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Saved by Grace - Part 2



In yesterdays broadcast we began a thrilling search for God's way of

Salvation

in both Old and New Testament. Contrary to popular opinion we discovered that men and women have always been justified in exactly the same way. The grace of God was revealed to Abel and Moses and Abraham, all the way back to the gates of the Garden of Eden. Through faith in the promised Redeemer those patriarchs were justified and saved from their sins.


Now today we are brought to the New Testament, and it's explanation of how various individuals were justified after Christ was crucified. First let's look at the life of our Blessed Lord. Please notice that ever in His life, law and grace were beautifully blended together.


In John 1:14 it is said of Christ: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (And we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." Truly he was "full of grace and truth." Remembering that it was written by the psalmist of old, "thy law is the truth," Psalm 119:142, we see that in the person of Christ the marvelous grace of God was united with the righteousness of the law of truth. When we think of that matchless life, and of Calvary the masterpiece of eternity, where God's grace was freely bestowed, we are led to exclaim in the words of the old hymn: "Marvelous grace of our loving Lord, Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt; Yonder on Calvary's mount outpoured, There where the blood of the lamb was spilt." Truly the grace of God is "grace that will pardon and cleanse within;" marvelous grace that is "greater than all our sin."


Every Christian believes that all the apostles taught salvation through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, but not all have been aware that the apostle Paul taught that

salvation by grace

came upon all men for justification just the same as the sin of Adam brought condemnation upon all men. In other words, grace reaches back to the gates of Eden as well as forward to the close of probation. Please read Paul's remarks in Romans 5:17-21. This wonderful passage is summed up with the statement: "That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 5:21. Wherever sin has been found in the lives of men, and that includes all men, there grace has also been provided. There never has been in all human history a single, solitary individual who was saved in any other way but by grace.


The apostle Jude wrote of a coming apostasy that would bring in erroneous teaching regarding the grace of God. After the death of the apostles, the church compromised with the philosophies of paganism, and it wasn't long before erroneous teachings appeared about justification by faith and salvation by grace. These men were working even in Jude's day, as we learn from the 3rd and 4th verses of his epistle. "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." The apostle said that ungodly men would come in and turn "the grace of our God into lasciviousness." That word lasciviousness implies a license for sin, but God's grace is no license to transgress His law. It is no excuse for iniquity, no substitute for obedience, no permit for impiety, nor does it divorce the Christian from keeping the commandments of God. It is only by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ that Christians combine in their lives justification by faith and obedience to the will of God. The merciful, forgiving, regenerating power of God to redeem sinners is provided solely through the merits of Christ and on the basis of His atonement.


Two false theories regarding grace have led many astray. One is the theory of the antinomian, which turns the grace of God into lasciviousness and teaches that a man

justified by faith

and under grace needs no longer to obey the law of God. The other is the doctrine of legalism, that teaches that a man obeys the law of God and because he does so is justified by works and is entitled to heaven on the basis of his own merit. Both of these doctrines are equally destructive of the truth of the saving power of God's grace. One saved by grace is both justified by faith and under grace is brought into harmony with the commands of God's law. Surely the will of God as expressed in His law could not be objectionable to a Christian. If these commands bother anyone, it must be because he wants to run contrary to them. We can see why a thief or an adulterer or a liar or a murderer would want to abrogate God's law or change it; but I cannot understand why a Christian would want to do so. This is why we can't comprehend some of the recent pronouncements by the council of churches actually approving civil disobedience. It would hardly seem possible that a clergyman, would want to violate any one of the ten precepts, and surely if he does not want to violate them he would not teach men not to observe them. But they not only encourage the breaking of man's law of government but also the ten commandment law of God. God does not save any man by grace who intends to go right out again and transgress His laws, for in Hebrews 10:26-29 we learn that if a man sins willfully against a knowledge of truth, he does "despite unto the spirit of grace."


In Revelation 12:17 there is a wonderful prophecy of the remnant church of God which will return to the standard adhered to by the early apostolic church who were taught by the Lord in person. The prophecy reveals the attitude toward the commandments of God of those saved by Grace in these last days. It reads thus: "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." It is clear from these expressions that the remnant (or last) church will return to the true Bible teaching regarding the grace of God and will shun the errors of both

legalism

and antinomianism. They will teach justification by faith, not by works. They will adhere to the scriptural teaching of what it means to be under grace. And they will keep both the faith of Jesus and the commandments of God.


Salvation by grace does not erase a single precept of God's Holy Law, nor lower the standard of righteousness required by that law. Paul forever settles any misunderstanding in this matter of the relation of justification by faith to the law of God in these words: "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law." Romans 3:31.


Physical healing does not put an end to the law of health. Nor does the spiritual healing provided by the grace of God abrogate the law of righteousness. Under the New Covenant relationship, the children of God by grace have the law of God written in their hearts. This is Christ's own promise to the redeemed. Hebrews 10:16.


Jesus declared the law of God was written upon His heart. Psalm 40:7, 8. And anyone who tramples on the law of God tramples on the righteousness of Christ. By His death on Calvary the Lord Jesus proved that God's law could not be trifled with. Even if sin were pardoned it could not be put away without an atoning sacrifice. Even if sin were pardoned it could not be put away without an atoning sacrifice. When Jesus bore upon Himself our transgressions of the Divine law, He paid the penalty of death. When God smites His own Son to pay the penalty of transgression we know that the law of God can not be set aside. Truly as that intrepid preacher Charles Spurgeon has said: "The law is in the gospel not only vindicated by the sacrifice of Christ, but it is honored by the word of the Spirit of God upon the hearts of men." II Corinthians 3:3.


Let us look at a few definitions of ‘under Grace' as given by the apostle Paul in Romans 6:1, 2. We read: "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, (Continue to transgress God's law) may abound? God forbid. How shall we, then are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" From this passage we learn that one who is under grace is described as being "dead to sin." Again in verses 14 and 15 we read: "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid." Here it is abundantly clear that a Christian who is living under grace is freed from the dominion of sin. What is the Bible definition for sin? "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." I John 3:4. Taking the Bible definition for sin, we learn that the transgression of the law will not have dominion over one who is under grace. Grace, then, brings freedom from transgressing God's law. The fact that all are saved by grace does not dispense with God's law any more now since the cross than it did before the cross. The law never did save anyone. It cannot justify the transgressor, but it does reveal his transgressions. Romans 3:20.


Under grace God's children are being made free from sin. Romans 6:18, 22. Let us remember, then, the great question about grace and law that the apostle asks and its answer. He says: "Shall we sin or transgress the law because we are not under the law but under grace?" And he answers: "God forbid." Therefore, under grace God forbids willful transgression of His law. Is it not indeed a thrilling thought that the grace of the Lord Jesus is sufficient to change loveless, lawbreaking enemies of God into loving, law-abiding friends of God? The reason grace was necessary was because the law had been broken.


Truly the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, and the beauty of the plan of salvation by grace is summed up by the apostle Paul in these wonderful words: "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For grace throught he redemption that is in Christ Jesus." Romans 3:22, 24. Mark those words no difference. Paul here clearly teaches that there is no difference in the way men were saved before Calvary and since Calvary. In fact, Paul's doctrines of "no difference" puts all mankind on the same level. Salvation is by the way of Calvary regardless of when a believer lived. On three points there is no difference between those who lived before Calvary and those who lived since. There is no difference in that,


1. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23.


2. None can be justified by the law, for all the world is "guilty before God, therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight." Romans 3:19, 20.


3. All who are justified are justified freely by the grace of God. Romans 3:24. For "the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ" is "upon all them that believe; For their is no difference:" Romans 3:22.


So if anyone tells you that before Calvary men were justified by their own works, you turn to the writings of Holy Writ and read the declarations of Christ Himself, how that men were saved by grace. The diversity of times never changes God's grace. Peter himself in one of his stirring sermons once used these words: "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins." Acts 10:43.


Yes, friend, all the prophets of the Bible declare how through His name by faith through the grace of God there is found remission of sins. And when you, by God's grace, reach the Glory Land and you step up to Abel and say, "Abel, tell me, how were you saved way back there at the very gate of Eden?" Abel will reply, "Why I was saved by grace." And if you ask Abraham and Moses and David the same question you will get the same answer. And suppose you find one of the Jewish race and ask him, "Tell me, back there in the wilderness when you were on that journey from Egypt to Canaan, how were you saved?" And the same answer will be given. "I was saved by grace." Everyone will be able to sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. Every soul will rejoice in this same wondrous fact that Jesus "Paid it all, all to Him I owe." Yes, friend, insofar as the plan of salvation is concerned, there is no difference. God deals with all men on the same basis. All have sinned and all need the righteousness of God, and this righteousness which God has provided "is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe, for there is no difference."


My friend, has the grace of God availed for you? Has it brought you into harmony with the will of God? Has it given you victory over the dominion of sin in your life?



"Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,


Freely bestowed on all who believe;


You that are longing to see His face,


Will you this moment His grace receive?"



Some years ago it is said, there lived a slave in Southern Africa. He was told by some friends, that America was the land of the free and that the Stars and Stripes was the flag of the country where slavery was no longer allowed; and that if he were ever able to find refuge under that flag he would be a free man. One day while working in the fields, he saw anchored in the harbor not far away, a great vessel; and from its masthead flew the Stars and Stripes. His heart thrilled at the sight, and with very little hesitation he decided that he would make a dash for freedom. As quickly as he could he watched for an opportune moment, and then sped away toward the harbor.


He had gone considerable distance before the slave masters were aware of his escape. They made pursuit, but by this timet he slave had; lunged into the water and with all his might was swimming toward the vessel. As he came closer the captain on the bridge looked down, spotted him, and guessed what was happening. He ordered a boat and picked him up just as his strength was about to fail. They brought him on deck, and there he lay, well-nigh exhausted, beneath the Stars and Stripes, and about this time the slave master approached in his little boat and said to the captain, "That is our slave you have up there, and we demand his return."


The captain replied, "don't you know that all under the flag of America are free? This man is no longer your slave. You turn back to shore or I'll order a shot put through the stern of your boat."


And so, friends, we who have been laboring in the fields of sin are offered freedom on board the good ship of God's grace. For its masthead flows the banner of Calvary on which are inscribed the words, "The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus."


Oh friend, by faith won't you plunge in now and seek for that refuge, and the great Captain of your salvation will be so happy to take you in? And saved by grace you will find here and now freedom from the dominion of sin; and hereafter, eternal life in the world of righteousness.


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