Key to success begins and ends with God

Having a proper understanding of God and His plan of salvation is the key to successful living.

The book of Romans is considered by theologians to be the greatest treatise on the doctrine of salvation by grace in all of scripture. Martin Luther’s commentary on the book begins with these words:

“This epistle is really the chief part of the New Testament and the very purest Gospel.”

So, what does the chief part of the New Testament and the very purest Gospel have to say about the Law? Beginning in Rom. 3:20 we read…

 “because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law {comes} the knowledge of sin.”

Then in 3:31 it says,

“Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.”

Then in Romans 7:7 the Spirit of God says,

What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet.”

Paul is referring to the moral Law. What other Law would fit the context? With this understanding, we can paraphrase Romans 3:20 this way:

“by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Ten Commandments comes the knowledge of sin!”

Understanding Romans chapter 3 in light of Exodus chapter 20 will add light years to your understanding of Christianity. Compare Romans 3:20 to Ex. 20:20, and it all makes sense. Romans 3:31 proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that the moral Law has not been abolished by the dispensation of grace, and Romans 7:7, shows us that sin is still defined (not by the letter but by the spirit) of the Ten Commandments (Matt. 5:21-28).

Satan’s campaign to distort the legitimate use of the Law has been so successful, that many Christian leaders and their congregations are scared to death of  the word. The fear of being labeled a “legalist” is a powerful weapon in the hands of the enemy. Christian leaders can talk about holiness and obedience, as long as they do not use the word “law.” One wonders what it is we are supposed to obey, and what constitutes holiness? All this in spite of the fact that Romans 7:14 says, “The Law is holy,” and 1 Tim. 1:8 says, “The Law is good if one uses it lawfully.”

So, how is it that we have come so far in losing the proper concept of the moral Law? Here is how it was done. Since we are saved by grace alone, and, since the New Testament says, “Christ fulfilled the Law,” all law became equated with legalism. Legalism is heresy, heresy is false doctrine, and false doctrine is the work of the enemy.

The result of this misunderstanding leaves Christ between two thieves—antinomianism on one side, and legalism on the other. Both are equally deadly, and both are prevalent to one degree or another in the church.  Legalism is the idea that you can add anything to, or subtract anything from, your salvation by what you do or don’t do. This stands in direct opposition to God’s grace. Antinomianism means no law. This is idea that there is no law whatsoever in the New Testament.  All things are lawful as long as my conscience is clear and I live by love. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is, Law defines love, and love never fails (ends)!

Stay tuned on this blog station for our next post entitled:  The Law of of Love.

Be sure and check our website for a lot more on the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit! www.voice-wilderness.org

Blessings!

Phil