Recently after discussing a scriptural element an acquaintance of mine from years go stated something that shook me to the core. They had stated emphatically:
“The new covenant is that his Laws are written on our hearts now not on stone, this is accomplished by grace, The true definition of grace is the influence of the Holy Spirit on our hearts that causes us to walk in his Torah (instructions). It's not unmerited favor!”
In other words; Grace by Faith doesn’t exist!
This declaration frightened me for the soul of this person. In essence, what they were saying that Grace as defined by Jesus Christ was rubbish, and salvation was found through adherence to the law of Moses. Effectively drawing a line through the Gospel of Jesus Christ from their perspective.
I had already withdrawn from the conversation when this was stated so I left it alone for the time and prayed about it. I’m at peace here writing on the topic of denial regarding God’s foundational message in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This longtime friend will remain in my prayers but there is no call to bring mention of their name. If God sees fit perhaps He will guide this individual to read this dispatch to my blog.
However, there’s Jesus and only Jesus who can save us and that is the conclusion of this message today. We’ll circle back to this point after filling in the space between law and grace.
Let’s start out in the first chapter of the book of John. We should establish just ‘who’ Jesus is and while there are many tells in my mind nothing says this as well as the opening of John.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
John 1:1-5 (NKJV)
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:14 (NKJV)
This ‘Word’ is none other than Jesus Christ who was present at the creation, in fact, he was the creator! This same Jesus that would humble himself to be born of a virgin and walk among men, to give himself as a perfect offering to God the Father for the sin of the world.
‘In the beginning’. Before it all started was the ‘Word’. (Note the capitalization of the word ‘Word’.) Notice the relationship of the Word to God; the Word was ‘with’ God, the Word ‘was’ God, ‘He’ existed in the beginning with God (‘He’ referencing the Word), Everything was created ‘through him’ (the Word), absolutely everything that was created was created BY THE WORD, and finally, The Word gave life to everything that was created and brought light.
For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
John 1:17 (NKJV)
The event of the birth of Jesus marks the final assault on sin and death. His life demonstrates and teaches how people can know God, as never before. His crucifixion placed the sin of the world upon Him accepting our punishment. His resurrection has shattered the veil and destroyed death forever!
This established a new covenant between God and humanity.
See, the law of Moses was a wonderful tool to tell us why we needed a savior. No one could measure up to the standard of the law and the mediation for this was purification, sacrifice and repentance. God is just. Therefore, where there is a breach of the law there is punishment measured out.
Under the law, that punishment fell to the individual that sinned. It was necessary for them to seek absolution by purification, sacrifice and repentance of their sin. The issue was that this was a repeated cycle repeatedly. Ultimately man was not able to measure up to God’s law.
Jesus became our sacrifice. The perfect ‘Lamb of God’ would willingly take on the sin of all humanity. He would take that sin to the grave and then triumph over death by rising from the grave and later ascending into the heavens.
The books of the Old Testament are fulfilled in Christ. Every aspect of his life, death, and resurrection was prophesied and every prophesy was regarding the messiah was fulfilled by Jesus.
The first thing to avoid denying Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Matthew 3:17 (NKJV)
Going hand in hand with that is recognizing the fact he is the messiah.
The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
John 4:25-26 (NIV)
Next avoid denying that he is risen from the grave and lives today.
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.
Matthew 28:5-6 (NIV)
Continuing along this line of examination, acknowledge that he has offered unmerited favor to all who will have faith in the sacrifice of Jesus for their sins.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20 (NIV)
Denying that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to be saved is a spiritually fatal mistake. He is the only means of being blameless before God the Father.
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
Acts 4:12 (NIV)
And back to what started this article, denying that Grace is anything other than unmerited favor.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens, so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift — not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:4-10 (HCSB)
Denial that Jesus is the way.
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”
John 14:6-7 (NLT)
Those who have put their faith in Christ Jesus as their savior find this passage clear. Jesus IS the Way! Plain and simple. But Jesus didn’t just leave it at that He wanted to make it abundantly clear that there was no possibility of getting to God the Father, without having a relationship with Jesus the Son.
Furthermore, He’s also letting you know that He and the Father are so much the same that knowing Jesus is to know Father God. So much so that “From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”
Beyond that he desires a close relationship between Him and us without any impediment.
Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me.
Revelation 3:20 (HCSB)
If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be My disciples.
John 15:7-8 (HCSB)
Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Romans 5:1-5 (HCSB)
Deny these truths at your own peril.