Thursday, March 5, 2009

Grace has always been God's way.........

Was the law ever God's first choice for mankind? ..................... I don't think so. Yes God brought the law, but He always had planned on grace, through the person of Jesus. After all Jesus was the lamb slain before the foundations of the world. And no, the law wasn't plan B, because grace wasn't working. No the law came because, well basically the Israelites asked for it. God knew this beforehand. He knows everything and yet still our failures can't mess up His plan. He uses even our mistakes, our unbelieving hearts to still work together for good. He can turn everything and use it to point to Jesus!! Isn't that awesome!!

I just love Hebrews 10, I find it gets richer and richer every time I am referred back to it! Check out verse 8 in particular and tell me if you think God wanted to bring the law because that was His ultimate plan for us!!


Joel B. said...

This reminds me of a post I wrote in 2006, during my first half year of blogging. It was called Life has always been by grace.

Adam (and all of mankind) was created to live by grace - the gift of life - but Adam chose law (tree of the knowledge of good and evil) and he no longer knew life.

I think the law was a necessary part of God's plan to restore mankind. There are certain scriptures that show that God added the law in order to "stop every mouth" and to charge the world with the guilt of sin. "For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law" (Rom 5:13). And of course the good news is that that's contrasted with the good news that "the free gift is not like the offense" (vs. 15). "For if by the one man's offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many."

In order for God to implement His grace, it appears as if He had to put in the law to charge the world with the guilt of the sin that in reality was already in the world! Therefore, having imputed the guilt of the one man to the whole world, He could impute the righteousness of the one Man as a free gift to many.

You are right... Hebrews 10 is rich! My podcast partner and I went through several chapters of Hebrews recently, and it's sooo very cool to see the writer building up to His main focus... "looking unto Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith!" :)

lydia said...

........ah but if it weren't for dang unbelief! Oh well! It's definitely interesting to think about this, I mean I still believe that in those old testament days, people could have been under law or grace, it's not like grace was done away with when the law came people could either live under the law or the Abramhamic covenant. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this........I must go check out your post now, heh?!!! Peace to ya!!

Phil said...

I agree. The law had it's place in the outworking of God's plan, but it always 'came in by the side'. It was a gob-stopper, above all. Based on a priesthood that could never take away sin and mediate God's favour and blessing. It had to be Holy just and good, but to function as a 'ministry of death and condemnation' it had to be made weak and useless by the power of sin. It had to become 'the law of sin and death'. I think God gathered up sin under the law to free us from it in Christ, by freeing us from the law. Delivered from the law of sin and death, by and to 'the law of the Spirit of life in Christ'. As new covenant believers perfected by one offering once for all time, we are 'not without law to God', but under this 'law of Christ'. There's been a 'change in the law'. It's no longer a 'law of Commandments contained in ordinances', rules and regulations of 'do not handle, taste or touch', but a dynamic of the life of the Spirit that takes us beyond what the letter of the law even described. What it could not give. The Law 'hung' on love to God and man. That was the essence from which it was extracted in published in condemning form. No righteousness, holiness, obedience, blessing there. The 'law of Christ' frees us from that and gives us righteousness, holiness, service in the new way of the Spirit, instead of the old way of the written code...and every blessing of God in Christ freely. What man lost in Adam, it was God's intent to regain (and surpass?) In the Second and Last Adam...sorry, couldn't stop there!

lydia said...

Yes, Excellent excellent comment Phil......sounds like you're preaching it!!!

Phil said...

Lydia, I reckon that when Old Covenant Israel did get some of the blessings of that works covenant, it was the Abrahamic faith of the remnant that was carrying them through. The rest went along with them...I do think Gal4 and Hebrews10, Rom7, for example, show us that the believers in the OT did not have the same privileges as new covenant believers. They were justified by faith, but couldn't have been 'perfected' in the Heb10v14 sense, with that consciousness. They did not have the 'privileges of sonship' and the Spirit of Adoption. They were not conscious of eternal forgiveness. They did not have 'Christ in them, the hope of glory'. They didn't have the gift of the Spirit indwelling and freely outpoured. They didn't know God as 'daddy' until the veil was torn down and the way into the Holy of holies was made available by Christ's death, resurrection, and exaltation. No baptism of the Spirit without that!

Joel B. said...

"Gob-stopper." LOL... I haven't heard that word in years! But yeah, the law effectively shut the mouths of the self-righteous.

I think of the whole nation of Israel, and the covenant that God made with them. He did it for a reason. He gave the law for a reason. Unfortunately people miss the point of it, and look at it as something God gave people as a moral guide or something like that.

It had its important rightful place in HisStory, but it wasn't meant at all as the ultimate revelation of God's love and grace.

Going along with Phil's second comment, I think of people such as David who knew that "blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute sin," but yet also clinged to the law as the way to receive blessings and to stop curses. They only had a tiny revelation of God's grace, and indeed had not yet received all the benefits that we have received today, after the death and resurrection of Jesus.

The premise remains the same. "Grace has always been God's way." God did quite a work in order for us to be in a position to receive the full benefits of His grace, but His work was absolutely positively sufficient!