Romans 4:13-14 NLT
“Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith. If God’s promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless.”
Mark 2:22 NLT
“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins.”
You can’t mix Grace & Law. Where Law tries to mix with Grace, the Grace becomes offensive, and even useless.
I love the whole Romans 7 & 8 message about the freedom from Law like a dead spouse, not that it was unholy, just imperfect. More Biblical doctrines I love are:
Hebrews 7:12, 25 NLT
“And if the priesthood is changed, the law must also be changed to permit it.
Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.”
Hebrews 8:13 NLT
“When God speaks of a “new” covenant, it means he has made the first one obsolete. It is now out of date and will soon disappear.”
Hebrews 10:9-10, 14-18 NLT
“Then he said, “Look, I have come to do your will.” He cancels the first covenant in order to put the second into effect. For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time. For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy. And the Holy Spirit also testifies that this is so. For he says, “This is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day, says the Lord : I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then he says, “I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.” And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.”
“Anyone who tries to please God by obeying the Law is under a curse. The Scriptures say, “Everyone who doesn’t obey everything in the Law is under a curse.” No one can please God by obeying the Law. The Scriptures also say, “The people God accepts because of their faith will live.” ”
Romans 7:6 NLT
“But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.”
Insufficiency for righteousness might be its only imperfection, but if righteousness via keeping the law is the goal, it’s a biggy.
Paul, in Galatians 3:10-11 said no one can please God by obeying the Law.
I’m not anti-law – I’m anti mixing grace & law. Two covenants, two marriages, the second is only possible when death did us part.
Paul goes on in Galatians 4 to compare Law to Hagar & Ishmael, & Grace to Sarah & Isaac, & to get rid of the slave woman & her son.
Pleasing God is firstly about sincere relationship with Him, & good works are an outflowing of our identity as the righteousness of God in Jesus.
Jacob laboured for the wife he wanted, but didn’t get her – instead getting the less appealing one. Then one week later, without further labour, he married beautiful Rachel, & enjoyed the full blessings of that marriage. The subsequent labours did not add to the completeness of the second covenant, but were a demonstration of his love. It’s not coincidental that Leah is a type & shadow of Law, & Rachel a type & shadow of Grace.
It’s of course okay to coincidentally obey the Laws for unbelievers because we love God so much that our highest honour is to live out the righteousness & holiness He’s imputed to us; but He’s pleased by our hearts & identity in Christ, not our religious obedience. The laws are to show our inadequacy at keeping laws, thus inadequate as a method of impressing God.
The thing I most passionately object to is the notion put by some that salvation & Christ’s new covenant with us is some flimsy thing, easily risked by our actions or inactions, & not entirely based upon grace & faith.
It is literally distressing to me that some otherwise mature believers insist we can wander in & out of covenant with God, that we have to keep some side of the bargain for redemption & righteousness, that we must somehow qualify for relationship & blessing. Distressing, because they are often trusted by less mature believers, who need no practice or preaching in guilt & condemnation, legalism & religiosity. That comes all too naturally for most people. And that’s what Christ has freed is from, by His extreme Grace.
2 Corinthians 3:9-12, 17-18 NLT
“If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God! In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way. So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever! Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”
Yeh, we agree on the semantics that the law is righteous, but it is insufficient to make us righteous, as in – it never has for anyone. But IF one could keep it, it would – but the point is it can’t – we need Grace, the better covenant. Not the Mosaic covenant.
It is a sad proclivity, the need to earn our forgiveness, the need to cheapen His grace and sacrifice to something we can contribute to, even if only by some small measure. It is a sin of pride and self-reliance. I have no uncertainty about the separation of Law and Grace in Scripture. They are very clearly and repeatedly compared to two marriages, and that the second cannot begin while the first is alive.
So I exclusively mean my comments as Scripture does, references to the Covenants. The Law of God written on our hearts is not the ten commandments or ceremonial rules for eating and worship and religion. It is His Spirit Who confirms what we should and shouldn’t do. For example, the Law can tell me to not commit adultery, but the Spirit can tell me to love my wife, to consider her needs, to buy her flowers, and to look at no one else like I look at her. The Law can tell me to not kill, but the Spirit can tell me to forgive, to see my vilest enemy as Jesus sees him, and to not even harbour hate in my heart. Yes, of course we have righteousness and holiness to fulfill, but they are works of freedom thank to our identity in Christ, and not a slavery which brings condemnation and guilt when transgressed.