LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Anti-Establishment Clause?

Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
(Romans 3:31 – KJV)

Paul says none of our own works can save us, and that the Law has no power to save because men are unable to keep it. Because of this he had been accused, wrongly, of promoting a “religion” which had no morality. In answering this, Paul says that we don’t abolish the Law but that by our faith we actually establish it. How can this be, you might ask?

What he means by this is very important, because he also says in Romans 10:4 that Jesus Christ is the end of the Law to all who believe in Him. So they might say he is abolishing the Law, but Paul says we establish it by faith. That is an amazing statement, and what does Paul mean we establish the Law when he says we aren’t justified by it? How can Paul say we establish the Law when he also says we don’t have to do it? Again, how can these things be?

He means that we establish the purpose of the Law, to bring us to Christ (Galatians 3:21-24). He means that by our faith we establish that the Law is righteous, but that it cannot provide righteousness because of the weakness of mankind (Romans 8:3). We establish that its demands must be met, but that we cannot meet them. We establish that it cannot be met apart from faith in Christ, who did meet them (Matthew 5:17). We establish that people of faith now pursue the spirit of the Law by faith, as those who are already justified, and not by works, in order to be justified. By faith we establish the power of the Holy Spirit who is living in, and we can now be living out the spirit of the Law, as opposed to the mere letter, as Jesus spoke of it in the Sermon on the Mount, not in order to justify us, but to show the fruit of being justified.

We live in the love, the acceptance, and the justification that Jesus provides us as our safety, our satisfaction, our rest, and our all in all. Jesus fulfilled all the righteous requirements of the Law, and we establish that fact in our lives and in our world by our faith. Faith does not produce disobedient, lazy Christians; it produces obedient, loving Christians who follow Jesus by the Spirit from the heart. Romans 13:8-10 – love is the fulfilling of the Law. In other words, love fulfills or establishes the Law. And where does love come from? It is a fruit of the Spirit in our lives, and the fruit of the Spirit is the fruit of faith.

Being justified by faith is not an anti-establishment clause for religion; indeed it establishes the true religion. The Law points to that fact and we establish that fact by faith.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Susan said...

I have long considered that the word "end" (Greek word 'telos') in Romans 10:4 to refer to the "goal" (or the whole point of whatever is being discussed) as opposed to the "termination" of something.

Good post, JD. I enjoyed this because I occasionally hear about our "freedom" in Christ - used in such a way to mean that we are at liberty to do as we feel - not outright drunkeness or the like, but kind of a casual regard for the admonitions in Scripture. I don't know if you've ever come across that, but it's particularly disturbing.

December 18, 2007 7:53 AM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"it produces obedient, loving Christians who follow Jesus by the Spirit from the heart."

Amen!

December 18, 2007 8:06 AM

 
Blogger donsands said...

Jesus said you can nothing without Me.
And the only way we can something with Him is by faith.
If we try to keep the law by our own determined will, then we will either become discouraged, and then perhaps give up. Or even worse, we may succeed in our strong will attempts to keep the law, and become proud of our accomplishments.

Faith in Christ alone, and in His grace alone, will bring forth fruit that is genuine.

Bowing our heart and knee to Him in total absolute dependance is living by faith.
And it's a fight; a contending against our flesh, the world, and the devil.

Thanks for the excellent teaching JD.
"kind of a casual regard for the admonitions in Scripture."

I think this is the Church in America for the most part.
The Scripture says to Love God and your neighbor, and we say, "Nobody can really do that". And so we make our own law.

"Do your best, and Jesus will do the rest".

December 18, 2007 8:22 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

J.D.,
Good lesson.
You said.... By faith we establish the power of the Holy Spirit who is living in, and we can now be living out the spirit of the Law, as opposed to the mere letter, as Jesus spoke of it in the Sermon on the Mount, not in order to justify us, but to show the fruit of being justified.

Would you say that through the power of the indwelling Spirit believers are moved to be obedient and to desire a true righteousness even thought they joyfully understand they are justified by the righteousness of Christ? Isn't the beatitudes a statement of this longing that is imparted by the Holy Spirit? In short, would you say that we humans are incapable of having the attitudes of the beatitudes in and of ourselves?

As you point out in your latest post at your site, it is grace that saves through the instrument of faith. Therefore, grace is something that God imparts to us as a gift through the power of the Holy Spirit (Eph 2:8-9) rather than a mere powerless offer that spiritually dead humans decide to accept in and of themselves. Is my thinking correct?

December 18, 2007 8:34 AM

 
Blogger Even So... said...

Yes, yes, yes, and yes...

December 18, 2007 11:19 AM

 
Blogger Even So... said...

More tomorrow...

December 18, 2007 4:59 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

Go for it, JD!!!

December 18, 2007 9:10 PM

 

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