When we learn in error, it will determine how we approach our entire Christian life. God knows I sat under this mixture for too many years. Here is what happens when someone puts another under this law and grace mixture:
Christian says, “I read the scriptures daily; I pray; I go to church; I tithe and my life is still not on track. The bad things that happen to those without Christ, happen also to me. There must be something wrong with what I am doing. I must be letting the enemy into my life somehow.” Then we might go on to say, “God doesn’t really care what happens to me because nothing He says in His Word works for me.”
I know very well what sitting under this kind of teaching will do to a Christian’s thinking because I was there, for way too long!
So here is what every believer needs to know: Under Law – every person, in order to make themselves acceptable to God is done so by their own work. You are accepted by what you do or you don’t do. If you do this then God will accept you and if you don’t do this or this, then you will break your fellowship with God.
Here’s what I discovered in the Old Covenant of the Law of Moses, the Word “If.” I’ve heard two very well-known pastors teach on “Blessings and Curses” according to Deuteronomy 11:26 – “Behold, I set before you today blessing and a curse.” You can go read the passages and see if you can do everything perfectly. We can’t do everything the law said to do.
Now for the “Good News” of the gospel of Grace: Under grace God gives man a right standing of total acceptance as a gift through His Son, Jesus Christ! Our works that we might do to get God to accept us has no effect on whether we are accepted by God or not because we are still going to sin or mess up. Jesus Christ was and is the only One who could fulfill the law perfectly. We believe by faith.
The proof is in what Jesus said in John 6:28 and 29 – (28) then they said to Him, “What shall we do that we may work the works of God? (29) Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” So by faith and faith alone we receive the gift of righteousness in Jesus Christ.
Here is more proof for those who still doubt: Ephesians 2:8, 9 – for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, (9) not of works, lest anyone should boast.
This mixture has a name – Galatianism, which is a meaningless contradiction. We can’t have it both ways.
This problem of mixing the law and grace message was dealt with by the Apostle Paul. He wrote in Romans 11:6 – “and if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.”
Too many times a new believer is told the message of God’s total forgiveness and love and then placed under the condemnation of their performance.
Galatians 3:1-3, Paul wrote – O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? (Verse 2) This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith? (Verse 3 ) Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?
In other words, Paul was asking, “After beginning by faith with the Spirit, are we now trying to keep our salvation by our human effort?”
Conclusion: Just this one study will set many of you free. I had to get out from under that mixture of teaching myself, to see that I am fully and completely accepted by God through what Jesus did, not me. And if it was given to me by faith, then I can do nothing to maintain it!
My next study will be on why the Law was given in the first place.
Please don’t misunderstand the meaning of grace. It is not a license to sin and live anyway we choose. When we believe right, we will think right by the renewing of our mind and the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth!