June 2017           "A Journal of Biblical Understanding"           Volume 14           

(Daniel 4:25)
" ... and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will."


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Are We Under The Law? Or Under Grace?

One of the great diversities among the religious is the idea of "Law or Grace." Some propose that there is no longer ANY law since Jesus came to DO AWAY with the law. Some have said that the law is still in effect. Some have said only certain parts of the law are in effect. Some have said the idea of "original sin" has caused everybody to be sinners for which we must be forgiven. Some have said the Old Testament is done away and we are all "new testament christians."

Is all this true? Did God have the Old Testament written and saved for us and then "do away with it?"

I want to comment on some of these things and see if perhaps there could be a better perspective given to these ideas.

What is "law?"

It is that which defines the limits one is allowed to go, and prescribes a penalty for exceeding those limits. It is for the good of all.

What is "grace?"

It is a character trait of one in power that allows one to be forgiven the penalty of exceeding the limits of the law under certain circumstances.

God's Law is BASED UPON the Ten Commandments. Some people readily admit that those commandments are STILL in effect, while others claim that Jesus came to "do away with" or "destroy" those commandments.

There are some things we need to understand about the Ten Commandments. Not only do they define the limits people are allowed to go,  and prescribe a penalty for exceeding those limits, they also describe a part of the nature of God Himself. They are part and parcel of His Holy Character. They describe how one must be in order to "be like God."

The Ten Commandments then are the basics that we must keep. Otherwise, the penalty which is imposed for breaking those commandments will be exacted, and that penalty is ETERNAL DEATH!

It seems to me that people, in order to escape any responsibility for their own actions, have interpreted the scriptures in such a way as to do away with the Law, at least in their minds. (That word law, of course, covers much more than the Ten Commandments, by-the-way.)

It is pretty plain in scripture, and even in the New Testament, that Jesus said He DID NOT come to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it. Not only that, but He even showed how it was spiritually binding from the very beginning !!

Most people just won't accept that, and maintain that "the law" was "nailed to the Cross." They just can't get it through their heads that God CREATED a PERFECT LAW for the benefit of mankind, not in spite of mankind !!

Jesus said,

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." (Matthew 5:17)

When people read this, they say well that means He fulfilled it and there was nothing else for Him to do, so it is "done away." They have, in effect, said that He LIED when He said he didn't come to destroy the Law! And of course, IF He lied, then He is not our Savior for He has sinned. WE KNOW THAT ISN'T SO!

If we look at the rest of that chapter in context we can determine the truth.

Verses: 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall IN NO WISE PASS FROM THE LAW, UNTIL ALL BE FULFILLED.

Heaven and earth haven't passed yet have they? All hasn't been fulfilled yet, has it?

19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least (by those) in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great (by those) in the kingdom of heaven. (Comments in parentheses are by the editor.)

Here, a special blessing is pronounced upon those who teach to keep the Ten Commandments!

20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Hmmm..... exceed the 'righteousness' of the Pharisees? What is righteousness?

Psalms 119:172 My tongue shall speak of thy word: FOR ALL THY COMMANDMENTS ARE RIGHTEOUSNESS!

Wow! That's quite a statement, but realize that I told you the Ten Commandments are a basic part of God's Character...His righteousness!

The Pharisees kept the commandments, BUT ALSO ADDED TO THEM, making them a BURDEN for everyone else to bear. Their HEART (their innermost being) was FAR FROM GOD. THEY WERE THE ONES WHO WERE DECIDING WHAT WAS RIGHT AND WHAT WAS WRONG, as Eve did in the Garden of Eden. (Check out the article "The Seed of Satan" in the archives on our web site which talks about the TWO TREES.

Are you going to believe what Jesus said? Are you going to believe the Word of God? Or will you let someone tell you that it "doesn't mean that?" Remember, when there is a difference between what the scriptures say and what someone tells you they say, there is no alternative but to REJECT WHAT MAN SAYS!!

We have found thus far that Jesus Himself said He had NOT come to DESTROY the law OR the PROPHETS. Incidentally, the LAW and the PROPHETS are a BIG part of the Old Testament. As I commented above, He even made them MORE NECESSARY to be kept, because they are a SPIRITUAL law to show us how to think and act !!!

Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to LUST after her hath committed ADULTERY with her already in his heart.

Whoops!!! What's this??? The Ten Commandments is what condemns LUST and ADULTERY, isn't it? He MUST be talking about the Ten Commandments!!

Yet after all this, people will say that "he nailed the law to the cross."

Just what WAS NAILED to the "cross"? JESUS, as our SACRIFICE!!

When one accepts that sacrifice, it is once and for all time. Those who HAVE NOT accepted that sacrifice are still "under that law" to keep that law of sacrifice!!!! WHEN? Why, when the Levitical Priesthood is re-established. They are the only ones who could accept a sin offering and sacrifice it to God, don't you see?

Just what was "done away?"

The only law that was "done away" is the "commandments contained in ordinances" and that was the LAW OF SIN SACRIFICE! The whole ordinance wasn't done away, only the part about sacrifices, and that only for those who have accepted the sacrifice of Christ.

That said, (and I'm sure there will be much disagreement) what does "under the law" mean?

When one obeys a law, the law is not "over" them, much as one who is driving a car less than the speed limit is therefore not "under" the law. Once that driver speeds, he comes UNDER the law because he has TRANSGRESSED IT and the PENALTY is then OVER the law-breaker!

It is the same with God's Law. As long as one obeys, they are not "under" the law. The law has no effect upon them because it does not apply to them. However, when one transgresses, the limits prescribed by the law causes the penalty to be enacted and that person has sinned because they have "come under the law."

When does God's Grace come into play?

Whenever someone sins and then comes to God REPENTING, (that means turning from sin) God's GRACIOUSNESS causes Him to be MERCIFUL and He FORGIVES the sinner when he accepts the Sacrifice God has so Graciously allowed, that being the sacrifice of Jesus Christ!!

Do you see? If everyone KEPT the Law, God's Graciousness would not need to come into play, although it would still be a part of God's Character. Without the law, there would be no need for God's Grace to be applied because there would be NO SIN!! One must come "under" the law by transgressing it (sinning), before God, in His Graciousness and Mercy, needs to forgive. And even that depends upon the repentance of the one who has sinned.

Sin is DEFINED BY SCRIPTURE. Did you know that?

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: FOR SIN IS THE TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW.

Which law is it talking about here?

Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known LUST, except the law had said, THOU SHALT NOT COVET.

The LAW that defines LUST as sin is the Ten Commandments!

This verse also takes care of those who say that KEEPING the law is sin. For if one sinned by keeping the law, then the law itself would have to be sin (as Paul denied in the above scripture), don't you see?

What have we learned?

Jesus DID NOT come to DESTROY the Law, therefore the Law is still there, defining what sin is and prescribing the penalty for breaking the law. God's Grace is not needed WHEN THERE IS NO LAW or BREAKING OF THE LAW, since there is no sin and therefore no need for forgiveness.

By declaring that the Law is done away, people are saying there is no sin and no need for repentance. I guess they think God's Grace did away with sin, huh?

Romans 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world: BUT SIN IS NOT IMPUTED WHEN THERE IS NO LAW).

Should it be "Law and Grace" or "Law OR Grace?" Grace works WITH and BECAUSE of the existence of the Law, therefore it should be "Law AND Grace."

Those who preach that the law is done away will be called the least by those in the Kingdom of Heaven!!

Rev. 21: 27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or MAKETH A LIE: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Lying is breaking the Ten Commandents.)

Rev. 22: 10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous (Ps. 119:172), let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

I realize that after all this, there will not be any changed minds in those who only desire to teach and preach. However, there may be some reading this who are here to learn as well.

This message is for them.

Rev. 22: 20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

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