The Good News of the New Covenant: Law Has Been Transcended by Grace

 
 
 

 Excerpts from

The Good News of the New Covenant: Law Has Been Transcended by Grace

The simple point of Romans 7:16-25 is that knowing and loving the perfect Law of God gives us no power to obey it. Instead it leads us to wretchedness and to cry out for deliverance, which we can only have in Christ.

Once we come to this utter helplessness in obeying the Law ourselves, then the Law has done its job and is no longer needed in the individual, who is brought in exhaustion and desperation into the arms of the Deliverer. (p. 14)

The key to distinguishing law from grace is:

1. LAW TEACHING WILL INCLUDE MERITED REWARD. In other words, God will do something for us (blessing or cursing) if we do or do not do something for Him.

2. GRACE TEACHING WILL INDICATE THAT GOD GIVES US UNDESERVED FAVOR. In other words, God will do something for us, whether we earn it or deserve it. We only have to receive it. (p. 27)

God leads us to be preoccupied with Christ, not anything else.

Romans 7:4-6 teaches that we died with Christ to the Law so that we might, in the joy of our marriage to Jesus, bear fruit to God and serve in the newness of the Spirit. As we do this, we are fulfilling by the Spirit from within the great foundation and goal behind God's law: love for God and others (Romans 8:3, 4). Preoccupation with Christ rather than the law results in our keeping the essence of it.

God's desire is not for us to focus on lists or rules or own sin, but to focus on Christ. As Dan Stone has aptly put it, the Christian has died to himself as his point of reference.[1]That is, he no longer needs to continually concentrate on how he is performing, how he is measuring up. There is no freedom in that, which is why God delivered us from it.

His desire is that we focus on Christ (Colossians 3:1-4; Hebrews 12:2), Whose life within us is sufficient for every circumstance (Philippians 4:13).

He tells that we can have joy in that He has overcome the world (John 16:33) and that we can rejoice in Him when we encounter persecution, trials and suffering (Acts 16:25; Romans 5:2; 2 Corinthians 6:10; 12:10; Colossians 1:11; Hebrews 10:4; James 1:2). We can regard these as partaking in His sufferings (Philippians 3:10c; 1 Peter 4:13). We can as we believe in Him (Romans 15:13), rejoice in Him (Philippians 3:3) with “joy unspeakable” (1 Peter 1:8). How much better to find joy as we concentrate on Christ than to labor and strive to keep the Law! (p. 31)


[1]Dan Stone and Greg Smith, The Rest of the Gospel (Dallas TX: One Press, 2000), pp.53-54.

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