The Law or Christ, who is our righteousness?
If we are saved by grace how should we live? Paul develops this very clearly in his letters. He teaches that we live by the same mechanism that we got saved by – grace and faith. The mechanism you used to get saved is the same mechanism used to mature and live a righteous pleasing life. Gal 3:2-3 Paul says did you use works and the law to get saved? The answer is No. Then you can't use works and the law to live.
Gal 2:21-3:1: "I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain (needlessly)." Is such a powerful statement, if one thinks about what he is conveying. For Paul next asks O foolish Galatians! (law keepers with grace) Who has bewitched you?
Can the law keepers of our day answer or are they silent? In Paul’s theology If you are preaching grace and keeping the law, you are in this same error.
Righteousness cannot come through the law – yet the law is righteous. Law keepers make the argument that Jesus kept the law, he kept the Sabbath, so we must also.
It is a matter of righteousness, not duty. It’s not his law keeping that made Jesus righteous but his sinless holy nature that had him keep the law perfectly. If you start with the wrong premise you will always end up in the wrong place.
The new covenant is about a new nature and this is why Jesus is our righteousness, not the law. That the law cannot produce righteousness but only condemn a sinner by pronouncing them guilty of breaking the law. Law keepers need to understand when you have sinned but you cannot be cleansed by the same tool you used to see that you have sinned.
For those who don’t understand Christ as their righteousness they have no alternative but to live under the law and find solace in the Old Covenant that is no longer in effect for the believer.
For those who want the law in their lives they have yet to consider the qualified statements Paul made on the differences if law and grace. He said the strength of sin is the law. In other words if you concentrate on the law you will empower sin. The law is there to show you what sin is but it can’t remedy a thing. Its there as a mirror so that one will want to do something about the way they look from God’s perspective.
Rom. 14:23: “for whatever is not from faith is sin.” Have you ever done something not of faith? Of course- God calls it sin, therefore you have sinned. Do you then look to the law to help you to not sin? No, because its purpose is to show you what is sin. And you already know you have sinned.
The Bible says the just shall live by faith not the law or commandments.
the Church is not told to keep the Old Testament law but the law of Christ. This involved the moral law and being obedient to the Spirit that now lives within the believer who is our counselor.
The purpose of the Law was to act as our tutor, or "school master", to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith (Galatians 3:24). “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ…” Galatians 3:2, 5, 11, 12, 23 and 24 also give a direct contrast between law and faith. Therefore the law is not means to be saved nor a means to be kept saved.
Has the law been done away with? No. We have been released from the law so we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. The law is not sin it is holy and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. But it has a purpose, it is for the sinner NOT for the believer.
1 Tim 1:8-10: “But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.”
Do you KNOW this?
Once one is saved they can use what revealed to them they are sinners on others so they can look to the one solution from being guilty of sin- Christ.
For a believer to be under the law is to reject the work of the Messiah as insufficient.
Rom 1:16-17 Paul writes of the Gospel is the power of God to salvation v. 17 “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."
Rom 3:21-22 “But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.”
Rom 4:6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man “to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works”: (which is by law)
If you have the righteousness of Christ by believing the gospel - then you are NOT UNDER the Old Testament law as Paul teaches in Romans. if you do not have this righteousness than you have the law to drive you to the Messiah to get it.
According to Romans 10 Christ is our righteousness, and he has delivered us out from the law and put us under the leading of the Spirit. We live by faith and any New Covenant command of God will be kept by faith. Rom. 8:10: “And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”
Rom. 10:3: “For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.” How did they seek this, by the law. V.:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” The end of the law, the goal, the intention. Do we keep the Old Testament law? No. Only one man in history did - Christ. You can’t keep the law perfectly, even for one day much less a lifetime like Jesus.
The more you live by the law the more you will sin according to the Scripture
1 Cor. 15:56-57: “the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Rom. 4:15 “because the law brings about wrath”
Paul did not practice the law as he did while he was in Judaism. He lived in the new covenant and evangelized those under the Old Covenant. 1 Cor. 9:20 “and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law.”
Paul writes of his law keeping Rom. 7:6: “But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.” Paul understood that the Spirit was superior in every way.
Christ came to write the law upon our hearts and minds. The new covenant has the law of the Spirit operating in the believer - The Spirit of truth, not the law of Moses. For what the law could not do Christ came and has done it for us. Therefore we are not under the law but grace, resting in his perfect work, He is our all, HE is all we need, He is whom we listen to.
The old was nailed to the cross. Jesus came to full the old covenant and replace it with the new. That is why he cried out on the cross (It is finished). All the requirements of the law that pointed to us failing were complete in HIM. When we come to the cross Jesus begins His work in us. The work he begun in us he will be finished at the resurrection.
Paul knew what it meant to have Christ as our righteousness Phil. 3:9-10 “and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith”
Paul learned a hard lesson by trying to keep the law, but now understood it was all by faith in Christ, trusting in His work, resting in Him. The work the law required ceased and he had peace where there was turmoil and unrest. As Jesus said "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.” (John 14:27) Peace for your soul.
If Christ fulfilled all the law why do some try to bring people back under its bondage to keep it? I have found that it is because they are confused on the covenants so they cannot discern which one to live under, therefore the confusion continues. They then spread this confusion to others because they are not at peace or have rest (Shabbat). If one understands the operation of grace being superior and experienced it they would not want the taste living under the law.
Look at what Paul said and meditate on it Rom. 10:3-4: “For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”
Here he is juxtaposing the law with Christ. He calls them ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, so instead they put themselves under the law to approve their righteousness. But then he makes the statement that is the law slayer “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”
Once one gets a hold of this there is no more striving, no more confusion- the new covenant He made gives us what we need.
This is why Paul wrote to us “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared,
not by works of righteousness which we have done,but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:4-7.)
As Paul says, ‘examine yourselves to see if you are in the faith” because if one is walking by faith they are not walking by the laws of the Old Covenant, they are enjoying a relationship with Christ where He is their peace, He is their Sabbath rest and we have the joy of salvation. Mercy, grace, the Holy Spirit are all part of their lives, the guilt of the law has no sway over them, they have the assurance of eternal life.
pt.2 The Flawed arguments of law keepers