Law or grace? (10/6/11)


The issue of whether we as New Testament believers are under the Law as believers is something that most preachers agree on....BUT usually only when it comes to the Law of tithing and the 10 Commandments. The bible however teaches that the Law IS a composite is ALL 613 commandments ...or nothing!


but lets look at what Jesus taught


The ‘Confusing’ start


Many take this one scripture as the full answer....without ever addressing the issue of what it really says....and what the New Covenant means


Matt 5:17-20

"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.  18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.  19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.  20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.      NKJV


Brethren, when did Jesus fulfill all things?


Luke 24:44

Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me."   NKJV


John 19:30
He said,   "It is finished!"   And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.   NKJV

John 17:4-5
4 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.  5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.    NKJV


Rev 21:6

6 And He said to me   "It is done!"       NKJV



Brethren Christ 's work is completed...He IS seated at the right hand of the Father today! (Eph 1:20 Heb 8:1)


The Old covenant was only ever given to the Israel…. 

Lev 26:46

46 These are the statutes and judgments and laws which the LORD made between Himself and the children of Israel on Mount Sinai by the hand of Moses.     NKJV


There are probably about 100 scriptures in the Old Testament which confirm this… Deuteronomy will give you at least 40 

See also Lev 27:1 & 34 confirming that tithing was only ever a command to ISRAEL


Rom 15:8

8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision  for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:    NKJV


Matt 15:24

24 But He answered and said, "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."     NKJV 


Jesus ministry was to the Jews under the Law…to show them that they could never live up to the full requirements of the Law…and to tell them of the New Covenant…the plan of God for salvation through His death and resurrection


When did the New Covenant start?…..was it at the arrival of Jesus…or at His death? 


Luke 22:20-21
"This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.     NKJV

Heb 9:16-18

For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.    NKJV


Now regarding the Gentiles and the Law…the bible is very clear .....



Rom 2:14

14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves,      NKJV


Luke 16:16-17

16 "The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.  17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.  NKJV

It is not that the Law fails.....its purpose was to bring Israel to Christ


John 1:17

17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.    NKJV

The message of Jesus is NOT the is 'grace and truth'


Acts 13:37-39

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.    NKJV

The New Covenant that Jesus brought is FAR more effective than the Old Covenant. The Law of Moses left people under condemnation (Heb 10:1-14)


The apostolic doctrine and instruction regarding Gentiles and the Law

Acts 15 

3 So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, describing the conversion of the Gentiles; and they caused great joy to all the brethren. 4 And when they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders; and they reported all things that God had done with them. 5 But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, "It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses." 

8 So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, 9 and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they."

To the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia:


24 Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, "You must be circumcised and keep the law " — to whom we gave no such commandment—  25 it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth. 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: 29 that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.     Farewell.     NKJV


Note Tithing was not mentioned as being REQUIRED for Gentiles!    (Nor were Sabbaths…or festivals or offerings……or first-fruits....or ceremonial washings)

Preacher....where did God authorise you to ADD requirements to his word?


Rom 3:19-20

19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.     NKJV

The purpose of the Law was to bring guilt and condemnation!.....This was so that people would seek to KNOW God.....and not just "DO religion"


Rom 3:21-22

21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.   NKJV


Rom 3:27-28

27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law?  Of works?  No, but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law  NKJV


Rom 4:13-17

13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.

16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all     NKJV

The way of FAITH is very different to the extends to ALL ie including Gentiles



Even Jews today are free of the Laws requirements

Rom 7:4

4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another — to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.   NKJV


Rom 7:6

6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.     NKJV


Rom 8:2

2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.


Rom 8:3-4

3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.     NKJV


Rom 9:32

What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith;31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.   32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law    NKJV


Rom 10:3-4

3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.     NKJV


1 Cor 9:19-21

For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; 20 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law;   NKJV


2 Cor 3:5-9

5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 

7 But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones (YES this is referring to the 10 Commandments), was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, 8 how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory     NKJV


Gal 2:15-16

15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, 16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.      NKJV


Gal 2:19

19 For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God.     NKJV


Gal 2:21

21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain."     NKJV


Gal 3:2-3

2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?     NKJV


Gal 3:5

5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?     NKJV


Gal 3:10-14

10 The Law Brings a Curse

For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them."   11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "the just shall live by faith."   12 Yet the law is not of faith, but "the man who does them shall live by them."  

13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree")      NKJV


Gal 3:18

18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.     NKJV


The promise is that the Spirit of God himself would dwell in each of us.


Gal 3:23-25

23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.      NKJV


Gal 4:31

31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.     NKJV


Gal 5:1-4

5:1 Stand fast thereforein the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage (YES this is the LAW). 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace     NKJV


Gal 5:17-18

18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.    NKJV


Eph 2:16

For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.     NKJV


Yes the Law is ABOLISHED in Christ...all is now FULFILLED in HIM!


Col 2:13-14

13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements (Yes the LAW) that was against us, which was contrary to us.And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.


Yes brethren the requirements of the Law have been 'wiped out'


1 Tim 1:8-11

8 But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, 9 knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.


So how then can some teach that the church...the children of God.... are under the Law?


Heb 1:1-2

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son,


God's word is what Jesus has spoken...what he lived and died for us to relationship with God!


Heb 7:5

5 And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law,     NKJV


Matt 23:23-24

23 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.  24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!     NKJV   


(Yes tithing is a ‘gnat’ under the Law...almost the only one which is still being 'strained out' even for Gentiles who are NOT under the Law)


Heb 7:11-12

Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? 12 For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law.    NKJV


Heb 7:18-19

18 For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness, 19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.NKJV


Yes ..the Law is ANNULLED


Heb 7:27-28

28 For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.    NKJV


Heb 8:6

6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.   NKJV


Heb 10:9-10

He takes away the first that He may establish the second. 10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.  NKJV


YES the Law is TAKEN AWAY!


Heb 10:16-18

16 "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them," 17 then He adds, "Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." 18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin     NKJV



So what are we supposed to do?


Matt 22:35-40

36 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law "

37 Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'  38 This is the first and great commandment.  39 And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'  40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."     NKJV

Rom 13:8-10

Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."   10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.      NKJV

Do any of us believe that we can do this in our own strength or are we saved by grace thru faith?


John 13:34-35

34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  NKJV


The truth is not ONE of us can do this…..except where Christ's love flows through us


(To those who today believe that we are to 'obey' all Jesus' commandments in order to be saved or blessed, Jesus COMMANDS

Matt 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.   KJV

How is your 'perfection meter' reading?   


The key is that this can ONLY be achieved by the work of Christ for us.  

Heb 10:14
14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.   NKJV

Perfection is the work Of God in us...not our works...from start to finish

Gal 3:3
3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?    NKJV)  )V


1 John 4:7-11

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.   NKJV


It is only by the work of the Spirit in our hearts that we can ever really love one another ..... as we walk with Him rather than us trying to do it in order to earn our salvation (Phil 2:13)