THE OLD FAMILIAR QUIBBLE: “WE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW”
There has always been confusion sown into the church about Paul's position on the Moral Law. Peter warned us that unlearned and unstable men would twist the teachings of Paul. (2 Peter 3:15f) The apostle Paul himself settled the matter for all time. He said:
"Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is THE KEEPING OF THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD." 1 Corinthians 7:19 NAS
"Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, We uphold the law." Romans 3:31 RSV
Therefore, knowing that God's word cannot possibly contradict itself we can be sure that when Paul said: "we are not under the law," he did not mean that we are no longer required to keep God's commandments.
"IF YOU WOULD ENTER LIFE..."
I know that many of you who are reading this are still saying: "legalism" or "Phariseeism" or perhaps, "No! Never! Salvation is all by grace. I am not to do anything."
Friends, to you I can only let God's word speak:
"...he who DOES NOT OBEY the Son shall not see life, but THE WRATH OF GOD RESTS UPON HIM." John 3:36 RSV
Surely all would agree that to obey the Son would require us to "do" something. That "something" is the total surrender of our self-life in obedience to God. Through that obedience we "work out our salvation (from sin) with fear and trembling." When we repent of sin and surrender our lives to Jesus Christ in faith, God puts His Holy Spirit into us and by His strength and grace we are enabled to walk the narrow way that leads to life.
As Jesus spoke to his disciples following the sermon on the Mount, he warned them of the difficulties they would face along that "narrow way." He said:
"Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way EASY that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are MANY. For the gate is narrow and the way is HARD that leads to (eternal) life, AND THOSE WHO FIND IT ARE FEW." Matthew 7:13 RSV
All of you who are seeking the way that leads to life; please listen to the words of Jesus as he spoke to the "Rich Young Ruler." Try to imagine yourself to be the young (and very religious) man who sought out the Lord on the hot and dusty road to Jerusalem. You approach the Master and ask him: "Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Look into the eyes of the Son of God, as He says to you:
"IF YOU WOULD ENTER LIFE, KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS." Matthew 19:17 RSV
Our Lord Jesus is the same "yesterday, and today, and forever." He did not have one plan of salvation for that young man and another for you. Will you listen to the theologians of the world (who don't even agree with each other) or will you let the simple clear words of Jesus decide the issue?
If this message bothers you, and you go to your Pastor or counselor for advice, I suggest you ask him this question: Do you keep the Ten commandments? (including the Sabbath? If he says "No," remember this verse:
"The one who says, "I have come to Know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, (false) and the truth is not in him." 1 John 2:4 NAS
Let God's word alone guide your way. Do not trust someone because of their position, or good deeds, or pleasing personality. Instead test them by the pure and simple teachings of the Bible. The truth will set you free, but a lie will kill you!
The Bible teaches that God's message to Man is very simple. It has never changed. It is this:
"Fear God and Keep His Commandments: For this is the whole duty of man." Ecclesiastes 12:14 KJV
Harold and Donna Kupp
"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." Rev 12:17 (KJV)