By Edwin & Sophia Christiaan |9/1/2022 | www.instituteoflove.net/thegracegospel
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 command-ed, 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 saw 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 lifestyle 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.
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 all the difference in the world for you, as you understand that you must reject anything that has even the smallest contamination in it. You wouldn’t eat a plate of half delicious food and half rotten food, would you?
MAIN SCRIPTURE REFERENCES
There are so many to pick from, but here is a list of some of the main scripture verses we use in explaining the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the marvelous grace of God. 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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
“For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.”
John 1:17 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 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. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Galatians 5:13-14 NLT
"The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin's control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 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 8:3-4 NLT
"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