One of GOD’S Mystery’s – LAW vs GRACE

No matter how many times I read the Old Testament, I read about fear and guilt.  Deuteronomy 19:21 – “Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.”  Living under the law was a motivation of absolute fear.  Break a commandment could mean death.  Every time I have read the New Testament I see a God who loves us and wants to meet all of our needs.  Under the Law we were controlled by fear and guilt.  Under grace we are motivated by love.  Fear and guilt can be overcome and removed.  Which do you chose: a repentant life, saved by Christ and loved by God or under the law?  Without God’s grace you are under Satan’ control.

Many do not understand why God put the Jewish nation under strict laws and then sent Christ into the world to present a new covenant replacing the law with His grace.  Paul uses the following Scripture as an analogy to what it was like living under the law and then living under grace.

Galatians 4:1 – 7 – “What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate.  The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father.  So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world.  But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.”

Under the age of 12 a Jewish boy was under the direct and absolute control of his father.  The same was true of a Greek boy until the age of 18.  All Roman children were raised by slaves.  Each child had no rights until they became an adult.  Children could go nowhere without the supervision of their slave-master and overseer.  In fact, children were treated no differently than if they were slaves.

Israel children were under strict rules and regulations.  They needed permission to do practically anything.  As a rule, fathers determined the age of maturity and a child was not considered an adult until the father determined they were capable of making decisions on their own.  When a son reached maturity, they held a ceremony and gave him a position in the family.  They put a robe around him and placed a ring on his finger.

Paul is sharing that as fathers treated their children, God had instituted similar laws for Israel to follow until they too had reached a spiritual maturity.  The Jews were not given maturity or adulthood until Christ came to free them from the law.  Until then, they were not spiritually free and had to obey the law.  We might say they were slaves to the law.

Everything that was required of a Jew was done to ensure righteousness. Christ was born under the law and was raised under the moral and ceremonial laws.  Like everyone else He lived in a world where God permits evil so that we might see the contrast between God’s holiness and the sins of the world.

Christ came that we might be redeemed, freeing us from sin and the law plus giving full rights as children of God.  It was through Christ that made available God’s forgiveness and grace that our sins and the law, which had controlled us, would no longer enslave us.   Once we received God’s Spirit into our hearts, it assured us of our inheritance and a personal relationship with our Father through our faith in Jesus Christ.

Romans 8:14 – 17 –  “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.  The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’   The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”

It is the Holy Spirit that gives us a new identity as sons and daughters of God.  Under Roman culture, becoming a Christian meant they had been given full rights of their new family and they became a full heir to their father’s estate.  They were no longer, in their minds, considered a slave to anyone, even though they were enslaved to the Romans.

I John 3:2 – “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”

John is telling us that believers will have a future but what it will be has not been revealed.  We know it will be something inconceivably wonderful and more glorious than anything we can imagine.  As Christians we have been born into God’s family and presently enjoy God’s kindness and blessings through Christ. In the future we shall be His glory.

When Christians are raptured and meet Christ in the air, we shall become like Christ. Here are some of the things Scripture tells us:  Our bodies and souls will be united and resurrected.  (I Corinthians 15)  These bodies will be made perfect, without sickness or disease.  (Philippians 3:21)  Our resurrected bodies will in some ways be different from our earthly bodies but others will recognize us.

We can only have clean and pure hearts, without sin, through the Holy Spirit that resides within us.  It is the hope that we have, that gives us confident expectations and anticipation of future blessings.  As we meet Christ we shall be made completely perfect.

It is amazing that people chose to live under the law’s judgment and fail to accept the grace that God offers to everyone.  Do you prefer to live under fear and guilt or a Covenant of grace that provides love and spiritual guidance at all times?  Satan, the great deceiver, has many followers who are unaware of the control he has over them!  Who will you serve?

According to the Pew Research in the state of Nevada 30% of the population attends church regularly.  Only 58% say they pray daily and just 63% absolutely, without a doubt, believe there is a God.

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