August 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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IF YOU OBEY THE LAW...........
ARE YOU UNDER THE LAW?

The majority of this Christian professing world believes, teaches and preaches that "the law" is "done away with in Christ."

They quote the scripture that says:

"For SIN shall not have DOMINION over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace." (Rom. 6:14)

First let us ask, What IS sin? And the answer is:

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

This causes one to ask, "Which law?"

"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." (Rom. 7:7)

It is pretty plain here that the law being talked about is the Ten Commandments, one of which says Thou shalt not covet.

One can only know what sin really is by using God's commandments which defines and describes what sin is. The law itself isn't sin but it tells us what sin is.

Disobeying the Ten Commandments IS sin!

How then can we keep sin from "having dominion over us?"

"That as sin hath reigned unto death, (sin causes death) even so might GRACE reign THROUGH RIGHTEOUSNESS unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom. 5:21)
"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?"
"God forbid! How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" (Rom. 6:1-2)

We became dead to sin when we repented, were submerged in that watery grave of baptism, and received God's Holy Spirit.

"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptised into Jesus Christ, were baptised into HIS DEATH?"
"Therefore, we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory (power) of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Rom 6:3-4)
"Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin."
"For he that is dead is freed from sin." (Rom. 6:6-7)
"Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should OBEY IT in the lusts thereof." (Rom. 6:12)

How can this be simply put?

When a person is disobeying God's commandments, that person is allowing sin to have dominion over them. When that person realizes they are sinning by breaking God's law, and repent of that, they begin to OBEY the commandments. At this point, through His Grace and Mercy,God forgives that person of their PAST TRANSGRESSIONS. They are then baptised into Christ's death and when they come up out of that watery "grave", God FORGETS their past sins. They are then spiritually clean and God can bestow His Holy Spirit into their MINDS to help them continue to obey His commandments, and to help them resist the PULLS of the flesh (our humanity) and to help against the "fiery darts of Satan."

However, even though we have been forgiven of our past sins, we are NOT free to continue to commit sin (break God's law) because of God's grace and forgiveness, are we? Paul said, "God forbid."

Ok, then. We see that we are supposed to keep the law, but we continue to sin because we are in these fleshly bodies that crave and desire wrong things most of the time. There are emotions and desires that pull and tug at us all the time and when we give in to those we break God's Ten Commandments and sin. We then have placed ourselves back under the penalty of the law.

What can we do then?

This is the core of the matter! Once God has forgiven us of our sins through His grace and mercy we come under an umbrella that allows us to come directly to the throne room of God the Father and repent of those sins as we recognize them. God won't turn away His Face from us because we are under a special umbrella or covenant.

That COVENANT is the COVERING BLOOD of Jesus Christ who shed it for us! We are then allowed to go to God the Father directly and ask Him for forgiveness of each sin we commit (each commandment we break). We can do this because God is only seeing that righteous covering of Christ's Blood upon us(Psalms 119:172 -Jesus obeyed ALL of God's commandments perfectly), and Jesus is there at the right hand of God as our High Priest and Advocate with the Father. He is our help, our lawyer, asking God to grant our wish for forgiveness of sins.

Because we have ACCEPTED the shed blood of Christ, repented of our law-breaking, been buried with Christ in baptism, and raised from that watery grave to be led by God's Holy Spirit, we are in a DIFFERENT category than others who have not done so.

Yes, we are under grace. However, we are still able to, and DO sin from time to time because of our fleshly weaknesses, but we have been given the right, the special privilege, to come to the Father in a repentant attitude and ask for forgiveness because Christ shed His blood for us.

Those who haven't gone through this process are still "under the law" (the penalty of the law). Sin still has dominion over them because they haven't rejected it. They have "come short of the glory of God."

In trying to keep this simple and to the point we haven't talked about "the law of Moses" and "the law of sacrifice." Yes there ARE separate laws. Many people are confused and try to lump all three of these laws together when they are NOT the same!

These other laws will be covered in other articles in other issues.

For more information on this, you might want to read our article, "Law or Grace, Which?"

If you would like to continue to examine this subject of Law and Grace another group has a booklet that goes in depth into this subject. Please feel free to write for that free booklet called: "Saved by grace alone?" It is totally free and might amaze you and hopefully edify you.

Write to :

The Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association
P.O. Box 747
Tyler, TX 75710

To end this article let me quote the preface of that booklet.  

"Is there anything you and I must DO in order to be saved? Does God require anything of us other than belief in order to be inducted into His Kingdom? Thousands of professing Christian ministers and many large denominations insist there are NO works required - that we are saved by Grace alone. They insist there are no works of any kind involved in salvation.

"Is this true? Will God save us if we do not obey Him? Put another way - will God REFUSE SALVATION TO US if He finds us trying to keep His laws? Does it make God ANGRY WITH US when He sees us trying to keep His Ten Commandments?"

Interesting questions those. What do you think? Have you always thought there was nothing to do for salvation? Why don't you check it out and see?

Till next time. Ken

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