Welcome to My Thoughts and the third segment in our six-week Grace series. This segment deals with the supply and demand of the Mosaic Law or the Law and the Grace of Jesus Christ or grace. We know that grace will never demand anything from you as it was already paid for at the cross. Only the Law will demand something from you in an attempt to be righteous and gain favor in the eyes of God.
Our main Bible passage comes from Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast.”
Justified by Faith, Not Works
In Mark 10:17, a rich young ruler came to Jesus saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” I believe through this story, Jesus wants to help us understand that justification is only by faith and not works.
Justification by faith produces hope, peace, joy, and a heart for Jesus that results in good fruit. Justification by works means having to perform something to gain God’s favor. Therefore, it produces fear, anxiety, and an inability to produce lasting fruit.
When the rich young ruler came wanting to be justified by his works, Jesus gave him the law to bring him to the end of himself. In Mark 10:21, Jesus said to the rich young ruler who thought he had kept all the laws, “one thing you lack: sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up your cross, and follow Me.”
Lack Nothing in Your Faith
The rich young ruler was found lacking in one thing, the very first commandment. In Exodus 20:3, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” Money and possessions were his god (little g). In Mark 10:22, he walked away sorrowful when the Lord asked him to sell all that he had. There is no record that he gave even one nickel to the poor.
In contrast, look what happened when Jesus invited Himself to Zacchaeus’s house in Luke 19:5. Not one commandment, just pure grace was given. It resulted in Zacchaeus’s giving half his wealth to the poor and making a public commitment to repay four times to everyone he had stolen from (Luke 19:8).
The Law Demands, Grace Supplies
We know from reading and studying the Scriptures, the law demands and results in fear, guilt, and sorrow. Now, ask yourself what does Grace do? Grace supplies. It produces generosity, holiness, and inward heart transformation. Now, you tell me which gospel should we preach? Justification by works through the law or justification by faith through the power of God’s grace? I am going to choose the latter.
Unfortunately, many believers after they have been saved are taught and believe, like the rich young ruler, they can be justified before God only by their works. They end up conscious of failing Him and with a fearful expectation of God’s punishment and judgment.
Every bad thing that happens to them reinforces fear. Even when things go well, they are fearful of losing God’s blessings or protection because of a mistake. The result? Insecurity, dread, anxiety, and all kinds of fears become constant companions that rob them of the joy of living, let alone living life with boldness and confidence.
No person can meet the demands of the law and be justified. We can be justified only by faith in the blood of the Lamb. If you are not anchored in this truth and if your conscience is not washed by the Lamb’s blood, you will always be fearful. Our justification is from faith to faith, not faith to works. It is accomplished from start to finish by faith and faith alone, Amen!
I am Dale Van De Bogart and I approve of this message!
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