“You can’t have one without the other”
In today’s church there seems to be a lot of tension around preaching on following the law vs. being under grace. In one circle, the Mosaic/Old Testament Law is something that was put in place for Israel in order to teach them obedience, but once Jesus arrived on the scene, we were placed under grace.
Churches shy away from teaching obedience to the law and 10 commandments from the Old Testament due to the idea that others may legalistically approach God. We shy away from teaching “the rules” so that others don’t think that they can earn God’s grace if they are good enough and can follow all the laws perfectly.
In place of teaching the law, churches are now teaching that we all are under grace and that there is nothing we could do to separate ourselves from the love of Christ.
Both of these teachings are only partially correct. If there was “nothing” that could separate us from the love of Christ…then why do some choose hell? If we don’t have to obey the law…then why did God waste time writing it in the first place with His own finger?
Those that abide in Christ and are joined with the Holy Spirit (I.E. true believers) cannot be separated from the love of Christ. Not to mention Romans 8:39 states:
“nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
So nothing in all of creation can separate man from the revelation of Love that is Christ Jesus. That goes to say that “man has no excuse”
“For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification]”-Romans 1:20 (AMP)
As for why the Lord wrote the law (law of the prophets…different than “mosaic” law)
“Oh, how love I Your law! It is my meditation all the day.”
–Psalm 119:97 (AMP)
“Do not think that I have come to do away with or undo the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to do away with or undo but to complete and fulfill them.” -Matthew 5:17 (AMP)
Jesus Christ is the author and perfecter of the Law. His laws and 10 commandments were made so that we might know the very character and nature of who He is so that we would have all the more reason to be obedient and to love Him. Some think that Jesus did away with the old law when he gave two new commands:
“And he replied, You must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.“ -Luke 10:27 (AMP)
However if we look closely we see something entirely different.
The Ten Commandments
- You shall have no other gods before or besides Me.
- You shall not make yourself any graven image [to worship it] or any likeness of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; You shall not bow down yourself to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, But showing mercy and steadfast love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments.
- You shall not use or repeat the name of the Lord your God in vain [that is, lightly or frivolously, in false affirmations or profanely]; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
- [Earnestly] remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy (withdrawn from common employment and dedicated to God). Six days you shall labor and do all your work, But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, your daughter, your manservant, your maidservant, your domestic animals, or the sojourner within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it [set it apart for His purposes].
- Regard (treat with honor, due obedience, and courtesy) your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land the Lord your God gives you.
- You shall not commit murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not witness falsely against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.
If we look at the first part of what Jesus says in Luke they match Commandments 1-4. And the second part of what Jesus said (Love your neighbor as yourself) match with 5-10.
Jesus has been trying to tell us His character from the very beginning and how if we KNOW HIM, then everything else will fall into place. His sheep know Him and His sheep Obey His voice…not because it is a set of rules that they must follow like robots. Rather, it is because in knowing their shepherd’s character they know that they can trust His voice, His commands, His laws, as they will bring LIFE to those who obey them…and in contrast…death to those who don’t.
Grace without the Law is an incomplete gospel just as Law without Grace is also.
We must teach the complete story of who Christ is. We cannot take one piece out of the puzzle and present it as truth.
It would be the same thing as building a car with no steering wheel. While the outside may look great…once on the road…that car is destined to drive aimlessly and eventually crash…possibly taking lives with it.
This is how we must be with the truth. If we do not take the WHOLE truth to those we love…we could potentially be doing more damage than good.
Jesus is everything He says He is…not just some of those things.