The Law and the Gospel
by Heshimu Colar
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” The fear of death, or the just consequences of breaking God’s law, brings us into bondage. You fear God, see yourself as unworthy of His promises, and entangle yourself with tears, works, prayers, and anything else the devil can deceive you into doing in order to please God.
He knows your looking away from the finished work of Christ will never give you power to perform any good thing. This is nothing but bondage. Yet, the Lord Jesus Christ, by His death on the Cross, has delivered His brethren from all fear; The power of newness of life is to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness (Rom 4:5).” True faith confesses utter depravity, receives the Lord Jesus Christ, rests from all attempts to earn favor with God, and freely approaches the Father through the Son. All of the righteousness ever needed is imputed to the weakest believer by faith. In fear, saints and sinners vainly struggle to bring something to God. In faith, saints delight themselves in the death of Christ, feast upon His Blood and Righteousness, and draw nigh unto God by Him. Slavish fears of God are vanquished, and hope in the absoluteness of His grace reigns. God is reconciled unto us by His Son, and the more we are able to see the completeness of our acceptance in the Beloved, the more we will delight ourselves in the richness of God’s Grace.
The law, when truly used by God the Holy Spirit, only convinces you of your sin. (Rom 4:15) “Because the law worketh wrath…” The laws claims, condemnation, and the guilt it produces, works wrath in everyone it truly touches. God’s elect are already “…children of wrath, even as others (Eph 2:3)”, meaning our natural thoughts towards Christ the Light are horrible enmity. When the Law reveals this woeful condition of sin, then we are all the more hell-bent in rebellion. We do not naturally see our sinfulness and bow humbly. Instead, we get angry with God because He’s holy and we’re sinners. We get angry because we cannot DO anything to relieve our condition. Often we vainly attempt to somehow suppress our guilt and shame by putting away our Bibles and refusing to seek the Beloved, but there is no remedy from sin IN sin. The murmuring spirit of the lost Israelites in the wilderness journey is an illustration of the unbelief of all flesh. Some people boasts that if they could just see a miracle, then they would believe… but even following the great Exodus, national Israel was only more hardened and deceived. The Lord led them into places where there would be no water to test and see what was in them. Rather than humbly asking their Deliver and Lord to simply provide for their thirsts, they frequently desired to murder His prophets and return to bondage. This is the natural inclination of the flesh under the conviction of the law and the painful exposure of our own weakness.
Yet, Christ is the Truth who sets sinners free. “…If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:31-32).” He pulls back the scales from our darkened eyes and reveals who the Father is in truth. He sent the law into the hearts of His elect, not because of cruel anger… but in sincere love. You were a slave of sin, and you didn’t even know it until the law made you to feel your need for Christ. “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law… (Rom 7:7).” You would have continued in the snare of the fowler until awakening on day to be judged and sent to hell. But, Christ came to your convicted heart in the Gospel declaring that the curse of God found its remedy in His own precious soul. Now, you know that your every tear was shed to bring you to Christ, and now that you believe Him, you are no longer under the law (Gal 3:23-25). The Law demands righteousness, and you look to Christ crucified saying, “His righteousness is mine.” The Law demands atonement for your every sin; you look to the Cross saying, “Jesus paid it all.” The Law always demanded love; you behold Christ in the Gospel and love is stirred in your soul to the fulfillment of the law. Jesus loved perfectly to bring us to God, and we love according to the measure of faith as evidence that we are the elect of God indeed. But, my brethren, all of these things are worked in us as we are brought to see the Truth of our redemption according to the eternal purpose of God’s grace.
Heaven will be nothing more than the full enjoyment of God according to what Christ has already purchased for us on the Cross. We will see God as He truly is… delighting Himself in His people for whom He has provided all things. His glory is wiping away the tears that we have caused for ourselves (Rev 21:4). No, Christ will not die a second time to bring us before the Father in this state of utter acceptance. Nothing shall ever be added to the work He’s already accomplished on the Cross. Most simply, the day will come when we’ll lovingly know the Father even as He already lovingly knows us. “For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known (I Cor 13:12).” In heaven’s glory, faith will give way to sight, hope will bow to reality, and love will abide forever. We will see God’s face, and His grace towards us in Christ Jesus the Lord shall be most clearly revealed. Every fear will vanish like morning clouds pierced by the sun, and we will finally know the love of Christ without the hindrances of wicked unbelief, vanity, and pride.
Yet, my brethren, in this life of faith, I bid you to take Christ at His word believing the works He’s accomplished for you. Our God is totally reconciled to us through the death of His Son, and we most honor Christ by boldly coming to the Father by Him. “… For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil (I John 3:8).”
Whenever you see yourself as utterly sinful, rather than wallowing in misery, you MUST look to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and give Him glory by BELIEVING. The best thing to do when under the convicting hand of the Law of God is submit, humble yourself, confess that indeed you are a sinner (and an even worse sinner than you could ever imagine), but, the Lord Jesus Christ has paid it all (I Pet 5:6-7).
I don’t want to speak peace to myself, BUT when I see peace for sinners revealed in the Gospel, then I must flee the dungeon of despair by faith, believing that Christ has opened the door for me. Similar to a prisoner who awakes to see his shackles are off and the prison door is open. Run man! And run especially fast when the Judge has promised to leave the door open for someone unworthy. Yet, you say, “I’m not worthy.” Did you hear what the Judge said? Deliverance is for someone unworthy! Flee to Christ. Don’t doubt His promise. Lay hold of the grace set before you, and thank Him for grace you BELIEVE you’ve received. By His righteousness, sinners have a right to Liberty and Peace.