Summary: SO what is it, works or faith? The law or grace?
1. Ever wonder what you’re supposed to do with the Law?
a. Ever think about the 10 commandments?
b. Should I make them my list to follow? Should I make sure that ever ‘T’ is crossed, every ‘I’ dotted?
WORKS or FAITH, that’s the big question today.
• How is a person saved? BY WORKS OR FAITH.
• How does a Christian live? BY WORKS OR FAITH
Because of a misunderstanding of Grace and by pulling many passages out of context, some conclude that it’s WORKS!
• They’ll most likely take you to James 2:14ff…
THEN Matthew 5:17 (NKJV) 17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
THEN Romans 3:31 (NKJV) 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.
NOTE: SO what is it WORKS OR FAITH?! LAW OR GRACE?
• Some have answered that we live by faith, like Paul said earlier in Romans 1:17… Just shall live by faith!
• Others say, NO, it’s not that simple. You need to live by the LAWS OF GOD, The 10 Commandments.
• Look at Matthew 22:34-40, It’s the same question!
SO what do we have today? Cults & those entangled in LEGALISM say it’s the LAW, plus a few things we’ve added for good measure.
• FOR SURE There are a lot of groups today offering a false salvation apart from Jesus Christ through a package of works.
• Standard works packages may include worshipping on Saturday only, buying into their church is the ONLY church, going to a so called Temple and being baptized for dead relatives OR
• You can buy your way into heaven or knock on enough doors.
• But the bottom line is a person is plagued with guilt & fear.
• Really, in any system of religion based on works, you never really know if you’ve done enough so DO MORE!
We’ve learned already that if salvation depended upon good works, how much is enough? WE can never do enough.
• We’ve all fallen short and only Jesus can help any of us up!
• If salvation depended upon lighting candles, you can never light enough candles to get into heaven.
• If our salvation depended upon our prayers, our smiles, our church attendance… you get the picture.
• You never feel like it’s enough! And you have NO ASSURANCE that God loves you, because you’re working so hard to get something that God has already given you through Jesus.
SO the question becomes, “What about the Law? What is the purpose of the 10 Commandments?”
• Paul says at the end of CH3:31, that faith establishes the Law.
• So that must mean we have to live by the Law right? NO
• One of the most misunderstood & misquoted Scriptures!!!
• Many will come here and say, “see Christian, make sure you are keeping the Law, the festivals, the 10 commandments!”
BUT REMEMBER… we can’t be justified by keeping the law.
• Look back at what we’ve already learned: (v19ff)
• So we are not establishing the law as a method of salvation because none of us can keep it perfectly enough to be saved.
• Ahh… some would say, look at 2:13, see right here it says that the doers of the Law will be justified.
• That’s just taking a verse out of it’s context.
• Chapters 1, 2, 3 all tells us we need a righteousness that is not our own… we can work our way into God’s favor.
• But we can believe our way into God’s favor!
3:31 – This is how we are ESTABLISHING THE LAW… for the purpose for which it was created & given: It’s a standard of God to point out sin in our lives!
• That’s all the law could ever do. It’s never saved a soul, ever.
• All it could say is “do this and live”. We answer, but we can’t.
Flip back to Deut 4:9-14… This is the retelling of Exodus 20.
• Children of Israel are ready to enter into the Promised Land.
• So what’s the covenant given at Mt. Horeb (Sinai)? 10 Command.
• Jump to 5:2-3… He didn’t make this covenant with anyone before Moses. It’s the 10 commandments given on Sinai.
OK… now jump over to Jeremiah 31:31-34… This is the promise of a new covenant, different than the one that was broken.
• So that’s the prediction: God is going to make a new covenant that is NOT LIKE the old one… it will be different.
NOW… today there are many, many Christians that think they are to use the 10 Commandments as their guide.
• As we begin to talk about God’s New Covenant, it’s easy for some to say, “WAIT A MINUTE, are you voiding out the Law? Are you nullifying it? Are you just dismissing it that easily?”