Law Or Grace

Can you worship God while you eat bacon? Not under the Old Testament law because the law of Moses says pigs are unclean (Deut. 14:8). But most Christians keep some part of the law, if not about pork, then something else. They are sometimes called "yardstick Christians." To them hair has to be so long, the sleeve a certain length or the hemline no higher than a set place on the leg. In one group a person cannot wear a bow tie, in another ties are outlawed altogether.

Some places it is all right to have pierced ears, in others it is not. In one church a woman is out of place if she does not wear makeup, in another she is out of place if she does. In one church it is proper to wear a wedding ring, in another it is not. Some places you should dress fashionably, and in other places very plain. Some congregations are even taught to question your salvation if you miss Sunday School.

This is not a complaint against churches or groups that teach or believe any of these things. The purpose of this study is to identify them and put them in their proper place. So, don't get up-tight if we mention something you strongly believe in.

CHRISTIANITY?

Churches call the strange mixture of laws "Christianity." But it is not! It is the "Gospel of the Circumcision" which is men's standard of holiness mixed with Jesus' salvation. When you mix them, you end up with denominationalism. A denominational person is one who usually believes the basic concepts of Christianity plus something else.

God's present rules are found in the NEW commandment--not the OLD one.

Jesus said, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another" (John 13:34).

"For the LAW was given by Moses, but grace and TRUTH came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17).

Notice that there is a difference between the law of Moses and the grace and truth of Jesus Christ.

No one can keep the entire law. But if no one can keep all the law, by what logic would anyone try to find favor with God by keeping part of the law (Col. 2:20-23)?

After all, to offend in one point makes a person guilty of the whole law (James 2:10). Now examine your own life and see if there are situations similar to these examples wherein you are trying to find favor with God by keeping parts of the law.

Perhaps your own religious group may be trying to find favor with God by keeping some of these traditions, commandments or laws of men or Moses. Add your own items when you get the idea.

Beautiful building Church suppers Movies Discrimination Bake sale Liturgy

Dress up (down) for church

Divorce, remarriage

Dances

Laughter

Visitation

Jewelry

Building the Sunday School Military service Meat (vegetarians) Holidays

Perfect attendance Sabbath keeping Contests Images Fund drives Circumcision "Church" marriage Kosher foods Wine

Form of Communion Social work Mode of Baptism Bible study Hymn sing Tithes and offerings Long public prayers Public fasting Hats in church Beards (long hair) Work on Sunday Makeup

Add your own ideas.

"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all" (James 2:10).

No matter how beneficial these things are (or are not) they are not the way to God. There is one -- only one -- mediator between God and men, the man CHRIST JESUS.

"If then you have died with Christ to material ways of looking at things and have escaped from the world's crude and elemental notions and teachings of externalism, why do you live as if you still belong to the world? Why do you submit to rules and regulations? Such as, DO NOT HANDLE THIS, DO NOT TASTE THAT, DO NOT EVEN TOUCH THEM, referring to things all of which perish with being used. To do this is to follow human precepts and doctrines. Such practices have indeed outward appearance that popularly passes for wisdom, in promoting self-imposed rigor or devotion and delight in self-humiliation and severity of discipline of the body, but THEY ARE OF NO VALUE IN CHECKING THE INDULGENCE OF THE FLESH -- the lower nature. Instead, THEY DO NOT HONOR GOD, but serve only to indulge the flesh." Adapted from Col. 2:20-23, the Amplified New Testament, Zondervan, the Lockman Foundation (emphasis added).

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