Spirit Food - March 2020
Law vs. Grace and Truth
John 1:17 – “The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” 2 Timothy 2:15 instructs believers to “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth.” – which is the Word of God. Then in 2 Corinthians 3:5-7 it says, - “Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God, 6 who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
God made us sufficient as ministers of the New Covenant.
The Bible calls the Ten Commandments the ministry of death.
The Ten Commandments were the only laws that were written in stone.
Look at 2 Corinthians 3:7–11:
7 “Now if the ministry of death, chiseled in letters on stone tablets, came in glory so that the people of Israel could not gaze at Moses’ face because of the glory of his face, a glory now set aside,”
8 how much more will the ministry of the Spirit come in glory?
9 For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, much more does the ministry of justification abound in glory!
The ministry of The Ten Commandments is considered the ministry of condemnation because mankind couldn’t keep them (the laws).
The Ten Commandments were given to man knowing that he couldn’t keep them – to show mankind that they needed a Savior.
Mankind (the children of Israel) had become so prideful and arrogant after living under God’s grace for 40 years in wilderness that they had such an attitude that they said in Exodus 19:8 “The people all answered as one: “Everything that the Lord has spoken we will do.” Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord.” And the Ten Commandments hadn’t even been given yet.
10 Indeed, what once had glory has lost its glory because of the greater glory;
The Ten Commandments once had glory because it brought the Israelites to the understanding that they needed a Savior; that they couldn’t keep all the laws and save themselves from the curse of the law.
As James 2:10 says, “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.”
11 for if what was set aside came through glory, much more has the permanent come in glory!
The first “glory” is that of the law of Moses – the second is that of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Both have astonishing splendor.
1 Corinthians 15:56-57 (KJV) – “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.”
The word strength in the Greek is do-nam-is - where we get our word dynamic from.
57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Again, God gave the law (The Ten Commandments) to show man that he needed a Savior. Christ is our righteousness - Christ is our wisdom - Christ is our everything! Galatians 5:4 says – “You who want to be justified by the law have cut yourselves off from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.” Falling from Grace is falling into the law. It is when you are trying to obtain righteousness by your performance, your obedience to the law; which God gives you freely. As a result, you fall from his unmerited favor because you’re trying to merit it. When a Christian becomes of no effect because they have fallen from grace, they lack ability to produce spiritual fruit, as available in Galatians 5:22-23; love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, generosity, and self-control. Jesus touched people and they received healing. Romans 4:13-14 – “For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void.” To be the heir of the world comes through faith. If you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed and heir to the promise. What voids faith? The law – focusing on it and attempting to keep it.
Galatians 5:4 (NKJV) says, “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.”
What is the grace of God? Grace is not a teaching, grace should not be an article of your faith, grace should be the principle of your life. Grace is the person of Jesus Christ (our Redeemer)! Simply put, the grace of God is Our Heavenly Father blessing, healing and delivering you because of Jesus. The grace of God is His unearned, unmerited and undeserved favor toward you simply because of your believing and acting upon Jesus’ finished work at the cross.
True change is from within – the gospel is not about behavior modification (although that happens), but it’s about heart transformation.
Because of Jesus’ finished work, all of your sins have been judged at the cross. And with them, all of your sicknesses, diseases, pains, failures, and defeats. At the cross, all that is deadly in your life has been removed! And there is nothing you have to do but receive it and believe it by faith.
Our Heavenly Father’s grace is based on Jesus’ work and not yours, the only way you fall from this grace is by believing that you can earn, merit and deserve it through your obedience and good works.
When you think that it is by your efforts and obedience that you receive God’s blessings, you become like the Pharisees. They believed that their law-keeping justified them and ensured that God would bless them. But the truth is that when you believe like them, “you have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.” (again, Galatians 5:4) This means that you are cut off from Christ, who is your salvation, Redeemer, healer and provider. Christ has become of no effect to you!
Believers to whom Christ is of effect receive from Him the miracle they need. When He is of effect to them, He is their healer and they get healed. He is their wisdom and they are wise before man. He is their good success and they experience good success in all that they do.
My brothers and sisters, for Christ to always be of effect to you and to never nullify the grace of God operating in your life, just remember and believe that it is because of Christ and His finished work – His blood, His stripes, His death, His obedience – that you are justified, healed and blessed! Look at the two people in the Bible that Jesus said had great faith. One was a centurion, and the other was the Canaanite woman. What did they have in common? Neither one of them knew the law. They were both Gentles – they were not conscious of the law; they were just conscious of Jesus! They'd never heard of the Ten Commandments, they had only heard of Jesus’ Grace! The essence of the law is demand. The essence of Grace is Supply. If you're living under demand, it's the law. If you're living under Grace, you understand God is providing the supply. You don't pray to make grace flow, you pray within the flow of grace. You don't pray for victory, you pray from victory. When we pray, we can pray as an example if someone is in pain: “Heavenly Father, I just thank you for the supply of grace, there is more grace here from you than there is pain Lord, I thank you for the healing of this body, whatever needs restoring, that by your divine supply it is completely restored. In Jesus Name, Amen. You may have heard it said in the past: “Nothing wrong with God, nothing wrong with the Word, so there must be something wrong with you.” But under the New Covenant, there’s nothing wrong with God, nothing wrong with the Word, and there's nothing wrong with you, because you are in Christ Jesus! Hebrews 12:15-16 – “15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and through it many become defiled. 16 See to it that no one becomes like Esau, an immoral and godless person, who sold his birthright for a single meal.” Esau was demand minded, whereas Jacob just received grace. Jesus took all of our pain, suffering, and sin on the cross and cried "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me." (Matthew 27:47) So we can say Abba - Father, thank you for blessing me.
The reason there is no condemnation for you and I, is because 2000 years ago, on a lonely tree, Jesus, God’s Son, hung there for us; and God unleashed His holy wrath and indignation against all of our sins that Christ bore in His own body by faith. And stroke, after stroke, after stroke, after stroke, of the broken law was punished in His body – and Jesus absorbed it all in His broken body, and when God’s punishment was over, Jesus was still alive, and was able to proclaim “It is finished”! Then, he bowed His head and gave up His Spirit.
Do you remember in Luke 9:58 where Jesus said: “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Well, He finally found His rest in redeeming mankind. Amen.