Welcome to your introduction to the Gospel of Grace as revealed to the Apostle Paul for believers under the New Covenant.
THE GRACE GOSPEL
First of all, the Doctrine of Grace is the Good News Gospel Message of Jesus Christ! It not only points to Jesus, it is Jesus. Grace is Christ, and Christ is grace. Whoever has Christ has grace, and whoever has grace has Christ.
According to 2. Timothy 2:15, anyone who teaches the Word of God must know the Scripture well enough to make a right explanation of it to others.
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15 NKJV
Rightly dividing the word of truth means to make a distinction between what pertains to the Old Covenant and what pertains to the New Covenant.
Jesus’ death on the cross instituted the New Covenant of grace and ended the system of the Law of Moses:
“He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations.” Ephesians 2:15a NLT
Jesus specifically said he was sent to the “Lost Sheep of Israel” and He also sent His disciples out with the same command.
“But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Matthew 15:24 KJV
“Jesus sent out the twelve apostles with these instructions: “Don’t go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans, but only to the people of Israel—God’s lost sheep.” Matthew 10:5-6 NLT
But the Apostle Paul was called to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles! Since it wasn’t meant like that at first, the overwhelming grace the Gentiles were shown by also being invited into God’s salvation plan is what Paul called the “mystery of grace.” Even so, it was still God’s sovereign plan from the beginning, however a secret one.
“I was chosen to explain to everyone this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning. Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ.” Ephesians 3:8-9 NLT
“Now all glory to God, who is able to make you strong, just as my Good News says. This message about Jesus Christ has revealed his plan for you Gentiles, a plan kept secret from the beginning of time. But now as the prophets foretold and as the eternal God has commanded, this message is made known to all Gentiles everywhere, so that they too might believe and obey him.” Romans 16:25-26 NLT
Now, we know that the New Covenant began right after the death of Christ,
“The will goes into effect only after the person’s death. While the person who made it is still alive, the will cannot be put into effect.” Hebrews 9:17 NLT
and therefore, when we read the Bible, we look at it through the lens of where the dividing line is between the Old and the New Testament. We conclude that the Old Testament includes not only the books from Genesis through Malachi, but rather that Genesis through the book of John are all writings that took place before the death of Christ.
The Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, are accounts of Jesus’s earthly ministry before His death, where Jesus either addressed the Jewish people, telling them about how to see the Kingdom of God from a whole new perspective, or where He spoke to the Pharisees from the viewpoint of what the Law of Moses taught them to do.
Jesus was not speaking to the New Covenant church or giving them instructions on church matters because the New Covenant church did not exist before His death!
So, everything Jesus taught must be seen in the proper context of who He was speaking to at the time.
Understanding how to correctly place the Bible’s text into the proper context helps to clarify which teachings should be applied directly to us as New Covenant believers versus those that are not meant to be applied to us because they were statements made to people who were still living under the Law of Moses. This makes a world of difference, and it has a radical impact on how we see the Word of God.
My wife told me that growing up in the Christian church environment and going to Christian camps as a child, they taught her that whenever she sees the word “Israel” in the Bible, she could insert her own name and reread the verses as if they are meant for her. This is also how I was taught. But this is a wrong way to see the Word because it takes things out of context. That is a good example of how the church makes itself drift from sound doctrine into nonsensical and delusional beliefs that do not have any scriptural basis.
The Apostle Paul wrote about two thirds of the New Testament, thereby making him the main apostle to instruct New Covenant believers about life under the New Covenant of grace.
His teachings form the foundation of what we know as church ordinances today.
He was once a devout Pharisee who kept the Law to perfection, but once he had an encounter with Jesus, he completely abandoned his zealous Jewish lifestyle and became a transformed individual, shaped by the Spirit of God himself.
“I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault. I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done.” Philippians 3:5-7 NLT
The disciples of Jesus preached the Gospel with emphasis on repentance and baptism, but Paul brought a whole another angle of coming to Christ, which was grace-based instead of works-based. Later, the disciples also abandoned their previous lifestyles of adhering to Jewish laws, as they were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit (see Galatians 2:14).
Once you understand how to rightly divide the Word of God, the truth comes glowing out to you as you read with new glasses.
SALVATION PLUS FREEDOM FROM LAW
Many Christians who bring others to faith in Christ teach them to believe, place their faith in Christ, and confess their new faith. However, many teach the Gospel from the angle of salvation only, forgetting to include that Jesus not only purchased their soul out of an eternity in Hell, but He also purchased their freedom from the Law.
The Law of Moses is not merely a set of commandments to keep, it also represents a force within us called the “flesh.” The flesh is always in opposition to the Holy Spirit, and it always wants to drag us into sin.
“For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will.” Romans 8:7 NLT
The Law is actually what gives power to sin!
“For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.” 1 Corinthians 15:56 NLT
So, while their eternal safety is secured through salvation in Christ, Jesus also gave them victory over their flesh while they live out their lives on Earth.
“But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57 NLT
“And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” Romans 8:2 NLT
This is the part of the Good News that is often left out. Understanding the Gospel of grace is necessary to get the full package: Salvation plus freedom from the Law.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is therefore a combination of the two: All men have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Because the Law of Moses required perfect obedience to the Law under the threat of a curse and death, Jesus, who was perfect, came to Earth and willingly died in our place, taking our place of condemnation. Now we get to go free! (Romans 3:23, Galatians 3:10, Hebrews 9:12-15)
“He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.” Romans 8:4 NLT
When Jesus died on the Cross, He ended the old system of the Law of Moses and instituted a New Covenant, the covenant of grace.
“When God speaks of a “new” covenant, it means he has made the first one obsolete. It is now out of date and will soon disappear.” Hebrews 8:13 NLT
Instead of living to perfectly obey all God’s laws, we now live a life guided by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. He leads us to do God’s will every day, and He works within us to make us more like Christ.
“But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life.” Romans 6:22 NLT
When we live by the Spirit of God, we obey the “Law of Christ,” not the commandments of the Law.
“Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 NLT
“But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.” Galatians 5:18 NLT
That is why Jesus gave us the Helper, the Holy Spirit, to help us walk in love and grace every day. Not to obey commandments from the Law of Moses, but to become like Jesus, who is loving, joyful, peaceful, kind, patient, good, faithful, and can control himself.
“Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.” Romans 6:14 NLT
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Galatians 5:22 NLT
And lastly, some will say that when the New Testament part of the Bible mentions the “commandments,” it refers to keeping the Law of Moses. However, that is only the case when Jesus spoke to the Pharisees about the Law. Other than that, Jesus came to give a whole new commandment:
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” John 13:34 NLT
It would be contradictory to everything the New Testament stands for and completely confusing if Jesus came to fulfill the Law and yet we should still keep the commandments of that law!
Therefore, we understand that whenever the New Testament uses the word “commandment,” it simply means obeying the “Law of Christ” and living in accordance to God’s will for our lives. The Law of Christ is to live in love. That means, Jesus is basically saying that when you love others, you keep the Law!
“For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14 NLT
But loving others goes against our natural flesh. Only through Christ can we truly love others. It is not a love like the love of the world, although they do also love each other. God’s true love is sacrificial, patient, and full of faith and hope. That is why Jesus sent His Holy Spirit to dwell within us. He wanted to be perfectly connected with us and equip us with divine power to produce love and other good things.
“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” Galatians 2:20a NLT
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4 NKJV
THE LAW POINTS OUT SIN
Jesus clearly said that He came to accomplish the purpose for the Law of Moses. By dying on the Cross, He fulfilled all the requirements of the Law and made it complete, so to speak. By accomplishing its purpose, He made it obsolete, meaning it is not in effect as a law to live by anymore. But just because He completed the task, doesn’t mean He erased it from existence. It’s like checking off a task on your to-do list; you can still see the task written on your list, only there is a check mark at the end of the task! Jesus said,
“Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.” Matthew 5:17 NLT
So, in a way the Law is done away with, yet it still stands. However, now it doesn’t function as a rulebook anymore, but only as a billboard for sinners to know that they have sinned so they can’t wiggle their way out of being guilty before God.
“The law says these things to stop anyone from making excuses and to let God show that the whole world is guilty.” Romans 3:19b NLT
The Law is now for the record for those who keep sinning. It is a reference point for sinners.
“For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.” Romans 3:20 NLT
MAIN SCRIPTURE REFERENCES
There are so many verses that explains the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the marvelous grace of God, but here are a few of the main scripture verses we use. They prove what the true Christian life is all about; living in the freedom God’s Spirit gives and not in bondage to any of the laws of the Old Testament. These powerful verses are what we base our ministry on.
“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 NKJV
“Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When He was hung on the cross, He took upon Himself the curse for our wrongdoing.” Galatians 3:13 NLT
“For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17 NLT
“God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)” Ephesians 2:4-5 NLT
“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.” Galatians 5:13 NLT
“God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:8-10 NLT
“So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” Galatians 5:1 NLT
“For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.” Galatians 5:4 NLT
Our prayer is that you understand the massive difference there is between a Christian life of mixing Law in with grace, versus living by grace alone. We hope to illustrate that this small adjustment will make a huge difference for you, as you understand that you must reject anything that has even the smallest contamination of the Law in it. You wouldn’t eat a plate of half delicious food and half rotten food, would you?
We will show you what the Apostle Paul meant when he said,
“This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough!” Galatians 5:9 NLT
If we know what those false teachings are, we will also know how to avoid and reject them!