Being Under Grace



Being Under Grace


Reading:
1 John Chapter 3

1. Introduction

Faith in the Almighty and His Son the Lord Jesus Christ (Yeshua the Messiah) is the very first step in the process of salvation. A Voice In The Wilderness - Canada has taught this basic fact for many years. We also teach the necessity of obedience to God's law. We teach the importance of obedience because millions of believers assume that Jehovah's (Yahweh's) law became obsolete at the Saviour's death at Calvary and that there is no longer any need to keep it. This is a dangerous error, a deadly delusion. The scriptural quotations in this file are given to show how important are the commandments of the Most High. The list is by no means complete: but from the texts given the honest seeker of truth will soon see that disobedience is a very dangerous pastime. Several New Testament verses are included to show that even at the very close of this dispensation, the true church will be ‘keeping the commandments of God.’

Not Under Law / But Under Grace

Millions of Christians idly boast that they are ‘not under the law’ but ‘under grace.’ This state, they incorrectly assume, allows them to break certain commandments of God. An increasing number even go so far as to justify homosexuality, fornication, adultery, idolatry and the eating of swine's flesh; actions all forbidden in the Bible. They believe that ‘grace’ has placed them ‘above the law!’ Is this what the Bible teaches? Have these believers understood the Bible correctly? Are believers now allowed to break God's commandments? Are homosexuals, adulterers, fornicators, idolaters and Sabbath-breakers sinning? Or do the divine commandments forbidding these things still stand? Let us find out.

2. Take Warning!

To begin with let me list a few verses from the Holy Bible which specifically deal with the law of Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel. I could list many, many more texts, but the sheer number would exhaust the reader. Therefore carefully consider the few listed below.

Yahweh’s Law is holy, just and good. To break it is sin.
Romans 7: 12: Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
1 John 3: 4: Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
Obedience attracts divine blessing.
Deuteronomy 4: 40: Thou shalt keep therefore his statutes, and his commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days upon the earth, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, for ever.
Deuteronomy 13: 4: “Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.”
1 Chronicles 22: 12: Only the LORD give thee wisdom and understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel, that thou mayest keep the law of the LORD thy God.”
Psalm 1: 1: Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2: But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”

Psalm 119: 1: Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.”
Disobedience attracts divine punishment.
Leviticus 26: 15: And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant:
16: I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.
17: And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.
18: And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.”

Isaiah 5: 24: Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.”
Ezekiel 18: 4: Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.”
Amos 2: 4: Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have despised the law of the LORD, and have not kept his commandments.”
Ignorance of the law is no excuse.
Leviticus 5: 17: And if a soul sin, and commit any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the LORD; though he wist it not, yet is he guilty, and shall bear his iniquity.
Yahweh’s law is the main tool He uses to bring about a conversion.
Psalm 19: 7: The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
8: The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.”

Yahweh’s law is eternal.
Psalm 111: 7: The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure.
8: They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.

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.
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, till all be fulfilled.
19: Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
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.

Solomon taught obedience.
Ecclesiastes 12: 13: Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”
Jesus taught obedience.
Matthew 19: 17: And he (JESUS) said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”
The apostles taught obedience.
1 Corinthians 7: 17: But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.
18: Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.
19: Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.”

The Last Day church will be obedient.
Revelation 12: 17: And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
Revelation 14: 12: Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”

In view of these sobering texts, and we could bombard the reader with scores more, let all Christians beware of dismissing the law of the Most High as though it were of little account. On the great Day of Judgment there is going to be much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth: and the main reason will be because millions had treated with impunity the law of the Almighty God! So do not let some well-meaning but completely mistaken church leader delude you into thinking that your are ‘above the law’ of the Almighty God!

3. Multilevel Commandments

Yahweh's commandments are multilevel. This means that they are applicable on several levels: the physical, mental and the spiritual. When we examine the Almighty's laws we find that at their illustrative (physical) level, many are limited to periods of time we call ‘ages’ or ‘dispensations.’ When a dispensation or age expires, then the physical, instructional, ceremonial aspect of certain laws no longer applies. But the moral, high level lessons to which those laws point, continue for all time. That is why the scriptures teach that:
ALL God’s commandments are sure,
they stand fast for ever and ever.

(Psalm 111: 7)
In other words, the moral kernel of every divine commandment is eternal, everlasting! Let me explain this fact with the help of two examples.
  1. The Law concerning Phylacteries
    Phylacteries are prayer bands, amulets or small boxes worn on the forehead or arm containing extracts from Yahweh's law. (Exo.13:1-10, Deut 6:4-9; 11:13-21). At their lower level the wearing of phylacteries ceased to be obligatory in the Gospel dispensation. The Apostles didn't wear them. That is why we Christians do not wear phylacteries in this age. But at its high level this law is eternal. It points to a new covenant procedure when the Most High writes His commandments on the true believer's mind (forehead) and actions (right arm).

    Hebrews 8: 10: For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.

  2. The Laws concerning Animal Sacrifices.
    At their low level these laws called for the sacrifice of certain animals and birds (bulls, rams, lambs, he-goats and pigeons) to gain access to and pardon from God. These sacrifices ceased when the Saviour shed his life-blood for us at Calvary; though animal sacrifices continued for the Jews as long as the Temple stood. At their low level the sacrificial laws were instructional shadows and types. Whereas at their high level they all point to Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who alone is able to cleanse the sinner from guilt and make it possible for him/her to gain access to God. In other words the low level instructional requirements of these laws (the sacrifice of animals) no longer applies: but the kernel of the commandment, the high level spiritual requirement is still in force. It demands that a sinner who seeks access to the Almighty must approach Him with faith in the blood of His Son, the true Lamb of God. This aspect of the sacrificial laws is eternal: it will never cease to be. It means that all through eternity, redeemed believers will approach the throne of the Almighty through the merits of the blood of Jesus Christ (Yeshua the Messiah).

4. Not Under Law, but Under Grace

What did the Apostle Paul mean when he wrote that a believer is ‘Not under the law, but under grace?’ Did he mean that a believer was at liberty to sin and break God's law? Obviously not; because elsewhere in his letters Paul advises believers to obey the law. What, then, did Paul mean? The answer is: he meant ‘that a sinner who repents is no longer under the curse and death penalty of the law; but is under the grace and mercy of God.’ In other words, being ‘under grace’ means to be a recipient of the Almighty's mercy. When a repentant sinner seeks mercy and pardon from the Holy One of Israel, the death penalty for sin is lifted from that person and he/she is placed ‘under mercy,’ ‘under grace.’ That person is ‘no longer under the death penalty of the law’ but is now ‘under the grace of God.’ That's what Paul meant.

In addition to this happy state, the Holy Spirit is imparted to the believer in order that he/she might live a life of obedience and holiness. In other words, sin (disobedience) is no longer allowed to have dominion over that believer, provided, of course, he/she wants to be obedient. Paul explains this in the following verses.

Romans 6: 14: “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
15: What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.”

I repeat: Sin is disobedience. It is breaking Yahweh’s law. (1 John 3: 4) What Paul is asking here is: ‘Shall we sin (disobey God) because we are under His grace?’ His answer is ‘God forbid!’ A stronger term could hardly be used. In other words a believer under grace is not above the law! Any solicitor will confirm this fact that: No one is above the law. If anything, a believer - being under grace - is under greater obligation to obey the law of God than the person who knows nothing about sin and salvation.

5. Summary

Those who ignore these facts do so at their peril.


AMEN!

In the Son’s Name - For the Father’s glory.
Elder:
Max W. Mader

www.avoiceinthewilderness.org
www.avitw.ca