Law & Grace: Human Righteousness VS God's Grace
Law & Grace: Human Righteousness VS God's Grace
The greatest mystery and the most powerful thing in life is the grace of God: that God overlooked our sin and granted us unmerited favor.
“A Texas bill would make it possible to put women to death for having abortions.” Washington post.com
When I read this, I was sad. I am not sad because abortion is wonderful, but because those who are making these laws are sinners too" who are committing all kinds of sins: adultery, fornication, stealing, lying, hate, rape, killing, etc. They interpret God’s word as suits them: the evangelicals and the Republicans, their only righteousness is abortion. If you don’t commit abortion, you are righteous and a good woman or man: but you can steal or lie, kill, etc.
Then the left have no limit in committing sin. Everyone is living just about the way they want, without moral obligation and responsibility to God and His will. Many in our societies have concluded:
“There is no God.”
I think it is time that death penalty should be abolished. In the old Testament, it was recorded who ever kills should be killed: That was the Law of Moses. But Jesus brought a new law or commandment under grace: He came to fulfill the law. The Mosaic law said "a tooth for tooth," but Jesus said:
8 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
King James Version (KJV)
That new commandment was rooted in God’s deep love for humanity, and drove Him to die for them on the cross. On that cross, He substituted our sin nature, and gave humanity His righteous nature by grace. Humans do not merit salvation: it is the gift of God . God ‘s deep love pursues the sinner to their death bed, pleading with them to repent and be forgiven.
The sinner should not be killed because none of us is righteous. You who kills the sinner, who has killed you for all the sins you are committing secretly and openly? Those put in the prison should be presented with the gospel of Jesus Christ that redeems the sinner. But those making the law to kill a woman who commits abortion, can you take the gospel of Jesus to the sinner in prison? You who is righteous? There is an argument going on whether the man ready to die should have his minister come in to speak to him before he is condemned to die. That is ruthless and wicked. This is not politics, this is human life that God values. This is godless and immoral. That is what has kept our world so turbulent and chaotic. Is politicians who lack wisdom, full of hate for others, immoral, and without compassion for their fellow human beings. These are the kinds of politicians creating oppressive regimes across nations of the world.
The greatest mystery and the most powerful thing in life is the grace of God: that God overlooked our sin and granted humanity unmerited favor before Him. We as believers will never fully comprehend this act of God until we get to heaven. Where will the believer be without the grace of God? “By grace are we saved” should forever keep the Christian believer humble before God; and our great effort in everything to God’s glory. Law exposed our sin and helplessness, but Grace lifted us and gave us victory in Christ. Law came from Moses, but Grace from Jesus. Believers should treat each other according to the grace they have received, and those who do not know Jesus as Savior..
1 What is Grace?
What is Law?
• Human effort
• Filthy rags
2 Justification before God through Grace:
Christian believers are justified through grace. Romans 5:1 says: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” That faith comes through the grace of God. Romans 3:20 reminds us: “By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight.” Romans 4:1-8 warns us: that Abraham, the if father of faith was not justified through his works, but of grace. “For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory, but not before God. Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. Galatians 3:10-14 echoes the same thing that believers are justified by grace through faith: “But as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse. But no man is justified by the law in the sight of God. "The just shall live by faith.” “Isaiah 64:6 concludes: "All our righteousness is filthy rags before God.”
It is only through the grace of God by faith we can begin a new life of holiness, victory over sin by His grace purchased for us through His death on the cross; not our own struggles and efforts to be holy. We can never be holy through our own strength. It is a new life Jesus calls humanity to embark on: a life that the Holy Spirit lives through the believer as we obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit. When we obey Him, He gives the grace to enable us to defeat sin: stealing, lying, adultery, fornication, etc. ‘It is not by our might or power,’ but by the power of the Holy Spirit, we defeat sin and evil ways. This is the mystery of God's grace.
3 Grace promotes a humble and grateful heart:
Grace promotes a humble and grateful heart. Let us look at the prodigal son who asked his father for his inheritance. He traveled and wasted all the substance and the riches his father gave him. There in a foreign land, he had nothing any more, not even food to eat. He did not know anybody and went to work and began to eat even food allocated to pigs. That was how low he descended in his desperation, because he was so hungry. As he struggled, he remembered his rich father and how even the servants had enough to eat in their home. He vowed to go back to his father and ask for forgiveness. While he was coming, his father saw him and ran to him and embraced him. He confessed his foolishness and asked the father to forgive him:
“I will arise and go to my father, and I will say unto him: I have sinned against heaven and before thee. And am no more worthy to be called thy son, make me as one of thy hired servants.”
“The father received him back and said: “For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost and is found again.” Luke 15:24 That father was so happy to receive his son back. That father is God and that is the mystery of God’s grace. Why should God forgive us when we are so messed up - we have despised and disobeyed Him?
It is the mystery of God's grace, rooted in His deep love for humanity, regardless of race or color. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16
A song writer said:
“The vilest offender
Who truly believes
A pardon receives”
Law will imprison you for your sin and wickedness. The father could have rejected and abandoned him. God demonstrated His grace to receive the sinner back. When we are saved from our sins, it promotes a grateful and humble heart to God. Those who truly love the Lord and have been delivered from their sins are humble. They are not boastful of who they are, but give God the glory because without His grace, they will not be what they are. Grace is humble, law is arrogant- it is what I am and have done: but grace realizes without God, he or she will be nothing. Jesus is everything to the true believer. Without Jesus the believer is nothing.
The true believer sings:
“You are my strength O’ Lord
You are my life O’ Lord
You are the one that knew my cry
You are my shield O’ Lord
My life I yield O’ Lord
For you will ever be my all in all"
4 Shall we sin, because we are not under the Law, but under grace? God forbid: Rom: 6:15:
That we are under the grace is not a license to sin. God’s law is still relevant and will judge the sinner someday and sometimes immediately. The only thing different in the “Age of Grace” is that Jesus substituted our weakness on the cross, and gave us His power through the Holy Spirit to overcome sin. The believer does not have to struggle anymore to be holy or righteous. Before the age of grace, it was law. “Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.” If you killed, you are killed also. But “Grace says: “love your enemies, do good to those who despise and hate you.” God’s grace, through the power of the Holy Spirit by faith enables the believer to do just that. It is not by the effort of the believer or strength; it is not by might or power; but by the power of the grace of God through the Holy Spirit.
Some people think because we are in the age of grace, God will not judge sin anymore, so they set their heart to do evil. The Scripture says: ‘Because God does not pass judgment quickly, the sons of men set their hearts to do evil’ We should not take God’s compassion and grace for granted. He will surely bring those who do wicked things to justice. Sometimes, very sudden and quickly too.
5 For sin shall not have dominion over you: For you are not under the law, but under grace: Romans 6:14:
This is the beauty of grace. Through the law, we are made aware of the knowledge of sin. Humanity are law breakers, and you have no power to stop your sin and wickedness. The law said don’t steal, but when you do, you become a law breaker. But the Scripture tells you: you are no longer under this kind of bondage and imprisonment under the law anymore. Jesus brought grace, mercy and destroyed our powerlessness to live and keep the law or commandments of God. He substituted our weakness to keep the law by His own power. When we believe this, the Holy Spirit comes in to enable the believer to live a holy life that pleases God. We must believe this by faith and it works. You will then overcome whatever sin that throws you down all the time: then the one who lives in sin and does not know the Lord if he or she confesses with their mouth Jesus is Lord, and believes in their heart Jesus died on the cross for their sin, they will be delivered from their sins and forgiven. This is the deep mystery of God grace, rooted in His love for humanity: "For God's so loved the world." This is God’s marvelous grace-how God transforms the hopeless sinner abandoned by men to a new life of righteousness!.
6 Grace receives first place in God’s kingdom:
Obedience is the key to obtaining God’s grace. It is humility. It is that we realize we are nothing, but God is everything an in control. Humanity could not save herself from sin, but through His grace, mankind was redeemed from sin. Ephesians 2:8 says: “ For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is through the gift of God. Not of works lest any man should boast.” So the Scripture warns us in Titus 2:11-14:
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world. Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. Who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself, a peculiar people zealous of good works.”
If we accept in obedience God’s grace, repent of our sins and live in humility, what a better world it will be! It is arrogance that causes so much chaos in the world: and causes wars and wickedness towards each other. Under grace, we can repent of our sin, love and care for each other regardless of race, color or religion: and live in peace with each other. Grace is the greatest thing in the sight of God. Look at Jesus on the cross: It is grace, it is humility. That is the way He calls humanity to go. That is the way that will save our turbulent world.
Rev. Uche Ikpa.
Amarachi Film Production & Publishing
Show: Riches of God's Grace: Cambridge Television: Thursdays 5 pm