LOVE--NOT LAW--BROKE OPEN THE GATES OF HELL
NOTE: I was sent questions in reference to this discussion of law and grace by a brother who wants to know if I believe that David, Enoch, Abraham and Isaac were real people in history. This brother has made it clear that he believes we must believe in Christ by faith, and that we must also keep the Torah, the Old Testament Law. I responded with this:
These were real men, who lived in space/time like us. God does not play games. He teaches us through the lives and the experiences of real people, and acts in the lives of these real people, like you and me.
Why are you asking me these questions, instead of responding to the Scriptures with praises to Christ? What I teach is not some hard-to-understand gospel, but the simple gospel of the apostles as given them by the One and Only, Christ the Messiah.
There is no language barrier, no cultural barrier, no barriers to understanding except our own unwillingness to face the simplicity of what Jesus Christ came to do. His Kingdom is within us, and has nothing to do with keeping the Old Covenant. There is a reason that the apostles called it the Old Covenant. It is passed away, and as New Creatures in Christ Jesus, all things have become new.
This conversation is beginning to remind me of some of Jesus' conversations with the Pharisees and teachers of the Law, when our Lord would speak clearly to them, even using Scripture, and they would quickly put their heads together and think up some tangential question to ask Him to trip Him up. Is that your intent, brother, to catch me in some error? Or is it your intent to know the Truth, straight from the Scripture?
It is my intent, and my calling, to preach and teach the gospel straight and true, exactly as handed us in Scripture, and to thus be true, as the apostles were, to their Lord Jesus Christ. This is my only intent, to build up others who would follow Christ in their every good intent.
I pray that you and all others who seek the Lord with a pure heart would be filled with Christ, and Christ only, to the extent of His Will. May the Spirit guide you into knowing it is all Christ, and nothing we do on the outside, whether how we talk, or how we dress, or which "principles and precepts" we try to live by, are necessary to know Him and to be saved. As the apostle John says, "Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did." (1 John 2:6)
By this, John meant our character would become like Jesus, and thus, our actions would follow. This is the work of the Spirit. He did not mean we would wear sandals and a robe. If he had, he would have said that. He did not mean that everyone, everywhere who follows Christ on the earth was to speak in the original Hebrew. Thinking of these outward things as sacred in some way is the first step into religion. Jesus spoke against the Pharisees because they were careful to clean the outside of the cup, meaning they were careful about outward religious observances, yet this left them open to becoming dirty on the inside, which included pride and greed. He said the inside is what matters, and if you clean that, the outside will take care of itself. (Luke 11:39-52)
Again, I state that Scripture teaches us the New Covenant of grace is now in effect. The Old Covenant of Law was fulfilled and completed on the cross.
When Jesus rose by the Father's power, He first descended into the Abyss and broken open the gates of hell, not by the using the Ten Commandments or the Mosaic Tablets as a battering ram on those gates, but by the power of love He showed us when He died for us. He didn't come back from the grave to remind us to keep the Law. He came back to give us His Spirit, which lives in us, and empowers us to live the same life He lived among us.
This is the faith of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This is the faith of David, and Enoch. This is the faith of Joseph, and Moses, and Ezekiel, because it is the faith they lived and died for, though the fulfillment was not seen by their eyes in their time. This is the faith of every man and woman listed in the roll call of faith in Hebrews Chapter 11. And this is the faith we cherish and protect by the Word of God.
May those who preach Christ as sufficient for all be blessed today. I pray that all of us would find this "mystery of godliness" (Eph. 1:9; Col. 1:6) which is available to all. This mystery is that Christ, without Law, empowers us to become Him in the world by His Spirit.
"I pray that out of His glorious riches He would strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith." (Eph. 3:16,17)
A. Brother Gary