Grace or Law? - Part 1
It grieves me to hear the Judeo-Christians
say: "I have grace, and that is sufficient for me." Or "I cannot accept
the Identity belief because I don't want to fall from grace,' for I don't
have to obey the Old Testament Laws' because I have grace. And if I were
to accept the belief that I must also obey the Old Testament Laws that
I would lose my salvation, because I would no longer have grace." There
is not one place in the Scriptures where it states that one can fall from
grace. This is taught by the clergy of Judeo-Christianity, a saying that
has been placed into the Christian churches by the antichrists to deceive
Christians. There is no other explanation for it.
We find this in the Old Testament:
"...I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers
upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate
me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of THEM THAT LOVE ME, AND KEEP MY
COMMANDMENTS." (Exodus 20:5-6)
We also find God saying:
"I LOVE THEM THAT LOVE ME; AND THOSE THAT SEEK ME EARLY SHALL FIND ME."
Then in the New Testament
we find Christ saying these exact same words: "IF YE LOVE ME, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS."
So here is a truth that most
Judeo-Christians deny when they say that they no longer have to obey the
Old Testament Laws because they love Christ. Well here Christ is saying
that they are lying if they say they love Him and obey not His Commandments.
Yet they accuse everyone who tries to keep God Commandments as best they
can as being not saved because they don't have grace. Yet the Scriptures
clearly state that one does NOT HAVE GRACE if they do not obey Christ and
keep His Commandments. Which are the same ones God said that Abraham obeyed
and for that Abraham God said that Abraham was his friend. (Isaiah 41:8)
And what were Christ's (For
He was God came to earth in a flesh body) commandments? They were
the Laws, Statutes and Judgments of God as given in the books of Leviticus,
Deuteronomy, and Exodus. These laws, statutes and judgments of God WERE
IN EFFECT BEFORE MOSES AND MOUNT SINAI. "BECAUSE that ABRAHAM OBEYED MY
VOICE, AND KEPT MY CHARGE, MY COMMANDMENTS, MY STATUTES, AND MY LAWS."
(Genesis 26:5) No where in the Scriptures does it relate that God gave
Abraham His Laws, Commandments, and Statutes except right here; yet He
must have because He said "Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept
Let's look at this word "Charge."
(from Latin carrus, "a wagon," hence, "to lay or put a load on or in,"
"to burden, or be a burden"):
Figurative: (1) of a special
duty mishmereth, "thing to be watched"), "the charge of Yahweh" <Lev
8:35>, the injunctions given in <Exo 29>; "the charge of the tabernacle"
<Num 1:53>; "the charge of the sons of Getshon" <3:25>; (2) of the
burden of expense (kabhedh, "to be, or make heavy"; adapanos, "without
expense"), "lest we be chargeable unto thee" (<2 Sam 13:25> the King
James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "burdensome");
"The former governors...were charge unto the people" (<Neh 5:15> margin
"laid burdens upon"); "that...I may make the gospel without charge" (<1
Cor 9:18>; see CHARGES); (3) of oversight, care, custody, "Who gave him
a charge over the earth?" <Job 34:13>; "to have the charge of the gate"
<2 Kin 7:17>; "charge of the vessels of service" <1 Chr 9:28>; "cause
ye them that have charge (pequddoth, "inspectors") over the city" <Ezek
9:1>; "who had the charge of all her treasure" (<Acts 8:27> the King
James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "was over");
(4) of a command, injunction, requirement, "He gave him a charge" <Gen
28:6>; "His father charged the people with the oath" <1 Sam 14:27>;
"Jesus strictly (m "sternly") charged them" <Mt 9:30>; "I charge you
by the Lord" (<1 Thes 5:27> the King James Version, the Revised Version
(British and American) "adjure"); "having received such a charge" (<Acts
16:24>, paraggelia, "private or extra message"); "This charge I commit
unto thee" <1 Tim 1:18>; (5) of blame, responsibility, reckoning, "Lord,
lay not this sin to their charge" <Acts 7:60>; "nothing laid to his
charge" <23:29>; "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?"
<Rom 8:33>. (from International Standard Bible Encylopaedia)
Let's examine the word GRACE
(gras): In the English New Testament the word "grace" is always a translation
of (charis), a word that occurs in the Greek text something over 170 times
(the reading is uncertain in places).
1). The Word Charis: In secular
Greek of all periods it is also a very common word, and in both Biblical
and secular Greek it is used with far more meanings than can be represented
by any one term in English Primarily (a) the word seems to denote pleasant
external appearance, "gracefulness" "loveliness"; compare the personification
in the Graces." Such a use is found in <Lk 4:22>, where `wondered at
the charm of his words' is a good translation; and similarly in <Col
4:6>. (b) Objectively, charis may denote the impression produced by "gracefulness,"
as in <3 Jn 4> `greater gratification have I none than this' (but many
manuscripts read chara, "joy," here). (c) As a mental attribute charis
may be translated by "graciousness," or, when directed toward a particular
person or persons, by "favor." So in <Lk 2:52>, "Jesus advanced ....
in favor with God and men." (d) As the complement to this, charis denotes
the emotion awakened in the recipient of such favor, i.e. "gratitude."
So <Lk 17:9> reads literally, `Has he gratitude to that servant? ' In
a slightly transferred sense charis designates the words or emotion in
which gratitude is expressed, and so becomes "thanks" (some 10 t, <Rom
6:17>, etc.) '. (e) Concretely, charis may mean the act by which graciousness
is expressed, as in <1 Cor 16:3>, where the King James Version translates
by "liberality," and the Revised Version (British and American) by "bounty."
These various meanings naturally tend to blend into each other, and in
certain cases it is difficult to fix the precise meaning that the writer
meant the word to convey, a confusion that is common to both New Testament
and secular Greek And in secular Greek the word has a still larger variety
of meanings that scarcely concern the theologian.
2). Grace as Power: Naturally,
the various meanings of the word were simply taken over from ordinary language
by the New Testament writers. And so it is quite illegitimate to try to
construct on the basis of all the occurrences of the word a single doctrine
that will account for all the various usages. That one word could express
both "charm of speech" and "thankfulness for blessings" was doubtless felt
to be a mere accident, if it was thought of at all. But none the less,
the very elasticity of the word enabled it to receive still another-- new
and technically Christian-- meaning. This seems to have originated in part
by fusing together two of the ordinary significances. In the first place,
as in (e) above, charis may mean "a gift." In <1 Cor 16:3; 2 Cor 8:19>
it is the money given by the Corinthians to the Jerusalemites. In <2
Cor 9:8> it is the increase of worldly goods that God grants for charitable
In <2 Cor 1:15> it is
the benefit received by the Corinthians from a visit by Paul. In a more
spiritual sense charis is the endowment for an office in the church <Eph
4:7>, more particularly for the apostolate <Rom 1:5; 12:3; 15:15; 1
Cor 3:10; Eph 3:2,7>. So in <1 Cor 1:4-7> margin charis is expanded
into "word and all knowledge," endowments with which the Corinthians were
especially favored. In <1 Pet 1:13> charis is the future heavenly blessedness
that Christians are to receive; in <3:7> it is the present gift of "life."
In the second place, charis is the word for God's favor, a sense of the
term that is especially refined by Paul (see below). But God's favor differs
from man's in that it cannot be conceived of as inactive. A favorable "thought"
of God's about a man involves of necessity the reception of some blessing
by that man, and "to look with favor" is one of the commonest Biblical
paraphrases for "bestow a blessing." Between "God's favor" and "God's favors"
there exists a relation of active power, and as charis denoted both the
favor and the favors, it was the natural word for the power that connected
them. This use is very clear in <1 Cor 15:10>, where Paul says, "not
I, but the grace of God which was with me" labored more abundantly than
they all: grace is something that labors. So in <2 Cor 12:9>, "My grace
is sufficient for thee: for my power is made perfect in weakness"; compare
<2 Tim 2:1>, "strengthened in the grace," and <1 Pet 4:10>, "stewards
of the manifold grace." Evidently in this sense "grace" is almost a synonym
for the Spirit (see HOLY SPIRIT), and there is little real difference between
"full of the Holy Spirit" and "full of grace and power" in <Acts 6:5,8>,
while there is a very striking parallel between <Eph 4:7-13> and <1
Cor 12:4-11>, with "gifts of grace" in the one passage, and "gifts of the
Spirit" in the other. And this connection between grace and the Spirit
is found definitely in the formula "Spirit of grace" in <Heb 10:29>
(compare <Zec 12:10>). And, as is well known, it is from this sense
of the word that the Catholic doctrine of grace developed.
3). Grace in Justification:
This meaning of charis was obtained by expanding and combining other meanings.
By the opposite process of narrowly restricting one of the meanings of
the word, it came again into Christian theology as a technical term, but
this time in a sense quite distinct from that just discussed. The formation
of this special sense seems to have been the work of Paul. When charis
is used with the meaning "favor," nothing at all is implied as to whether
or not the favor is deserved. So, for instance, in the New Testament, when
in <Lk 2:52> it is said that "Jesus advanced .... in favor with God
and men," the last possible thought is that Our Lord did not deserve this
favor. Compare also <Lk 2:40> and <Acts 2:47> and, as less clear
cases, <Lk 1:30; Acts 7:46; Heb 4:16; 12:15,28>. But the word has abundant
use in secular Greek in the sense of unmerited favor, and Paul seized on
this meaning of the word to express a fundamental characteristic of Christianity.
Grace or Law? - Part 2
The basic passage is <Rom
11:5-6>, where as a definition is given, "If it is by grace, it is no more
of works: otherwise grace is no more grace." That the word is used in other
senses could have caused no 1st-century reader to miss the meaning, which,
indeed, is unmistakable. "Grace" in this sense is an attitude on God's
part that proceeds entirely from within Himself, and that is conditioned
in no way by anything in the objects of His favor. So in <Rom 4:4>.
If salvation is given on the basis of what a man has done, then salvation
is given by God as the payment of a debt. But when faith is reckoned for
what it is not, i.e. righteousness, there is no claim on man's part, and
he receives as a pure gift something that he has not earned. (It is quite
true that faith involves moral effort, and so may be thought of as a sort
of a "work"; it is quite true that faith does something as a preparation
for receiving God's further gifts. But it simply clouds the exegetical
issue to bring in these ideas here, as they certainly were not present
in Paul's mind when the verses were being written.) "Grace" then, in this
sense is the antimony to "works" or to "law"; it has a special relation
to the guilt of sin <Rom 5:20; 6:1>, and has almost exactly the same
sense as "mercy." Indeed, "grace" here differs from "mercy" chiefly in
connoting eager love as the source of the act. See JUSTIFICATION. Of course
it is this sense of grace that dominates <Rom 3--6>, especially in the
thesis <3:24>, while the same use is found in <Gal 2:21; Eph 2:5,8;
2 Tim 1:9>. The same strict sense underlies <Gal 1:6> and is found,
less sharply formulated, in <Tit 3:5-7>. (<Gal 5:4> is perhaps different.)
Outside of Paul's writings, his definition of the word seems to be adopted
in <Jn 1:17; Acts 15:11; Heb 13:9>, while a perversion of this definition
in the direction of antinomianism is the subject of the invective in Jude
verse 4. And, of course, it is from the word in this technical Pauline
sense that an elaborate Protestant doctrine of grace has been developed.
4). Special Uses: A few special
uses of the word may be noted. That the special blessing of God on a particular
undertaking <Acts 14:26; 15:40> should be called a "grace" needs no
explanation. In <Lk 6:32-34>, and <1 Pet 2:19-20>, charis seems to
be used in the sense of "that which deserves the thanks of God," i.e. a
specifically Christian act as distinguished from an act of "natural morality."
"Grace for grace" in <Jn 1:16> is a difficult phrase, but an almost
exact parallel in Philo (Poster. Cain, 43) may fix the sense as "benefit
on benefit." But the tendency of the New Testament writers is to combine
the various meanings the word can have, something that is particularly
well illustrated in <2 Cor 8-9>. In these two chapters the word occurs
10 t, but in so many different senses as to suggest that Paul is consciously
playing with the term. Charis is the money given to the Jerusalemites by
the Corinthians <8:19>, it is the increase of goods that God will grant
the Corinthians <9:8>, it is the disposition of the givers <8:6>,
it is the power of God that has wrought this disposition <8:1; 9:14>,
it is the act of Christ in the Incarnation (<8:9>; contrast the distinction
between "God's grace" and "Christs act" in <Heb 2:9>), it is the thanks
that Paul renders <2 Cor 9:15>.
That all a Christian is and
all that he has is God's gift could have been stated of course without
the use of any special term at all. But in these two chapters Paul has
taught this truth by using for the various ideas always the same term and
by referring this term to God at the beginning and the end of the section.
That is, to the multiplicity of concepts there is given a unity of terminology,
corresponding to the unity given the multiple aspects of life by the thought
of entire dependence on God. So charis, "grace," becomes almost an equivalent
for "Christianity," viewed as the religion of dependence on God through
Christ. As one may think of entering Christianity, abiding in it, or falling
from it, so one may speak of entering into <Rom 5:2>, abiding in <Acts
13:43>, or falling from <Gal 5:4> grace; compare <1 Pet 5:12>. So
the teaching of Christianity may be summed up as word or gospel of grace
<Acts 14:3; 20:24,32>. So "grace be with you" closes the Epistles as
a sufficient summary of all the blessings that can be wished Christian
readers. At the beginning of the Epistles the words "and peace" are usually
added, but this is due only to the influence of the Jewish greeting "peace
be with you" (<Lk 10:5>, etc.), and not to any reflection on "grace"
and "peace" as separate things. (It is possible that the Greek use of chairein,
"rejoice," as an epistolary salutation (so in <James 1:1>) influenced
the Christian use of charis. But that "grace and peace" was consciously
regarded as a universalistic combination of Jewish and gentile custom is
altogether unlikely.) The further expansion of the introductory formula
by the introduction of "mercy" in 1 and 2 Tim is quite without theological
5). Teaching of Christ: In
the Greek Gospels, charis is used in the words of Christ only in <Lk
6:32-34; 17:9>. As Christ spoke in Aram, the choice of this word is due
to Luke, probably under the influence of its common Christian use in his
own day. And there is no word in Our Lord's recorded sayings that suggests
that He employed habitually any especial term to denote grace in any of
its senses. But the ideas are unambiguously present. That the pardon of
sins is a free act on God's part may be described as an essential in Christ's
teaching, and the lesson is taught in all manner of ways. The prodigal
knowing only his own wretchedness <Lk 15:20>, the publican without merit
to urge <Lk 18:13>, the sick who need a physician <Mk 2:17>, they
who hunger and thirst after righteousness <Mt 5:6>, these are the ones
for whom God's pardon is inexhaustible. And positive blessings, be they
temporal or spiritual, are to be looked for from God, with perfect trust
in Him who clothes the lilies and knows how to give good gifts to His children
(<Mt 7:11>; here <Lk 11:13> has "Holy Spirit" for "gifts," doubtless
a Lukan interpretation, but certainly a correct one). Indeed, it is not
too much to say that Christ knows but one unpardonable sin, the sin of
spiritual self-satisfaction-- "That which is exalted among men is an abomination
in the sight of God" (<Lk 16:15>; compare <Lk 17:7-10; Mt 20:1-16>).
6). In the Old Testament:
There is no word in Hebrew that can represent all the meanings of charis,
and in the Septuagint charis itself is used, practically, only as a translation
of the Hebrew chen, "favor," this restriction of meaning being due to the
desire to represent the same Hebrew word by the same Greek word as far
as possible. And chen, in turn, is used chiefly only in the phrase "find
favor" (<Gen 6:8>, etc.), whether the reference is to God or men, and
without theological importance. Much nearer Paul's use of charis is ratson,
"acceptance," in such passages as <Isa 60:10>, "In my favor have I had
mercy on thee"; <Ps 44:3>, "not .... by their own sword .... but ....
because thou wast favorable unto them." Perhaps still closer parallels
can be detected in the use of checedh, "kindness," "mercy," as in <Exo
20:6>, etc. But, of course, a limitation of the sources for the doctrine
to passages containing only certain words would be altogether unjust. The
main lines seem to be these:
(1) Technically, salvation
by grace in the New Testament is opposed to an Old Testament doctrine of
salvation by works <Rom 4:4; 11:6>, or, what is the same thing, by law
<Rom 6:14; Jn 1:17>; i. e men and God are thought of as parties to a
contract, to be fulfilled by each independently. Most of the legislation
seems to presuppose some idea of man as a quantity quite outside of God,
while <Deut 30:11-14> states explicitly that the law is not too hard
nor too far off for man.
(2) Yet even this legalism
is not without important modifications. The keeping of the law is man's
work, but that man has the law to keep is something for which God only
is to be thanked. <Ps 119> is the essence of legalism, but the writer
feels overwhelmed throughout by the greatness of the mercy that disclosed
such statutes to men. After all, the initial (and vital!) act is God's
not man's. This is stated most sharply in <Ezek 23:1-4>-- Oholibah and
her sister became God's, not because of any virtue in them, but in spite
of most revolting conduct. Compare <Deut 7:7>, etc.
(3) But even in the most
legalistic passages, an absolute literal keeping of the law is never (not
even in such a passage as <Num 15:30-31>) made a condition of salvation.
The thought of transgression is at all times tempered with the thought
of God's pardon. The whole sacrificial system, in so far as it is expiatory,
rests on God's gracious acceptance of something in place of legal obedience,
while the passages that offer God's mercy without demanding even a sacrifice
(<Isa 1:18; Micah 7:18-20>, etc.) are countless. Indeed, in <Ezek
16,20,23>, mercy is promised to a nation that is spoken of as hardly even
desiring it, a most extreme instance.
(4) But a mere negative granting
of pardon is a most deficient definition of the Old Testament idea of God's
mercy, which delights in conferring positive benefits. The gift to Abraham
of the land of Canaan, liberation from Egypt, food in the wilderness, salvation
from enemies, deliverance from exile-- all of Israel's history can be felt
to be the record of what God did for His people through no duty or compulsion,
grateful thanksgiving for such unmerited blessings filling, for instance,
much of the Psalter. The hearts of men are in God's keeping, to receive
from Him the impulse toward what is right (<1 Chr 29:18>, etc.). And
the promise is made that the God who has manifested Himself as a forgiving
Father will in due time take hold of His children to work in them actual
righteousness <Isa 1:26; 4:3-4; 32:1-8; 33:24; Jer 31:33-34; Ezek 36:25-26;
Zec 8; Dan 9:24; Ps 51:10-12> With this promise-- for the Old Testament
always a matter of the future-- the Old Testament teaching passes into
that of the New Testament.
7). Summary: Most of the
discussions of the Biblical doctrine of grace have been faulty in narrowing
the meaning of "grace" to some special sense, and then endeavoring to force
this special sense on all the Biblical passages. For instance, Roman scholars,
starting with the meaning of the word in (say) <2 Cor 12:9>, have made
<Rom 3:24> state that men are justified by the infusion of Divine holiness
into them, an interpretation that utterly ruins Paul's argument. On the
other hand, Protestant extremists have tried to reverse the process and
have argued that grace cannot mean anything except favor as an attitude,
with results that are equally disastrous from the exegetical standpoint.
And a confusion has resulted that has prevented men from seeing that most
of the controversies about grace are at cross-purposes. A rigid definition
is hardly possible, but still a single conception is actually present in
almost every case where "grace" is found-- the conception that all a Christian
has or is, is centered exclusively in God and Christ, and depends utterly
on God through Christ. The kingdom of heaven is reserved for those who
become as little children, for those who look to their Father in loving
confidence for every benefit, whether it be for the pardon so freely given,
or for the strength that comes from Him who works in them both to will
and to do.
Grace or Law? - Part 3
LITERATURE.-- All the Biblical
theologies contain full discussions of the subject; for the New Testament
the closest definitions are given by Bernard Weiss. But for the meaning
of "grace" in any particular place the commentaries must be consulted,
although the student may be warned against discussions that argue too closely
from what may seem to be parallel passages. (from International Standard
There is nothing here showing
that one might lose their salvation, or fall from grace if one believes
one thing or other. Then when they are presented with this information
they will immediately state read Acts 16:27-33: "And the keeper of the
prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew
out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners
had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no
harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and
came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out,
and said, Sirs, WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED? And they said, BELIEVE ON THE
LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND THOU SHALT BE SAVED, AND THY HOUSE. And THEY SPAKE
UNTO HIM THE WORD OF THE LORD, AND TO ALL THAT WERE IN HIS HOUSE. And he
took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; AND WAS
BAPTIZED, he and all his, straightway."
Of course the first thought
one has when reading this verse, they would think that all they had to
do was believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. But is that all this verse said?
1). Why did the guard ask
the question in the first place? It is obvious that he had hear Paul and
Silas preaching to others in the prison house the salvation message; otherwise
he would not have known to even ask the question.
Furthermore, we know that
to simply believe on the Lord Jesus Christ IS NOT ENOUGH ALONE FOR SALVATION.
For even the devils believe on Christ but they are not saved. Matthew 8:28-31:
"And when he (Christ) was come to the other side into the country of the
Gergesenes, THERE MET HIM TWO POSSESSED WITH DEVILS, coming out of the
tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold,
THEY (the devils) CRIED OUT, saying, WHAT HAVE WE TO DO WITH THEE, JESUS,
THOU SON OF GOD? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? And
there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. SO THE
DEVILS besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away
into the herd of swine." (See also Mark 5:12-14; Luke 8:32-33)
Acts 19:15: "And THE EVIL
SPIRIT ANSWERED AND SAID, JESUS I KNOW, and Paul I know; but who are ye?"
Mark 1:34: "And he healed
many that were sick of divers diseases, AND CAST OUT MANY DEVILS; AND SUFFERED
NOT THE DEVILS TO SPEAK, BECAUSE THEY KNEW HIM."
Luke 4:41: "And DEVILS ALSO
CAME OUT OF MANY, CRYING OUT, AND SAYING, THOU ART CHRIST THE SON OF GOD.
And HE REBUKING THEM SUFFERED THEM NOT TO SPEAK: FOR THEY KNEW THAT HE
Here we can see that even
the devils and evil spirits know Christ and that He is the Son of God;
therefore there is more to salvation than just believing on Him.
We must accept the fact,
if we are to be Christ's disciples, that all laws and systems of law are
religious in origin. For they are inescapably religious. This is so because
laws establish standards which define justice and morality for society,
and the source of law in any society is it god. If its laws are made by
a single ruler, then he is the highest god of that society. If a nation's
laws are made by a group of people, then we can say that this group of
legislators are the gods of that society.
Thus we can see clearly that
the laws America and its people are following today are Jewish laws which
are an abomination to Almighty God. But these same people who claim they
love Christ so much will fight to the last breath to defend these children
of Satan because they believe the lie which they have promoted for over
a hundred years that they are God Chosen People; and refuse to see the
truth that the Jews ARE NOT GODS CHOSEN PEOPLE BUT ARE THE CHILDREN OF
THE DEVIL WHICH CHRIST TOLD US IN JOHN 8:44. Therefore, they unknowingly
or unwittingly, are calling Christ a liar and say that Satan and his children
tell the truth.
Oh I know what great swelling
words they will use against me for saying this truth, because I once would
have done the same thing; until God in His GRACE allowed me to see the
Israel truth; that being that the Anglo-Saxon, Germanic, Scandinavian,
Scandinavian, Celtic and kindred people are really God's Chosen and not
the antichrist Jews. But let them sware and let them wish to get off my
list, for I speak what the Lord Gives me and if they don't like that then
they need to go somewhere they can worship Satan and his children and their
The source of law is the
god of any society. Thus legislators are gods by definition. The ancient
Greeks believe that man's body was the prison house of the soul. They believed
that material things were inherently evil, and spiritual things were inherently
good. Man's mind, they said, was part of that spiritual class, even though
it was said to be imprisoned in the material body. Thus they believed that
man's mind was of a higher order and was capable of discovering perfect
virtue, or ultimate moral law. As a result, Greek laws were humanistic,
based upon the reasoning of their minds. Their god was man, and their religion
was Humanist Philosophy.
The Apostle John has the
honor of giving to us a clear definition of sin. Everywhere else in the
Bible the definition is assumed. "WHOSOEVER COMMITTETH SIN TRANSGRESSETH
ALSO THE LAW; FOR SIN IS THE TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW." (1 John 3:4) Literally,
the last phrase in this verse: "sin is lawlessness (Greek: anomia)." Lawlessness
just means that one is acting as though there is no law to obey. In modern
judiciary terminology, such people are called anarchists. They are the
people who advocate doing away with all laws, on the grounds that each
man should have the right to define morality for himself. In other words,
depose all elected lawmakers (gods) and make every man a god unto himself.
They are simply following a different form of the religion of secular Humanism.
IN THE RELIGIOUS CONTEXT
SOME ARE JUDEO-CHRISTIANS WHO ADVOCATE DOING AWAY WITH GOD'S LAW THAT THEY
THEMSELVES MAY DECIDE WHAT MORAL STANDARD TO FOLLOW. Generally they follow
the "Love" standard, which is commendable so long as they know how to define
Love. Most JUDEO- CHRISTIANS TAKE THE EASY ROUTE BY JOINING A PARTICULAR
CHURCH OR DENOMINATION THAT DEFINES LOVE FOR THEM. THUS, THEY DEPOSE GOD'S
LAW AND SUBSTITUTE CHURCH LAW. The church then becomes their god. This
is Religious Humanism. Therefore, they will not accept or even examine
closely the Israel Truth because it differs from the belief of their god,
their particular church.
Grace or Law? - Part 4
Then there are others who
become dissatisfied with their church laws and stake out on their own.
It is true that they have just as much right to define morality as does
the church. However, God never gave EITHER this right. Man only has the
right to agree with God. Anything else is Humanism.
THERE ARE A LARGE NUMBER
OF "New Testament" JUDEO-CHRISTIANS WHO SIMPLY DISPOSE OF OLD TESTAMENT
LAW IN FAVOR OF WHAT THEY "THINK" IS A NEW LAW OF THE NEW TESTAMENT. BUT
THE NEW TESTAMENT ASSUMES THAT GOD'S ISRAEL PEOPLE ALREADY ARE FAMILIAR
WITH THE OLD. THE NEW TESTAMENT DOES NOT SEEK TO REDEFINE ALL THE OLD TESTAMENT
LAWS. In Jesus' Sermon on the Mount He does correct the Pharisaical INTERPRETATION
of the Old Testament laws. But He prefaced the Sermon with the statement:
"THINK NOT THAT I AM COME TO DESTROY THE LAW..." (Matthew 5:17)
Suppose yo find something
that someone lost. Would you keep it? Does God's law say "Finders, keepers;
losers weepers?" Deuteronomy 22 records that, if you do not return it,
you have committed theft. Some have lost many things and when they appealed
to others for help in finding them, they ran up against one of the so-called
New Testament laws of "finders keepers" thus they, even though they professed
to be Christians the theft was sanctioned by those who should have known
better. Why? BECAUSE THEY DISCARDED GOD'S LAW AND SUBSTITUTED THEIR OWN
JUDGMENT OF RIGHT AND WRONG; RELIGIOUS HUMANISM.
There are many issues where
Judeo-Christians define morality and Love differently from God. Each subject
is a study in itself and cannot be covered here. The Bible nowhere gives
any man the right to define the principles of right and wrong for himself.
Man only has the responsibility to learn these laws and then seek to apply
them in his life in a 20th century context. Exodus 22:1 defines theft in
terms of stealing sheep and oxen. We are to learn the principles of restitution
found here and apply them in the modern world to things like cars or ballpoint
pens. This is the function of the conscience and mental reasoning; not
to overrule God, but to apply His laws properly.
When politicians, legislators
or church leaders take it upon themselves to define morality by means of
new standards that are alien and even opposed to the law of God, they are
setting themselves up as gods. These new laws are invariably done under
the banner of "love."
For example, suppose I see
a brother in need of food, and I have love for him. So I go down to the
grocery store and shoplift a bag of groceries for hi. Is this love? Is
it pleasing to God? Of course not. And yet this is done on a mind-boggling
scale in America today with much church support! You do not believe that?
Well, let's tell you a little story. How does Mr. Dumfuzzzle run for public
office? More often than not, the only way he will be elected is if he promises
to steal money from you to give to the needy. God sets a taxation limit
at 10%, plus the firstfruits. Anything above that is theft. At present
nearly half our pay checks go to pay taxes (not including hidden taxes).
This is theft by God's standard. But according to the Socialists (Political
Humanists), it is "love."
What about the death penalty
for premeditated murder? God mandates it out of live for the victims and
future potential victims. The Humanists, both Secular and Religious, deny
God's Law, saying it is murder (i.e., they are claiming it is murder to
take the life of a convicted murderer). Who is right? Well, if you have
faith in god to the point where you want to do things His way, you are
a Christian; if you disagree with God and decide to make your own "better,
more loving" laws, you are a Judeo- Christians - a Humanist, and you are
your own god. Whether you wish to admit it or not.
Many Judeo-Christians and
Humanists contend that extramarital sexual relationship between consenting
adults are moral, so long as they do not hurt anyone. Many also say that
homosexual relations are moral and that they hurt no one. Anyone acquainted
with history knows very well that such views have always helped to destroy
nations and civilizations in the past. Such permissiveness is NOT based
upon true Love. It is only based upon the Judeo-Christian and Humanist
view of love.
What, then, is the purpose
of the law? We have already seen that its primary purpose is to define
morality. But there is more to it than that, much more. In Romans 5:20
Paul writes: Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound."
What does this mean? How can the Law of God make the offense abound? Romans
4:15 has it: "Because the law worketh wrath: for where no low is, there
is no transgression."
In a state of anarchy, where
no law exists, there is no such thing as sin. But the moment law enters,
suddenly the offenses abound. Conditions may be exactly the same the day
before the law entered, but now there is a law to make the offenses sinful.
If our nation suddenly became
devoid of laws, there would be no such thing as crime (sin). Law is necessary
to make crime illegal. Without laws against murder, there would be no way
a court of law could convict a murderer. In other words THE LAW IS THERE
TO DEFINE MURDER AS A CRIME.
Relating this to religion,
when men say God's law has been put away, THEY ARE LEGALIZING MURDER AND
EVERY OTHER SIN, WITHOUT EXCEPTION: Where no law is, there is no transgression."
(Romans 4:15) Therefore, if God's laws were put away, then God would not
be able to convict the world of sin. (Romans 3:19)
Before we can really understand
the purpose of God's law, we must understand the basis of justification.
Justification can only be attained by presenting to God a perfect life
of obedience to the law. Justification is something that only the law can
grant to us. If anyone can stand before the law and present a perfect life
of obedience to the law, THEN AND ONLY THEN WILL THE LAW JUSTIFY HIM. Why?
Because it would not be able to convict him of a single sin.
THE LAW CANNOT AND WILL NOT
JUSTIFY A SINNER. It can only demand the full penalty for sin. But there
we run into a terrible dilemma, for in Romans 3:23 we find it written:
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." So it would
appear that "NO ONE" can qualify for legal justification, for no one can
present the court with a perfect life of obedience. The entire world stands
guilty. (Romans 3:19) So how can we find justification?
The most common answer in
the Judeo- Christian church today is that God has put away the law, and
so the law cannot convict us of sin. THIS METHOD OF JUSTIFICATION WOULD
SERVE TO DECRIMINALIZE SIN. Without law there is no sin. Without sin there
is no condemnation. Without condemnation there is justification. THIS IS
THE JUDEO-CHRISTIANS HOPE OF JUSTIFICATION. BUT THIS IS "NOT" HOW GOD JUSTIFIES
Instead, God upheld the law
and passed its full righteous sentence upon the entire world. THEN HE SENT
HIS SON TO PAY THE FULL PENALTY ON OUR BEHALF. So now, by faith in Him,
we can present His perfect life to the Law for our justification. The Law
takes one look at His record and pronounces us justified.
Grace or Law? - Part 5
In Matthew 5:17-19 we read that Christ said: "THINK NOT THAT I
AM COME TO DESTROY THE LAW, OR THE PROPHETS; I AM NOT COME TO DESTROY,
BUT TO FULFIL. FOR VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, TILL HEAVEN AND EARTH PASS, ONE
JOT OR ONE TITTLE SHALL IN NO WISE PASS FROM THE LAW, TILL ALL BE FULFILLED.
WHOSOEVER THEREFORE SHALL BREAK ONE OF THESE LEAST COMMANDMENTS AND SHALL
TEACH MEN SO, HE SHALL BE CALLED THE LEAST IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN: BUT
WHOSOEVER SHALL DO AND TEACH THEM, THE SAME SHALL BE CALLED GREAT IN THE
KINGDOM OF HEAVEN."
In Romans 3:31 Paul echoes the same theme: "Do we then make void
the law through faith? God forbid: yea, WE ESTABLISH THE LAW." The word
"establish" is from the Greek word histemi, which means "to cause to stand."
In 1 John 3:4, we read: "sin is lawlessness." Turning to Romans
6:14-15 we find Paul writing in similar terms: "For sin (i.e., lawlessness)
shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under
grace. What then? Shall we commit sin (lawlessness), because we are not
under the law, but under grace? God forbid."
This passage is easily misunderstood, because most of us do not
understand the legal terminology of Paul's day. Suppose we were living
in Paul's day. And suppose someone sees you drop your wallet containing
$1,000. They wait for you to get out of sight, and then pick it up and
keep it. Suppose also the neighbors saw the whole thing from a window,
and so they run out and confront that person with the sin. (Matthew 18:15)
Well, let us further suppose they just laugh at them and decide
to use the money to gamble at the horse races. The victim and the witnesses
notify the authorities, and he goes to court. The law convicts him of theft
and the judgment of the court is that he now owe the victim double the
amount stolen in restitution. (Exodus 22:1-4) However, he gambled everything
away at the horse races, so he does not have the $2,000 to pay the victim.
The law says that, if the stolen item is not returned intact,
then the thief must repay four or five times its value in restitution.
So the judgment of the court is that he now owes the victim $4,000, and
that he must pay him $100 out of his monthly paycheck for the next forty
months. Case closed.
Yes, the case may be closed but, so long as the thief still owes
the debt, the court must keep tabs on him to ensure that he continues to
pay the debt. It's like being on probation. Or to use Paul's terminology,
the sinner is UNDER THE LAW for the next forty months. When the last payment
has been made, the court then puts him UNDER GRACE. That is, the court
no longer has a case against him. The sentence has been fully paid. The
law has been satisfied.
What then? Shall the thief now go out and steal some more, since
he is not under the law but under grace? Of course not! God forbid!
We are all sinners and the law convicts us all. We are, therefore,
"under the law" our whole lives, striving to do good works to pay restitution
for our sins. But the debt is too much for us to repay by ourselves. God
knows that. So what did He do about it? Did He suspend the sentence, thus
putting away the law? God forbid! Christ came to earth and paid the penalty
for us. When we put our faith in Him, we come under grace," and we can
stop trying to pay off the debt by our works.
Does this mean we should stop doing good works? Should we stop
being obedient to the law? Of course not. Now that we are under grace,
we can stop trying to be justified by our works. We are justified by Jesus'
works. From now on we do good works and obey God because we love Him for
justifying us. We work because we are justified; not in order to obtain
LEGALISM BASES OUR JUSTIFICATION ON SOMETHING WITHIN OURSELVES.
IT CAN TAKE MANY FORMS. THE MOST BLATANT TYPE SAYS THAT WE ARE JUSTIFIED
BY FAITH; SO LONG AS WE OBEY THE LAW (either God's or man's). This sounds
good to most people, because obviously God wants us obey His law. However,
the moment we attach obedience to justification, we fall from grace. Why?
Because perfect obedience is utterly impossible as long as we remain in
our fleshly bodies.
Legalism always PRETENDS to follow god's law. Yet legalism actually
dishonors the law. The law's righteous standard demands perfection and
will accept nothing short of it. But the legalist comes with his own righteous
credentials and preferences. He perhaps has faith in the death and resurrection
of Christ, but for his justification he says: "Look at my life of obedience
to the law. I've done pretty well for myself."
Most legalists know they are not perfect, but they think they
can qualify for justification by being better than Joe next door, or by
doing more good works than bad works, or by doing the best they could under
the circumstances, or simply by being sincere.
How dare we think that God will overlook sin for any reason! How
dare we think that God will suspend the sentence on the grounds that we
did the best we could under the circumstances! If God were to do that,
as the legalist expects, then God would be putting away His law! And so
we see that LEGALISM IS THE MOST INSIDIOUS WAY OF PUTTING AWAY GOD'S LAW.
The legalist expects God to put away His law to accommodate his imperfection.
What an insult! Offering our own merit is an affront to a righteous God.
No man can be justified by offering the law less than the law requires.
The legalist must try to cut the law down to his own size. He
thinks he is innocent of murder, not knowing that the hatred in his heart
makes him guilty before the law. He thinks he is innocent of adultery,
not knowing that the lust in his heart makes him guilty before the law.
This is the height of the Pharisee religion. They thought they were righteous
before God by virtue of their own ability to observe the law and refrain
from sinful actions. They did not understand that God's law also requires
righteous attitudes and imaginations. So they cut the law down to their
level, to the size where they thought they could safely fulfill its requirements.
Christ said: "Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness
of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom
of heaven." (Matthew 5:20)
Paul wrote: "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."
The law defines righteous actions, for by it "IS THE KNOWLEDGE
OF SIN," but it cannot make anyone into a righteous person. The law is
weak, limited in this way. Not that the law is bad, of course, for we know
that "THE LAW IS HOLY...JUST, AND GOOD." (Romans 7:12) The problem is,
we are not good enough to match up to the law's righteous demands. The
problem is in us, not in the law.
When we stand before the judgment seat of Christ, if we present
ANYTHING to the law except the righteousness of Christ, the law will have
grounds to condemn us. We must desire what Paul did: "And be found in him,
not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which
is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith."
The law was not given to make us righteous, but to make us sinners
in need of God's grace. If your justification could come by your own works
and your own ability to keep the law, then you would not need to depend
on the righteousness of Christ. You would not need His blood to pay the
debt for your sins. Paul said: "If righteousness come by the law, then
Christ is dead in vain." (Galatians 2:21)
The purpose of the law is to provide a standard of absolute righteousness,
which only Christ could fulfill to the letter. And it also provides the
standard by which we measure ourselves. It teaches us God's Will for our
lives in terms of holiness and sanctification; but not justification.
To summarize this, we can now clearly see that it takes BOTH the
LAW and GRACE; and that the reason that many Judeo-Christians cannot or
will not accept the Identity Truth, is because they don't want to lose
their god, the church they belong to and its doctrines. They are comfortable
with those and do not want to interfere with them; as to accept the Israel
Truth they would have to discard those and look to the True Almighty God,
the Lord Jesus Christ, instead of the doctrines of the church they are
so comfortable with.
Here if you would like a hard copy of any of Willie Martin's books
Watch - Willie Martin