Looking through the Lens of Grace (Part 2)

by Creflo Dollar | 21 Apr 2019

Summary

Most churches still preach the covenant of the Law of Moses, which tells us we must perform in order to get God to bless us. This is correct, if we are still living by the law. However, the law spelled out hundreds of requirements in meticulous detail, and death was the punishment for breaking any part of it. It was given to curse the people, and it actually increased sin. No one could keep it until Jesus came; He successfully kept all the commandments, and shed His blood to forgive our sins and establish the covenant of grace. We are now free from the demands of the law, and blessed by our faith in what Jesus did for us. We can be thankful and grateful that grace has the power to do what the law never could.

  1. Under the old covenant, no one could keep all the law; therefore, all were deemed guilty.
    1. And the Word was made 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…For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1:14, 17).
      1. This describes Jesus, who is grace.
      2. Grace is God’s unmerited, undeserved favor. Grace can be described as God doing something for us that we do not deserve and did not qualify for or earn. Jesus was full of this kind of grace.
    2. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all (James 2:10).
      1. The law was extensive and covered every area of Jewish life. Death was the punishment for breaking any part of it.
    3. And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth (Deuteronomy 28:1).
      1. This kind of thinking is still preached in most churches; however, the law is the very thing that is responsible for sin.
      2. Under the old covenant, man had a sinful nature; he had no choice but to sin. Under the new covenant, man has the opportunity to be born again and receive a new, sinless nature. Now, when we sin, it is because we want to, not because we have to.
  1. The law enslaved the people to sin; grace frees us from it. This freedom is by faith.
    1. So also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him (Hebrews 9:28, NLT).
      1. We must know the difference between using the word “sin” as a noun versus as a verb. Jesus did not come to take away the act of sinning, but to take away our old, sinful natures.
      2. Jesus already dealt with sin on the cross. However, the Law of Moses makes us sin-conscious by constantly reminding us of our sinful acts.
      3. We are not what we do; our actions do not define our identity. We are who God says we are; we are righteous because of our identities in Him.
    2. Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him (Philippians 2:12, 13, NLT).
      1. God works in us to change us from the inside out.
      2. The work of God is to believe in Him. We get into heaven not by what we do, but by what we believe.
      3. When we believe something strongly enough, actions are born out of that belief.
    3. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed (John 8:31).
      1. The truth will make us free from the Law of Moses. Specifically, grace is the truth that makes men free.
      2. In this context, the truth is not simply the entire Bible. Jesus was talking about the truth of God’s grace under the new covenant.
  1. We no longer have to work hard to do everything perfectly; Jesus did what we cannot.
    1. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace (Romans 6:14).
      1. Under the law, sin can dominate us; grace gives us the advantage over sin.
      2. The law was given to condemn and curse people, and make them feel guilty.
    2. The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law (1 Corinthians 15:56).
      1. The law tells us “Thou shalt not…” The end result is that the harder we try to keep the law, the more we think about what not to do, and we find ourselves doing that very thing.
      2. Whenever there is a law in existence, there is also temptation. If there is no law governing something, we will not think about it.
    3. The Bible does not contradict itself; we simply must know how to rightly divide the Word of truth. If we can rightly divide it, we can also wrongly divide it. Incorrectly analyzing the Word causes us to work hard doing empty works.
      1. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).
      2. Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15, AMPC).