten Commandments are like a chain with ten
links. When one link is broken, the chain is
broken. So it is with the law. Those who stand in
the judgment will have to meet the acid test of
the Ten Commandments. If a practicing thief
should seek entrance into the kingdom, he would
be rejected. This is why Paul says thieves will
not inherit the heavenly city. Furthermore, the
Bible specifically declares that liars, adulterers,
idolaters, and covetous men will not be in the
kingdom. Why? Because the Ten Commandments
forbid those things, and men will be judged finally
by that law. Not one person will be admitted into
heaven who is willfully violating any one of the
Ten Commandments, because breaking one is
breaking all.
:
Someone might object that this is making works
the basis of entering the kingdom. No. It is really
making love the qualifying factor. Jesus said that
the greatest commandment of all is to love God
supremely. He also said, “If ye love me, keep my
commandments” ( John 14:15 ). Those who
practice any known sin are really confessing that
they do not love God with all their heart, soul,
and mind. So it is the lack of love that shuts
them out—not the act of disobedience that
exposes that lack. Only when love is motivating
the obedience does it become acceptable to God.
Any other work is man’s vain attempt to earn
salvation and to deny the efficacy of Christ’s
atoning sacrifice.
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RANSOMED FOR WHAT?
A dramatic illustration of the law-grace doctrine
is seen in the story of the slave auctions in old
New Orleans long ago. Two planters were bidding
for an old Negro slave who kept shouting his
rebellion from the auction block. Finally, one of
the planters won the bid and took the slave in his
wagon back to the farm. Throughout the journey
the defiant black man declared that he would not
work for the new owner. When they arrived at the
plantation, the planter dropped the shackles from
the newly bought slave and said, “You are free to
go. You are no longer a slave. I bought you in
order to give you your liberty.”
:
According to the story, the old man fell at the
feet of the planter and said, “Master, I’ll serve
you forever.”
:
In like manner, we were all held in the bondage of
sin, condemnation, and death. Christ then paid
the price to secure our freedom from that
hopeless slavery. Lovingly He tells us that the
reason He made the sacrifice was to set us free.
What should our response be? Every ransomed
child of God should fall at His feet and say,
“Master, I love you for what you did for me. I’ll
serve you the rest of my life.”
:
Think it through for a moment. Jesus had to die
because the law had been broken. Sin demanded
death. If the law could have been abrogated, the
penalty of sin would have been set aside also.
“For where no law is, there is no
transgression” ( Romans 4:15 ). So strong was the
authority of that unchangeable law that God
Himself could not abolish it—not even to save His
own Son from death.
:
The old, old story of the two brothers is almost a
perfect illustration of both law and grace in
operation. The older brother was a judge. His
younger brother was brought before him as a
transgressor of the law. From all the evidence it
was clear to all thathe was guilty. The court was
tense. Would the judge mete out justice in such a
case? The judge looked at his brother and sternly
declared him guilty. Then he stunned the court by
imposing the maximum fine. But immediately he
left the bench and threw his arms around his
brother and said, “I had to do it because you are
guilty. I know you cannot pay the fine, but I will
pay it for you.”
:
The point of the story is dramatic in its impact.
The brother was forgiven, but the penalty was
not. It had to be paid. But by paying the
maximum penalty, the judge not only did not
abolish the law, but he greatly magnified it. He
demonstrated that its binding claims could never
be voided. In the same sense, God would not and
could not abolish the law to save His beloved
Son. It cost something to uphold the law and pay
the maximum penalty. No one will ever know how
much it cost the Son of God. But how thankful
we should be that His love was as perfect as His
justice. In His own body He bore the penalty,
satisfied the law, and justified the transgressor.
:
Can’t you see that no greater demonstration
could have been made to prove the permanence
of the Ten Commandments? In the entire
universe God could not have displayed a more
convincing and irrefutable argument in favor of
His law. Yet, in the face of this tremendous
exhibition, misguided millions of poor, feeble men
belittle the government of God by belittling His
law. They seem not to understand that the law is
only a reflection of His holiness and
righteousness. To speak of its abolition is to
border on treason against the divine government
of heaven.
:
Look into that holy law right now for a divine
revelation of what God wants your life to be.
Confess that you have no strength to live up to
that perfect standard. Then turn your eyes to the
only One who has kept that law perfectly and
who desires this very moment to enter your life
with enabling power. He will fulfill the
righteousness of the law—the just requirements
of the law—in you, so that you can say with Paul,
“Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live
in the flesh I live by the faith ofthe Son of God,
who loved me, and gave himself for
me” ( Galatians 2:20 ).
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https://plus.google.com/107145689023320095268 Brian Ayres : Does God's Grace Blot Out the Law? Amazing Facts: The devil, through sin, has just about wrecked this...
Does God's Grace Blot Out
the Law?

Amazing Facts:
The devil, through sin, has just about wrecked this
world of ours. We live in an age of rebellion against
all restraint and law. Our nation stands aghast at
the big-city gang defiance of social order and property rights, including the right to live. Murder, robbery, and personal assaults have become the trademark of both urban and suburban 20th- century life.

Each day as we read the newspaper it seems that
the quality of life has edged downward a little bit
further. At times we are tempted to believe that
things can get no worse, and that conditions
have hit rock bottom. Yet, the next day, even
more violent, bizarre crimes are reported, and we
simply shake our heads in disbelief. It is difficult
to comprehend how a nation like America with its
rich Christian heritage could ever depart so far
from its founding principles. Even the non-
Christian countries are not plagued with as much
crime and overall violence as this so-called
Christian nation. More crime is reported in
Washington, D.C., in 24 hours than Moscow
reports in a full year. No doubt the reporting
methods are not the same, but it still presents an
alarming picture.
:
The problem becomes more serious when we
realize that lawlessness also reaches into the
area of religion and affects millions who would
never think of killing or raping. It is probable that
the great majority of church members in America
today carry few convictions against breaking at
least one of the Ten Commandments. A very
insidious doctrine has been developed in both
Catholic and Protestant theology, which has
tended to minimize the authority of God’s great
moral law. It has led many to look lightly upon
transgression and has made sin to appear
unobjectionable. In fact, sin has lost its horror for
multitudes and has become an acceptable mode
of life for both youth and adults. Witness the
current trends in lifestyle that support this view.
:
How many young men and women are living
together without benefit of marriage! Yet they do
not believe such living arrangements should be
designated as sin. A large portion of shoplifters
are professing Christians, and most of those who
belong to churches believe that there is no sin
whatsoever involved in violating the seventh-day
Sabbath of the fourth commandment.
:
How can we explain this paradoxical situation
among those who profess such high regard for
the Bible, and such love for Christ? This question
becomes more significant when we consider the
historical position of Christianity toward the Ten-
Commandment law. Almost all of the great
denominations have officially placed themselves
on record as supporting the authority of that law.
Yet very subtle errors of interpretation have crept
into the modern church, leading to the present
state of confused loyalty toward the Ten
Commandments. How earnestly we need to look
at that law and study its relation to God’s grace
and to salvation itself. Itis so easy to accept the
popular clichés concerning law and grace without
searching out the biblical facts by which we will
finally be judged. We must find authoritative
scriptural answers to questions like these: In
what sense are Christians free from the law?
What does it mean to be under the law? Does
God’s grace nullify the Ten Commandments? Is a
Christian justified in breaking any of the Ten
Commandments because he is under grace?
These are the questions we shall address
ourselves to in this important study.
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CONDEMNED TO DIE:
Let us push aside the rubbish of confusion that
has obscured the truth about how men are saved.
Multitudes have heard emotional discourses on
sin and salvation, but they still do not understand
the logic and reason that require a blood
sacrifice.
:
Can you imagine the horror of standing before a
judge and hearing the sentence of death
pronounced against you? Probably not. But you
have felt the driving guilt and fear when God’s
Word stabs you with this sentence: “The wages
of sin is death” ( Romans 6:23 ). Why fear and
guilt? Because “all have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God” ( Romans 3:23 ).
:
The words are there and the meaning cannot be
mistaken. The word “all” might just as well be
spelled John Smith or Mary Jones or whatever
your name happens to be. The shocking fact is
that you are under the sentence of death! You
have been found guilty before the law, and there
is no court of appeal in the world that can reverse
the sentence and find you not guilty. The fact is
that you are guilty, just as guilty as sin.
According to 1 John 3:4 , “sin is the transgression
of the law,” and you must plead guilty to
breaking the law. Whose law did you break? Paul
answers quickly, “I had not known sin, but by the
law: for I had not known lust, except the law had
said, Thou shalt not covet” (Ro-mans 7:7). There
it is! The great Ten-Commandment law is the
one that was broken, and it demands death for
the transgressor.
:
In desperation the sinner searches for a way to
be justified in the sight of that broken law. How
can the sentence of death be turned aside? Can
man atone for his sins by obeying the
commandments of God for the rest of his life?
Back comes the answer in language that no one
can misinterpret: “Therefore by the deeds of the
law there shall no flesh be justified in his
sight” ( Romans 3:20 ).
:
Listen; there is a reason why works will not
justify a soul. If a man is found guilty of stealing
and is sentenced to ten years in jail, he may
indeed justify himself by works. By serving the
time of his sentence, the man may satisfy the
claims of the law. He is considered perfectly
justified and innocent because he has worked out
his deliverance by fulfilling the sentence. In the
same manner, a murderer may be justified by
works if he serves the fifty years of his sentence.
But suppose the sentence is death instead of fifty
years? Can the prisoner then justify himself by
works? Never! Even if he should work for one
hundred years at hard labor, the law would still
demanddeath. The truth is that “without shedding
of blood is no remission. … So Christ was once
offered to bear the sins of many” ( Hebrews
9:22–28 ).
:
This is why works can never save the sinner. The
penalty for sin is not ten years in prison or fifty
years at hard labor. The sentence is death, and
the law cannot be satisfied except by the
shedding of blood. That unchangeable law with
its unrelenting death sentence could no more be
removed than the throne of God could be toppled.
The guilt of the past cannot be erased by
resolutions of good behavior in the future. The
sinner finally is forced to confess that he owes
something that he cannot pay. The law demands
death and he cannot satisfy it without forfeiting
his own life for eternity.
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THE LAW STILL BINDING:
Now we are brought to the question that has
created confusion for multitudes of Christians: If
the works of the law cannot save a person, is it
therefore necessary to keep the law? Apparently
this was a burning issue in the early church,
because Paul asked the same question in
Romans 6:1 . “Shall we continue in sin, that grace
may abound?” In other words, does grace give us
a license to disobey the law of God? His answer
is: “God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to
sin, live any longer therein?” (verse 2).
:
How interesting it is that Christians in this age of
relativism can invent their own definitions that
condone lawbreaking. The Bible says sin is
violating the Ten Commandments—the law which
has been described as irrelevant and old-
fashioned by many modern theologians. Don’t be
deceived. Every one of those great moral precepts
is just as timely and needful today as they were
when God wrote them on the imperishable tables
of stone. And nothing has ever happened to make
them less binding than they were when God gave
them. In fact, we are going to discover that
Jesus came to magnify the law and to open up
its spiritual application, making it more
comprehensive than the legalistic Pharisees ever
imagined. Under the distilling influence of Christ’s
perfect life of obedience, we can see the spiritual
details of law-keeping which are neither
recognized nor made possible apart from Him.
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GOD'S LAW-A MIRROR:
At this point we must be very careful to
designate also what the law cannot do. Even
though it points out sin, it has no power to save
from sin. There is no justifying, cleansing grace in
it. All the works of all the laws would not be
sufficient to save a single soul. Why? For the
simple reason that we are saved by grace
through faith, as a free gift. “Therefore by the
deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified
in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of
sin” ( Romans 3:20 ).
:
Do not stumble over this crucial point. We cannot
earn forgiveness by working hard to obey. No
sinner can gain favor and acceptance with God
because he keeps the law. The law was not
made for the purpose of saving or justifying. It
was made to show us our need of cleansing and
to point us to the great source of cleansing,
Jesus Christ, our Lord. The Bible speaks of the
law as a mirror to show us what kind of persons
we really are. “For if any be a hearer of the word,
and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding
his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth
himself, and goeth his way, and straightway
forgetteth what manner of man he was. But
whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and
continueth therein, he being not a forgetful
hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be
blessed in his deed” ( James 1:23–25 ).
:
It is obvious to all that a mirror cannot remove a
spot from the face. Looking into the mirror all
day, and even rubbing it over the face, will not
provide any cleansing. Its work is to reveal the
spot and to point the dirty one to the sink for
actual cleansing. The law, in like manner, can
only condemn the sinner by giving him knowledge
of his condition and then pointing him to the
cross for true cleansing. “For by grace are ye
saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it
is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man
should boast” ( Ephesians 2:8 , 9). Paul further
emphasizes this point in Galatians 2:16 :
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works
of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ … for
by the works of the law shall no flesh be
justified.”
:
Right here we must consider one of the most
fallacious propositions ever set forth relating to
the law. Countless sincere Christians have
accepted the idea that the Old Testament
encompasses the dispensation of works and that
the New Testament provides for a dispensation of
grace. Under this garbled plan people were saved
by works in the Old Testament and by grace in
the New Testament. This is simply not true. The
Bible holds forth only one beautiful, perfect plan
for anybody to be saved, and that is by grace
through faith. Heaven will not be divided between
those who got there by works and those who got
there by faith. Every single soul among the
redeemed will be a sinner saved by grace.
:
Those who entered into salvation in the Old
Testament were those who trusted the merits of
the blood of Jesus Christ, and they demonstrated
their faith by bringing a lamb and slaying it. They
looked forward in faith to the atoning death of
Jesus. We look back in faith to the same death
and are saved in exactly the same way. Be very
certain that the entire redeemed host throughout
eternity will be singing the same song of
deliverance, exalting the Lamb slain from the
foundations of the world.
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A "NEW" LAW OF CHRIST:
Some try to dispose of the Ten Commandments
on the basis of the “new” commandments of love
that Christ introduced. It is certainly true that
Jesus laid down two great laws of love as a
summary of all the law, but did He give the idea
that these were new in point of time? The fact is
that He was quoting directly from the Old
Testament when He gave those
newcommandments. “And thou shalt love the
Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy
soul, and with all thy might” ( Deuteronomy 6:5 ).
“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as
thyself” ( Leviticus 19:18 ). Certainly, those
penetrating spiritual principles had been forgotten
by the legalists of Christ’s day, and they were
new to them in relation to their life and practice.
But they were not intended by Jesus to take the
place of the Ten Commandments.
:
When the lawyer asked Jesus which was the
greatest commandment in the law, he received
the answer: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with
all thy mind. This is the first and great
commandment. And the second is like unto it,
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On
these two commandments hang all the law and
the prophets” ( Matthew 22:37–40 ).
:
Notice that these two love commandments
simply summed up “all the law and the
prophets.” They all hang upon these two
principles of love. Christ was saying that love is
the fulfilling of the law just as Paul repeated it
later in Romans 13:10 . If one loves Christ
supremely with heart, soul, and mind, he will
obey the first four commandments that have to
do with our duty to God. He will not take God’s
name in vain, worship other gods, etc. If one
loves his neighbor as himself, he will obey the
last six commandments that relate to our duty to
our fellow men. He will not be able to steal from
his neighbor, lie about him, etc. Love will lead to
obeying or fulfilling all the law.
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NOT UNDER THE LAW:
Often we hear this argument in an effort to
belittle the law of God: “Well, since we are not
under the law but under grace, we do not need to
keep the Ten Commandments any longer.” Is this
a valid point? The Bible certainly does say that
we are not under the law, but does that imply
that we are free from the obligation to obey it?
The text is found in Romans 6:14 , 15. “For sin
shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not
under the law, but under grace. What then? shall
we sin, because we are not under the law, but
under grace? God forbid.”
:
How easily we could prevent confusion if we
accepted exactly what the Bible says. Paul gives
his own explanation of his statement. After
stating that we are not under the law but under
grace, he asks, “What then?” This simply means,
“How are we to understand this?” Then notice his
answer. In anticipation that some will construe
his words to mean that you can break the law
because you are under grace, he says, “Shall we
sin (break the law) because we are not under the
law but under grace? God forbid.” In the
strongest possible language Paul states that
being under grace does not give a license to
break the law. Yet this is exactly what millions
believe today, and they totally ignore Paul’s
specific warning.
:
If being under grace does not exempt us from
keeping the law, then what does Paul mean by
saying that Christians are not under the law? He
gives that answer in Romans 3:19 . “Now we
know that what things soever the law saith, it
saith to them who are under the law: that every
mouth may be stopped, and all the world may
become guilty before God.” Here Paul equates
being under the law with “being guilty before
God.” In other words, those who are under the
law are guilty of breaking it and are under the
condemnation of it. This is why Christians are
not under it. They are not breaking it—not guilty
and condemned by it. Therefore, they are not
under it, but are under the power of grace
instead. Later in his argument, Paul points out
that the power of grace is greater than the power
of sin. This is why he states so emphatically,
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye
are not under the law, but under grace.” Grace
overrules the authority of sin, giving power to
obey God’s law. This is the effective reason that
we are not under the law’s guilt and
condemnation and also why Paul states that we
will not continue to sin.
:
Suppose a murderer has been sentenced to death
in the electric chair. Waiting for the execution the
man would truly be under the law in every sense
of the word—under the guilt, under the
condemnation, under the sentence of death, etc.
Just before the execution date the governor
reviews the condemned man’s case and decides
to pardon him. In the light of extenuating
circumstances the governor exercises his
prerogative and sends a full pardon to the
prisoner. Now he is no longer under the law but
under grace. The law no longer condemns him.
He is considered totally justified as far as the
charges of the law are concerned. He is free to
walk out of the prison and no policeman can lay
hands upon him. But now that he is under grace
and no longer under the law, can we say that he
is free to break the law? Indeed not! In fact, that
pardoned man will be doubly obligated to obey
the law because he has found grace from the
governor. In gratitude and love he will be very
careful to honor the law of that state which
granted him grace. Is that what the Bible says
about pardoned sinners? “Do we then make void
the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we
establish the law” ( Romans 3:31 ). Here is the
most explicit answer to the entire problem. Paul
asks if the law is nullified for us just because we
have had faith in Christ’s saving grace. His
answer is that the law is established and
reinforced in the life of a grace-saved Christian.
:
The truth of this is so simple and obvious that it
should require no repetition, but the devious
reasoning of those who try to avoid obedience
makes it necessary to press this point a bit
further. Have you ever been stopped by a
policeman for exceeding the speed limit? It is an
embarrassing experience, especially if you know
you are guilty. But suppose you really were
hurrying to meet a valid emergency, and you pour
out your convincing explanation to the police-
man as he writes your ticket. Slowly he folds the
ticket and tears it up. Then he says, “All right,
I’m going to pardon you this time, but …” Now
what do you think he means by that word “but”?
Surely he means, “but I don’t want to ever catch
you speeding again.” Does this pardon (grace)
open the way for you to disobey the law? On the
contrary, it adds compelling urgency to your
decision not to disobey the law again. Why, then,
should any true Christian try to rationalize his
way out of obeying the law of God? “If ye love
me,” Jesus said, “keep my
commandments” ( John 14:15 ).
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OBEDIENCE-THE TEST OF LOVE:
Someone may bring up the objection that after
the law has accomplished its purpose of pointing
the sinner to Christ for cleansing, it will no longer
be needed in the experience of the believer. Is
that true? No, indeed. The Christian will always
need the watchdog of the law to reveal any
deviation from the true path and to point him
back to the cleansing cross of Jesus. There will
never be a time when that mirror of correction
will not be needed in the progressive growth
experience of the Christian.
:
Law and grace do not work in competition with
each other but in perfect cooperation. The law
points out sin, and grace saves from sin. The law
is the will of God, and grace is the power to do
the will of God. We do not obey the law in order
to be saved but because we are saved. A
beautiful text which combines the two in their
true relationship is Revelation 14:12 . “Here is the
patience of the saints: here are they that keep the
commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
What a perfect description of faith and works!
And the combination is found in those who are
“saints.”
:
The works of obedience are the real test of love.
This is why they are so necessary in the
experience of a true believer. “Faith without
works is dead” ( James 2:20 ). No man ever won
a fair maiden’s heart by words alone. Had there
been no flowers, no acts of devotion, no gifts of
love, most men would still be searching for a
companion. Jesus said, “Not every one that saith
unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom
of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my
Father which is in heaven” ( Matthew 7:21 ).
:
Words and profession are not enough. The true
evidence is obedience. Today’s bumper stickers
reflect a shallow concept of love. They say,
“Smile if you love Jesus,” “Honk if you love
Jesus”; but what did the Master Himself say? He
said, “If ye love me, keep my
commandments” ( John 14:15 ). And that is
exactly what most people don’t want to do. If
love makes no demands beyond a smile or wave,
then it is welcome; but if the lifestyle must be
disturbed, the majority will reject it. Unfortunately,
most people today are not looking for truth. They
are looking for a smooth, easy, comfortable
religion that will allow them to live the way they
please and still give assurance of salvation. There
is indeed no true religion that can do that for
them.
:
One of the strongest texts in the Bible on this
subject is found in 1 John 2:4 . “He that saith, I
know him, and keepeth not his commandments,
is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” John could
write that with such assurance because it is one
of the most deeply established truths in the Bible.
Jesus spoke of those who said, “Lord, Lord,” but
did not do the will of the Father. Then He
described many who would seek entrance to the
kingdom claiming to be workers of miracles in the
name of Christ. But He would sorrowfully have to
say, “I never knew you: depart from
me” ( Matthew 7:21–23 ). You see, to know Christ
is to love Him, and to love Him is to obey Him.
The valid assumption of the Bible writers is very
clear and simple: If one is not obeying Christ, he
does not love Christ. And if he doesn’t love the
Master, then he doesn’t know Him. John assured
us, “And this is life eternal, that they might know
thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom
thou hast sent” ( John 17:3 ). Thus, we can see
how knowing and loving and obeying are all tied
closely together and are absolutely inseparable in
the life of God’s faithful people. The beloved John
summed it up in these words: “For this is the
love of God, that we keep his commandments:
and his commandments are not grievous” ( 1
John 5:3 ).
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IS IT POSSIBLE TO OBEY THE LAW?
Countless Christians have been taught that since
the law is spiritual and we are carnal, no human
being will ever be able in this life to meet the
requirements of the perfect law. Is this true? Has
it been given by God as a great idealistic,
impossible goal toward which converted souls
should struggle but never expect to attain? Is
there some hidden reservation or secret meaning
in the many commands to obey the ten great
rules God wrote on stone? Did God mean what
He said and say what He meant?
:
Many believe that only Christ could have obeyed
that law and only because He had special powers
that have not been made available to us.
Certainly it is true that Jesus is the only One
who lived without committing a single act of
disobedience. His reason for living that perfect,
victorious life is laid out in Romans 8:3 , 4 : “For
what the law could not do, in that it was weak
through the flesh, God sending his own Son in
the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin,
condemned sin in the flesh: That the
righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us,
who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.”
:
Do not miss the point that Jesus came to
condemn sin by His perfect life in the flesh in
order that “the righteousness of the law” might
be fulfilled in us. What is that righteousness? The
Greek word dikaima is used here, which means,
literally, “the just requirement” of the law. This
can only mean that Christ won His perfect
victory in order to make the same victory
available to us. Having conquered the devil,
showing that in the flesh the law can be obeyed,
Christ now offers to come into our hearts and
share the victory with us. Only by His strength
and indwelling power can the requirements of the
law be fulfilled by anyone. Paul said, “I can do all
things through Christ which strengtheneth
me” ( Philippians 4:13 ).
:
Not one soul can ever keep one of those Ten
Commandments in human power alone, but all of
them may be kept through the enabling strength
of Jesus. He imputes His righteousness for
cleansing and imparts His righteousness for
victorious living. Christ came in a body of flesh
like our own and depended wholly upon His
Father in living His life to demonstrate the kind of
victory which is possible for every soul who will
likewise draw upon the Father’s grace.
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JUDGED BY THE LAW:
Now, a final question about the subject of the
law: How many of the Ten Commandments does
one have to break in order to be guilty of sin?
James says, “For whosoever shall keep the whole
law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of
all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery,
said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no
adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a
transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do,
as they that shall be judged by the law of
liberty” ( James 2:10–12 ).
:
Every individual will be judged at last by the
mighty moral code of God’s law. To break one is
to be guilty of sin. The Bible indicates that the
Ten Commandments are like a chain with ten
links. When one link is broken, the chain is
broken. So it is with the law. Those who stand in
the judgment will have to meet the acid test of
the Ten Commandments. If a practicing thief
should seek entrance into the kingdom, he would
be rejected. This is why Paul says thieves will
not inherit the heavenly city. Furthermore, the
Bible specifically declares that liars, adulterers,
idolaters, and covetous men will not be in the
kingdom. Why? Because the Ten Commandments
forbid those things, and men will be judged finally
by that law. Not one person will be admitted into
heaven who is willfully violating any one of the
Ten Commandments, because breaking one is
breaking all.
:
Someone might object that this is making works
the basis of entering the kingdom. No. It is really
making love the qualifying factor. Jesus said that
the greatest commandment of all is to love God
supremely. He also said, “If ye love me, keep my
commandments” ( John 14:15 ). Those who
practice any known sin are really confessing that
they do not love God with all their heart, soul,
and mind. So it is the lack of love that shuts
them out—not the act of disobedience that
exposes that lack. Only when love is motivating
the obedience does it become acceptable to God.
Any other work is man’s vain attempt to earn
salvation and to deny the efficacy of Christ’s
atoning sacrifice.
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RANSOMED FOR WHAT?
A dramatic illustration of the law-grace doctrine
is seen in the story of the slave auctions in old
New Orleans long ago. Two planters were bidding
for an old Negro slave who kept shouting his
rebellion from the auction block. Finally, one of
the planters won the bid and took the slave in his
wagon back to the farm. Throughout the journey
the defiant black man declared that he would not
work for the new owner. When they arrived at the
plantation, the planter dropped the shackles from
the newly bought slave and said, “You are free to
go. You are no longer a slave. I bought you in
order to give you your liberty.”
:
According to the story, the old man fell at the
feet of the planter and said, “Master, I’ll serve
you forever.”
:
In like manner, we were all held in the bondage of
sin, condemnation, and death. Christ then paid
the price to secure our freedom from that
hopeless slavery. Lovingly He tells us that the
reason He made the sacrifice was to set us free.
What should our response be? Every ransomed
child of God should fall at His feet and say,
“Master, I love you for what you did for me. I’ll
serve you the rest of my life.”
:
Think it through for a moment. Jesus had to die
because the law had been broken. Sin demanded
death. If the law could have been abrogated, the
penalty of sin would have been set aside also.
“For where no law is, there is no
transgression” ( Romans 4:15 ). So strong was the
authority of that unchangeable law that God
Himself could not abolish it—not even to save His
own Son from death.
:
The old, old story of the two brothers is almost a
perfect illustration of both law and grace in
operation. The older brother was a judge. His
younger brother was brought before him as a
transgressor of the law. From all the evidence it
was clear to all thathe was guilty. The court was
tense. Would the judge mete out justice in such a
case? The judge looked at his brother and sternly
declared him guilty. Then he stunned the court by
imposing the maximum fine. But immediately he
left the bench and threw his arms around his
brother and said, “I had to do it because you are
guilty. I know you cannot pay the fine, but I will
pay it for you.”
:
The point of the story is dramatic in its impact.
The brother was forgiven, but the penalty was
not. It had to be paid. But by paying the
maximum penalty, the judge not only did not
abolish the law, but he greatly magnified it. He
demonstrated that its binding claims could never
be voided. In the same sense, God would not and
could not abolish the law to save His beloved
Son. It cost something to uphold the law and pay
the maximum penalty. No one will ever know how
much it cost the Son of God. But how thankful
we should be that His love was as perfect as His
justice. In His own body He bore the penalty,
satisfied the law, and justified the transgressor.
:
Can’t you see that no greater demonstration
could have been made to prove the permanence
of the Ten Commandments? In the entire
universe God could not have displayed a more
convincing and irrefutable argument in favor of
His law. Yet, in the face of this tremendous
exhibition, misguided millions of poor, feeble men
belittle the government of God by belittling His
law. They seem not to understand that the law is
only a reflection of His holiness and
righteousness. To speak of its abolition is to
border on treason against the divine government
of heaven.
:
Look into that holy law right now for a divine
revelation of what God wants your life to be.
Confess that you have no strength to live up to
that perfect standard. Then turn your eyes to the
only One who has kept that law perfectly and
who desires this very moment to enter your life
with enabling power. He will fulfill the
righteousness of the law—the just requirements
of the law—in you, so that you can say with Paul,
“Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live
in the flesh I live by the faith ofthe Son of God,
who loved me, and gave himself for
me” ( Galatians 2:20 ).
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https://plus.google.com/107145689023320095268 Brian Ayres : Does God's Grace Blot Out the Law? Amazing Facts: The devil, through sin, has just about wrecked this...
Does God's Grace Blot Out
the Law?

Amazing Facts:
The devil, through sin, has just about wrecked this
world of ours. We live in an age of rebellion against
all restraint and law. Our nation stands aghast at
the big-city gang defiance of social order and property rights, including the right to live. Murder, robbery, and personal assaults have become the trademark of both urban and suburban 20th- century life.

Each day as we read the newspaper it seems that
the quality of life has edged downward a little bit
further. At times we are tempted to believe that
things can get no worse, and that conditions
have hit rock bottom. Yet, the next day, even
more violent, bizarre crimes are reported, and we
simply shake our heads in disbelief. It is difficult
to comprehend how a nation like America with its
rich Christian heritage could ever depart so far
from its founding principles. Even the non-
Christian countries are not plagued with as much
crime and overall violence as this so-called
Christian nation. More crime is reported in
Washington, D.C., in 24 hours than Moscow
reports in a full year. No doubt the reporting
methods are not the same, but it still presents an
alarming picture.
:
The problem becomes more serious when we
realize that lawlessness also reaches into the
area of religion and affects millions who would
never think of killing or raping. It is probable that
the great majority of church members in America
today carry few convictions against breaking at
least one of the Ten Commandments. A very
insidious doctrine has been developed in both
Catholic and Protestant theology, which has
tended to minimize the authority of God’s great
moral law. It has led many to look lightly upon
transgression and has made sin to appear
unobjectionable. In fact, sin has lost its horror for
multitudes and has become an acceptable mode
of life for both youth and adults. Witness the
current trends in lifestyle that support this view.
:
How many young men and women are living
together without benefit of marriage! Yet they do
not believe such living arrangements should be
designated as sin. A large portion of shoplifters
are professing Christians, and most of those who
belong to churches believe that there is no sin
whatsoever involved in violating the seventh-day
Sabbath of the fourth commandment.
:
How can we explain this paradoxical situation
among those who profess such high regard for
the Bible, and such love for Christ? This question
becomes more significant when we consider the
historical position of Christianity toward the Ten-
Commandment law. Almost all of the great
denominations have officially placed themselves
on record as supporting the authority of that law.
Yet very subtle errors of interpretation have crept
into the modern church, leading to the present
state of confused loyalty toward the Ten
Commandments. How earnestly we need to look
at that law and study its relation to God’s grace
and to salvation itself. Itis so easy to accept the
popular clichés concerning law and grace without
searching out the biblical facts by which we will
finally be judged. We must find authoritative
scriptural answers to questions like these: In
what sense are Christians free from the law?
What does it mean to be under the law? Does
God’s grace nullify the Ten Commandments? Is a
Christian justified in breaking any of the Ten
Commandments because he is under grace?
These are the questions we shall address
ourselves to in this important study.
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CONDEMNED TO DIE:
Let us push aside the rubbish of confusion that
has obscured the truth about how men are saved.
Multitudes have heard emotional discourses on
sin and salvation, but they still do not understand
the logic and reason that require a blood
sacrifice.
:
Can you imagine the horror of standing before a
judge and hearing the sentence of death
pronounced against you? Probably not. But you
have felt the driving guilt and fear when God’s
Word stabs you with this sentence: “The wages
of sin is death” ( Romans 6:23 ). Why fear and
guilt? Because “all have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God” ( Romans 3:23 ).
:
The words are there and the meaning cannot be
mistaken. The word “all” might just as well be
spelled John Smith or Mary Jones or whatever
your name happens to be. The shocking fact is
that you are under the sentence of death! You
have been found guilty before the law, and there
is no court of appeal in the world that can reverse
the sentence and find you not guilty. The fact is
that you are guilty, just as guilty as sin.
According to 1 John 3:4 , “sin is the transgression
of the law,” and you must plead guilty to
breaking the law. Whose law did you break? Paul
answers quickly, “I had not known sin, but by the
law: for I had not known lust, except the law had
said, Thou shalt not covet” (Ro-mans 7:7). There
it is! The great Ten-Commandment law is the
one that was broken, and it demands death for
the transgressor.
:
In desperation the sinner searches for a way to
be justified in the sight of that broken law. How
can the sentence of death be turned aside? Can
man atone for his sins by obeying the
commandments of God for the rest of his life?
Back comes the answer in language that no one
can misinterpret: “Therefore by the deeds of the
law there shall no flesh be justified in his
sight” ( Romans 3:20 ).
:
Listen; there is a reason why works will not
justify a soul. If a man is found guilty of stealing
and is sentenced to ten years in jail, he may
indeed justify himself by works. By serving the
time of his sentence, the man may satisfy the
claims of the law. He is considered perfectly
justified and innocent because he has worked out
his deliverance by fulfilling the sentence. In the
same manner, a murderer may be justified by
works if he serves the fifty years of his sentence.
But suppose the sentence is death instead of fifty
years? Can the prisoner then justify himself by
works? Never! Even if he should work for one
hundred years at hard labor, the law would still
demanddeath. The truth is that “without shedding
of blood is no remission. … So Christ was once
offered to bear the sins of many” ( Hebrews
9:22–28 ).
:
This is why works can never save the sinner. The
penalty for sin is not ten years in prison or fifty
years at hard labor. The sentence is death, and
the law cannot be satisfied except by the
shedding of blood. That unchangeable law with
its unrelenting death sentence could no more be
removed than the throne of God could be toppled.
The guilt of the past cannot be erased by
resolutions of good behavior in the future. The
sinner finally is forced to confess that he owes
something that he cannot pay. The law demands
death and he cannot satisfy it without forfeiting
his own life for eternity.
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THE LAW STILL BINDING:
Now we are brought to the question that has
created confusion for multitudes of Christians: If
the works of the law cannot save a person, is it
therefore necessary to keep the law? Apparently
this was a burning issue in the early church,
because Paul asked the same question in
Romans 6:1 . “Shall we continue in sin, that grace
may abound?” In other words, does grace give us
a license to disobey the law of God? His answer
is: “God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to
sin, live any longer therein?” (verse 2).
:
How interesting it is that Christians in this age of
relativism can invent their own definitions that
condone lawbreaking. The Bible says sin is
violating the Ten Commandments—the law which
has been described as irrelevant and old-
fashioned by many modern theologians. Don’t be
deceived. Every one of those great moral precepts
is just as timely and needful today as they were
when God wrote them on the imperishable tables
of stone. And nothing has ever happened to make
them less binding than they were when God gave
them. In fact, we are going to discover that
Jesus came to magnify the law and to open up
its spiritual application, making it more
comprehensive than the legalistic Pharisees ever
imagined. Under the distilling influence of Christ’s
perfect life of obedience, we can see the spiritual
details of law-keeping which are neither
recognized nor made possible apart from Him.
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GOD'S LAW-A MIRROR:
At this point we must be very careful to
designate also what the law cannot do. Even
though it points out sin, it has no power to save
from sin. There is no justifying, cleansing grace in
it. All the works of all the laws would not be
sufficient to save a single soul. Why? For the
simple reason that we are saved by grace
through faith, as a free gift. “Therefore by the
deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified
in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of
sin” ( Romans 3:20 ).
:
Do not stumble over this crucial point. We cannot
earn forgiveness by working hard to obey. No
sinner can gain favor and acceptance with God
because he keeps the law. The law was not
made for the purpose of saving or justifying. It
was made to show us our need of cleansing and
to point us to the great source of cleansing,
Jesus Christ, our Lord. The Bible speaks of the
law as a mirror to show us what kind of persons
we really are. “For if any be a hearer of the word,
and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding
his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth
himself, and goeth his way, and straightway
forgetteth what manner of man he was. But
whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and
continueth therein, he being not a forgetful
hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be
blessed in his deed” ( James 1:23–25 ).
:
It is obvious to all that a mirror cannot remove a
spot from the face. Looking into the mirror all
day, and even rubbing it over the face, will not
provide any cleansing. Its work is to reveal the
spot and to point the dirty one to the sink for
actual cleansing. The law, in like manner, can
only condemn the sinner by giving him knowledge
of his condition and then pointing him to the
cross for true cleansing. “For by grace are ye
saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it
is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man
should boast” ( Ephesians 2:8 , 9). Paul further
emphasizes this point in Galatians 2:16 :
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works
of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ … for
by the works of the law shall no flesh be
justified.”
:
Right here we must consider one of the most
fallacious propositions ever set forth relating to
the law. Countless sincere Christians have
accepted the idea that the Old Testament
encompasses the dispensation of works and that
the New Testament provides for a dispensation of
grace. Under this garbled plan people were saved
by works in the Old Testament and by grace in
the New Testament. This is simply not true. The
Bible holds forth only one beautiful, perfect plan
for anybody to be saved, and that is by grace
through faith. Heaven will not be divided between
those who got there by works and those who got
there by faith. Every single soul among the
redeemed will be a sinner saved by grace.
:
Those who entered into salvation in the Old
Testament were those who trusted the merits of
the blood of Jesus Christ, and they demonstrated
their faith by bringing a lamb and slaying it. They
looked forward in faith to the atoning death of
Jesus. We look back in faith to the same death
and are saved in exactly the same way. Be very
certain that the entire redeemed host throughout
eternity will be singing the same song of
deliverance, exalting the Lamb slain from the
foundations of the world.
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A "NEW" LAW OF CHRIST:
Some try to dispose of the Ten Commandments
on the basis of the “new” commandments of love
that Christ introduced. It is certainly true that
Jesus laid down two great laws of love as a
summary of all the law, but did He give the idea
that these were new in point of time? The fact is
that He was quoting directly from the Old
Testament when He gave those
newcommandments. “And thou shalt love the
Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy
soul, and with all thy might” ( Deuteronomy 6:5 ).
“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as
thyself” ( Leviticus 19:18 ). Certainly, those
penetrating spiritual principles had been forgotten
by the legalists of Christ’s day, and they were
new to them in relation to their life and practice.
But they were not intended by Jesus to take the
place of the Ten Commandments.
:
When the lawyer asked Jesus which was the
greatest commandment in the law, he received
the answer: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with
all thy mind. This is the first and great
commandment. And the second is like unto it,
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On
these two commandments hang all the law and
the prophets” ( Matthew 22:37–40 ).
:
Notice that these two love commandments
simply summed up “all the law and the
prophets.” They all hang upon these two
principles of love. Christ was saying that love is
the fulfilling of the law just as Paul repeated it
later in Romans 13:10 . If one loves Christ
supremely with heart, soul, and mind, he will
obey the first four commandments that have to
do with our duty to God. He will not take God’s
name in vain, worship other gods, etc. If one
loves his neighbor as himself, he will obey the
last six commandments that relate to our duty to
our fellow men. He will not be able to steal from
his neighbor, lie about him, etc. Love will lead to
obeying or fulfilling all the law.
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NOT UNDER THE LAW:
Often we hear this argument in an effort to
belittle the law of God: “Well, since we are not
under the law but under grace, we do not need to
keep the Ten Commandments any longer.” Is this
a valid point? The Bible certainly does say that
we are not under the law, but does that imply
that we are free from the obligation to obey it?
The text is found in Romans 6:14 , 15. “For sin
shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not
under the law, but under grace. What then? shall
we sin, because we are not under the law, but
under grace? God forbid.”
:
How easily we could prevent confusion if we
accepted exactly what the Bible says. Paul gives
his own explanation of his statement. After
stating that we are not under the law but under
grace, he asks, “What then?” This simply means,
“How are we to understand this?” Then notice his
answer. In anticipation that some will construe
his words to mean that you can break the law
because you are under grace, he says, “Shall we
sin (break the law) because we are not under the
law but under grace? God forbid.” In the
strongest possible language Paul states that
being under grace does not give a license to
break the law. Yet this is exactly what millions
believe today, and they totally ignore Paul’s
specific warning.
:
If being under grace does not exempt us from
keeping the law, then what does Paul mean by
saying that Christians are not under the law? He
gives that answer in Romans 3:19 . “Now we
know that what things soever the law saith, it
saith to them who are under the law: that every
mouth may be stopped, and all the world may
become guilty before God.” Here Paul equates
being under the law with “being guilty before
God.” In other words, those who are under the
law are guilty of breaking it and are under the
condemnation of it. This is why Christians are
not under it. They are not breaking it—not guilty
and condemned by it. Therefore, they are not
under it, but are under the power of grace
instead. Later in his argument, Paul points out
that the power of grace is greater than the power
of sin. This is why he states so emphatically,
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye
are not under the law, but under grace.” Grace
overrules the authority of sin, giving power to
obey God’s law. This is the effective reason that
we are not under the law’s guilt and
condemnation and also why Paul states that we
will not continue to sin.
:
Suppose a murderer has been sentenced to death
in the electric chair. Waiting for the execution the
man would truly be under the law in every sense
of the word—under the guilt, under the
condemnation, under the sentence of death, etc.
Just before the execution date the governor
reviews the condemned man’s case and decides
to pardon him. In the light of extenuating
circumstances the governor exercises his
prerogative and sends a full pardon to the
prisoner. Now he is no longer under the law but
under grace. The law no longer condemns him.
He is considered totally justified as far as the
charges of the law are concerned. He is free to
walk out of the prison and no policeman can lay
hands upon him. But now that he is under grace
and no longer under the law, can we say that he
is free to break the law? Indeed not! In fact, that
pardoned man will be doubly obligated to obey
the law because he has found grace from the
governor. In gratitude and love he will be very
careful to honor the law of that state which
granted him grace. Is that what the Bible says
about pardoned sinners? “Do we then make void
the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we
establish the law” ( Romans 3:31 ). Here is the
most explicit answer to the entire problem. Paul
asks if the law is nullified for us just because we
have had faith in Christ’s saving grace. His
answer is that the law is established and
reinforced in the life of a grace-saved Christian.
:
The truth of this is so simple and obvious that it
should require no repetition, but the devious
reasoning of those who try to avoid obedience
makes it necessary to press this point a bit
further. Have you ever been stopped by a
policeman for exceeding the speed limit? It is an
embarrassing experience, especially if you know
you are guilty. But suppose you really were
hurrying to meet a valid emergency, and you pour
out your convincing explanation to the police-
man as he writes your ticket. Slowly he folds the
ticket and tears it up. Then he says, “All right,
I’m going to pardon you this time, but …” Now
what do you think he means by that word “but”?
Surely he means, “but I don’t want to ever catch
you speeding again.” Does this pardon (grace)
open the way for you to disobey the law? On the
contrary, it adds compelling urgency to your
decision not to disobey the law again. Why, then,
should any true Christian try to rationalize his
way out of obeying the law of God? “If ye love
me,” Jesus said, “keep my
commandments” ( John 14:15 ).
l
l
OBEDIENCE-THE TEST OF LOVE:
Someone may bring up the objection that after
the law has accomplished its purpose of pointing
the sinner to Christ for cleansing, it will no longer
be needed in the experience of the believer. Is
that true? No, indeed. The Christian will always
need the watchdog of the law to reveal any
deviation from the true path and to point him
back to the cleansing cross of Jesus. There will
never be a time when that mirror of correction
will not be needed in the progressive growth
experience of the Christian.
:
Law and grace do not work in competition with
each other but in perfect cooperation. The law
points out sin, and grace saves from sin. The law
is the will of God, and grace is the power to do
the will of God. We do not obey the law in order
to be saved but because we are saved. A
beautiful text which combines the two in their
true relationship is Revelation 14:12 . “Here is the
patience of the saints: here are they that keep the
commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
What a perfect description of faith and works!
And the combination is found in those who are
“saints.”
:
The works of obedience are the real test of love.
This is why they are so necessary in the
experience of a true believer. “Faith without
works is dead” ( James 2:20 ). No man ever won
a fair maiden’s heart by words alone. Had there
been no flowers, no acts of devotion, no gifts of
love, most men would still be searching for a
companion. Jesus said, “Not every one that saith
unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom
of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my
Father which is in heaven” ( Matthew 7:21 ).
:
Words and profession are not enough. The true
evidence is obedience. Today’s bumper stickers
reflect a shallow concept of love. They say,
“Smile if you love Jesus,” “Honk if you love
Jesus”; but what did the Master Himself say? He
said, “If ye love me, keep my
commandments” ( John 14:15 ). And that is
exactly what most people don’t want to do. If
love makes no demands beyond a smile or wave,
then it is welcome; but if the lifestyle must be
disturbed, the majority will reject it. Unfortunately,
most people today are not looking for truth. They
are looking for a smooth, easy, comfortable
religion that will allow them to live the way they
please and still give assurance of salvation. There
is indeed no true religion that can do that for
them.
:
One of the strongest texts in the Bible on this
subject is found in 1 John 2:4 . “He that saith, I
know him, and keepeth not his commandments,
is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” John could
write that with such assurance because it is one
of the most deeply established truths in the Bible.
Jesus spoke of those who said, “Lord, Lord,” but
did not do the will of the Father. Then He
described many who would seek entrance to the
kingdom claiming to be workers of miracles in the
name of Christ. But He would sorrowfully have to
say, “I never knew you: depart from
me” ( Matthew 7:21–23 ). You see, to know Christ
is to love Him, and to love Him is to obey Him.
The valid assumption of the Bible writers is very
clear and simple: If one is not obeying Christ, he
does not love Christ. And if he doesn’t love the
Master, then he doesn’t know Him. John assured
us, “And this is life eternal, that they might know
thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom
thou hast sent” ( John 17:3 ). Thus, we can see
how knowing and loving and obeying are all tied
closely together and are absolutely inseparable in
the life of God’s faithful people. The beloved John
summed it up in these words: “For this is the
love of God, that we keep his commandments:
and his commandments are not grievous” ( 1
John 5:3 ).
l
l
IS IT POSSIBLE TO OBEY THE LAW?
Countless Christians have been taught that since
the law is spiritual and we are carnal, no human
being will ever be able in this life to meet the
requirements of the perfect law. Is this true? Has
it been given by God as a great idealistic,
impossible goal toward which converted souls
should struggle but never expect to attain? Is
there some hidden reservation or secret meaning
in the many commands to obey the ten great
rules God wrote on stone? Did God mean what
He said and say what He meant?
:
Many believe that only Christ could have obeyed
that law and only because He had special powers
that have not been made available to us.
Certainly it is true that Jesus is the only One
who lived without committing a single act of
disobedience. His reason for living that perfect,
victorious life is laid out in Romans 8:3 , 4 : “For
what the law could not do, in that it was weak
through the flesh, God sending his own Son in
the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin,
condemned sin in the flesh: That the
righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us,
who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.”
:
Do not miss the point that Jesus came to
condemn sin by His perfect life in the flesh in
order that “the righteousness of the law” might
be fulfilled in us. What is that righteousness? The
Greek word dikaima is used here, which means,
literally, “the just requirement” of the law. This
can only mean that Christ won His perfect
victory in order to make the same victory
available to us. Having conquered the devil,
showing that in the flesh the law can be obeyed,
Christ now offers to come into our hearts and
share the victory with us. Only by His strength
and indwelling power can the requirements of the
law be fulfilled by anyone. Paul said, “I can do all
things through Christ which strengtheneth
me” ( Philippians 4:13 ).
:
Not one soul can ever keep one of those Ten
Commandments in human power alone, but all of
them may be kept through the enabling strength
of Jesus. He imputes His righteousness for
cleansing and imparts His righteousness for
victorious living. Christ came in a body of flesh
like our own and depended wholly upon His
Father in living His life to demonstrate the kind of
victory which is possible for every soul who will
likewise draw upon the Father’s grace.
l
l
JUDGED BY THE LAW:
Now, a final question about the subject of the
law: How many of the Ten Commandments does
one have to break in order to be guilty of sin?
James says, “For whosoever shall keep the whole
law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of
all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery,
said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no
adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a
transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do,
as they that shall be judged by the law of
liberty” ( James 2:10–12 ).
:
Every individual will be judged at last by the
mighty moral code of God’s law. To break one is
to be guilty of sin. The Bible indicates that the
Ten Commandments are like a chain with ten
links. When one link is broken, the chain is
broken. So it is with the law. Those who stand in
the judgment will have to meet the acid test of
the Ten Commandments. If a practicing thief
should seek entrance into the kingdom, he would
be rejected. This is why Paul says thieves will
not inherit the heavenly city. Furthermore, the
Bible specifically declares that liars, adulterers,
idolaters, and covetous men will not be in the
kingdom. Why? Because the Ten Commandments
forbid those things, and men will be judged finally
by that law. Not one person will be admitted into
heaven who is willfully violating any one of the
Ten Commandments, because breaking one is
breaking all.
:
Someone might object that this is making works
the basis of entering the kingdom. No. It is really
making love the qualifying factor. Jesus said that
the greatest commandment of all is to love God
supremely. He also said, “If ye love me, keep my
commandments” ( John 14:15 ). Those who
practice any known sin are really confessing that
they do not love God with all their heart, soul,
and mind. So it is the lack of love that shuts
them out—not the act of disobedience that
exposes that lack. Only when love is motivating
the obedience does it become acceptable to God.
Any other work is man’s vain attempt to earn
salvation and to deny the efficacy of Christ’s
atoning sacrifice.
l
l
RANSOMED FOR WHAT?
A dramatic illustration of the law-grace doctrine
is seen in the story of the slave auctions in old
New Orleans long ago. Two planters were bidding
for an old Negro slave who kept shouting his
rebellion from the auction block. Finally, one of
the planters won the bid and took the slave in his
wagon back to the farm. Throughout the journey
the defiant black man declared that he would not
work for the new owner. When they arrived at the
plantation, the planter dropped the shackles from
the newly bought slave and said, “You are free to
go. You are no longer a slave. I bought you in
order to give you your liberty.”
:
According to the story, the old man fell at the
feet of the planter and said, “Master, I’ll serve
you forever.”
:
In like manner, we were all held in the bondage of
sin, condemnation, and death. Christ then paid
the price to secure our freedom from that
hopeless slavery. Lovingly He tells us that the
reason He made the sacrifice was to set us free.
What should our response be? Every ransomed
child of God should fall at His feet and say,
“Master, I love you for what you did for me. I’ll
serve you the rest of my life.”
:
Think it through for a moment. Jesus had to die
because the law had been broken. Sin demanded
death. If the law could have been abrogated, the
penalty of sin would have been set aside also.
“For where no law is, there is no
transgression” ( Romans 4:15 ). So strong was the
authority of that unchangeable law that God
Himself could not abolish it—not even to save His
own Son from death.
:
The old, old story of the two brothers is almost a
perfect illustration of both law and grace in
operation. The older brother was a judge. His
younger brother was brought before him as a
transgressor of the law. From all the evidence it
was clear to all thathe was guilty. The court was
tense. Would the judge mete out justice in such a
case? The judge looked at his brother and sternly
declared him guilty. Then he stunned the court by
imposing the maximum fine. But immediately he
left the bench and threw his arms around his
brother and said, “I had to do it because you are
guilty. I know you cannot pay the fine, but I will
pay it for you.”
:
The point of the story is dramatic in its impact.
The brother was forgiven, but the penalty was
not. It had to be paid. But by paying the
maximum penalty, the judge not only did not
abolish the law, but he greatly magnified it. He
demonstrated that its binding claims could never
be voided. In the same sense, God would not and
could not abolish the law to save His beloved
Son. It cost something to uphold the law and pay
the maximum penalty. No one will ever know how
much it cost the Son of God. But how thankful
we should be that His love was as perfect as His
justice. In His own body He bore the penalty,
satisfied the law, and justified the transgressor.
:
Can’t you see that no greater demonstration
could have been made to prove the permanence
of the Ten Commandments? In the entire
universe God could not have displayed a more
convincing and irrefutable argument in favor of
His law. Yet, in the face of this tremendous
exhibition, misguided millions of poor, feeble men
belittle the government of God by belittling His
law. They seem not to understand that the law is
only a reflection of His holiness and
righteousness. To speak of its abolition is to
border on treason against the divine government
of heaven.
:
Look into that holy law right now for a divine
revelation of what God wants your life to be.
Confess that you have no strength to live up to
that perfect standard. Then turn your eyes to the
only One who has kept that law perfectly and
who desires this very moment to enter your life
with enabling power. He will fulfill the
righteousness of the law—the just requirements
of the law—in you, so that you can say with Paul,
“Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live
in the flesh I live by the faith ofthe Son of God,
who loved me, and gave himself for
me” ( Galatians 2:20 ).
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(Sad Memorial Day story)

"It was a Tuesday. You could call it a normal Tuesday except it wasn't. We spent our day shopping at the outlets, eating Mexican, and looking at my parents' new house before driving 5 1/2 hours to Tennessee from Ohio.

I arrived home to yet another tough box on my porch. This meant the end of deployment was near because his things were coming home. This tough box was a blessing.

On my third trip to unload the truck a car pulled up. A white Impala. I think I knew what was about to happen but I refused to believe it. Two men in dress blues approached me asking if I was Serena. I told them I wasn't and that they had the wrong house and needed to leave immediately. Then they asked me if I was the wife of Ofren Arrechaga. That's when I knew.

How I managed the walk from the truck to the house is beyond me. I just remember shaking uncontrollably. That took a couple days and a couple Xanax to go away. Once we were inside I sat on the couch as Alston danced around the living room. He's his father's son, always the center of attention. His third birthday was the day before and he was simply happy to be out of the car and ready to play with his presents. My innocent child had no idea what was going on as he danced for our guests.

After what felt like forever - "Say it. Just fucking say it."

... "Ma'am, the Secretary of the Army regrets you inform you that your husband, Ofren Arrechaga, died of his wounds..."

I don't remember the rest.

This is our fifth Memorial Day understanding the true meaning of the day to our cores. It shocks me to say that and yet it doesn't. It feels like yesterday and at the same time it feels like it happened a lifetime ago. Regardless, we will honor and cherish Ofren's life and sacrifice until the day we join him in Heaven.

Memorial Day isn't "happy" by any means but that doesn't mean you can't have a good time. Take a chapter out of Ofren's book and know how to balance the two. He struggled with his losses and yet always managed to boost moral by doing something silly or finding joy in the smallest of things. This is the example I try to follow in my life. It may be hard to find happiness but it's there if you choose to see it.

Our fallen heroes are the reason we live in a privileged nation where we get to sleep safely and soundly in our beds every night. This is one of many reasons they deserve this one day to remember their service and sacrifice.

"Only the dead have seen the end of war." - Plato. This is the quote Ofren used for his memorial tattoo after his third tour.

I miss you, my love. Come what may.

Always remembering and honoring SFC Ofren "AC" Arrechaga, KIA 29 March 2011, Kunar Province, Afghanistan."

-Seana Arrechaga, War Widow & Mother

Photo credit - Katherine Frey of the Washington Post.
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