Tim Johnson, editor
September 2, 2001
We Under Law?"
I heard about a little girl who was making ugly faces at her pet bulldog. When her mother scolded her for it, the little girl pointed her finger accusingly at her unlovely pet and said, "Well he started it!"
I fear that some Christians are just like the little girl when it comes to making excuses for ugly behavior. Someone says something ugly to us, or gives us a dirty look, so we feel justified in being ugly in return.
The truth is that no matter what someone else has done to us or said to us, the Christian is to behave like Christ. He left us an example; we should follow in His steps. He was "reviled" but "did not revile in return" (1 Peter 2:23). To "revile" is "to use abusive language." Even when we are being "cussed out," we have no justification for becoming nasty ourselves. Rather, "...being reviled, we ...bless" (1 Corinthians 4:12). It is the responsibility of the Christian, in every situation, to "be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing (1 Peter 3:8b-9).
Like the bulldog, some of us may not be able to keep from being ugly in physical appearance, but there is NO excuse for being ugly when it comes to our behavior.
by Steve Klein
Every serious Bible student should be fully aware of the fact that we are not under the law that God gave through Moses to govern Israel. Justification is not by it. At Antioch in Pisidia, Paul declared that "by Him [Jesus, CRS] all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses" (Acts 13:39). In Romans 6:14, Paul wrote: "&ldots;for ye are not under the law, but under grace." Neither can we earn or merit salvation by keeping of any law. Should we therefore conclude that we are not under any law whatsoever? Should we conclude that salvation is given before and without any obedience to any law of any kind? What saith the Scriptures? Does salvation by grace exclude obedience to any law from being essential to salvation? What saith the Scriptures?
The apostle Paul mentioned the fact that unto the Jews he became as a Jew, to them that were under the law, as under the law that he might gain them. He further said: "To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law of Christ) that I might gain them that are without law" (1 Cor. 9:21). Paul recognized his union with and his subjection to Christ. Yes, we are "not without law to God, but under the law to Christ."
In Galatians 6:2 Paul exhorts Christians to "Bear ye on another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." Yes, Christ has a law and Christians should fulfill that law.
James 1:25 says, "But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work this man shall be blessed in his deed." It is for all because James says, "But whoso &ldots;" and blessings are provided for those who look therein and are doers of the work.
Paul asks, "Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? Nay: but by the law of faith" (Rom. 3:27). We must conclude that a person is justified by faith without the deeds of the law of works. We are under "the law of faith." Should we conclude that we are justified by faith without the deeds of the laws of faith? Where is the evidence (if there is any) that we are justified without the deeds of the law of faith?
One must obey "the faith" in order to be saved. In Acts 6:7 we read that "&ldots;a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith." One's faith must obey. It must work. It must act. We must be obedient to the faith, that is, to the system of faith, the gospel, the truth, the law of faith. Yes, we are under "the law of faith."
The Israelites were under the Levitical priesthood and, under that priesthood, "the people received the law." The priesthood has been changed. The Lord Jesus Christ, who was of the tribe of Judah, is now our high priest. This change of priesthood (from the tribe of Levi to Judah) necessitated a change also of the law. Hebrews 7:12 says: "For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law." This change of priesthood did not abolish law entirely or completely. It brought about a change of the law.
Jesus Christ has an unchangeable priesthood and was "made a surety of a better testament" (Hebrews 7:22). This "better testament" is "a better hope." Jesus is the mediator of "a better covenant" which was established upon "better promises."
In making this "new covenant," the Lord said, "I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts" (Heb. 8:10).
Yes, we are under an eternal priesthood; that of Jesus Christ. Under it, we have received "grace and truth," "the law of faith," "the perfect law of liberty," "the gospel of Christ." Remember that James 4:12 says, "There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgeth another?" In view of these facts let us "so speak&ldots;and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty" (Jas. 2:12).
If your concept of "grace" is such that you do not believe that we are under any law, or that obedience to that law is not required in order for one to become a child of God and to be saved eternally, your concept of "grace" is not according to the Scriptures.
By Carrol R. Sutton