Part 3 of 7
The Economy of Pure Grace
Paul tells believers today, they “are not under ‘the Law’ but under grace” (Rom 6:14b).
Paul received and stood upon the truth of the grace gospel that he received from the ascended Lord Himself (Gal 1:2); that he and we have been made freed from “the Law.” Accordingly, Paul had the audacity to write something to the believers at the Church at Colosse that would have formerly gotten him “stoned” to death in the Jews religion. Note in the verses below Paul specifically addresses the fourth of The Ten Commandments, to “keep the Sabbath holy.” Paul says we who live under “the dispensation of the grace of God” should not have concern for men judging us because we do not keep the Sabbath laws or any of the outer Mosaic religious laws such as those concerning what may be eaten or drank.
Col. 2:16-17 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body (substantive reality) is of Christ.
In verse 17 (above), Paul says we have this freedom from the written laws because keeping the outer things of the written Law was merely “a shadow of things to come.” A “shadow” is a mere semblance of the real thing; it is not the real thing.
’s outer keeping of the written law was a “shadow” of the reality which is our living by Christ as our indwelling “law of life” (Rom 8:2a). Paul says “the Law” was our former “schoolmaster,” from which every believer was freed when they came to have “faith” in Christ. Israel
Galatians 3:24-25 Wherefore the law WAS our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, (so) that we might be justified by faith. 25 But AFTER THAT FAITH IS COME, WE ARE NO LONGER UNDER A SCHOOLMASTER.
In total, Paul is saying believers have Christ’s indwelling “Spirit of life” as “the body (KJV)” or “substantive reality” of His governance over their life. Where once in “time past” we may have had the outer law, we now have Christ as the indwelling “law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” operating from within our spirit; to regulate, guide, and enable us as we trust Him.
Christians need to understand that under the Pauline pure grace “dispensation,” the outer laws of God are not the issue for genuine believers. The issue now is for men to receive Christ’s “Spirit of life” into their human spirit so as to be “one spirit” (1Cor 6:17) with Christ, and then to live in accord with the inner sense of Christ that they now have by His indwelling Spirit. Every believer is “of God” and “hears God’s words” (John 8:47).
Once a believer comes to really see God’s grace and receives God’s love in the form of His grace, their love of the Father will spontaneously grow. They then will willingly become governed and empowered by Christ’s “Spirit of life,” from within.
Romans 8:13 …ye THROUGH THE SPIRIT do MORTIFY THE DEEDS of the body...
Galatians 5:16 (NIV) So I (Paul) say, LIVE BY THE SPIRIT, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
Galatians 5:18 (NIV) But IF YOU ARE LED BY THE SPIRIT, YOU ARE NOT UNDER LAW.
Galatians 5:25 (NIV) Since we live by the Spirit, LET US KEEP IN STEP WITH THE SPIRIT. .
The burden of “the Law” is tremendous. Read what James writes in his epistle “to the Twelve Tribes (of
) scattered abroad” (James 1:1). (Note that James’ letter is not addressed to “the church, which is His body (of Christ).” We need to always check the address of a letter to see if what is written is intended for us or someone else.) James writes saying, if those of Israel “offend even one point of the Law” they are “guilty of ALL.” Israel
James 2:10 For whosoever (of
) shall KEEP THE WHOLE LAW, and yet OFFEND IN ONE POINT, HE IS GUILTY OF ALL. Israel
Now let’s compare the unattainable demands of the Mosaic written law that James writes of to “the Twelve Tribes (of
)” with that of the inner “law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus,” which Paul addresses to “the body of Christ.” Thankfully, we today as Pauline grace believers live under a different relationship with God than “the (Mosaic) Law,” which Israel Israelwas under in the Old Testament and was even when Jesus of Nazareth was ministering to on earth. Israel
- “The Law” of “commandments” was given solely to
. Unlike those of “the body of Christ,” who will ultimately dwell eternally in heaven, Israel will yet be under “the Law” in the coming Messianic Millennial Kingdom of Heaven on earth and then also on the new earth where there is “the Tree of Life” (Rev 14:12, 22:14). Israel
Note that Jesus of Nazareth came to and addressed His earthly ministry to “(only) the lost sheep of the house of
” (Matt 15:24). Jesus emphatically told His Jewish disciples to “go not into the way of the gentiles...go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matthew 10:5-6) Jesus supported and reinforced Moses Law (Matt 8:4, Mark 10:3, Luke 16:31). “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18). Israel
- Now in contrast to the Nation Israel, those of “the church, which is His (Christ’s) body” (Eph 1:22b-23a) live “not under the law but under grace” (Rom 6:14). Those of the Church today are already “seated in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph 2:6) and they have their home or “citizenship in heaven” (Philip 3:20). Paul writes to the Church at
Philippi; “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:20 NIV)
“The body of Christ” is not destined for “the kingdom of heaven” on earth. Rather, we are destined heaven itself. It is Israel that will inherit the earth as it was promised to them, beginning with Abraham (Gen 12:2, 17:8, 28:14, 48:4, Psalm 2:8, ). Psalms 2:8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
Again by contrast, “The body of Christ” will meet Christ “in the clouds” when we are “caught up” to meet Him at the rapture or “catching away” of “the Church, which is His body.” Christ at that time will take us to heaven to “ever be (there) with the Lord” (1Thes 4:17). Note here below that Paul goes onto say we are to “comfort one another with these words” (ver. 18).
1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.