Monday, May 16, 2022

Grace versus Law

 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17 MEV

 Grace is the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is not a theological topic. It is not simply another Bible subject that we study like many others but has no actual application in our lives. It is not a new fad or trend. 

 In many quarters of the Body of Christ, especially those in Spirit-filled circles, often spiritual topics become trendy or faddish for a season. For instance, spiritual warfare was a flashy trend in the early to mid-1990s. Don't misunderstand, there is a spiritual truth concerning spiritual warfare, but during this phase, it was emphasized in such a way that it was turned into a fad or trend, and Christians after a time lost interest.

 Grace is not a fad or a trend. Although I will be the first to admit around 2010 to nearly 2018 Grace seemed to be a trend and fad in many church circles. In truth part of this was religious tradition's response to God actually bringing the truth of Grace back to the forefront of Christianity. Many Christian circles got excited about Grace. However, now that the trend is waning can we say we still keep Grace at the forefront?

 Understand, Grace is not waning. Grace is the Gospel of Jesus. Jesus is the person of Grace manifested here on earth. Grace is our life in the Spirit, without Grace we will default back to works. Don't allow Grace to be a mere trend or fad. 

 With this understanding, it seemed good to begin a new series of studies concerning Grace and Law. God has opened my eyes to even more illustrations of His Grace versus the Old Covenant Law. God has revealed in His Word that when Jesus came the Law was becoming obsolete and ready to be fulfilled once for all time.

 The challenge of fully embracing Grace is the default setting of man to return to toil and labor in order to gain God's approval. We see it all around us. We see some believers as more special, or more accepted than others. When a fellow Christian is sick, many seem to conclude because of the person's works they "deserve" to be healed. We are flowing in a mixture of Grace and Law when we embrace such thinking.

 Grace is the way of the New Covenant. The entire New Covenant is rooted in Grace. This New Covenant is cut between the Father and the Son. Those who receive it by simple Faith believing are the beneficiaries. This New Covenant then is based on Jesus' performance and works never, not at any time, is it based on our own. It's Grace from beginning to end. Those proclaiming God's provisions under the New are conditional, are blinded by tradition and are still preaching Old Covenant Law.

 Some may say, that's absurd, that the covenant is between the Father and the Son. Let the Word reveal an illustration for you. In 2 Samuel we see the perfect illustration of this.  David had made a covenant between himself and Jonathon. David, wanting to honor that covenant sought out those of the house of Saul. He found out about Mephibosheth and brought him to his abode. He provided freely all things for him and put him at the king's table to feast. What covenant did Mephibosheth personally make with David? 

 He made none. Mephibosheth simply was the beneficiary of a covenant cut between David and Jonathon. That is a perfect illustration of Grace and this New Covenant. 

 Yet through religious traditions, many still think we have a part to play. Under performance-based faith, if we were Mephibosheth we'd say "gotta get busy earning my place at the king's table." If we made a mess, we'd say "I can't sit at the King's table." We would disqualify ourselves.

 In the 1980s musical Annie, a film adapted from the comic strip, we see the title character upon arriving at the mansion of Mr. Warbucks, where she has been offered a week of luxury, immediately grab a scrub brush and bucket. She tries to work and is promptly stopped. She is reminded she is there as a guest. She is there, not based on her merit but on Mr. Warbuck's. She responds by asking how will she earn her time there?

 Isn't this the picture of Christians? We have been given the provision of eternal life. The God kind of life. The life that is never ending and finds its fulfillment in Him. He is our Righteousness, we are no longer in rags of self-righteousness but clothed in robes of Righteousness. We are now accepted and approved based on Christ, not ourselves. What is our response? Grab the proverbial scrub brush and bucket and go to work earning this robe. 

 Think of this great Grace. What could you do to earn a place in God's Kingdom? You were an enemy of God, to begin with. What condition could be placed on you then? You weren't in any place to meet expectations or demands. What could you offer to God that would allow you to gain acceptance and approval? This is why Grace IS the Gospel. Jesus is our acceptance and approval. Jesus is the Grace of God manifest.

 In summation, Grace is the New Covenant. Works, performance, and conditional provision are all Old Covenant. Let's begin to reprogram our thinking and train ourselves to default to Grace and not to performance. Let's honor Jesus' once for all sacrifice and this New Covenant of Grace and Righteousness. 

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

No comments: