We must first realize that there is nothing that we can bring to the table. We cannot create or compose something even halfway decent to give back to God on our own. Even at our very best, we still put Him on the cross. He still had to die for those whom we consider to be the very best Christians or the most righteous and "good" people we know.
All our righteousness still put Him on the cross!
"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away" Isaiah 64:6
The Bible calls our righteousness filthy rags. Those are the filthy rags that those with leprosy had to wipe off the pus from their boils with! Our righteousness is filthy in the eyes of God.
Is there any exception for anybody on this Earth? Nope!
"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one" Romans 3:10
and every man has failed to meet the exceptionally high quota of God which is perfection.
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23
So we have concluded that we are not righteous and we all are sinners. Is that bad news? Actually, not really because if we were good enough, we wouldn't need Jesus at all. That's the thing! How many of us actually think that we can produce our own righteousness and become "good enough" for God? Actually, a lot of us still do.. but the danger is that in this belief, there is no need for Jesus and what He did for us on the cross.
The Bible says that if we follow the law and try to produce our own righteousness by following the law, then we are fallen from grace! That's a terrifying thought!
"Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." Galatians 5:4
Grace is the gift of God. Grace is what God's own son did for us on the cross. Grace is knowing that we will never be good enough for God, and accepting this free gift. If we reject grace, then we reject the price that Jesus Christ paid for us on the cross. If we choose righteousness by the law, then Christ is dead for nothing!
"I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." Galatians 2:21
A lot of us subconsciously worry about being good after we are saved. We try to be good enough and feel like we owe God something. Should we feel that way? No, because there is no debt we need to pay. We don't owe anybody anything! The debt has ALREADY been paid! Why are we working as if we're paying off a debt?
"Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." Romans 4:4,5
We are no longer under the old covenant where we had to observe the law to become righteous in the eyes of God. Jesus came to fulfill all 613 of the old Torah laws because the law was a curse and it brought death.
The law was given to us because of the sin that was brought on to the world and now we are redeemed! Adam disobeyed God and sinned against Him, then sin and death reigned in the world. The world was cursed with law and sin until God sent His Son to redeem us. This was the promise that the old testament saints waited for thousands of years.
"Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator." Galatians 3:19
(Note: Jesus Christ is the mediator, 1 Tim 2:5)
God gave the Gentiles free righteousness without law and works through His Son. Israel had the law and their works to give an account for their righteousness but we have something far greater. We have the Son and our faith is our righteousness. If we seek God through the deeds of the law and not of faith, we shall stumble and fall. We will fail.
"What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone." Romans 9:30-32
We are justified by our faith and not by the law or of works. Isn't that amazing? Faith is what justifies us!
"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." Romans 3:28
We know that it was our faith in Jesus Christ that saved us. It was our salvation! Why do we turn back and return to the law and works? Faith is what got us in, and faith is what brings us home.
"Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? " Galatians 3:3
Here is a warning. I have been to many churches personally that teach grace, but they also teach us to follow certain laws in the Old Testament. The law is one and whole. There are 613 laws in the OT that is called the Torah. Those 613 laws are commandments from God in the old covenant. If we choose to keep and observe a few, even just a select few, we are bound by the law. And when we are bound by the law, we are to keep every single one of them!
Who can live up to 613 laws of righteousness? If we miss one, we have failed ALL!
"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. " James 2:10
The law is a curse and it brings death! There will be those who will tell you the law is good, but the Bible says it is a curse and all who follow the curse shall die! No man shall be justified by the law in the sight of God! No one can stand before God and present their works by the law and make it through!
"For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." Galatians 3:10-13
The law was created to bring us unto Jesus Christ. It gave us a need for a Saviour and God's purpose was fulfilled in His Son. Now that He has come and now that we have faith, we are no longer under the law. The law was only made to bring us HERE to be in Christ with faith.
"Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster." Galatians 3:24, 25
We are so blessed to be in this point of time where we have the gift of grace that is made into effect by grace that was given to us by the shedding of the blood of Jesus. Yet, it is grievous to see that there are those who choose to still be under the law even to this day! There are even those who claim to have grace but still keep some rules of the law.
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God" Ephesians 2:8
The reason why this is so urgent is that if we have been deceived to follow the law, then we shall be judged the law. God honors our decision and our choices if we choose to follow the law. We shall be judged before the throne of God by every deed we do and by all our works! And in Revelation, no man makes it out of the Great White Throne alive. Those who have the law have the wrath of God upon them.
We need the blood of the spotless lamb for death to pass over us. We need to fully receive the blood and accept grace. In accepting grace, we are accepting the free gift of God. Jesus takes our place, and the Father will look at us and see His Son's righteousness in us! He will NOT see our own righteousness, but His Son's Righteousness!
Our righteousness are filthy rags and we will surely die! We need the righteousness of Jesus Christ upon us! What is so beautiful about this is that Jesus walked on Earth and He completed every single law perfectly! He was flawless and righteous! He was perfect! That is what the Father will see in us! We have literally traded places! Jesus paid the price of our righteousness by dying for us and he became a curse for us. He had the wrath of God upon Him on the cross! And we can take His place and become the heir to the kingdom of God! We become the adopted sons of God!
"But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. " Galatians 4:4,5
We must choose faith. We must choose grace. We must realize that under the law and works, we shall be condemned and we shall die! I know that this has been an exhaustive study and this is only a few scriptures from the New Testament. I encourage those who are thirsty for more information about law and grace to read Romans and Galatians. Paul writes in depth and passion about grace and teaches it to the new believers.
"For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." Romans 10:4
Jesus Christ = end of the law. It is complete.
Do you believe?