Thursday, March 04, 2010

The Meaning of Grace

I think it means that nothing Jesus ever said or did was intended to be construed as Him putting-aside the requirement of the Law. The religious leaders of the day deliberately misapplied the Law to suit their own lusts. But Jesus brought-out the true spirit of the Law and always fulfilled it perfectly on every point. And He expected no ... See Moreless of His disciples! Jesus didn't want anyone to think that He came to destroy the Law. He said He came to fulfill it. And the message of the Gospel is that through the indwelling Spirit of God, believers too are empowered to fulfill the righteousness of the Law. The Gospel didn't teach us to be licentious towards immorality. God's grace teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. The Prophets also foresaw the day when God would take out the heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh and write His Laws in our hearts and cause us to walk according to the spirit of His precepts and His ordinances. That's the power of the new birth, without which no-one can see the Kingdom of heaven. The Gospel didn't lower the benchmark - it raised us up to the benchmark. Hallelujah! Every point of Moses' Law can be summed-up in one word: love. Therefore love is the fulfilling of the Law. Every point of Law taught Israel something about love. Now that we are under a New Covenant, we may not express all of the points of Law in the same manner that was appropriate under the Old Covenant. We will however express the principle that was illustrated by the Law, in its true meaning - on every point. The Law gave people only a shadow of what it means to walk in love. But the indwelling Spirit does more than that - He actually shed abroad God's love into our very own hearts, enabling us to now walk in love as He walked. Through His exceeding great and precious promises, we have actually been made partakers of the Divine nature. To truly be called His children therefore, we ought to walk as He walked. In the Book of Revelation, we read that Jesus was not happy with any church-member who practised or taught sexual immorality, or who condoned it in others. The message of the Gospel is not a licence to the flesh or a diminutive of the spirit of the Law on any point. In the Book of Revelation the believers were warned not to add to nor diminish anything that was written. Since we live in the Spirit, we can also walk in the Spirit - and the nine fruits of the Spirit will keep us from breaking any principle that was underneath any point of the Law. Grace isn't antinomian - it is Divine empowerment to fulfill the Law in its true, fulfilled spirit. And if we sin - if we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. How wonderful, how pure, is God's message of love and holiness!

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