Does God's Grace Blot out His Law?

What does it mean to be under the law? What does it mean to be under grace? To be under the law means to be under the guild of it, under the condemnation of it, the walking contrary to it.
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Joe Crews: Listen in case you deviate again, in case you get off the road again and miss the mark again. You need the mirror that'll show you off the track, don't you? You can never dispense with God's great law my friends. You will always need it there to show you when you're missing the mark and when you're sinning and then it will--

Speaker 1: Many Christians believe that obedience is legalism. Today, Joe Crews, Amazing Facts Crusade Speaker concludes his message on the relationship of works and faith, his subject, does God's grace blot out his law?


Joe Crews: Now let's read this verse in Romans 6:14. Once again very, very clearly. "For sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under the law, but under grace." What then? Shall we sin because we're not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Now, let me give you a little illustration here to prove without any question, that you cannot keep on sinning and remain under grace. That's the big point I want to make right here.

What does it mean to be under the law? What does it mean to be under grace? To be under the law means to be under the guild of it, under the condemnation of it, the walking contrary to it. To be under grace means that you've accepted the salvation from breaking the law from your sins and from your violation of that law and now you're walking in obedience to Him.

Let's suppose here for just a moment that somebody has been found guilty of a terrible crime, let's say murder, the very worst kind of wicked, violent murder and this person has been brought in and tried by a jury, found guilty and sentenced to death. Here's that person now waiting for the execution date to come around. This man is really under the law, isn't he? He's under the guild, under the penalty, under the condemnation and there he is now waiting for the death sentence to be executed upon him.

While he's waiting for that sentence to be executed, the governor reviews the man's case. He finds some extenuating circumstances and decides that he'll pardon this man because there are some question about his guilt. The governor sits down and writes out a full pardon, which is grace, isn't it? Now the man's guild, the man's under the law and he's waiting to die. The governor decides to pardon him, he writes out a pardon. This is grace.

The pardon arise on the prison. The man gets his hands on it, and he's a free man. He's no longer Under the law, he can walk out of that prison, go down the street. Not a policeman can lay hands on him. Why? Because he's under grace now, he's been forgiven. He's been pardoned and he walks down the street. Now tell my friends, because this man is no longer on the law but under grace, is he free to go down the street and break the law now? Can he go steal again now that he's under grace and no longer under the law? Of course not.

In fact, when you say that he's doubly obligated to keep the law now, because he has been pardoned, and because he's been forgiven, surely he is. Have you ever heard a siren behind you as you were speeding along on the way to keep an appoint? You look back and here came the police car and pulls you over to the side. The policeman comes walking up there to the window, you know with his little pad in hand, and he begins to write. Writing out a ticket because he caught you on his radar and you were speeding, no doubt about it, you knew you were, you were in a hurry, you had to get down there for some very great emergency.

You start telling the policeman about it. You explain to him that you had to be there that it was a very urgent matter and the emergency, in fact, and so you were going a little over the speed limit, but you're begging him for mercy. Right in the middle of his writing, the policeman stops, and he slowly tears the ticket out and tears it up and drops it on the ground. He says, all right, I will let you go this time, but what? What do you think he means by that? But what? Now he's giving you grace, isn't he?

You were caught, you were guilty, you were under the law, but he's going to forgive you. He's going to pardon you. He's going to give you grace, but, but what? My friends when you come under grace, does that mean now you're free to go break the law again? Absolutely not. When you're saved by grace through Christ, are you free to go back now and disobey his commandments? Of course not.

In fact, you will be so very careful never to break that law again, if possible in appreciation for what was done for you. You love that man because he tore up that ticket. You love the Lord because he pardoned you your sins. Turn with me to Romans 3:31. Now you want to see a very dramatic biblical statement on what I've just said. Here it is. Romans 3:31, Paul says, do we then make void the law through faith?

Now what is the question he is asking, do we nullify the 10 commandments because we've been saved by grace through faith? That's the question he's asking, is God's law set aside? Is it canceled out because I've been saved by grace? What is the answer God forbid, he says, yay. We establish the law, why? He says, when you are saved by grace through faith, the law becomes stronger for you. It becomes more important for you to keep the law.

"Forbid." He said, "God, forbid that you should go out there and think you can now break it just because you have become a Christian." Now, somebody might say, well, brother Joe, after we come to Christ, after the law points out our sins and brings us to the foot of the cross, where we get cleansing and pardoned, we don't need it anymore. It has fulfilled its function now, and we can go down the road without the law. We don't need it anymore. Oh no, friends.

Listen, in case you deviate again, in case you get off the road again, and miss the mark again, you need the mirror that'll show you're off the track, don't you? You can never dispense with God's great law my friends, you will always need it there to show you when you're missing the mark and when you're sinning and then it'll always point you back at the place where you can get pardon and cleansing for your sin.

Listen, you don't keep the law in order to be saved, you keep it because you are saved. You see the law points out sin, grace saves you from sin. The law is the will of God. Grace is the power to do the will of God. Now, did you follow that? Let me read you the text that actually has both the law and grace on the very same verse. It's found in Revelation, chapter 14. Revelation 14 and verse 12. Here is the patience of the saints.

Now he's pointing out God's people. He's pointing out those who are saved, here's the patience of the saved. Here are they that keep the commandments of God, there is the law isn't it? The faith of Jesus, now you have faith or you've got grace. Those who are saved my friends that are going to meet the approval of God, keep his law and they also have faith in Jesus, they're saved by grace. Law and grace in the same text.

Somebody may say, well, I thought you said though that you're not saved by works and the law isn't going to justify us, then why do we have to worry about it? Why do we have to keep it if it's not going to save us? If it don't have anything to do with our redemption. On our friends, I told you that we're not saved by works. Of course not, but are we saved without works? No, no. The Bible said that we're saved for good works.

You keep it because you're saved, that's the way you show your love, don't you think you'll love the one who saves you and forgives you and cleanses you and justifies you of course. Jesus said, if you love me, do what? Keep my commandments. Well, don't you think we should love Him, who came and lived and died for us. That's the only way friends that we really can show our love for one another.

You mothers that have little girls, if you tell your little girl day by day, "Look, honey, I want you to dry the dishes for me today," and every time you told her that she would run out the door and say, "No, I'm not going to do it. I'm going out to play." After a while you would begin to wonder if that little girl really love you, wouldn't you? You men who are sitting out there tonight with your wives by your side, I'll tell you something you just didn't talk to that little lady when you were courting her and trying to get her hand in marriage.

You didn't just talk, you did something, you took her out to eat, you brought her flowers and candy and other things and if you hadn't done that you probably wouldn't have her here tonight by your side, because faith without works is dead and I'll tell you something else, love without works is dead too. Nobody's going to believe you if you don't do something to show your love. Now, let's turn to 1 John 2:4 and read that very thing in the Bible.

1 John 2:4, this is a text I don't even like to quote because it sounds bad if I try to quote it. I like to read it exactly like it is in the scriptures, "He that sayeth I know him and keepeth, not his commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him." Isn't that something friends, that's strong. The Bible says that if you claim to be a Christian and you don't keep his commandments, your lying, you don't really love him. Well, isn't that what Jesus said? If you love me do what? Keep my commandments, of course, and if we really love him that's what we'll do.

If you find a person who claims to be a Christian and he's walking in disobedience and violation of Gods law, I'll tell you one thing, that man doesn't have a saving relationship at all with Christ. If he is willfully and knowingly walking in disobedience, he is not saved at all, the Bible says so. Jesus said, "Not everyone that sayeth to me, Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom," but he that what? That doeth, he that doeth.

Is doing important friends? Of course, it's important, for the right motive. Don't be doing it in order to win your salvation, you can't earn your salvation. Do it because you love him because he saved you and now you want to show your gratitude and your love for him because he has saved you. Do you know what real love is friends? Do you know what love is? The world today has such a shallow conception of love.

You see all of these bumper stickers going along the road. Have you noticed that? Smile if you love Jesus, wave if you love Jesus, honk if you love Jesus. Have you seen any of those things on the highways? That's a cheap idea about love, isn't it? Our Lord didn't say, "Smile if you love me or honk if you love me or wave if you love me." He said, "If you love me do what? Keep my commandments." That's realistic, that's a way to show it. Nothing else will do it. In fact, do you know what the Bible's definition of love is?

Now let's come right down to the brass text tonight. What is love? Is it just a beautiful aesthetic definition? No, look at 1st John 5 now, 1st John 5:3, "For this is the love of God." now he's going to tell us what it is, he's going to define it for us and this is the disciple of love, John, the beloved, the one who leaned on the bosom of Jesus, the one who is the warmest, the most tenderhearted of the disciples, is going to define love for us, "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments."

There it is, and my friends if you find somebody that claims to be a Christian, that claims to be saved by grace and they are willfully walking in disobedience to Gods law I'm telling you they're not under grace at all, they're under disgrace, and that's one of the worst disgraces I can think of, somebody claiming that they're living under the new covenant and that they don't have to obey the law of God.

Listen, the new covenant is the writing of God's law in the heart, isn't it? We're going to be talking about this in one of the programs soon, of course, it is. It's the writing of God's law in the heart and anybody that claims they don't have to keep that law and believes that they're still under grace and under the new covenant, they don't understand what it's all about, they really don't.

Now, let's go to a text in Romans again, Romans chapter 7 of Romans. We're going to read verse 3 and then verse 4, "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh." Now, let's pause here a moment and ask a question. What was it the law could not do for us because we were too weak in the flesh to keep it? What was the law could not do? It couldn't save us, could it? It could not justify us because we were too weak anyway in the unconverted state to obey it.

So let's read on, "What the law could not do and that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending his own son in the likeness of sin and for sin in the likeness of sin for flesh and for sin condemned sin in the flesh." In other words, now Christ came and lived in the flesh just like you and I you are here living in this world, my friends. Christ came and became one of us and he lived here a life of total obedience to his father in the same nature that you and I have. He became one of us and obeyed perfectly and condemned sin in the flesh.

Why did he do it? Look at the next verse, "In order that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit." That word "righteousness" is the Greek word Dikaioma which means literally the just requirement of the law. In other words, my friends the only way that you and I can fulfill the requirements of the law is to do it through Christ who came and lived here and perfectly obeyed that law and the power and strength of his heavenly father and he promises now to move into your life and mine and give us the power to also obey that same law. That's the only way we can do it, friends, the only we can do it.

I was invited to lecture in a seminary in this country, one of the most popular and well known in fact if I mentioned it you would know exactly what seminary it was and where it was located, but I was invited to speak to the senior theological students of that seminary on this very subject of law and grace, I'll never forget it. I found out first before I went there what they believed and what they taught on that subject and when I got up to speak I said, "Now I understand that you believe," and I read this verse by the way, in Romans 7:3-- Romans 8:3. "For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh."

I read that text and I said, "Now, I understand that you believe that the law is holy and we are carnal to understand." Therefore it's impossible for us to ever keep the law, no matter how good we become, no matter how good of a Christian we are, that we can't do it because the law is holy and we're fleshly and therefore we cannot keep it and so you believe we ought to do our best and come as far as we can in doing it obtain as much of the obedience as we possibly can and if we come up there to keeping seven, eight or nine of them, you believe that the Lord will make up the difference with his own righteousness and save us anyway.

Is that what you believe? They said, "Yes, that's what we believe." The professor there said, "Yes, that's what we believe in the seminary." When I said I don't believe that way at all and I filled up a glass on the blackboard and I said now let this glass represent the law, and we're going to fill up this law with obedience and I filled it up there about 9/10 of the way and I said, "Now you believe if I can keep that much of it then I don't have to keep the rest of it, God will make up the difference and save me even in my disobedience?"

They said, "Yes, that's right, you do your best and God will save you." I said well now friends I don't believe that I believe that your best would not even produce obedience to one. It's true the law is spiritual, we're carnal sold under sin and in ourselves, in our own strength and by our own efforts we can't even keep one of them. So forget about coming up to seven, eight or nine of them, you can't even begin to keep the first one without Christ but with Christ living in your heart you can keep 10 of them as well as you can keep one of them.

That's what God expects of us. He doesn't give us a 10% discount on the 10 commandments friends. God doesn't say if you just try your best and come up to five or six of them I'll save you anyway and make up the rest myself. No, no, God says, "Look, you can't do anything by yourself. Without me, you can do nothing but with me, you can do all things and you can obey all of them if you'll let me come into your life and live out my life there in your life."

My friends, I believe that. I really believe that and these people that try to make excuses for sin I don't agree with it. I've had people say, "Well, brother Joe I don't need the law. I don't need the 10 commandments you see I've got a conscience and my conscience tells me what's right and the Holy Spirit lives in me and the Holy Spirit is telling me what to do and how to live. I don't need the 10 commandments to tell me what's right and wrong and how to live in this life."

Those people who say that walk along their flagrantly violating one of the commandments of God. I'll tell you something my friends, If you have any question about whether you're doing something right or wrong, you better not trust your feelings to tell you whether it's right or wrong. You come to the book of God and find out what his law says. You find out what the word of God teaches as to what's right and wrong and put those impulses and those feelings aside.

You think it's the Holy Spirit I'll tell you something, the Holy Spirit is not going to speak contrary to the word, is it? In fact, the Bible says that the word of God is the sword of the spirit. That means it's a cutting edge of the Holy Spirit friends. The Bible, that's the way the Holy Spirit operates. In fact, the very first work of the Holy Spirit is to convict us of sin that's what the Bible says, "He will convince you or convict the world of sin."

What is sin? Transgression of the law, which law? The 10 commandments, so if a person is walking along they're breaking any of the 10 commandments willfully and says that he is filled with the spirit and being guided by the spirit, he is wrong. He is mistaken because the Holy Spirit doesn't abide in the life of a person who is willfully transgressing the law of God. In fact, let's go to Acts 5:32 and read a text that specifically tells us that. In Acts 5:32, "And we are His witnesses of these things and so is also the Holy Ghost whom God hath given to them that obey him."

Who God hath given to whom? To them that obey Him. My friends, the Holy Spirit only lives and abides in the life of those who are obedient. When we turn away from keeping his law the Holy Spirit cannot live there. Cannot abide there. In fact, there's a text in the Bible in the Old Testament, in the book of Proverbs, that says that a man-- Well, let's go read it. What is it? Proverbs 28, let's find it. I believe it's 28:9.

Here's another one that I don't like to try to quote because it's such a solemn serious text. Proverbs 28:9. "He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law even his prayer shall be an abomination." Isn't that terrible? If a man refuses to walk in the light of God's revealed will, in His holy law, the Bible says that his very prayer becomes an abomination before God. Here's my next question. How many of the 10 commandments do we have to break in order to be guilty of sin?

How many of them? Why of course, it's like a chain, isn't it? With 10 links and DL Moody used to say if you break one of the links, you've broken the chain. If you break one of the 10 commandments, you've broken the law of God. Come with me to James now chapter two and let's read verses 10-12. James 2: 10-12, "For whosoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend in one point he is guilty of all. For he that said do not commit adultery said also do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery yet if thou kill thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye and so do as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty."

Why this quotes right out of the 10 commandments. It says if you break one of them you become guilty, you become a transgressor, you become a sinner. If you keep nine of them and just disobey one of them deliberately and willfully, my friends, you can't be saved, because it shows that you don't love the Lord enough. You're not going to be saved or lost just because of works that you've done. You'll be saved or lost my friend because you don't love Jesus enough.

He said if you love me you'll keep those commandments. This is the reason Paul says there'll be no liars in heaven? Why? Because one of the 10 commandments says, notice it says we'll be judged here by the law, doesn't it? So speak ye and so do as though they that shall be judged by the law. If you came right up to the gates of heaven, my friends, there will be God's law thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not lie, thou shalt not commit adultery.

Paul says no liars will be there, no adulterers will be there no idolaters will be there, no covetous men will be there, no thieves will be there. Go right down the list. The Bible says none of those people will be there. Why? Because they're being judged by the law and the law will be there to test your love. Jesus said if you love me you'll do it. Oh, friends, don't you love Him, tonight? Don't you love him for what he did for you?

Aren't you willing to follow him, not to earn your salvation, you can't be saved by your works but you won't be saved without them either because Jesus said it's your works that prove to me that you love me. If you love me you'll keep my commandments. I was down in New Orleans having a crusade and by the way, that's one of the most wicked cities, I think I've ever been in to hold a crusade. While I was there I learned about an old slave market that used to exist there.

In fact, they still preserved it and they used to auction human beings in that market. I heard the story of how they were selling this old negro slave. He was very rebellious saying, "I won't work, I won't work." But two planters were bidding for him and the price kept going higher and higher and finally one of them won the bid. Then he took the old slave into the wagon and they started back to the plantation. All the way out there he said, "I won't work. I won't work," but when they arrived and got down from the wagon the planter said, "Now, listen I have bought you to make you free to turn you lose, you can go now. You're no longer a slave."

According to the story that I heard the old man fell down at the feet of the planter and he said, "Master, I'll serve you forever." Isn't that what Jesus did for us, friends? We were in bondage, we were lost, and Jesus set us free. He paid the price, he gave the redemption for us, and what do you think we ought to do? We ought to fall down at his feet and say, "Master, I love you for what you did. I'll serve you forever." That's why you and I my friends should keep God's law right now.

May God give us that love for him that we'll gladly do it. How many of you tonight would say, brother Joe, that's exactly the way I feel and that's what I want to do. Show my love for him by my obedience and by keeping his law.


On Jordan's stormy banks I stand and cast a wishful eye. To Canaan's fair and happy land, where my possessions lie. I am bound for the promised land, I am bound for the promised land. Oh, who will come and go with me? I am bound for the promised land. O'er all those wide, extended plains. Shines one eternal day. There God the Son forever reigns and scatters night away. I am bound for the promised land, I am bound for the promised land. Oh, who will come and go with me? I am bound for the promised land.


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