Saturday, February 11, 2006

Grace -- not law

It has been a while since I posted the previous five points in this series so if you have not read them or it has been a long time, it would be worth your while to go back and read or reread the previous four posts. The sixth truth we are considering here is from Colossians 2:14 which tells us that the handwriting of requirements that was against us has been wiped out. It has been taken out of the way and has been nailed to the cross. This handwriting of requirements is the law. The Bible clearly teaches us that we are not under the law but under grace. (Romans 6:14) Now as soon as some of you read this you are going to think that here we have another one of those modern antinomian philosophies that is so prevalent today. If you jump to that conclusion you would be incorrect. Please study along and follow the teaching of Scripture. The issue is, “How can we live righteously and godly in this world?” Paul is very clear in this passage that we can’t do it by keeping the law or by keeping man-made rules. It doesn’t work.
According to I Corinthians 15:56, sin gets its power from the law. Paul says the same thing in Romans 7:8 “But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead.” So the key to righteous living is not in adding more commandments because that just gives sin its power. The key comes from the realization of the fact that we are not under the law any more. It has no jurisdiction over us. Check out Romans 7. Verse 5 says, “you also have become dead to the law…” Verse 6 says, “…we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by….” Since God sees us as being identified with Christ, he sees us as having been crucified with Christ. Therefore the law has no more authority over us than it does a dead man. That is exactly the point of Romans 7 in the example about adultery.
Some may be asking at this point, “Where then do the motivation and power for doing right come from?” We’ll look at that next time.

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