Our important question for today is not from Revelation instead How to Know Jesus. That is the most important question for every living person on the earth. Understanding Gospel Grace is fundamental to How to know Jesus.
Today I am writing about understanding gospel grace and I am very happy the Lord has changed directions here. It is not important for us who will be taken up (Harpozo) to know all the details of the unveiling of Revelation.
Further, more important for the lost (shorthand for not yet in Jesus and he in them, so if that’s you then you’re in the right place) of this world, for learning how to know Jesus. The truth contained in his word as empowered to bring us to Jesus by the Spirit of truth.
Personally, I like the account of Jesus’ life as told by John. It was written by a reliable eyewitness to every significant event. John gives testimony to the wedding at Cana, the transfiguration, resurrection of Lazarus, betrayal by Judas, his trials, before the High Priest, Herod, Pilate then his crucifixion (John at the foot of the cross with Jesus’ mother), death, burial, the empty tomb and the risen Jesus.
Matthew lays out the genealogy of Jesus as the king, the son of David and the many fulfilled prophesies and Jesus there tells us it is written for Jews (Mt. 10: 5; Mt. 15: 24) as his teaching. Mark focuses on the acts Jesus performed in regard to miracles, again written for Jews.
Luke, as a Gentile disciple of Paul, investigated as he attests and is written for Gentiles seen most, in his Sermon on the Mount does not mention Jewish Law explicitly. Luke writes a genealogy from the line of Mary. Jesus was the Son of God and king of Israel and his mother provided the royal blood.
John wrote after the others the Spirit leading him to write an account that fits with the destruction of Israel in 70 A.D. I have asked many times, with No nation of Israel, No Temple and No Levite priests all as required in Mosaic Law is there any law in effect? NO!
Jesus explains in John 16: 7-11:
“But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.” (NIV)
Jesus speaks of the Spirit of Truth (the Advocate) … “about sin because people do not believe in me.” Believing in Jesus ends sin and punishment. John 5: 24:
“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” (NIV)
And this follows concerning the law Jesus fulfilled as also the prophets, Jeremiah 31: 31-34:
“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. 33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 34 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord, ’because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (NIV)
Jesus next speaks to righteousness (Jn. 16: 10, above) because righteousness is leaving the world when he does. And judgment (verse 11) which is apportioned to the devil and not to those who believe in Jesus.
A lot of confusion has arisen through the centuries because men simply will not obey Jesus’ commands. Jesus knew the end of Israel was just up ahead in time. In Acts (written by Luke) we find Peter on a rooftop. Acts 10 is the narrative where Cornelius a centurion in the Romans army and a devout believer in God was visited by an angel.
Meanwhile Peter had a vision as you may read and a sheet was lowered and the Lord corrected him about clean and unclean animals as per Jewish law. Peter preached the gospel after explaining the trouble with Jewish Law inasmuch as Jews weren’t to associate with Gentiles.
The law of Israel was still the political law of Israel and the mistaken Jews of the temple were insistent and legalistic toward worship according to law. But we see God had foretold a new covenant that does not involve law. Jeremiah 31, for Israel.
In our day we have the hopelessly confused who say things like. “God set the ceremonial law aside” by implication they are saying but by dingy them 10 Commandments are still required.
They claim those are Christ’s commands. They are Moses’ commands. Paul writing in I Timothy 1: 5-7:
“The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. 7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.” (NIV)
How many of you understand to have God’s love you need a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith. He says: “do not know what they are talking about.” That’s bad. Especially if you are the one doing all the talking.
Let’s examine Paul’s credentials. Jesus, immediately after Saul was struck blind calls on Ananias. Acts 9: 1-15:
“Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” (NIV)
So Paul is “Ordained” by Jesus to preach to Gentiles. This is explicitly stated, to show that is exactly what Jesus intended, Galatians 2: 6-10:
“As for those who were held in high esteem—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism—they added nothing to my message. 7 On the contrary, they recognized that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised. 8 For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles. 9 James, Cephas and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised. 10 All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.” (NIV)
We are reading in the Epistle (fancy word for letter) to the Galatians which most scholars agree is Paul’s first Epistle. Galatians 1: 1-9:
“Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead— 2 and all the brothers and sisters with me,
To the churches in Galatia:
“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen
No Other Gospel
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!” (NIV)
God’s curse, not Paul’s for the varieties of Jesus and the 10 commandments. That’s what the Bible says.
Paul makes it even more firm concerning law as anathema to the gospel in the next chapter, Galatians 3: 1-10:
Faith or Works of the Law
“You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? 4 Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? 5 So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? 6 So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
7 Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. 8 Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” 9 So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” 11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” (NIV)
Furthermore just thirty or so years later the law was done away with completely when Jerusalem was sacked and burned in 70 A.D. Is there any law of Moses after that? No Judah. No Temple. No Levites. = No Law any longer, by any stretch.
Paul adds further clarification. You cannot be justified by law. Galatians 5: 4, 5:
“You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope.” (NIV)
The law’s commandments do have a use as Paul explains in Romans 7: 7-12:
“Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. 9 Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.” (NIV)
So we find ourselves as Paul, put to death by the commandment. We are in a state of sin and condemnation at that point. Until we are redeemed by grace through faith in Jesus. Here’s how.
Romans 3: 21-26:
“But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.” (NIV)
We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus’ death as the atonement sacrifice on the cross and his resurrection.
“Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.” (NIV)
We become God’s workmanship in this way:
Ephesians 2: 8-10:
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (NIV)
Another facet of this is revealed in Galatians 5: 16-26:
“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (NIV)
Revelation 3: 20: Jesus speaking:
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”
Open the door. Just tell him you want to and ask him to come in like he promises.
Thank you for visiting and reading my posts. Please if you have any questions leave them below. Comments also. Thank you again. Chris. 9/08/2020.