November 29, 2010
Today I am Thankful…
…that I am not under the Law.
Our pastor mentioned yesterday as he was preaching that if he wanted to lead someone to a knowledge of Jesus Christ as Saviour, he would not take them to the first 5 books of the Bible.
He would lead them to the books of the New Testament, because although the books of the Law point us to salvation, the books of the New Testament tell us of Jesus Christ:
He is the One who fulfilled the Law and became the sacrifice for us.
My salvation is through Jesus Christ's shed blood on Calvary. I do not need the blood of lambs to wash away my sins.
So then, it seems logical to me that once I have salvation through Jesus Christ, I should continue to live my life through Him, as well.
I am not under the Law, but under grace.
The Apostle Paul has much to say on this subject in the book of Galatians:
Galatians 2:16 –
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Galatians 2:21 –
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Galatians 3:2-3 –
This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
Galatians 3:13 –
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
Galatians 3:24-25 –
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
Galatians 4:3-5 –
Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Galatians 4:7 –
Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Galatians 4:9 –
But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Galatians 5:1 –
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Galatians 5:3-4 –
For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
Galatians 5:13 –
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
Galatians 5:16 –
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
Just as I was not saved by the Old Testament Law, I cannot live out my Christian life by living out the Law.
I must live my life by faith. I must allow the Holy Spirit to guide me through the Word and through those He has placed in authority over me.
Keeping the Law would be appealing to my flesh. My pride would delight in keeping all the "dos" and "don'ts" and then reveling in the accomplish of all I had done.
However, the only way for me to live is the same way that I was saved: not by what I DO, but by all Christ has DONE.
Romans 4:5 –
But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
I am so thankful today that I am saved by grace, and that I live each day by grace. The Law has been done away with by the shed blood of the perfect and final Sacrifice – the Lord Jesus Christ.
12 thoughts on “A Month of Thankfulness”
Oh Alesha…I am so struggling with all of this. Spending much time in the word trying to sort it all out. I am pulled from one way to another….I know that is not how God would do it. I REALLY want to go down the RIGHT path….Not to be in bondage to the law, but to maintain a respect for it (not throwing it away) while still living a life of the redeemed. Someting inside me is stirring….deep inside that says I am “missing it”. Somehow I am just missing it….that narrow path. Heavens, I don’t want to miss it!
Bren, I know that God is not the Author of confusion. You are right that He would not want you blown to and fro by every wind of doctrine.
I will be getting some links to you from our pastor. He has touched on this a few times in the past month or so.
I am praying for clarity for you! I want to help you in any way that I can. The BEST thing I can tell you is get your nose in the Word of God (King James Version), block out the opinion of every man and woman you know; and believe what God tells you from His Word. Start with Galatians – it is so FULL of this subject.
I will not leave you hanging on this…I will be pursuing some links to books or sermons that will help.
LOVE YOU, my friend!
I am confusing myself! I am reading a KJV Bible and researching sites….I read a site and it seems SO clear (use of scripture is involved) so I go read those scriptures and it makes perfect sense and then I read the other side, like your post, which I have always been taught, (the law is done away with) and that all jives with scripture too!! This is all new….the head covering thing I have been dealing with for 2 years….dresses only….about the same amount of time. On that I gave in. I fought it…but I KNOW it is what God has called me to…not sayin it is sin to wear pants, but I know He has called ME to dresses only. Now a whole new look at those 5 books of Moses….*sigh* Like I said, I am confusing myself with too much seeking and reading of “resources”.
I agree…”too many resources”. ;o) Just keep reading the Bible, Bren. I suggest you start with John. It speaks so clearly of Christ’s earthly life and His purpose for being here. Then continue on to Romans. It is filled with doctrine, and that’s what we must know in order to be grounded in the Word. Then follow up with Galatians, since it speaks expressly to the subject at hand.
Doug and I are praying that the LORD will enlighten your understanding as to Who He is and how we are to worship Him and live for Him today.
I think that the sermon our pastor preached on Sunday morning will be a real blessing to you, but it isn’t online yet. I will be emailing our web master tomorrow to see how quickly he can get it uploaded for us! :o)
I really do not think I am confused as to scripture….I know the New Testament Word and have always felt grounded. I think I have been looking into other people’s insights and that is where the confusion comes in. Some people I highly respect with new views have influenced me some. I do believe man has mixed his traditions into the Word of God and I need to filter those out….we all do. Other than that, I think my core beliefs are just that…the CORE. Do I want to please God more? Yes. Do I want more wisdom and knowledge into His heart(which is His Word)? Yes. Am I willing to change some inward and outward things about myself to more please Him? Yes. Do I think these things are salvation based? NO. I have had some of my MOST intimate times with the Father wearing jeans, with short hair, and reading a NIV Bible. God has changed some of those things in me….some of the guidelines He has in place for us that are pleasing to Him, but in no way do I rest my salvation on them…..I also am not believing that my salvation would rest on the law. Where I am with that is: would it please God for me not to throw the law out…again NOT a salvation based belief. I know that I know that I know that my salvations is from one place only….the sacrificial death and resurrection of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In Christ alone, I place my trust (I love that song…but it is SO true for me)
What really threw me was a man said to me, “The New Testament is a commentary by Paul and other men of the Old Testament. It is not God’s Word…only the Torah is God’s Word.” I KNOW THAT IS FALSE DOCTRINE….don’t freak out about me too much Alesha! LOL I am not blinded and will not be swept away into that. My salvation foundation is firm. It is only my desire to please Him that has me wondering….not where my salvation lies.
Good morning, Bren 🙂 I am not freaking out about you, girl! I know that you know my Jesus! 🙂 I had no doubt about your salvation – I have seen God work too intimately in your life for you to NOT be His child! 😉
I believe the difference you’re struggling with is between the Law and our personal convictions. I think this verse makes a lot of sense: Galatians 3:2-3 – “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?”
If our salvation is by grace (Spirit), why then should we try to live it out by keeping the Law (flesh)?
There are things I don’t do because the Holy Spirit has convicted me they are wrong – not because the OT Law said not to do them.
By the same token, I am not more spiritual than others because I keep that conviction. I am merely being obedient and showing my gratitude by doing what He asked me to do.
All of my dos and don’ts are governed by the Scripture. It all comes down to what we believe about the Word of God, doesn’t it? How do I know which part is true? How do I know which version is right? Because, let’s face it – things that are different are not the same, are they? It is not just a matter of “modernizing” the language. It is a matter of changing words, and when you change words, you change doctrines.
There are several good sermons online here, if you care to listen: http://www.landmarkbaptistchurch.org/media_video.php?catID=14
It will give you some insight into why I feel I can trust my King James Bible to give me wise counsel and instruction; and why I believe that what I read there about the Law and the writings of Paul are correct. If I can’t trust my Bible, where do I put my trust?
I will be praying that the Lord gives you perfect insight in this matter. I know that you are concerned that your loved ones around you see the LORD clearly in your life, and that is why you are seeking to be obedient to His will for you.
Just keep trusting Him, my friend! 🙂 He saved you from an eternity in hell – He can give you clear instructions for living for Him here! He is God Almighty and we can trust Him.
This has been a wonderful “conversation” with you! I’ve enjoyed it a lot. One of these days, we will sit face to face and talk to our heart’s content – either here or in Heaven! I am SO looking forward to that day! :~D
Well over the last couple of years, I have come to a clarity where the Word is concerned. I did a deep study of the different versions and was shocked that the change in meaning by just changing a few words happened so frequently in the NIV…so I stuck with a NKJV….which I later found to be kinda the same deal. I have been reading a KJV for well over a year….I may sometimes look in an ESV to clarify something, but always look to my KJV as my source for the Word of God.
Same with my dress….that one took longer….it was an ego thing for me. Is it against the word of God to wear pants? I really don’t know, Alesha. I do know this. God convicted me of it personally so I wear long skirts and dresses only, as does Charlotte….God slapped upside the head with that one!
Head covering? I have been and am still studying that. I was totally convicted in that. Because I did not have a cloth covering? No, but I have always had very short hair….a “sassy” cut people would say. “Very cute and sassy”….what does that mean? Is is a sin to have short hair? I don’t know, but I know we are to have a covering, whether it be long hair or a cloth….I still do not know.
I am not seeking out legalism. Some would say I am, but I want to follow GOD’S ways, not man’s ways….those who follow man’s religious rules are legalistic….those who follow (or seek to follow, as I am in the process) God’s ways are not in anyway legalistic. Some would call them that for a “get out of jail free card” so to speak. They do not want to hinder their “lifestyle” in order to follow God’s ways, so they call it legalism so they don’t have to. I speak out of personal experience, since I have pulled that card out many times myself. 😉 Now I also believe there is liberty in Christ….we are set free, but not to sin…to a life without sin. I am talking to myself here….outloud kinda laying out my thoughts.
I was not sure if you were thinking I felt the law was a part of the salvation way…I am getting that from some of the sites I was researching. If you do not follow the law, you are not on the narrow path, and will not see the Kingdom of heaven. I actually read that, and, the famous, piece of scripture that talks about how some will stand before God and say, but Lord, I cast out demons in your name, and God says, “Depart from me you worker of iniquity, I never knew you”…I am paraphrasing that casue I don’t have my Bible in front of me….saying those are the ones who did not follow the law.
You are SOOOOOOOO correct…all our do’s and don’t’s are governed by scripture….it is interpreting that scripture that is difficult and when reading others interpretations of those scriptures it becomes more difficult. I have forgotten one CRUCIAL thing here. I HAVE THE HOLY GHOST TO GUIDE ME AS I READ HIS WORD. Yeesh, I can be dense sometimes.
I have LOVED this conversation too…..give me more sista!
I want to let you know about something in this post that HIT me in the face…like a cold, hard slap….(the good kind) you wrote:
“Keeping the Law would be appealing to my flesh. My pride would delight in keeping all the “dos” and “don’ts” and then reveling in the accomplish of all I had done.”
Oh. My. Gosh. SO true and it hit me why the law would be so appealing to ME….not to pat myself on the back, or feed my ego, (though that would be a nice side effect too), but it would not require FAITH…..I could have control of it all myself. If I did a., b., and c. then I could be SURE I was doing it right….
I have struggled with the whole Bible version, dress, hair stuff, along woth some pretty deep things related to Charlotte, and have had to step out in faith…a place that is scary for me. Faith in Kyle’s healing??? Easy, squeezy, lemon peezy! Faith that I am on the right path???…not so much.
I think you are on the right track here…remembering about the guidance of the Holy Spirit within is SO important, isn’t it?
Of course, following a man is so much easier than seeking out the Scriptures for ourselves. So many times in my life, I wanted to yell, “Just tell me what to do, and I’ll do it!” However, no heavenly visions were forthcoming! LOL!!!
God wanted more of my time, more of my seeking His face in His Word. He wasn’t going to let me have an easy answer from someone else. He wanted my faith to grow and for me to find the answer for myself in His Word.
Ultimately, I ended up where others already were, but it was REAL to me because God had led me there on my own.
The other important thing I have to remember, though, is the role of my husband. Regardless of his spiritual condition (saved, unsaved, backslidden, bitter, agnostic, etc) he is STILL the head of my home.
If he gives me specific instructions, even regarding something the Lord is working on in my life, I am to submit to the leadership of my husband. If I feel God is leading me to a ministry or a conviction that my husband does not agree with, I am to submit.
I think if my husband asked me to do something that I felt was wrong, it would be a better testimony for me to submit and run to God in prayer, than for me to rebel against his authority.
I wholly believe that God can change a man’s heart much faster than I can. (the exceptions, of course, would be illegal or immoral behaviors…and even then I believe that God could and would intervene on a Godly wife’s behalf!)
I’m not talking about you here, just keeping in mind that others can read these comments and wanting to add the balance that might be needed for someone else’s situation. 🙂
I think the Lord is giving you some real clarity today as we have “discussed” our way through this. Now I challenge you to find some Scriptures for YOURself that back up what we have talked about. If you don’t have some verses on it, you will be rudderless the next time you read a persuasive argument in the other direction. 😉 (We are SO kindred spirits in that regard! LOL!)
Love you too!
It would be WONDERFUL if my husband said…I want you to wear this or that….or read this Bible…or do it this way….as long as he does not ask me to sin, I submit…and he never has. I have been so blessed in that, even though he is unsaved, he has ALWAYS supported my faith. It is a double-edged sword though….the dresses thing…he says “Whatever you think is right, is fine with me.” Yeesh! Now the head covering thing….I have not talked to him about that. I am almost certain he would have issue with it….and from what I have read (1 Cor. 11) the entire reason a woman would even cover is to show submission to the man. Good points though.
I think what is really going on with me personally is I have a GREAT desire to please God. I have spent the last 10 years parenting a child who has literally changed who I am (not in a good way) and I feel like I have displeased Him and let Him down. There is sin in the way I have done things and though I know He has forgiven me, I wonder why I continue doing just that same thing over and over….it is an attitude, not an action that is the sin I carry….much harder to change an atrtitude than an action. Thinking there is something I can DO to make it all right is a wonderful thought….knowing that it was already done on the cross is a little harder to grasp personally….I can easily point that out to someone else. In my own life it is a bit more difficult.
Then, to see someone who you knew to be “there”…you know, that place we want to be in, in our own walk with the Lord… do a turn around…not changing their core beliefs, but “learning truth” that you should have seen too, it kinda makes you wonder how far off that narrow path you have gotten. Makes you feel like you are missing it somehow.
What do you think about that? Those who were/are conservative Christians walking out their faith in a way that reflects the love and obedience of Christ, then turning to the law. Those who once talked of Jesus now calling Him Yeshua…and Father God YHVH…I am confused by it.
You asked me about a scripture verse and the one that started this WHOLE thing with me was in Matthew 5:17 “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” I will go back and read around that verse (it was part of Zach’s Bible studies) I am thinking we are to respect the law (it is not destroyed, but fulfilled)…the old testament is God’s Word too…but that we are no longer under the law…meaning the law is not how we get “right” with God…still I do not want to throw the baby out with the bath water. See…here I go again!!!
Bren, our webmaster has put up the link from Sunday. Here it is:
You will hear Bro. Steven make the comment I referenced in my blog post.
I understand what you mean…it all boils down to our heart attitude, doesn’t it? Even if we get our actions all in line (whether with the Law, or with our church, or our denomination), God judges us on our heart attitude.
You mentioned Matt.5. I think it’s cool that the beatitudes themselves are all attitudes – the position of our heart that controls our actions.
Then Jesus goes on to say that our righteousness should “exceed” that of the Law-keepers. He wants more out of us than even the Law demands.
Now THAT is a lot to think about. Do go back and read that whole chapter – it’s fabulous for our discussion here.
I pray the message is a blessing to you. If you want to take this private at any time, you know my email. 😉
I did read Matthew 5 and Wow…. HE DOES want more from us than the law.
Thank you SO MUCH for letting me talk my way through this and giving me things to think about. I will listen to the sermon and let you know.
Bren – just one more thought – Acts 15 deals much with this subject too. I read through it this morning and I think it will be a blessing to you, too. 🙂
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