Pastor Barry Bruce/ The Gathering Church: This I Believe Series (Lesson 4) Law & Grace To hear this message and others go to THEGATHERINGHG.COM
The First Law Broken Genesis 2:16-17, 3:6-13
We have all heard the cliché “Christians aren’t perfect they’re just forgiven”. Ironically this cliché has actually become an excuse for some Christians to remain sinful despite the actual word of God which says: “Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy” (Leviticus 19:1-2). Holy means to be set apart for God.
The first man (Adam) did not get away with this excuse for sin nor has anyone after him and nor shall we. God told Adam “you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will surely die”. The first man disobeyed God and death resulted for him and all of his offspring thereafter. That was the first law of God broken by man and it was not excused.
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned— Romans 5:12
Like untreated cancer, sin infected and ravaged mankind—sin entered the world and became part of man’s DNA. Every child was born with sin and therefore every person sinned—the consequences of that sin has continued to result in death, because the wages (byproduct) of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and “death”, as described in the bible, is not just a physical death but an everlasting awareness and separation from God—Hell: Matthew 10:28, 2 Thessalonians 1:9. Sin can not dwell in God’s presence (Psalm 5:4) and therefore neither can sinful man.
The fact that sin brings death and separates us from a holy and righteous God is a spiritual law in the same way that gravity is a natural law. No one blames gravity for how it functions; we simply obey it or perish. The effects of gravity are obvious and so is the law of sin if we care to look. We die because everyone sins and because we sin our offspring is born into sin. Sin has literally spoiled the earth and everything in it. It has also spoiled the eternity God wants with us.
After Adam and Eve broke God’s law they hid from Him (Genesis 3:8-9). They feared Him and felt shame in their nakedness. Their relationship with God and one another was damaged. When God called Adam on his sin he blamed Eve and God for creating her. Eve blamed the serpent, but each was held accountable for the sin of breaking God’s law (Genesis 3:14-19). Even then; God would show grace: He covered their nakedness and protected them from the irreversible “forever” consequences of their fall (Genesis 3:21-24).
Bad to Worse Genesis 12:1-3, Deuteronomy 7:7-12, Hebrews 9:19-22
From Adam to Noah wickedness increased and the result was a flood of judgment and the destruction of mankind, but God would show grace to Noah and his sons. He would make a covenant (Promise: Genesis 9:8) with them and life would begin again. Life continued and so did sin, yet God showed grace again by calling out a man named Abram (later called Abraham : Genesis 17:5) and making a covenant to bless the Earth through his offspring (Isaac to Jacob, later called Israel: Genesis 32:28) Through Abraham’s lineage came the nation Israel and Jesus Christ, our Savior!
Long before the redemption of sin would come through Jesus, God would show His grace to mankind by making a third covenant with Moses and the Jews (Exodus 19:5-6) that He rescued from Egyptian slavery and brought into the land that He promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (the nation of Israel). God would choose the Jewish nation as His own because of the promise He made to Abraham (Deuteronomy 7:7-12) and for no other reason. In this covenant God gave man 1.) reasonable laws to live by (Ten Commandments: Exodus 20:3-17) and 2.) sacrificial (blood of animals) and religious laws so that they would never forget the seriousness (blood=death= eternal separation) of their sin, their agreement to serve a holy God, and His forgiveness and grace offered to them through the blood of their sacrifices. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin (Hebrews 9:19-22).
The earth continued in sin and God’s people broke His covenant with them. Their religious acts of sacrifice became meaningless. The Bible is both a record of man’s covenant breaking as well as God’s covenant keeping.
Once For All Romans 3:10-12, 23-25a, Hebrews 10:4-10,14-18
Mankind failed God, the Jews failed God, you and I fail God every day. Not one is righteous, none are holy (Romans 3:10) so God showed His grace one more time by bringing redemption through a new covenant. God set aside the old covenant to establish the new. He came down, wrapped Himself in human flesh, and presented Himself in Christ as a perfect blood sacrifice for sin, “once for all” ( Hebrews 10:10). Now anyone can be made “holy” (as commanded by God (Leviticus 19:1-2) through faith in Jesus Christ… “sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary” (Hebrews 10:18).
Fulfillment of Law Matthew 5:17-18, Romans 6:23, 2 Corinthians 6:2
God alone is holy and good. His law will be accomplished because God is just. Jesus alone fulfills the law and pays our debt of sin. Faith in Him alone is credited as righteousness. This is God’s amazing grace! Rejecting that grace rightfully condemns us to pay for that sin ourselves. The wages of sin is death (Hell) but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus. Have you received His grace? Now is the time for salvation.
For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2 NLT