Monday, December 7, 2020

The Gospel Paul preached: Grace vs Law

24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. 25 Now to Him who has power to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret for long ages past, Romans 16:24-25 MEV

We've been in an ongoing series studying the Gospel that Paul preached. We've said with so many denominations and voices out there proclaiming Christ, many of which seem to contradict one another wouldn't it be nice if we had one of the Apostles sermons recorded? Wouldn't it be nice if we had a Mp3 or CD of Paul or Peter preaching to set the record straight?

 The good news is that we actually do have a recording of what Paul preached. In Acts 13 we see a full message Paul actually preached. In examining this Gospel that Paul preached we have seen what Paul believed and spoke. He spoke of Jesus. He spoke of God's Faithfulness. He spoke of the greatness of Jesus and the glorious Good News that complete forgiveness is found in Christ alone. 

 Today, I want to further examine what Paul proclaimed. Did Paul actually preach the Law for the New Covenant believer? Did Paul preach the Law is how we find justification or acceptance with the Father? Let's consult Paul himself for the answer.

38 Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; 39 and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. Acts 13:38-39 NKJV

Paul's words are quite alarming and astounding to this audience of Jews. In the Synagogue, Paul is dare declaring the Law is not what saves you or makes you accepted and approved with God. He states it's through Jesus alone that you find divine acceptance and approval.

 In this one statement, Paul declared the entirety of the New Covenant. That because of Jesus, not works, performance, adherence to rules or regulations will you find perfect redemption. Through Jesus alone you find complete victory. That your efforts and works of the Law are meaningless compared to what Jesus has done.

 Paul is declaring the finality of the work of the Cross. That Christ work alone is all sufficient to meet every need. That the Finished Work satisfied every claim of divine justice to cover, cleanse and remove all sins, shortcomings, faults, flaws, and wicked deeds. That even the unforgivable and unthinkable and unmentionable thoughts, words or deeds find their forgiveness and redemption in Christ's perfect work.

 Paul proclaimed New Covenant Grace and rejected Old Covenant Law living. That is he rejected the ideas, concepts, doctrines, that lead one to think their performance, their adherence to certain rules and regulations, their own doings, will cause God to love them, bless them, and favor them more than another. That God accepts and approves them on a scale weighing all their deeds against someone else's. 

 In this proclamation, Paul is putting Christ alone in the center of it all. That is all because of Jesus we find perfect redemption. Think of it, what action taken, what act of good will, what work achieved, what words spoken would cause your unrighteousness to be cleansed, removed and grant you a full pardon, and a brand new heart?

 These words astonished and stunned his listeners. He was saying all your doings, all your Law observance doesn't make you accepted or approved with God. The Law cannot redeem you. There is nothing you can do to warrant God's Goodness, kindness and favor. 

 Much of modern Christianity presents a message of steps and formulas and duties and works to achieve in order to find perfect acceptance or I should say more acceptance with God. That the more you do for Him, the more favorable and accepted and approved you are. It's as if a parent had two children and made it clear because Jill does the dishes and finishes her schoolwork and performs extra chores that she is more loved, accepted, approved than her brother Jack. 

 Sadly, that is the mindset many see God having with His own kids. This is the message presented by so many churches and ministries. Now they won't state this as bluntly as I just did but they hint at it with their messages and books. 

 In summation, we see the Gospel Paul is preaching. He is preaching the Radical Grace of Almighty God. He is preaching divine acceptance and approval by Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone. This is the Good News Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Image by Prawny from Pixabay 

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