Yes! But Then Again……….
Read Romans Chapter 3
Ro 3:21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood. He did this to demonstrate His justice, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 He did it to demonstrate His justice at the present time, so as to be just and the One who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. 27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law. 29 Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
This is a long scripture passage, but we need most of it to make a point. This passage has some great things to teach us. The main theme is one for which we should be extremely grateful. We no longer have to follow the law that was laid down in the Old Testament. That is a great relief for us, because we don’t have the ability to fulfill the law. Actually, the Old Testament believers couldn’t either, and their salvation was also dependent upon the future but sure work of Christ on the cross.
That fact is the only reason we have hope. Look at the verses which express that idea.
1. A righteousness from God, apart from the law, has been made known. Verse 21
2. Righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. Verse 22
3. We are justified freely by His grace. Verse 24
4. God is the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. Verse 26
5. Observing the law does nothing to achieve our salvation. Verse 27
6. Man is justified by faith apart from observing the law. Verse 28
7. Both the circumcised and uncircumcised are justified by faith in Jesus Christ. Verse 30
However, there have always been those who take that truth too far. The message that has been heard for centuries is also being heard today. We hear, “the law no longer applies to us. We can freely sin and still be justified by Christ’s righteousness.” But we must also look at another point from this passage.
Verse 31 – Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
Why did Paul include that statement at the end of his long, clear dissertation which relieved us of the responsibility of keeping the law? I think the answer is simple. He was not willing for his readers to believe they could now completely disregard God’s instructions to His people. We cannot ignore His warnings against sin. God’s intention was never to allow His children to continue their disobedience. Why would we have to be saved from something which had no power to destroy us? If sin were so unimportant, Christ would not have had to die in order to release us from its stronghold.
Paul’s statement in verse 31 makes it very clear; we must uphold the law. We must uphold its integrity. It is still an important part of God’s plan. Yes, the rituals are done away with. There is no longer a need to bring lambs, goats, and bulls to the altar. Christ provided His innocent blood to satisfy that part of the law. But there are still parts of the law which we must uphold; not to gain salvation, but to honor it, and to honor the One who did what we could not do – be that sacrificial Lamb which was necessary for our redemption.
Ro 6:1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
Prayer: Father, do not allow anyone else to be fooled by the false hyper-grace we hear today. More importantly, do not let us be fooled by it.