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Law or Grace

Law or Grace

What is it about the Ten Commandments that creates such controversy? Are God's laws still in effect for Christians? Or has grace replaced God's commandments? Find out five keys to answering the debate of law or grace in this episode of Tomorrow's World.

[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]

At War With The Laws of God

Some atheists have waged war against the Ten Commandments in recent decades, forcing monuments off public property wherever they find them. One famous case involved Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who placed a monument of the Ten Commandments in the judicial building rotunda in Montgomery, the state capitol.

This caused no small controversy.

After a lengthy legal battle, the monument was removed from the rotunda and Roy Moore was removed from his judgeship.

In another famous incident, a monument displaying the Ten Commandments at the Arkansas State Capitol was destroyed by a man who deliberately crashed his car into it less than 24 hours after it had been erected.

The same individual destroyed another display by the same method a year earlier in Oklahoma, but was this only an act of one crazed man?

As reported by the Associated Press:

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered the removal of a Ten Commandments display from its Capitol in 2015, and the state’s voters in 2016 rejected an initiative aimed at allowing the monument to return (“Arkansas replaces Ten Commandments monument at state Capitol,” Times Record, April 26, 2018).

Some professing Christians are rightfully angered by the assault against this God-given code of law, yet surprisingly, the greatest enemy to the commandments is not atheists.

I’ll show you who that enemy is, and it may surprise you! So, stay tuned!

Is Lawlessness Really God’s Desire?

A warm welcome to all of you from all of us here at Tomorrow’s World. On today’s program I’ll be revealing who is the greatest enemy of God’s Law and it may not be who you think.

I grew up in mainstream Protestantism and was taught the Ten Commandments as a child.

I was never much good at memorization, but I somehow managed to quote all ten well enough to receive a personal copy of the New Testament.

Imagine how surprised I was a few years later when I was told we no longer need to keep these laws!

Not by my atheist Uncle George, but by two professing Christians!

All that memorization time was wasted!

These were not the exact words they used, but were similar to those found on one website:

The 10 Commandments, the Law, the Blood(old) Covenant, and the Levitical Priesthood were given to the Jews in Exodus 19 through 34. They were not given to Gentiles then or ever (“Law or Grace?,”

The author of the site goes on to quote the pet scriptures that make it appear the law is indeed done away.

So what’s the truth? Is the law of God still in effect? Or has it been replaced by grace. Which is it? Law or grace?

In the remainder of this program, I’ll answer that question with five easy to understand keys that unlock the answer, but before doing so, let’s notice a few scriptures that are used by antinomians—that is, those who are against the law and claim we do not need to keep it.

Romans 3:28: Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.

Romans 6:14: For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

Galatians 2:15–16: We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

When you’re seventeen years old and someone cherry-picks scriptures such as these, and doesn’t explain them, it can be very convincing that there is no longer any need to keep the law of God. To do so sounds like “salvation by works.”

But let’s look a little deeper into the subject.

The first of the five keys to understanding whether or not the Apostle Paul contradicted other apostles, and Christ Himself, is:

Key #1: Paul wrote some things hard to understand

The Apostle Peter warned us that people twist Paul’s writings, and even tells us who the culprits are.

Here is the warning, as found in 2 Peter 3:15–16. Breaking into a thought, he writes that,

… our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.

But, who are these people who are untaught, unstable, and who twist Paul’s writings? Let’s continue.

You therefore, beloved, since you know these things beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked (2 Peter 3:17).

Other versions, such as the Revised Standard, the New English, and the New International, translate wicked as lawless men.

Consider for a moment what lawless means? Whether the translators use the term wicked or lawless, it is evident that those who twist Paul’s letters have a problem with law.

Think about that!

So our first key to understanding the Apostle Paul’s teachings on law and grace is that, according to Peter:

Key #1: Paul wrote some things hard to understand

The subject of law and grace goes further than the Ten Commandments. It is clear from New Testament scriptures that sacrifices, circumcision, and other ritual laws are no longer necessary, but there are statutes in addition to the Ten Commandments that Jesus, the Apostles, and the first century church of God observed, such as the biblical festivals and holy days.

Why is it dear friends that professing Christianity claims it is “salvation by works” to observe the days God spelled out in the scriptures, but not salvation by works to observe days originating and steeped in pagan practices?

Think about it!

And what is being lost by rejecting important biblical holy days?

Christ Forgives but Obedience Must Remain!

Many people think the Apostle Paul explained away the need to keep the law of God. Is that so? As we saw in the previous portion of this telecast, the Apostle Peter warned us that:

Key #1: Paul wrote some things hard to understand

We’ll look in a few minutes at some of those writings that are twisted by lawless men to reject God’s laws, but first, let’s look at:

Key #2: You do not need grace where there is no law

Do you realize that if you do away with law, you do away with the need for God’s forgiveness?

Here is a point that so many fundamentally do not understand, and yet a child can easily understand: If there is no law, there can be no transgression. Let’s read that straight from the writings of Paul:

For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression (Romans 4:14–15).

Yes, the law does bring about wrath—the death penalty. But if you do away with the law, you of necessity do away with that penalty.

And if there is no penalty, there is no need for grace. Think about it.

This brings us to the crucial question, “What is sin?”

When was the last time you heard the Bible definition of sin? Here it is in 1 John 3, verse 4:

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law (King james Version).

So let’s sum up Key #2 with this simple equation:

No law = no sin

No sin = no need for justification (or forgiveness)

No need for justification = no need for a Savior

So let’s move onto our next key to understanding the subject of law and grace:

Key #3: The parable of the courtroom

This principle is found in the Scriptures, but I’ll put it in a modern parable to make the point.

A certain man went into a bar one evening, and after spending too much time at the bottle, he got into his car heading for home. Along the way he missed a stop light, crashed into another car, and severely injured its occupant.

Six months later he appeared before the judge who asked him, “How do you plead?” Feeling very remorseful, he pleaded, “Guilty as charged, your honor.” The judge then sentenced him to a $1,000,000 fine or one year in prison.

The man thought to himself, “I don’t have a million dollars and if I go to jail, who will care for my wife and children?” So he pleaded with the judge, expressing his deep regrets about what he did and proposed, “Your honor, I promise to never drink and drive again. I will obey all traffic laws, pay every penny I owe in taxes, and keep all laws as perfectly as I am able from this day forward.”

The judge replied, “That is what we expect of all people, but you broke the law and severely injured a man. Your keeping the law from this day forward will not undo what you did six months ago.

The man bargained further: “I’ll also do 10 hours of public service each week for the rest of my life.” The judge replied, “That will not heal the injured man. Choose: one year in prison, or $1,000,000.”

Now there was a man in the back of the courtroom who reasoned, “This man is truly sorry for what he did. I believe he will follow through with obedience to the law from this day forward. I’ll pay the fine for him.”

Do you realize this is what Jesus did for you and for me if we repent of our sins and accept His payment for us?

Now here are a couple questions to ponder.

Do you think the kind gentleman who paid the fine would do so if he thought the man would disregard the law that caused him to be brought before the judge?

And did the fact that the penalty was satisfied somehow do away with the law?

Yet, that is exactly what the “do away with the law” crowd teach—that Jesus did it all for us. Therefore they reason that the law, rather than our sins, was nailed to the cross and we no longer need to keep it.

And this brings us to key number 4.

Getting Right With God


So far, I’ve given you three keys.

Key #1: Paul wrote some things hard to understand

Key #2: You do not need grace where there is no law

Key #3: The parable of the courtroom

Now for crucial:

Key #4: The heart of the issue is the meaning of justification

The word justify is grossly misunderstood. Yet, many of us use the word all the time in word processing. We have a command in the menu bar that determines whether a letter or manuscript is left, right, or fully justified.

Left justification means the left side of a column is lined up.

Right justification means the right side is lined up.

And full justification means both sides are lined up.

Similarly, in the Biblical sense, when we are out of line or out of step with God due to sin, we need to be back in line, and Paul points to the only way to get in a right relationship with God. No amount of law-keeping will wipe away past sins.

That’s where the man at the back of the courtroom in the parable I gave earlier is necessary. That is where faith in the sacrifice of Christ comes in. He is that Man who pays the penalty for us.

Now let’s notice how this understanding makes clear what Paul wrote. Paul rightfully declared in Romans 3:28:

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified [had his sins forgiven] by faith apart from the deeds of the law.

All our past law keeping will do nothing to justify our sins, but what those against the law often fail to do is read the context.

Notice this clear statement four verses later where Paul asks a crucial question and answers it.

Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law (Romans 3:31)

Yet, that is exactly what some misguided people think—that the law is voided by faith!

Why don’t they believe what Paul wrote?

Now let’s ask the question, how does faith establish the law?

Well, simply put, the fact that we need faith in Christ’s sacrifice means there is a broken law, the penalty of which needs to be satisfied. Let’s notice another passage used by antinomians—that is, those people who are against the law—Romans 6:14:

For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

Ahh…“not under law, but under grace.” Now, taken out of context this may appear to say we don’t have to keep the law, but is that what Paul is saying? Why don’t people read the next verse?

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? (Romans 6:15–16).

How can I fail to mention one more scripture that the “law is done away” crowd loves? Galatians 3:13:

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”).

The man who seeks justification—seeks to have his past sins forgiven through law keeping—will fail. The law is meant to define sin, not justify past sins. Only faith in the sacrifice of Christ can do that. Now notice that the above passage does not say the law is a curse. Paul even tells us in Romans 7:12:

Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.

The curse, as shown in the passage from which Paul quotes Galatians 3:13 is the death penalty.

Read it for yourself in Deuteronomy 21:22–23.

The law is not the curse, but disobedience to it brings a curse—death.

And that is why we need a savior to pay the penalty for us.

A True Change of Heart

There is a fifth key to understanding what the Bible teaches about law and grace.

Key #5: Understand what is behind hostility to the law

Mankind from the beginning has had a hostile attitude to the law of God. Adam and Eve chose to determine for themselves right and wrong rather than listen to their Creator.

And Paul speaks of this hostility in Romans 8:7:

Because the carnal mind [that is the fleshly mind apart from God’s Spirit] is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.

But does that mean that we are to remain hostile to the law? Certainly not!

Paul continues:

So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His (Romans 8:8–9).

So what does the Spirit of God do for you?

God gave the Ten Commandments to Israel on what the New Testament refers to as the day of Pentecost. Nearly fifteen centuries later, God poured out the Holy Spirit on His fledgling Church. Is there any connection between those two Pentecosts? We read right after the restatement of the Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy 5:29:

Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!

Do you realize dear friends, that hostility to the law is the problem the New Covenant is to rectify? A change of heart is what the New Covenant is about.

Read that in Hebrews 8:10:

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

The law was given on Pentecost when Israel came out of Egypt, but they didn’t have the heart to keep it, so God gave the Holy Spirit on the first Pentecost after the resurrection to effect a new attitude of heart and mind. Under the New Covenant, not only does the law still exist, but it’s even more difficult to keep, because we are to keep the spirit, or the intent, of the law as well as the letter, and this is shown in Jesus’ sermon on the mount.

You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not commit adultery.” But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:27–28).

Perhaps you’ve been told that the law of God is burdensome, but is that what the Bible says? Listen to the Apostle John in 1 John 5:3:

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.

Here is the dirty little secret: most rational people are not against ALL of the commandments—just the ones they disagree with, and the one they disagree with the most is:

Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.

They are fine with nine but conclude that God made a mistake with one and sent Christ to correct the error!

In effect, they claim all ten are voided but nine are resurrected in what they call the “law of Christ.” Of course, they also want to get around the biblical holy days so they can substitute holidays that are steeped through and through with pagan customs. Apparently, keeping Sunday and pagan holidays (according to them) is not burdensome, and not trying to save yourself by your works, but resting on the day God chose at Creation—that is—the seventh day, and keeping His holy days IS burdensome and trying to save yourself by your works.

Is that what you think my friends? I hope for much better from you, our Tomorrow’s World followers.

Thank you for watching!

If you found this video helpful and want to understand more about God’s plan for mankind through His Holy Days, order your free copy of The Holy Days: God’s Master Plan. All you need to do is click the link in the description, as it is completely free. And remember to subscribe to our channel so you can continue to learn the plain truth from the pages of the Bible. See you next time.

Five Keys to Understanding Whether or Not the Apostle Paul Contradicted other Apostles, and Christ Himself, are:

  1. Key #1: Paul wrote some things hard to understand
  2. Key #2: You do not need grace where there is no law
  3. Key #3: The parable of the courtroom
  4. Key #4: The heart of the issue is the meaning of justification
  5. Key #5: Understand what is behind hostility to the law

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