We live by what rules?
There is quite a movement going on at the moment about how or by what we are to live. Many are saying that the law has been done away with and we now live by grace. I have hesitated to get involved in this area but now I feel to give a few thoughts on this subject and I don’t claim in any way to be an expert on this. However we are told to check all spirits [1 John 4:1] and if we are not then there must be a problem with the teaching.
I first ask that I be shown from scripture where it says we live by grace? All the Bibles I have checked state we are saved by grace but we live by faith. So to me this brings up two questions, how do we live by grace as some state but if we live by faith, faith in what? Many claim we no longer have to worry if we sin as we are forgiven by grace no matter what we get up to, is this correct? [Hebrews 10:26] Yeshua made a statement while in the wilderness, “You shall not test the Lord thy God.” [Matthew 4:7] a direct quote from the Torah/Teachings in Hebrew or as the English translation states, law. If we continue to purposely sin are we not doing just that, testing God?
What is grace, it’s the undeserved forgiveness of our sins. Adam and Eve experienced this when they failed to listen to the instructions of God and were saved by grace. Cain ignored the word of God and was saved by grace. Noah was saved by grace because he lived by the word of God. Moses never entered the Promised Land because he failed to recognise that God’s Word covers all things. [[[ King David failed when he did not listen to Gods direction and then when he did listen things went right. The prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah and others warned the people to obey God’s word. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego followed the teachings of the scriptures that we would call the law and survived the lion’s den [Daniel 6:16] and the fiery Furnace. [Daniel 3:19] Without the teachings of the Lord in our heart how are we ever going to understand the grace we are saved by? Once we are saved by His grace how are we ever going to know how to live in God’s kingdom here and now if we cast aside God’s teachings and direction, again, called by many, the law?
Keeping the teachings never saves us, as many try to do, but we are sinners [Romans 5:8] saved by grace from a state of sin and brought into the Kingdom of God. This is why God had to write a new edict. The first convicted the people that they were sinners [Romans 7:7] but failed to supply the means to bring us into salvation and into the presence of God. [Romans 7:10] Therefore God had to produce an edict that did which we find in the Second Testament. As with Abraham [Romans 4:16-24] we are saved by grace so then we have to ask when saved by what law or rules or teachings, whatever you want to call it, do we live by? The Bible tells us clearly we live by faith [Galatians 3:11] and therefore we have to ask the question, faith in what? I would suggest we live a life of faith in the word and teachings of the Lord. Some say this is the law of Jesus but what is the law of Jesus? [Matthew 22:37-40] Yes all the rules of behaviour and obviously this excludes the sacrifices as these brought people into the presence of the Lord and Yeshua clearly took care of this on the cross. [Hebrews 10:20]
True we are no longer under the law, a law that brings death but as Paul said without the law how do we know if we have sinned? Law brings condemnation [Romans 7:10] and grace brings life [Ephesians 1:7] but again if we don't know the teachings of God, as I have said, how do we know how to live and if we have sinned or not? By God’s grace the Israelites were set free from Egypt by God’s grace the people entered the Promised Land and by grace we have been forgiven but forgiven from what? The quick answer is an eternal death separated from the presence of God forever. [Isaiah 59:2]
Without the teachings of God we can and will go astray which has been proven time and again throughout scripture. [Isaiah 53:6] The Israelites saw the waters parted and rejoiced but after only three days they sinned again. [Exodus 15:24] So if we ignore the teachings of God because we are now under grace, how long will it be before we too will wander from the truth and test God’s salvation? [Luke 11:52] There are many examples of what has happened when we have failed to keep God’s word as a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. [Psalm 119:105] Paul said the law was done away with, or did he say the condemnation of the law has been removed? [Galatians 2:19] He also stated the law is not sin [Romans 7:7] but it obviously convicts us of sin and from this we are freed as we have been released from sin by the blood of Yeshua. [Matthew 27:51] But does it mean we can keep on sinning? Not at all! Is the law bad? Not at all! [Romans 7:12] If the Holy Spirit convicts us that we have sinned surely we have to weigh that conviction up against something. [John 16:13] And what better place than the teachings of God, without which we would never know we had sinned. [Romans 3:20] This is a major problem within the Church today, that the teachings to be found in the First Testament, have been done away with leaving a vacuum that can and is being filled with humanism and liberal teachings.
Let us look at the words of Jesus and what He told us about the teachings of the law. Not one Yod, letter, will be done away with [Matthew 5:18] and I have not come to do away with the law but to fulfill it. [Matthew 5:17] So nothing from the First Testament is going to be done away with which leaves us with another question. How is the law going to be fulfilled through Yeshua? Let me make a few suggestions, the fact is Yeshua is the Law, the way of life for us to follow. He is the Word that was made flesh [John 1:1-2] and crucified and in Him the effects of the Law were crucified with Him.
If He is the Word as stated then surely He is everything we read in the Word. From the commands to love God to loving people He lived by the Law of God. He used the Law of God on more than one occasion to make the point like the lady caught in adultery. The law states there has to me more then one witness to punish a person. [Deuteronomy 17:6] There wasn’t, [John 8:10] so even though she had sinned she could not be punished. [John 8:11] Yeshua stated we could not give false witness, all from the law. It is very clear Yeshua did not and never intended for the teachings of the law to be removed otherwise we would never know when we had sinned.
The cross has removed the effects of the Law as the Law brought death; it could not bring salvation for two reasons. It could not bring salvation because keeping the law does not create an eternal sacrifice. The second reason is to be saved means to be made perfect, to be made whole in the eyes of God. This could never be achieved by sacrificing an imperfect animal; the sacrifice has to be perfect to bring perfection. As for mankind keeping a law to win them salvation, we just have to look around us to see how impossible a task that would be. Only through the one and only perfect sacrifice can we be brought near to God [Hebrews 10:14] because then and only then is the one thing removed that would separate us from God and that’s condemnation. [Romans 8:1]
The Law of Jesus is the Law of God, without the direction of Yeshua and the Holy Spirit we would all be like sheep who have gone astray. We are weak and need direction and this direction will lead us to the cross. It comes from the exact same scriptures that the Disciples, the Prophets and the writers of the letters used to bring us the Word. The Word that teaches the saving grace by which we are saved and about the faith we can have in the teachings of the law of God that lead us to that grace and teaches us a way to live by faith in the truth of His Word.
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season. And its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but they are like chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish. Psalm 1:1-6