Summary: A sermon on the Law Way of Salvation {Before you overreact, this way does not work} (Material adapted from Dr. Jack Cottrell)


I am not under law; I’m under grace! It was grace that rescued me; it was grace that set me free!

I have sought- I have found- a hiding place; I am not under law; I am under grace!


There are two ways to be right with God, two choices and only two.

Two kinds of righteousness: personal OR God’s (Philippians 3:9: (I want to ) be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. ). Remember that this “Righteousness” means “satisfying the requirements of the law.”

Our own personal righteousness is how well we satisfy (or obey) God’s law.

To be right with God by personal righteousness, we must live perfect lives.

What kind of personal righteousness do we have? Isa. 64:6: our righteous acts are like filthy rags.

God’s righteousness is his decision to satisfy (pay) the penalty of his own law in our place.

He did this through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. God offers to give to sinners this righteousness, and let them count it as their own and be saved. 2 Corinthians 5:21: God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Two gates into heaven: law OR grace

1. To be “under law” means that you are now in the law line, waiting to get into heaven through the law gate, according to the rules of law.

2. To be “under grace” means that you are now in the grace line, waiting to get into heaven through the grace gate, according to the rules of grace.

Two means of entering the gates: works OR faith

1. One enters the law gate on the basis of his own personal righteousness or works. If your life is good enough, you can go through the law gate into heaven. How good does your life have to be to enter the law gate? It has to be perfect.

2. One goes through the grace gate by faith, by believing and trusting in the righteousness earned by Jesus on the cross.

Thesis: This morning let’s talk about the law way of salvation.

A. The word “law” is used in two different ways.

1. Law CODE = the set of commandments one is obligated to obey.

2. Law SYSTEM = the way one may enter heaven by obedience to his law code.

a) You are under the law system if you are trying to use your law code as a way into Heaven. This means you are trying to get into heaven by how well you obey God’s commandments.

Is it possible to enter heaven under the law system? Theoretically, yes.

Everyone is under a law code, and always will be by virtue of creation.

1. In the Garden of Eden, God had a law code for mankind- Genesis 2:16-17: And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”

2. Pagans are subject to the heart code: Rom. 2:14-15. As created in the image of God they have an awareness of the moral law of God. Their inner being at least bears the remnants of God’s moral law as it was imprinted upon human nature even though it is corrupted. The world agrees that honoring one’s father and mother, do not murder, do not steal, do not bear false witness in court, are all correct when it comes to the law. Did they get this through the Ten Commandments given to Moses by God. No, but this was imprinted upon them by being humans. They demonstrate this by having guilt when they disobey God’s law. Might get away with adultery as far as man’s law, but still have guilt.

3. Jews prior to Christ were subject to the Mosaic code. Joshua 1:8: Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

4. Everyone since Pentecost is subject to the New Covenant code. It is called the New Testament or the New Covenant. Hebrews 8:8: “The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. Hebrews 8:13: By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.

Under the New Covenant the Ten Commandments still apply because they are in the NT in some form or another. Under the NT, some of these commandments are more strict like adultery. Adultery is not just the physical act but if we lust after someone in our hearts, we have committed adultery. Murder is not just the taking of someone’s life but also includes hatred.

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