No power in this world can ever save a man, but the power of Christ. No matter how often or in how many ways, we try to do right, our efforts will be of no avail until we commit our ways unto the Lord and let Him make and keep us right.
To be right, is to be in harmony with God, and to be in harmony with God, we must live the Christ life, by which and through which we are saved. Paul says:
"For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled
to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be
saved by His life."
The life of Jesus was a life of perfect obedience. There was no sin found in Him. "Which of you convinceth me of sin?" asked Jesus; and they all held their peace. Again He said, "I have kept My Father's Commandments"; and still there was not one to contradict. This is the life of Christ as manifested to us. A life of perfect obedience to the law of Ten Commandments , and that is the life that we will have if we ever enter the kingdom of Heaven.
He has promised to live in us, to abide with us, to hold us and to keep us always if we will but yield ourselves to Him.
This means that He will give us the power to live His life of perfect obedience to the law of Ten Commandments if we accept Him by faith, repent, and be baptized, receiving the Holy Spirit.
".....Repent, and be baptized every one of you
in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive
the gift of the Holy Ghost.
For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call."
No man living can of himself keep the Commandments any more than he can live the Christ like life. He says Live in Me and I will live in you, and then, like Paul, we can say:
"I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."
Now if it be a fact that this life of Christ indeed lives in our flesh, then it will surely be the same life that He lived while He was here on earth. And we have already shown that the life that He lived on earth was a life of perfect obedience to the Ten Commandments.
So then, we do not need to point to the law on two tables of stone, but to the law on the fleshly tables of the heart, and that law will be the same law that Christ referred to when He said:
"I have kept My Father's Commandments."
Therefore, the Ten Commandments stand -eternally stand- as long as the life of the Lord Christ, and they can never be abolished "till heaven and earth pass. To the Christian they are not difficult "Thou shalt nots," but ten precious promises in Christ, for the Scriptures say:
"For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).
God promises to write His law in your heart. He promises to give us the power to overcome, and He promises to give you a way of escape that no power on earth can make you break His law, for He said:
"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." 1Co 10:13
"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall
never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
My Father which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand" (John 10:28,29).
This is the blessing of the new covenant. It is righteousness by faith and it is the most glorious thing the world ever heard of and, therefore, it is forever true that:
"By grace are ye saved by faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8).
This is the righteousness of the law manifested in the life of Christ and worked out in the life of every true believer, as saith the Scripture:
"But now the righteousness of God without the
law is manifested (seen), being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference" (Romans 3:21,22).
So, then, to the Christian, the law of Ten Commandments still stands; not as a hard master convicting of sin, but as an eternal witness to the fact that you have found in Jesus Christ all that the law demands. That law is lived so perfectly in your life, by the new life which is in you, that you can say with Paul:
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them
which are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled (carried out) in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Romans 8:1-4).
This is a rebuke to those who say that the law (Ten Commandments ) is abolished. Paul hits the nail squarely on the head, when he says:
"Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law" (Romans 3:31).
The law is placed far beyond the reach of frail mortal man, the sinner, but is brought right down into our hearts by the blessed Christ. It is lived in our lives to the glory and praise of His blessed name. And although Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, enables us to keep the commandments, through our faith in Him and in His glorious power, yet it shall be said of God's people:
"Here is the patience of the saints; here are
they that keep the Commandments of God and the faith of Jesus" (Revelation
Law and Grace
"Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; yea, we establish the law" (Romans 3:31).
That statement by the Apostle Paul shows in a nutshell the relation of the law and grace, and it proves that the law of God is more firmly established by the necessity of faith in God through Jesus Christ.
The law is for the "lawless"; it is God's sin detector. Hence it is written "by the law is the knowledge of sin" (Romans 3:20). And again, "I had not known sin but by the law..." (Romans 7:7).
"All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Hence it is everlastingly true that all have broken God's law, and no man living can look that law in the face and say he is not a sinner until some means is provided -not to take away the law- but to remove the sin, the transgression of the law.
Every man who breaks that law is a sinner, no matter what his profession may be, and he will ever remain a sinner until he comes to the sin -pardoning Savior to repent of his sin or transgression of the law.
None is exempt from this; none can with impunity break a single precept of the Ten Commandments without coming under condemnation, for it is written:
"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them that are under the law; that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God" (Romans 3:19).
That is the work of the law: to point out sin, to stop the sinner's mouth and prove him guilty before God. That is as far as the law was ever intended to go. The law of God is inexorable; it cannot release the sinner but keeps him forever under condemnation. That man who remains under the condemnation of the law of God will be lost eternally. But God in His great mercy has provided a way of escape from the condemnation of the law, and that way is provided in the gift of His own Son,
"And thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).
Now as before proven, "sin is the transgression
of the law," hence the mission of Christ is to save people
from the transgression. The sinner can find pardon by grace through
faith in the sacrifice of Christ.
If the law of God could have been abolished, it
would have been unnecessary for Christ to die for sins, as the abolition
of the law would have meant the abolition of sin, as says Paul, "where
no law is there no transgression."
The very fact that we have all broken the law and are sinners, proves the necessity for a Savior, and the fact that a Savior is absolutely necessary proves that the law showing us to be sinners cannot be abolished. The fact that we must exercise faith in a sin-pardoning Savior, is proof positive that the law is forever established.
No man is under grace (favor) until he acknowledges
his guilt in having violated God's law and finds pardon in Christ and the
sacrifice provided; therefore, every man who breaks even one of the
Ten Commandments is under the law. He is under condemnation, and remains
so until Christ releases him, not with the privilege of breaking the law
again, but from its violation, from sin the "transgression of the law."
Should Christians Keep
We are saved by grace, through faith. Works do not figure in the matter of salvation at all. But having received salvation by faith, we are then prepared by God's abounding grace to show our faith by our works, for faith without works is dead. No man is a real Bible Christian whose life, by faith in Jesus Christ, is not in harmony with the law of God -the Ten Commandments . The Apostle Paul was the great teacher of justification and righteousness by faith alone, and he states the case in three texts of his writings so clearly that none can err who wishes to know the relation of faith to the keeping of God's Ten Commandments.
The three texts in question are as follows:
"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but A NEW CREATURE" (Galatians 6:15).
"For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love" (Galatians 5:6).
"Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God" (I Corinthians 7:19).
Now putting these three texts from Paul together, we have this conclusion:
"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth
anything, nor uncircumcision; But a new creature, who has faith which
worketh by love, and keeps the Commandments of God."
..... I have kept my Father's Commandments..." (John 15:10).
God's Ten Commandments were the rule of Christ's
life. If we would follow Christ, and live His life, we must become partakers
of the Divine nature, which is the only nature that ever was or ever can
be strictly in harmony with God's eternal law, the Ten Commandments.
Faith does change our attitude toward the law. It brings us to the place where we cease to be Commandment-breakers and become Commandment-keepers. That is the very reason that Paul writes in his great faith chapter, the 3rd chapter of Romans, the words:
"Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, We establish the Law" (Romans 3:31).
How often we hear from some who profess to be Christians, the words:
"I am not subject to the Ten Commandments nor to any law."
Now it is not our purpose to question that statement, for it may be true. But we sincerely pity those who thus seek to wave aside the obligation of Christian Commandment-keeping, for it only shows that the individuals who speak thus have never yet tasted the heavenly gift of spiritual-mindedness, for Paul says:
"Because the carnal (fleshly or worldly) mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be" (Romans 8:7).
To say, "I am not subject to the law of God," is equivalent to saying, "I am still carnally minded." This is a frightful state to be in, because:
"... to be carnally minded is death ..." (Romans 8:6)
"So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." (Romans 8:8)