Mixing Law and Grace (2)

  • As we continue from Part 1, here’s another thing the law does. It keeps you in your old dead state and prevents you from entering into life.

    2 Corinthians 3:6 – “He has enabled us to be ministers of His new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the spirit gives life”.

    It is so easy, you have to try your very best to miss it. “He HAS enabled us to be ministers of His new covenant”. Are you kidding. It’s all about Him and Him doing it all. The covenant He has enabled us to be ministers of is not about written laws, but of the Spirit. It is so clear.

    Look at this one concerning what the law does.

    Rom 7:5 – “When we were controlled by our old nature, sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires that produced a harvest of sinful deeds, resulting in death”.

    What happens when people read the bible instead of study it is they miss the little subtle nuances that carry profound truth. Look how that verse starts. I’ll underline an extremely powerful declaration in bold for you. “When we were controlled by our old nature…” That’s a profound declaration from scripture, but sadly many Christians will not receive what is being said. It is declaring a past tense state of being. When we were controlled.

    Too many Christians are still controlled, because they can’t receive the simple truth that it’s over, done, finished and they are set free from the law of sin and death. As a result, they are still controlled by their old nature which causes sinful desires to be at work in them, resulting in sinful deeds, resulting in death. That death right there is a death that steals your righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, which is the Kingdom (Romans 14:17).

    Then there’s the preaching of the law. One thing it does for sure is increase sin in our lives. Look at Romans 5:20. I like it in The Voice version. “When the law came into the picture, sin grew and grew; but wherever sin grew and spread, God’s grace was there in fuller, greater measure. No matter how much sin crept in, there was always more grace”.

    Do you see it? Whenever you bring law into the picture, sin grows and grows. Preaching against sin only serves to create the very thing you’re trying to avoid. The good news is that God’s grace is always greater than any sin.

    So, with all that, why do some believers still try to live under the law? One major reason is they do not understand the power of their conversion. Said another way, they do not understand what happened at the cross. They have not discovered the finality of the cross. Heck, some people still have Jesus up on the cross.

    I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. “Until you fully understand and accept the finality of the cross, you’ll never be able to experience the power of the resurrection”. Freedom is on the backside of Calvary. That’s the victory side. I’m not diminishing one bit the importance of the cross, but you can’t live there. We proceed to the cross for victory, but we proceed from the cross in victory.

    The new covenant is not an improved old covenant. Jesus did not die so that you could keep the law. Jesus fulfilled the law at the cross. The new covenant is very different from the old covenant. It is a covenant of faith not of works. It is based on what Jesus did, not what you do. The law says do. Jesus and grace say done. The law says, now that you’re saved it’s time to go to work. Grace says, now that you’re saved….you’re finished.

    So why does the majority of the Christian community reject this great truth and great gift? Because it defies the laws of logic and reasoning that we as humans see and experience every day in the world. That is why Paul wrote Romans 12:2 about renewing the mind. It is the renewed mind that allows access into the supernatural. The renewed mind will not tolerate stinking thinking, but will open wide to allow Kingdom thinking to take place. Seeing things from God’s perspective.

    It is also difficult because we are so programmed to hearing the law preached. The gospel is called the gospel of peace (Romans 10:15). It’s called the gospel of grace (Acts 20:24). Yet we seldom hear it preached with strength, conviction and clarity.

    If we preach and teach behavior modification and performance based Christianity (which is just another form of the law) as the means of righteousness, then it will be almost impossible for us to live in the peace of God. What that does is put you on a perpetual treadmill. You’ll walk your religious legs off and get nowhere. All you’ll do is wear yourself out. You’ll have no abiding peace. Up one day and down the next. Always living under the cloud of self-condemnation.

    The preaching and teaching of a mixture of both law and grace is prevalent in the church today. In fact the vast majority of the church is selling this same gospel today. Look what Paul said about this in Galatians 1:8,9.

    8 Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of good news than the one we preached to you. 9 I say again what we have said before: if anyone preaches any other good news than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed.

    What gospel did Paul preach? It was the gospel of grace. Galatians 1:6,7.

    6. I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

    Preaching any other gospel is a perversion. Mixing law with grace is very dangerous. Not only did Paul call it a perversion and say that those who preached another gospel should be accursed, but he equated it to witchcraft.

    Now wait a minute. Where does it say that? Right here in Galatians 3:1 – “You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? Here it is in the message bible – “you crazy Galatians! Did someone put a hex on you? Have you taken leave of your senses? Something crazy has happened, for it’s obvious that you no longer have the crucified Jesus in clear focus in your lives. his sacrifice on the cross was certainly set before you clearly enough”.

    Right before your very eyes. Jesus Christ (the messiah) was openly and graphically set forth and portrayed as crucified. Mixing law with grace is like pouring arsenic on your food and eating it. It’s like trying to mix oil and water. It’s as worthless as pouring perfume on an old dead rotting body. The two just do not belong together.

    Anytime you hear a “have to”, “need to”, “you can’t”, “don’t do that”, or “you’ve got to”, that’s legalism, that’s religion, that’s people trying to keep you under the law. As long as you believe that obedience to the law is the method for winning acceptance from God, you will continue to have a problem with sin.

    If you’re being told you have to do something to earn God’s favor and blessing, run from that as fast as you can. What you just heard is not the gospel. It’s a perversion, it’s a lie, it’s not scriptural. You do not need to try, nor can you get through performance what is already yours through inheritance. Grace is not about doing it’s about receiving and being.

    The law demands righteousness from you, which drives you to perform or work to become what you already are. Grace gives or disperses righteousness to you. Said another way – grace imparts/imputes righteousness to you. All grace requires is that you simply receive. Grace and Peace.