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The Christian, the Law, and Legalism, Part 5
by Karl Kemp
2/23/2012 / Bible Studies
Part 5 continues where Part 4 ended.
1 Peter 2:24, 25. "and He Himself bore our sins [with the guilt and penalties, including the major penalties of spiritual death and bondage to sin] in His body on the cross, THAT WE MIGHT DIE TO SIN AND LIVE TO RIGHTEOUSNESS [In other words, through the atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ, Christians are enabled, and required, to die to sin (to stop sinning) and to be faithful to God and His covenant (the new covenant) and "live to [or, in] righteousness."]; for by His wounds you were healed. [[Actually, as the margin of the NASB shows, "wounds" is singular in the Greek. Significantly, Peter was quoting here, as he was in the next verse, from Isaiah chapter 53 (see Isa. 53:5, 6). The Hebrew of Isa. 53:5 also uses the singular for the word translated "wounds" here. This collective noun (wound) embraces all that the Lamb of God bore in His atoning death, as He took our sins with the guilt and penalties. See the discussion of Isa. 53:4-6 on pages 18-24 of my book, "Holiness and Victory Over Sin." Include the section titled "All the Old Covenant Sacrifices, and Especially Those on the Day of Atonement, Pointed to the One Sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ" on page 18.
Isaiah 53:11 deals with the fact that the Lamb of God, through His atoning death, would MAKE RIGHTEOUS His people; He brings us to a state of righteousness. This super-important verse is discussed on pages 26-29 of "Holiness and Victory Over Sin." Isaiah 52:13-53:12 is probably the most important passage in the Bible dealing with Christ's all-important atoning death. It's clear (when these words are read in context) that when Peter said "you were healed," he was speaking especially of the spiritual healing that we receive (including forgiveness, the new birth, and the transformation to righteous living), but it's also clear, I believe, that physical healing, mental healing, etc. are provided in Christ's atoning death. See on Isa. 53:4-6 (pages 18-24 of "Holiness and Victory Over Sin"), and see the chapter in that book titled "A Study to Show that Healing and Health Are Included in the New Covenant Atonement."]] (25) For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have [through repentance and faith in Christ] returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls."
1 John 2:29; 3:7, 10. These three verses powerfully demonstrate that Christians are enabled, and required, to walk/live in righteousness; we must practice (be doers of) righteousness. These verses are discussed as part of 1 John 2:28-3:12 on pages 208-213 of my book, "Holiness and Victory Over Sin." "IF YOU KNOW THAT HE [GOD] IS RIGHTEOUS, YOU KNOW THAT EVERYONE ALSO who practices [or, WHO IS DOING] RIGHTEOUSNESS IS BORN OF HIM (3:7) Little children, MAKE SURE NO ONE DECEIVES YOU; the one who practices [or, THE ONE WHO IS DOING] RIGHTEOUSNESS IS RIGHTEOUS, JUST AS HE IS RIGHTEOUS. (10) By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: ANYONE who does not practice [or, WHO IS NOT DOING] RIGHTEOUSNESS IS NOT OF GOD, nor the one who does not love his brother."
Revelation 22:10-12. "And He said to me, 'Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. (11) Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and let the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and LET THE ONE WHO IS RIGHTEOUS, STILL PRACTICE [or, DO] RIGHTEOUSNESS; AND LET THE ONE WHO IS HOLY, STILL KEEP HIMSELF HOLY.' (12) 'Behold, I [[The speaker starting with verse 12 is the Lord Jesus Christ, as 22:13-16 demonstrate. In 22:13 He says, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." These words confirm His deity (with God the Father and the Holy Spirit).]] am coming quickly [[The words of 22:10, 11 and the words "I am coming quickly" effectively communicate the warning that there is no time left for fellowship with sin (that has always been true for Christians); however, I'm quite sure they don't go so far as to say that people (believers and unbelievers) can no longer repent. For one thing, Christians are called to repent in the Book of Revelation. The closer we get to the return of Christ (or, the end of our life, and we don't know when that will be), the more dangerous it is to be in sin.]], and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what He has done." [Here "reward" includes both positive and negative "rewards," dependent on what the person has done. I prefer the translation, "My recompense is with Me." The fact that we will be judged according to our works, which is a common Biblical theme (see under Rom. 2:6 in this paper), confirms that Christians must live in righteousness and holiness. We'll discuss "works" in section 7 of this paper.]
6. CHRISTIANS ARE ENABLED, AND REQUIRED, TO BE HOLY, TO LIVE IN HOLINESS, which includes living in the will of God, according to His Word/Law (moral law)/Commandments. There's very much overlap between being righteous and being holy. The righteous live according to the will of God; the holy are set apart by God, and for God, which includes living according to His will. In this section we'll look at some verses that will enable us to see the connection between righteousness (discussed in the preceding section) and holiness, and the connection between holiness and keeping the Law/commandments of God. For a discussion on the meaning of the word holiness (and the closely related words holy, saint, and sanctification) see the last chapter of my book, "Holiness and Victory Over Sin."
Romans 6:19. (All of Romans chapter 6 will help us understand this verse; see pages 96-104 of my book, "Holiness and Victory Over Sin" on this chapter.) "I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. [[In other words, I am belaboring the need for Christians to live/walk in righteousness and holiness, Paul says, because the victory over sin is far from being automatic. We Christians must clearly know and understand this all-important aspect of gospel truth, and we must be totally committed to walking in righteousness and holiness in our hearts, or we'll be far from the victory over sin. This is "because of the weakness of [the) flesh." (The NIV has, "because you are weak in your natural selves." Cf. Matt. 26:41; Mark 14:38.) Because of "the weakness of [the] flesh," Christians (born-again Christians) must make sure they walk in/after the Spirit on a continuous basis and cooperate with the Spirit through faith (faith in God and His gospel).]] For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness [I would omit the word "further," which was added by the NASB in italics. These words, "resulting in lawlessness," speak of the abiding state of lawlessness that Paul's readers were living in before they became Christians.], SO NOW PRESENT YOUR MEMBERS AS SLAVES TO RIGHTEOUSNESS, RESULTING IN sanctification." [I would translate this last word HOLINESS, with the KJV and NIV. "Holiness" here (as in Rom. 6:22, and often) speaks of the abiding state of holiness that Christians are enabled, and required, to live/walk in that contrasts with the former abiding state of lawlessness. (See the quotation regarding Rom. 6:19, 22 on page 180 in my book, "Holiness and Victory Over Sin.") Note the important connection between righteousness and holiness, and between holiness and lawfulness (the opposite of lawlessness).]
1 Thessalonians 4:1-8. These important verses, which use the word holiness three times, are discussed in section 3 of this paper. I listed this passage here because it shows the important connection between God's commandments and holiness.
1 Peter 1:13-19. These significant verses are discussed on pages 190-194 of my book, "Holiness and Victory Over Sin." Here I'll just quote and discuss 1 Peter 1:15, 16, verses that deal with being holy and that help demonstrate the connection between holiness and keeping the commandments of God. I should mention that the tie between holiness and obedience is demonstrated by 1:14, that the redemption from our former sinful way of life through the blood of Christ is mentioned in 1:18-20 (cf. 1 Pet. 2:24), and that 1:17 shows that we will be impartially judged (as will all mankind) by God according to our works.
"(15) but LIKE THE HOLY ONE WHO CALLED YOU, BE HOLY YOURSELVES IN ALL YOUR BEHAVIOR [To be holy here is to be living in an abiding state of being set apart by God, and for God, which excludes all sin.]; (16) because it is written, 'YOU SHALL BE HOLY [I prefer BE HOLY, with the NIV.], FOR I AM HOLY.' " The apostle Peter could have been quoting from more than one place in the Mosaic Law. See Lev. 11:44, 45; 19:2; and 20:7, 26. Leviticus 19:1-37, for example, show some of the commandments that the Israelites were required to keep in order to be holy. These commandments are still applicable for the holiness of Christians to the extent they are part of God's moral law. I could refer to many other verses from the Old Testament that show the strong tie between being holy and keeping God's Law/commandments, but I'll just quote Deut. 28:9, "The LORD [Yahweh] WILL ESTABLISH YOU AS A HOLY PEOPLE TO HIMSELF, as He swore to you, IF YOU KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD [YAHWEH] YOUR GOD, AND WALK IN HIS WAYS." The primary difference between the old and new covenants is that in the new covenant we are redeemed from sin through the blood of Christ, which includes being forgiven (in the full new-covenant sense), being born again (not available under the old covenant), and being made holy (in the full new-covenant sense).
Ephesians 4:17-24; John 17:11. Ephesians chapter 4 and John chapter 17 are discussed verse-by-verse in my papers on my internet site for further study. Ephesians 4:17-24 demonstrate that Christians are enabled, and required, to live/walk in holiness (and righteousness), with the victory over sin. This passage doesn't specifically mention the connection between holiness and the Law/commandments of God, but it does emphasize the connection between holiness (and righteousness) and the truth of God; the truth of God includes His Word, which includes His Law/commandments.
"(17) This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles [The apostle is addressing Gentile Christians here (cf. Eph. 1:11-13; 3:1-13).] also walk, in the futility [or, emptiness, vanity] of their mind [[or, way of thinking. See Rom. 1:21-32 (These verses show that the root problem of sin was/is a failure to honor God as God. Without God in the center of our thinking, our thinking [including who/what we worship, and our attitudes, motives, and priorities] must necessarily be greatly distorted.); Rom. 8:5-8; and Col. 1:21. (These last two passages demonstrate the important connection between thinking wrong and living wrong/living in sin. Romans 8:5-8 [which are very important verses on Christians thinking right by the Holy Spirit] are discussed on pages 118-120 and Col. 1:21-23 on pages 186-190 of "Holiness and Victory Over Sin.") Paul exhorts these Christians (and all Christians) to think right, that is, to think in line with the truth/Word of God (by His enabling grace/Spirit; cf. Eph. 4:23; Rom. 8:5, 6) and then to live right (by God's enabling grace/Spirit) in the "righteousness and holiness of the truth" (Eph. 4:24).
It is necessary for us to know that in the Bible the mind/thinking is not at all limited to the head; we do our most important thinking in our heart. For a discussion on the renewal of the mind/thinking of the Christian, see note 32 on pages 138, 139 of "Holiness and Victory Over Sin." That note includes a brief discussion of Rom. 12:1, 2, which is another important cross-reference on the renewal of the mind/way of thinking of the Christian. Romans 12:1-8 are discussed in some detail in my "A Paper on Faith."]], (18) being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God [They are spiritually dead; cf., e.g., Eph. 2:1-3.], because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; (19) and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. (20) But you did not learn Christ in this way [[When we learned about Christ and new-covenant salvation through the gospel, we learned that Christians are enabled, and required, to die to sin and to begin to walk/live in righteousness and holiness.]], (21) if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, JUST AS [THE] TRUTH [In this context (Eph. 4:17-24) the truth of righteousness and holiness is emphasized (especially see "the righteousness and holiness of the truth" (Eph. 4:24).] IS IN JESUS [For one thing, Jesus is the truth (John 14:6).], (22) that, in reference to your former manner of life [cf. 4:17-19], YOU LAY ASIDE [or, PUT OFF] THE OLD SELF [MAN] [[The idea is to put off the old man, which includes everything that is sinful, once-for-all and completely; this is, at least, the ideal. (The aorist tense of the Greek verb used here fits the idea of putting off the old man once-for-all and completely.) On putting off the old man, see Col. 3:8, 9; Rom. 13:11-14; on death to the old man (which is the equivalent of putting off the old man), see Gal. 2:20; Rom. 6:6; and Col. 3:3, 5.]], which is being corrupted [I would translate "WHICH IS CORRUPT" with the KJV.] IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LUSTS OF DECEIT [[Instead of "deceit" we could translate "deception." The BAGD Greek Lexicon translates "deceptive desires" (instead of "lusts of deceit"). The deceit/deception here is contrasted with the truth of 4:21; the deceit/deception goes with having the unrenewed mind/thinking of 4:17-19.]], (23) and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind [[I would translate "AND THAT YOU BE RENEWED BY THE SPIRIT IN YOUR MIND/WAY OF THINKING." (See the references on the renewal of the mind/thinking under Eph. 4:17.) It takes the truth/Word of God plus the indwelling Spirit of God to enable us to have a renewed mind. Furthermore, as these verses confirm, we must do our part of submitting to, and cooperating with, the truth/Word of God and the Spirit of God (through faith) to have a renewed mind.]], (24) AND PUT ON THE NEW SELF [MAN], WHICH in the likeness of [[The NASB has these last three words in italics. A more literal translation would be, "IN ACCORDANCE WITH." This "in accordance with" corresponds with the same words in 4:22. (The same Greek preposition, "kata," is used in both verses.) Whereas the old man was corrupt in accordance with the lusts of deceit/deception (which traces back to the lies of the devil, not the truth of God), the new man is a righteous and holy new creation in accordance with God and His truth, with the emphasis here on "the righteousness and holiness of [His] truth." Colossians 3:10 speaks of Christians being renewed "according to [in accordance with] the image of the One who created him." Genesis 1:26 shows that man was created in the image of God. 1 Corinthians 15:44-49 show that (through salvation in Christ) we are caught up into an existence much higher than what Adam had before the fall. Many aspects of this existence are yet future, but we are enabled, and required, to live/walk in the righteousness and holiness of God now.]] GOD HAS BEEN CREATED [Compare the new creation of Eph. 2:5-10; 2 Cor. 5:17; and Col. 3:10, 11).] IN RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HOLINESS OF THE TRUTH." On truth, cf. Eph. 4:21. Ephesians 4:24 demonstrates the close relationship between holiness (and righteousness) and the truth of God, especially referring to the truth of the gospel of salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ; the truth very much includes holiness (and righteousness). All truth, holiness, and righteousness come from God, as do all things that are good, including life, light, true love, and order. In John 17:11 Jesus prays to the Father, "Sanctify them in the truth; Thy Word is truth." Christians must be set apart to, and living in line with, God's truth. His truth (which includes His gospel/moral law/commandments) regarding holiness (and righteousness) derives from God's character, from what He is. Before leaving Eph. 4:22-24, I should point out that as chapter 4 continues, and on into chapters 5 and 6, Paul continues his exhortation to once-for-all put off the sinful things of the old man and to once-for-all put on the righteous and holy things associated with the new man. These following verses (see 4:25-5:7) confirm that Paul really believed, and taught, that Christians are enabled, and required, to put off the old man and to live in the righteousness and holiness of God. Ephesians 4:25 starts, "Therefore, laying aside falsehood [using the same Greek verb for "lay aside/put off" that he used in 4:22. It is clear that Paul wasn't exhorting his Christian readers to gradually put off falsehood/lying. The same truth applies to all sin.
7. CHRISTIANS ARE ENABLED, AND REQUIRED, TO DO THE WORKS REQUIRED ACCORDING TO GOD'S WORD/LAW (moral law)/COMMANDMENTS by His grace/Spirit through faith; the works aren't optional. For one thing, it's significant that we'll be judged according to our works. (See on Rom. 2:6-13, especially under 2:6, in the discussion of Rom. 2:1-16 earlier in this paper.) Those "Christians" who are characterized by sinful works will not inherit eternal life (cf., e.g., Matt. 7:21-23; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21; and Eph. 5:3-7).
Acts 26:20. "but [the apostle Paul] kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, THAT THEY SHOULD REPENT AND TURN TO GOD, PERFORMING DEEDS [WORKS] APPROPRIATE TO REPENTANCE." [Cf. Matt. 3:7-10.]
Ephesians 2:10. "FOR WE ARE HIS WORKMANSHIP, CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS FOR GOOD WORKS, WHICH GOD PREPARED BEFOREHAND, THAT WE SHOULD WALK IN THEM." Our good works/righteous works (which go with our walk in righteousness and holiness) can be considered the bottom line of Christianity (cf., e.g., Rom. 8:4 and all the verses listed in this section); however, it must be understood that our good works are, in a very real sense, the work of God, since "we are His workmanship," through the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the work of the Holy Spirit, and He must receive all the glory for our good works. Our part is faith, faith in God and faith in the gospel; there is no such thing as saving faith in Christ that doesn't work (yielding good works) by God's grace/Spirit (cf., e.g., Gal. 5:6; James 2:14-26). Ephesians 2:1-10; Gal. 5:6; and James 2:14-26 are discussed in my "A Paper on Faith."]
Titus 1:15, 16. "To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. (16) THEY PROFESS TO KNOW GOD, BUT BY THEIR DEEDS [WORKS] THEY DENY HIM, being detestable and disobedient, and worthless for any good deed [work]."
Titus 2:14. "WHO GAVE HIMSELF FOR US [in His atoning death], THAT HE MIGHT REDEEM US FROM EVERY LAWLESS DEED [or, FROM ALL LAWLESSNESS] AND PURIFY FOR HIMSELF A PEOPLE FOR HIS OWN POSSESSSION, ZEALOUS FOR GOOD DEEDS [WORKS]." This verse is discussed with Titus 2:11-13 (important verses for this study) on pages 123-125 of my book, "Holiness and Victory Over Sin."
Revelation 2:1-7; 3:1-6, 14-22. "(Rev. 2:4) But I have this against you, that YOU HAVE LEFT YOUR FIRST LOVE, (5) THEREFORE REMEMBER FROM WHERE YOU HAVE FALLEN, AND REPENT AND DO THE DEEDS [WORKS] YOU DID AT FIRST; OR ELSE I AM COMING TO YOU AND WILL REMOVE YOUR LAMPSTAND OUT OF ITS PLACE UNLESS YOU REPENT. [If he removes the lampstand from a church, that church will no longer be His church.] (3:1b-3a) I KNOW YOUR DEEDS [WORKS] that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead [The next verse shows that they weren't quite dead yet, but that they had a gigantic need to repent at once.] (2) WAKE UP, AND STRENGTHEN THE THINGS THAT REMAIN, WHICH WERE ABOUT TO DIE; FOR I HAVE NOT FOUND YOUR DEEDS [WORKS] COMPLETED IN THE SIGHT OF MY GOD. (3) SO REMEMBER WHAT YOU HAVE RECEIVED AND HEARD, AND KEEP IT, AND REPENT. THEREFORE IF YOU WILL NOT WAKE UP, I WILL COME LIKE A THIEF, AND YOU WILL NOT KNOW WHAT HOUR I WILL COME UPON YOU [in judgment]." (15) I KNOW YOUR DEEDS [WORKS], that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. (16) SO BECAUSE YOU ARE LUKEWARM, AND NEITHER HOT NOR COLD, I WILL SPIT YOU OUT OF MY MOUTH."
These verses are of awesome significance. In these verses the Lord Jesus Christ is speaking to literal churches about AD 95. (What He says to these Christians is applicable to every Christian of every generation that is in the same situation.) Much of what He says to those Christians is so negative it's shocking. He says to many of them that if they don't repent and do the proper/necessary works, they will cease being His people. For a discussion of these awesome verses see my paper "Once Saved, Always Saved?"
Some Other Verses that Will Help Us Understand Works: Matt. 5:16; 23:5; Mark 13:34 ("task" equals "work"); Rom. 8:13; 15:18; 2 Cor. 11:15; Gal. 3:10; Phil. 1:6; Col. 1:10; 3:9; 1 Tim. 6:17-19; 2 Tim. 2:21; 3:17; Titus 3:1-3, 8; Heb. 6:1; 9:14; 10:24; James 2:14-26; 1 Pet. 2:11, 12; 1 John 3:8 (see pages 210-213 of "Holiness and Victory Over Sin" on 1 John 3:5, 8.); and Rev. 14:13.
8. DOESN'T THE NEW TESTAMENT TEACH THAT THE MOSAIC/OLD COVENANT LAW HAS BEEN SET ASIDE AND THAT CHRISTIANS AREN'T UNDER THIS LAW? AND DOESN'T IT TEACH THAT NO ONE WILL BE JUSTIFIED/SAVED BY DOING WORKS OF THE LAW? It is desperately important that we have balanced Biblical answers to these (and similar) questions.
Quite a few verses show that the Mosaic/old-covenant Law has been set aside and that Christians aren't under this Law: See Rom. 3:21; 6:14, 15; 7:4, 6 [see my book, "Holiness and Victory Over Sin" on all these verses]; 10:4 [see my "A Paper on Faith"]; 1 Cor. 9:20; Gal. 2:19; 3:25 [discussed in "A Paper on Faith"]; Gal. 4:21; 5:18; Eph. 2:14-16; Col. 2:14; and Heb. 7:12; 8:1-13; and 10:1, 8, 9. Each verse listed here is from epistles by the apostle Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles (with the exception of those from Hebrews; I don't believe Paul wrote Hebrews, but it apparently was written by someone associated with him [cf., e.g., Heb. 13:23]; Apollos and Luke, for example, have been suggested as possible writers; of the two, Apollos seems a much more likely candidate). Paul had to fully face the issue of the setting aside of the Mosaic/old-covenant Law before the rest of the apostles because of revelation he received from God and because of his particular ministry.
It is very important to observe that none of the verses listed in the preceding paragraph contain any idea of setting aside God's moral requirements (His moral law/commandments) for man, whether they are found in the Old Testament or the New. These requirements derive from the very character of God and reflect His viewpoint (the only important viewpoint) regarding how man is to think and live. When these verses are studied in their contexts (and in the light of the entire New Testament), they show that (rather than setting aside God's moral requirements for His people) now, in the new covenant, we have been set free from the authority and power of sin and spiritual death and have been enabled (by God's grace/Spirit) to live in the righteousness and holiness of God, thereby (through faith) obeying His moral requirements set forth in the Old Testament and the New Testament. The preceding six sections of this paper substantiate what I have said in this paragraph.
A dominant theme that permeates most of the verses listed in the first paragraph of this section is that the old covenant, which was established on the Mosaic Law, had to be set aside so the far-superior new covenant could replace it. Also, there were factors that required Paul (and the writer of Hebrews) to deal with the setting aside of the Mosaic/old-covenant Law and the works of the Law. For one thing, Paul had to face the fact that Israel, for the most part, continued to reject Christ Jesus and the new covenant and to cling to the Mosaic Law and the old covenant. He had to help Israel see that this wasn't a viable option now that Christ had come and had been crucified and raised from the dead. One major point Paul made in the context of dealing with the Jews (and the Judaizers) was that no one will be justified/saved through doing works of the Law. (See Rom. 3:20, 28-30; 10:3; Gal. 2:16; and 3:10-14, 21. The main point that Paul makes in these verses is that no one will be justified/saved by the works of the Law because no one [apart from God's saving grace in Christ] has the ability to fully keep God's moral law. As we have shown throughout this paper, Christians are enabled, and required, to keep God's moral Law, clearly excluding the ceremonial/non-moral parts of the old-covenant Law.)
For another thing, Paul had to show that the Judaizers were wrong; they were substantially distorting the gospel and tearing up the Gentile churches (churches that contained Gentile Christians) by trying to bring ceremonial works of the Law (like circumcision) into the new covenant (cf., e.g., Acts 15:1-31; Gal. 2:11-21; 5:2-6; and Col. 2:16-23). Paul made other important points relevant to the setting aside of works of the Law/flesh. I'll list two such points in the following two paragraphs:
Paul was against man's doing works of the flesh (including works of Law), for the glory of man (instead of for the glory of God). (See Rom. 3:27, 28; 4:2; Gal. 6:14, 15; Eph. 2:9; and 1 Cor. 1:29-31.) All boasting in man is excluded by the new covenant, not that boasting in man was legitimate under the old covenant, but the emphasis on works of the Law under the old covenant, and, more importantly, the greatly reduced role of the grace/Spirit of God under the old covenant, rendered those under the Law/works of the Law more susceptible to boasting in man and what he has done. Even if we're not looking for our own glory, we'll fail in our Christian walk to the extent we're ignorant of the balanced truth of the gospel and to the extent we're not walking in the Spirit through faith.
Paul was against man's trying to earn/merit justification/salvation (or anything else) by doing works of the Law/flesh. See, e.g., Rom. 4:4; 11:6; Eph. 2:8-10; 2 Tim. 1:9; and Titus 3:5-8 (discussed on pages 125-128 in "Holiness and Victory Over Sin"). The New Testament makes it very clear that we are justified, saved, sanctified, healed, etc. by grace through faith. The new covenant is set up such that all our good works (our righteous works) are produced by the grace/Spirit of God, as we walk after the Spirit through faith. God gets all the glory!
We'll start the next section of this paper, "Legalism," in Part 6.
Copyright by Karl Kemp
http://www.karlkempteachingministries.com Karl Kemp worked as an engineer in the space field throughout the 60s. He became a born-again Christian in 1964. He received an MA in Biblical Studies in 1972. He has been a Bible teacher for 45 years. See the website for more info on his books, papers, etc.
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