In the same way that a veil over the face of Moses hid the glory of God from the children of Israel when he descended from Mount Sinai, the fact that the law would be superceded at a later date through the coming of the Messiah was also veiled; nor was His death, burial, and resurrection revealed to them. Without this veil they would have never endeavored the many attempts to keep the laws of Moses.
The Purpose of the Law
It must be kept in mind when studying Scripture that the law never made anyone righteous before God. The law was simply a stop-gap method used to reveal the impossibility of man being able to do that which was required of God. Because of the purpose of the law, God demanded obedience to it. The law revealed man’s need to be rescued from himself and from the judgment of God upon sin. It is only as man tries unsuccessfully to be obedient to the law which he cannot achieve that he begins to then search for deliverance from that which is working within him – sin which draws its power from having the law to strive against reveals to every man the inability to escape its power.
In the book of 2 Corinthians 3:5-17 we find two kinds of hearts/minds, one in bondage under attempted law-keeping and the other at liberty in Christ. The latter reveals and proclaims the glory of Christ’s finished work while the former denies the total efficiency of His work by reducing His death, burial, and resurrection to being no more than an assist to those trying to achieve their own righteousness. Those in the liberty of Christ know that His presence with the Father establishes their righteousness forever before God Almighty! These two conditions of man exist on a personal level for every man or woman on the planet.
Whatever we think, it does not alter the absolute truth. I speak to professing atheists and those who would add works to the salvation offered by God through Christ’s finished work and sacrifice that they are no different as to what both profess – an attempt to rob Christ of His glory, which is an impossibility except in their deluded hearts/minds.
Sanctified by His Blood
What does scripture say “Of how much sorer punishment, do you suppose he is thought worthy of who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and counted the blood wherewith He was sanctified an unholy thing, and has done despite unto the Spirit of Grace.” The blood shed sanctified all mankind who put their trust in Christ. Every man or woman in the world has the option of choosing to be sanctified through believing the record that God gave of His Son. For as the fifth chapter of 1st John states “for this is the witness of God which he has testified of His son. And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in the son.”
Earlier in this same chapter we see it’s faith in the fact that we are born of God that is our victory, and not by our behavior as concerning our overcoming of the world. Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God! Grace and the blood of Christ are inseparable. There are no works of man involved. 1 John 5:8 shows the agreement of the Spirit of God, the Blood of Christ and the body of Christ upon the earth, for when His body was pierced with the spear water flowed out from His body which had been made in the likeness of sinful flesh. This is God’s record – My works nor yours are found in this establishment of grace through the shed blood that provides atonement for all who trust exclusively in this finished work for their salvation.
Now would be a good time to go back to the scripture in Hebrews 10:7 to see if you can wedge your works or anything you might achieve in between the ” I who came in the volume of the book as it is written of Me to do thy will O God” and “God’s Will” of verse 10 in the same passage. There are many who ignorantly claim righteousness based on their zeal for God, though not according to knowledge as those found in the first few verses of Romans 10. Law and Grace simultaneously can not lay claim to any person upon the planet. Law always and only demands death, Grace always demands that Law step aside.
A look at what it is to embrace the Spirit of liberty, as well as understanding how doing so is honoring Jesus and His completion of the work He came to do is essential if we are to please God the Father in our walk. Liberty is a multi-faceted element in our behavior; liberty frees from bondage to something, but it also frees us to something. We are now free from the compulsory enslavement to sin which is the state of all unsaved mankind, as Romans 6:20 reveals when we were servants of sin, we were free from righteousness. But now being made free from sin, we have become servants to God.
Part 4 will examine details of liberty in Christ and show the contrast to the mosaic law.