Under Law Contrasted to Under Grace: As a Candle to the Sun

1Tim 1:8-11

–The Law is good, if used lawfully.
–It is for sinners
   –No need for law until there is enough transgressions to warrant it to maintain order and promote the general welfare
        –e.g., increasing traffic safety regulations and automobile safety features
–It is useful when having to subdue evil or the causing of hurt to another.
   –e.g., speaking in unacceptable way that needlessly hurt or offend or panic other people  

2Cor 3:7-11
–The Law of Moses was glorious, but a passing glory when compared to the glory of the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.
   –like a candle which gives way to electric light, and even more so to the sun
      –what was glorious and served its purpose adds nothing more once the more glorious has come
         –maintains its own glory, but does not compare to that which far surpasses it and which serves a far more greater purpose  

Rom 7:1-13
–The Law is our life:  any set of rules by which we live and has dominion over us; it rules us; it is like a husband, until he/it dies to us
   –establishing, for instance, one’s own kashrut laws for what you will or will not eat as a matter of righteousness
–The law brings a curse on us because we can not live up to it – and so we feel condemned, not free, not alive – nor can it make us righteous in God’s eyes.
   –putting ‘a fence’ around the law holds people’s consciences accountable to man’s customs or commandments, rather than to the Word or Teaching of God.
–The Law is what lets us know what sin is, and until the law comes in, we do not feel guilty.
   –e.g., cigarette smoking and labeling
–The law causes transgressions to increase and strengthen.
  –How do we normally react when required to submit to authority or required to serve others?
     –It is sin in me doing the transgression if I myself want to obey the law, but it shows how sinful sin is.
–Our deliverance from this cursedness is Messiah’s death and resurrection, and ultimately our own resurrection and clothing with a new body, freed from sin.  

Questions:

1.  What is the difference between ‘mercy’ and ‘grace’?
   –Mercy keeps us from deserved punishment/hell; Grace gets us to Heaven/far more than I deserve.
   –Mercy forgives someone for offenses and debts; Grace adds to that a ‘reward’ for believing, thanking, trusting the forgiver/deliverer/savior.
   –Mercy is necessary during this life only; Grace/Lovingkindness is for eternity for those who love God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.
      –The grace of God imputes His righteousness to the forgiven sinner who believes.  This is the only righteousness which exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees, and enables us to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. (Mt 5:20) (The righteousness of the religious is not enough for salvation.)  

2.  Must believers in Jesus still obey the Law?
   —Rom 3:31 (Mt 5:17-19; 7:24-29; Dt 18:18-19)   We do not make void the Law, but rather establish it through faith
     –The Law is holy, and the commandment is holy, just, and good (Rom 7:12)
       –it is needed both to keep the peace in any society, and to show the people that they are sinners
         –either by breaking good laws, even unintentionally
         –or, by refusing to accept and submit to the law:  lawlessness
           –for Jews and for Christians, we have greater responsibility to both submit to civil authorities, and to keep a higher standard
     –it will be all fulfilled
     –we must teach and do even the least of these commandments which Messiah has now brought in under the New Covenant/Testament, the grace of God producing righteous fruit (Ezek 36:27)  

3.  What about those who lived before the Torah, or who are without the Law?
   —Gen 9:3-7   food, sanctity of life, pro-creation and continuity of humanity
   —Rom 2:12-16   those without Law will die without Law; those with Law judged by the Law; for all  men the Judge is Jesus Christ
   –Remember Avimelech, the Philistine king(s) who made covenants of peace with Abraham and with Isaac.  To Avimelech, it was acceptable to murder a husband of a woman to take her for himself, but not to commit adultery with another man’s wife!
       –This was before the Law (Torah) was given by YHVH God to Israel
       –Gentiles have their own laws and rules by which they judge themselves
           –Hamurrabi’s Code — ~1760 BC, app. 650 after the Flood, and about 315 years before the Torah
           –even an organization like the Mafia has their own code of conduct
           –God will judge those without His law by a lower standard than those with His law. (Rom 2:24; Ezek 36:22)
              —Lk 10:8-16; 11:30-32; Jn 9:39-41
                 –to whom there is more light, there is more responsibility and greater judgment (Lk 12:47-48)
                    –God knows exactly how to judge righteously and without partiality:  ‘handicapping’
                    –Jews and Christians have more than others (Rom 2:5-12; Ezek 18:25-32 

1Pt 4:17-18; Prov 11:31   For the time is coming for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?  Now, “if the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?!”   

Having a covenantal relationship with the one true God makes us more accountable, not less!  We are members of His family, and discipline and punishment begins there within before doing so without.
   –Israel most accountable nation
   –Christians most accountable persons
   —Jewish believers in Yeshua the most accountable of all  

Rom 5:13-14   Until the Law came, sin and death (sin’s consequence/wage) were in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
     –like a baby before being old enough to be able to know that ‘yes’ means yes, and ‘no’ means no
     –Adam transgressed God’s commandment to him, and so was punished more severely than Eve, who was deceived by the devil.  

The Holy Spirit has always been in the world (and will remain in this world until these heavens and earth pass away).  God gave certain rules and commandments to Noah after the flood to help sinful people live more peaceably together, and to fear God and His judgment.  These general guidelines have impacted every society since those days, as all people have descended from Noah’s three sons, and there is only one Sovereign God in the world who keeps a restraint on evil.  Although sin was not imputed before the Torah came, yet God judged the people for their wickedness, as He also did in Sodom and Gomorrah. 

Sodom will be less severely judged in the Day of Judgment than a city which has heard the gospel and seen the works of God, but refused to repent and receive the servants of God. (Lk 10:8-12)  Today, the Western nations are more accountable in God’s sight than others, for the “Judeo-Christian” civilization has developed and matured there. 

Being under the grace of God in Christ is a privilege requiring a greater response of thanksgiving and of responsibility than of those seeking still their own righteousness by works of law.  Praise God that Jesus is our Great High Priest interceding for us at the Father’s right hand!  As believers, we, by God’s grace and mercy, will not be judged for the sin of unbelief or hypocrisy, but will be judged for the works we have done in our bodies – whether good or bad. 

2Cor 5:7-11   For we walk by faith, not by sight.  We are confident, yes, well pleased rather, to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.  Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.  Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men. . . .

KAY WILSON, KRISTINE LUKEN, AND AMI ORTIZ – 27 Jan 2011

Praise the Lord that the news black-out on the arrest of suspects involved in the murder of Kristine Luken and the severe wounding of Kay Wilson has been lifted with good news!  Thanks to Kay’s lucidity and excellent descriptions of the two men directly involved in their case, the police have arrested a gang of Palestinians who had decided to kill Jews and Israelis, especially since the killing of a chief Hamas operative in Kuwait last year.  Kay is being described as a “hero”, and as someone who knew how to act in such a grave situation.

Here are a couple of links to stories:

http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=205401

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4019519,00.html

Please also remember the Ortiz family, whose son Ami was very seriously injured in 2008 from a bomb attack against the family.  Next week on Feb 3, the court is once again scheduled to convene to determine if the confessed “Jewish terrorist” is mentally fit to stand trial.  Here is the last update from the Ortizes:  http://www.amiortiz.com/leahsupdates.cfm

God bless you all for standing with us in your love for Jesus/Yeshua.

JUBILEE BLESSINGS – 10 Jan 2011

Lev 25:1-13      

   –Sabbatical years and the Jubilee are statutes and judgments, promises and blessings given by YHVH to Israel, for when they came into the land which He gave them.

   –The Promised Land was to rest every Sabbath (7th) year, just as each person was to rest every Sabbath (the 7th) day.

   –The Year of Jubilee was not the seventh sabbatical year, but came after the 7th sabbatical year – after 49 years.  The Jubilee was a double Sabbath year, coming the year immediately following the 49th year, the 7th Sabbatical year.  When it was time for the Jubilee, two whole years were a Sabbath rest for the land!  The 50th year is the Jubilee (i.e., from the day after the end of the 49th until the “50th birthday”).  The next series of sabbatical years begins after the Jubilee year.
        —Lev 23:9-10   when you come into the land which I give you, beginning the day after the Sabbath during the week of Passover, the priest waves the firstfruits of the harvest.
          Lev 23:15-17,21-22   from that day after the Sabbath, count seven complete Sabbaths, till the 50th day – the day after the 7th Sabbath. This is the appointed time of Shavuot/Pentecost.  A new grain offering of leavened bread offered as first-fruits unto YHVH.  A double Sabbath day of rest.

   –The Jubilee is a special year of redemption, with every Israeli having his property and family restored.
        —Lev 25:9-10   The trumpet of Jubilee is blown on the Day of Atonements; proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants.

What does this all have to do with you who are Gentile Christians outside the Land of Israel?

Much in every way!  Eph 2:11 – 3:6   brought into the Commonwealth of Israel, whose God has become yours, and His Jubilee promises connected with the land and people of Israel becoming relevant to you as children of Abraham through your faith in Jesus as Messiah, the King of Israel.

Lk 12:32-40   It is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom!  (This is far better than being given, for example, Tanzania, as your inheritance.)  Jesus tells us to be anticipating His coming, even as we continue to do the work He has given each of us to do.  Where our treasure is, there will our heart be also.

What trumpet are we expecting to hear to proclaim liberty throughout all the Earth to all its inhabitants at that time?

Rev 11:14-18   the trumpet of the seventh angel, with loud voices in Heaven proclaiming, “The kingdoms of this world have become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”    The ultimate Jubilee is about Jesus bringing back to God under His rule ALL of His possessions and family!

1Cor 15:51-58   the last trump on the Day of the LORD, giving to those in Christ the promised inheritance of a new body that will not decay or die, and of the Kingdom of God.  Far more than promised to Israel under the Law, yet by grace to enjoy the blessings of the Jubilee to Israel and to the rest of the nations under the Millennial rule of Christ, as we rule and reign with Him as kings and priests.

(Is 49:5-13; Is 55:6; Is 61:1-2a; Lk 4:16-30; Mt 11:2-6; Lk 14:12-35; 2Cor 5:16 – 6:2; Heb 3:12 – 4:16; 12:28-29)