17. By Grace

Legalism.  How many times have you sat in a church and felt a weight on your being?  Not fun.  It is the anxiety of being told you are not enough and there is nothing you can do about it.  Many people have a bad opinion of Christianity because of experiences like that.

If you look at the Bible though, that is not what Christianity should hinge upon.  Indeed, we now live in the Church age, under the promise, because of Jesus;  we live “by grace through faith.” (Ephesians 2:8)

Living by grace is harder in a way.  Under it, “all things are lawful”, or allowed. (1 Cor. 10:23)  Now, you must discern what God wants you to do, and have faith in the moments that He says, “choose for yourself.”

“This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.

“Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one.

“Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

“Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”

– Galatians 3:17-29

Basically, the Law was added after the Promise (by which we get salvation), so the Law cannot bring salvation and was simply added to point out and condemn sin.  Law was put into place as a covering  of protection until Jesus, and served as a teacher to how unable we are to have a relationship with God on our own.  When God looks at a man who has been saved by grace through faith, He sees the perfection of Jesus.
By showing the grace and love that we have received through Jesus, we can witness to people and encourage fellow Christians.
“We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death.”
– 1 John 3:14
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