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Monday, October 14, 2013

Law and Grace # 26

Objections, Questions and Problems (continued)

c. What that law could not do, God in Christ did for us at Calvary, when He was made an offering for sin.

d. The moral result of this way of saving men is that the righteousness of the law is "fulfilled in us." The verb is passive, not active in form. "It is not our doing, though done in us."

7. Perhaps the commonest objection to the doctrine of salvation by grace without the law is that such preaching may turn out to be morally dangerous. People may argue, as some did in the days of Paul, that since the grace of God is always greater than all our sin, why not go on sinning that grace may abound? Is there not therefore a danger that men may say: "let us do evil, that good may come" (Romans 3:8)?

In replying to this objection we may say, first, that the doctrine of salvation by grace without the law may indeed be dangerous for some people. For that matter, all divine truth is dangerous to those who resist or reject or misuse it. The same gospel which is a savor of life to those who believe is also a savor of death to all who reject it (2 Corinthians 3:15-16). Surely it is folly to suggest that we should cease to teach divine truth because there are some who pervert it. The Apostle Paul had to deal with such people in his day, and his ultimatum was brief and to the point - "whose damnation is just," he writes (Romans 3:8). It is a waste of time and breath to argue with people who will stoop to pervert the truth in the interest of immorality.

But on the other hand, for the true Christian this doctrine of salvation by grace without the law is not dangerous. But anything else is dangerous, for the simple reason that only the grace of God in Christ can break the power of sin and transform our lives into the image of His Son. Reversion to methods of law can only compound the moral disaster, for "the strength of sin is the law" (1 Corinthians 15:56). Not that the law of God is evil. His law is holy and good. But we are evil, so terribly evil that even the holy prohibitions of divine law can only arouse the worst that is in us - "When the commandment came, sin revived ... And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death" (Romans 7:9-10). Not the law, but only grace, can give us moral victory. "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace" (Romans 6:14).

It is utterly false to argue, as some do, that the doctrine of salvation by grace alone will lead Christian people to go on sinning. Grace does not teach God's people to sin. Grace teaches them not to sin. "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us [who believe] that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2;11-13).

~Alva J. McClain~

(continued with # 27)

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