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Gospel #1 - Salvation Without Law Is Void
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Gospel # 1 - SALVATION WITHOUT LAW IS VOID

ROMANS 3:27-31

“Do we then nullify the law through faith? Do we nullify the law through works? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the law”, the law of the Gospel.

With great boldness of expression and remarkable unity of purpose, characterize the writings of the apostle Paul. Paul deals with the Jews of Rome as he does in all other cities, he also stresses the God desired unity between the Jew and Gentile. Explaining in Eph. 2:11-16, that no more is there a Jewish nation; but through the blood of Christ both nations has been made into one. No longer are the Jew God’s preferred people, but that they must come to Christ in the same way as the Gentile. There is no special law for them, no special favors from God. No separate worship. No separate instructions. With great boldness, he proclaims always, the doctrine of an entirely free redemption for man, in the obedience and death of the Son of God.

He consults with no narrow opposing prejudice. He overturns all the plans of man’s native pride and self-righteousness. He overturns man’s idea of interpretation of that which the Holy Spirit caused to be written. And later the Apostle Peter falls upon this idea as he is led to write to the exiles from Jerusalem during the great persecution of 50 A.D. 2 Pet. 2: 20-21. He exhibits the invitations and promises of the Gospel, as all freely offered, to all the children of wrath, by the same Lord over all, who is rich in mercy unto all who call upon Him. He allows nothing to the power or works of unconverted man. He denies all worth in man’s attempted obedience to the law of God. He affirms these principles of truth with remarkable unity of purpose, everywhere teaching the very same doctrine that the Holy Spirit guided him to speak, John 16:13. This was God’s plan of mercy and salvation, both for the Jew and Gentile; this is the law of God in regards to the Gospel. Jesus came to fulfill this law of God, and the prophets, Matt. 5:17, “Do not think that I came to abolish the law or the prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.”

Therefore, His mission was to fulfill all that was written, Luke 21:20-32. But such preaching as this, finds itself arrayed against itself, the strongest prejudices and objections of the human heart were thrown against Christ and the Apostles as they went about teaching that Christ was the fulfillment of all that God had designed in the beginning. The law demanded fulfillment, the Spiritual Covenant demanded fulfillment, the Gospel demanded total fulfillment.

It was maintained against the Apostle Paul, as it has been ten thousand times since, that such a system destroyed all the obligations to human obedience. If man’s personal conduct and good behavior had no influence upon His acceptance with God, all motives to obedience to the Divine commandments would be taken away from him, and the doctrine of salvation by faith would entirely destroy the law, or abolish the law. Such was the objections to the Apostles teaching, which was thought to have force in Rome.

But it was in no degree peculiar to Rome, or to Jewish prejudice, or to Gentile pride. It is the language and the honest conception of blinded human nature. Man’s lazy spirit, while he is under the bondage of guilt, can conceive of no motive to duty but recompense; nor imagine how one who is not lavished by the restraint of fear, can be expected to avoid the enticements and pleasures of sin. Especially when they have heard all their life that once one has been baptized and his sins requited he cannot so sin as to be lost forever. Paul said to those who were seeking to be justified by the law had fallen from Grace; these were those who had obeyed the Gospel of Christ, but were seeking to be justified by the law of Moses; they had fallen from grace. But someone says you cannot sin so as to fall from grace and forever be lost! Jesus said to the Church at Sardis, “ He who overcomes shall thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” Erase his name from the book of life! Seems as though someone has not been teaching the truth!

On the contrary the Apostle Paul proclaims that God has provided a righteousness wholly distinct and separate from man’s obedience, in which man is justified by simple faith in the testimony of God that offers salvation by following God’s instructions, and allowing the blood of Christ to cleanse us from all past sins, and allowing the Holy Spirit to regenerate the old man of sin, and transform him into a new creature, Romans Chapter Six. But the pride of man rejects this offer; and covers up his rejection with the plea, which urged him in the text, which is before us. Man today fancies the existence of an excellence in which his own moral character, which the Gospel of Christ, and His Church refuses to acknowledge or honor.

Again we recall what Jesus made known in Matt. 5:17, “I did not come to abolish the law or the prophets, but I came to fulfill.” The Apostle Paul meets the objections of the Jews in our text, by affirming precisely its opposite, that by faith—by preaching faith and requiring faith—and offering faith, and exercising faith—we are so far from abolishing law—that we thus confirm and fulfill it. --A note of information: the term law here mentioned in this place means the unalterable law of moral rectitude, the rule of perfect conformity to the pure and spotless image of God.

Isa. 2:2-3, speaks in terms of the mountain of the house of the Lord being established, and all nations will stream to it, for the law will go forth from Zion {the Church}, and the word of the lord from Jerusalem. So even the Spiritual Covenant had its law. The law going forth from Zion has the same, or better meaning than from the “Church” which is an English word, which took the place of Zion during translation. The word Zion is used many times in the Old Testament to represent the Church of Christ, or the mountain of the Lord, or the mount on which King David had his throne, Britannica World Language, volume 2, page 1520, 1908 ed.

These words are first in order, “ law” the law of Moses were already in effect, but the mention of law in Isaiah has to do with law under the Gospel age---the law of the Church, the law under the Spiritual Covenant.

Next in Line is the word Zion, we have this word used in both the Old Testament, and that of the new, it means the same, and represents the same in every place, The word “ New Jerusalem

From above, also represents the Lord’s Church, it cannot be a separate entity, which stands alone. The Apostle informs us that the old Covenant was becoming obsolete and ready to pass away, Paul wrote the letter the Hebrew Church, just prior to writing to Timothy, about 64 to 65, and at this time the Old Covenant was ready to pass away, the law of the Gospel demanded that it be taken out of the way; but before that could happen Shiloh must come and remove the Scepter from Judah, Gen. 49:10, upon Jesus returning to earth He removed the Scepter from Judah, and the judgment of Israel began, as Christ foretold, Matt.19:28, and Rev. 20; 4. When all things were fulfilled as the Gospel of the Spiritual Covenant demanded, then Christ took His Bride, Rev. 19:7.

So the law of transitory ceremonies, and local and national restraints, the Gospel annuls and was intended to annul. But the law of perfect moral obedience, which self-righteous man affirms that it destroys, it confirms and establishes with new strength.

The term faith has reference to that gracious system of redemption, which is provided in the scheme of redemption, and provided in the Gospel. Christ interposed His life to redeem mankind after the foreknowledge of God revealed that Adam would reject God’s plan. Christ offered His life to redeem mankind from Satan, and from sin, forever more, Heb. 2:14-15. Thus faith is the beginning of the law under the Spiritual Covenant of this age.

The distinguishing features of the Gospel is faith, that guilty man is saved and accepted with God, because of the total obedience of an infinite Saviour in his behalf, and without any regard to his own want of merit in the sight of God. The cordial faith of acceptance of this doctrine has the uniform effect in the heart of the new individual who receives it, and in the family of Christians who retain it, as faith will establish authority of the law as a rule over the souls of men; and of building up men in that Spiritual holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord Jesus.

The Gospel annuls the law as a Covenant, by proclaiming that entire fulfillment of its demands, which is found in the righteousness of Christ as a substitute for man. It establishes the law by faith as a rule of life, and confirms and enforces its obedience in the Christian character.

The Gospel produces faith by furnishing to those who embraces it, and are partakers of its hopes—new views of truth in regards to the revelation of God.

The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned, 1 Cor. 2:10-16. All of man’s real knowledge of Divine things is from the gift of the Holy Spirit. When by the power of this spirit, he is convinced of his guilt—and guided to Christ as its fulfillment, and persuaded to embrace His promises as is made in the Gospel, -- his eyes are enlightened to discern the things, which God reveals.

Though he hopes for nothing from his own obedience to this new law in Christ, his whole heart, mind, and soul is set on pleasing God with his faith. He adores the perfect heart searching for holiness that he finds in Christ after being buried with him in water and in the spirit, John 3:1-5. After this experience he imagines no relaxation in Christ’s demands. As a newborn creature he does not wish to come short of its holy requisitions.

He sees how perfect, how abiding, and eternal, is the righteousness of Christ. Everything is now attractive good and pure, nothing repelling in his view of the Divine laws of faith and obedience. He has an entirely new view of his own character and life. No longer is he a part of the sinful world. He sees himself not to be carnal, sold out under sin. The proud and self confident spirit which used to say, “ I am rich and increased in goods, and have need of nothing,” is broken down under the consciousness and inherent guilt, and just and merited condemnation. Every recollection of his life now fills him with shame and confusion, knowing that he must suffer justly the consequences of each sin committed while in the world. Yet a refreshing moment comes when he recalls that the Holy Spirit said in behalf of Jesus, my son I will not place more on you than you can bear. He now longs to do the whole and perfect will of God. To do this he understands that he must study God’s will to determine what to do, and when to do it, 2 Tim. 2:15.

He now understands that he must not take the sole word of men, but has the responsibility to prove what the will of God is, Rom. 12: 2, he knows that the personal conformity to the image of God depends upon his proving what the will of God is. Such interest in the study of God, he acknowledges will give him a new and affecting view of God manifesting Himself in the flesh, thus, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.

The most solemn manifestation, which could be given, of God’s inflexible justice in dealing with the sins of His creation, is beheld in this mission and sacrifice of the only begotten Son for them. Surely, a world on fire from some nuclear blast, would not so fearfully exhibit the guilt and the certain punishment of transgressions, as did the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus Christ as a substitute and ransom for the ungodly.

It is a terrifying experience to mediate upon Christ being a sinless being, giving His last days in suffering and then to the death on the cross for the ungodly. Though He may have before contemplated the mysterious grandeur of the Saviour, and His dying hours, never until He was enduring the burden and penalty of His sins upon the cross, did He gain the view of the justice, love, and holiness of God, though He had no personal sin, He carried the sins of the world upon Himself. Now He knows the wrath of God is, which is nowhere else to be obtained.

He acknowledges now, that his faith and holiness has a different feeling, a different meaning, a hot desire to please God in all his feelings, whereas, when he was trying to serve God by his own rules and regulations, and as he looks back upon his crucified Lord put to death, by sin, and for sin, the law of faith and the Gospel’s rule of life, gains new power for him, to restrain him and make him holy.

By a new awakened view of justice in the punishment of sin, he now understands the punishment of sin. He now understands what Paul said in Rom. 12:1-2, “Brethren, by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” “And now do not be conformed to this world of sin, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

He is now acutely aware that he must take up his cross and follow Jesus, and whosoever will not is not worthy of Jesus, and Jesus has no need for such a man who will not gladly take that cross and follow Him. The failure to carry that cross results in the sin of crucifying Christ afresh, and likens him to a dog returning to his own vomit, 2 Pet. 2:20-22.

He is now aware that God has never, nor never will change His plans to accommodate man’s beliefs. He knows now what the Holy Spirit meant when he said in acts 4:11—12, “ And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under Heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.”

To be saved he now pre—arranges to meet together with the saints on the first day of each week to engage in fellowship and worship, to come into union with the risen Saviour by Spiritually observing the Lord’s Supper. All old things have passed away, behold, new things have come”, 2 Cor. 5:17. Salvation is that one new thing that comes to any unconverted soul. To him sin seems like a nail, which pierced the flesh of an incarnate God. Every successive consideration of the death of Jesus under this aspect deepens his abhorrence of transgression.

As he looks upon his crucified Lord put to death, by sin, and for his own sin, the new law as a rule of life, at this moment gains new power over him, to restrain and make him holy, by total commitment in obedience to God through repentance and baptism for the forgiveness of his sins.

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He is now conscious of a sincere gratitude and love towards the Lord Jesus Christ, who has redeemed him. And in Him he finds his righteousness and salvation perfectly and everlastingly secured.

He now looks upon himself, as a captive bought with a price the precious blood of Him who was nailed to the cross. Seeing the blood soaked clothing, dripping blood upon the earth, this will be remembered by him every time he closes his eyes. He remembers; Christ suffered this death for me.

Jessie E. Mills, PH.D


 

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© Copyright 2015 by Jessie Mills. All Rights Reserved by the author, Jessie E. Mills, Jr. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without the prior express written permission of the publisher, except for brief quotations in critical reviews or other publications. Such quotations must be used with proper reference to their context and give appropriate credit to their authorship.