Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Contrasts

The law says: Do, and you will live.
The gospel says: Live, and you will do.

The law says: Pay me what you owe.
The gospel says: I forgive you all that you owe.

The law says: Make yourself a new heart and a new spirit.
The gospel says: A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you.

The law says: The wages of sin is death.
The gospel says: The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The law demands holiness.
The gospel gives holiness.

The law says do.
The gospel says done.

The law says: If.
The gospel says: Therefore.

The law was given for restraint of the old man.
The gospel was given to bring liberty to the new man.


Hannah Whitall Smith

9 comments:

Judah Himango said...

Some of these things are true, Gary.

We differ, I think, in how we look at the Law. It seems to me while reading these posts that you believe the Law is opposed to grace. (Please correct me if that is not the case; it's certainly the impression I get when reading these.)

I look at it differently. I believe that without Law, there cannot be liberty.

Without the Law to tell us what sin is, there is no repentance, no forgiveness, no grace.

The two are mutual.

In Romans 6, Paul puts it like this,

"So, since we're out from under the old tyranny, does that mean we can live any old way we want? Since we're free in the freedom of God, can we do anything that comes to mind? Hardly. You know well enough from your own experience that there are some acts of so-called freedom that destroy freedom. Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it's your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives you've let sin tell you what to do. But thank God you've started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in his freedom!"

That is the key here: offering yourself to the ways of God, not to the ways of men or man's traditions or man's religions. Nor his recent theological inventions that denigrate and belittle God's commandments.

God's ways -- his commandments -- are the Torah. We know we love Him when we obey his commandments. Those who overcome in the end are those who hold to Messiah and obey his commandments.

Bino B. Manjasseril said...

Nice one Gary.

The following might help the previous commenter:

7Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, 8will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 10For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 11And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!
12Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. 14But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Cor 3)

It is not the law what tells a Christian what sin is, but it is the spirit.

13But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. (John 16)

Law binds, Spirit gives liberty.. It's scarry. It is risky. But the questions is are you ready to take that risk of abandoning law and giving yourself to the Lord? That is faith.

"The righteous shall live by faith". NOT by law.

Daelon said...

You know you're preaching grace when people are offended.

"We heard this man speaking evil of the law of Moses and the temple".

We're not saying the law is bad. We're saying our FLESH is bad. I don't want to sin just as much as any believer. But I do. And the law only makes it worse through me.

Gary Kirkham said...

Bino,

Thanks! It is out of "The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life" It's one of my favorite books.

Matthew,

It seems that grace does offend, even when our intention is far away from being offensive.

Daelon said...

Yes. I know sometimes I get angry over this subject. I try not to be so touchy, but then I again I do think it's important to be zealous against what is contrary to the good news. Right now, I admit that a lot of my zeal for the gospel is selfish. I am scared that I will be scared back into religion as I have been before. Constantly feeling unworthy, condemned, worried, and so on. That is not life. I'm sorry to burst peoples religious bubble. I was dead under the law. Even what good I did under law wasn't good. It was a guilt driven work. A dead motive. A dead religion. Christ gives us real life. Law can only condemn you.

Gary Kirkham said...

Matthew,

I have to admit to being touchy sometimes as well. I grow weary and sometimes frustrated that I can't effectively communicate the truth I know in my heart. I don't mind so much that people just don't understand what I am writing; it does bother me, however, when they claim I write things that I haven't written.

I don't blame you for not wanting to be sucked back into the religion of self effort. There is no life there; the Life is in the Son and he who has the Son has Life.

Daelon said...

Couldn't have said it better myself, Gary.

I was just reading an article on gracefortheheart.org today and they wrote of how people misunderstand grace as a licentiousness. But if you are not asking that question, then you are not preaching grace. You're still preaching "I have to". But whenever you preach, "I have to", it's just like saying Jesus didn't "fulfill all righteousness".

How do we please God? Faith. "The law is not of faith, rather the one who does them shall live by them".

Judah Himango said...

Bino, you said,

"It is not the law what tells a Christian what sin is, but it is the spirit."

That's contrary to Scripture, isn't it? Both Paul and John say the Torah is what tells us what sin is. (I can give you references for that if you're truly interested in knowing.)

You, like Gary, seem to think the Law and the Spirit are at odds with each other, and that is your error. At least, that's what it appears from your posts, please tell me if that is not your intent.

If the Law and Spirit disagree, then the Spirit is not from God. But we know the Spirit and God's commandments are in agreement; it is only through the man-invented theology of dispensationalism that the Spirit and God's commandments are in disagreement.

Bino B. Manjasseril said...

Judah,

I said:

"It is not the law what tells a Christian what sin is, but it is the spirit."

Did you notice the word 'Christian'?

It is true that Paul says that it is the law what shows a sinner what sin is. It is biblical(Romans 7).
Law plays a great role in a unbeliever's life. It shows him his sins and the need of a savior. That is the purpose of the law. In that terms law plays a great role.

But after the sinner being justified by faith, is it the law what convicts him and keeps them from sins? No. It is the grace.

11For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. (Titus 2)

Law was put in charge to lead us to Christ. Once justified, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.

24So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. 25Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. (Galatians 3)

It is a liberating truth. Isn't it?

I don't know if scripture can be more clearer than this.