What Must I Do? - Part 2

Scripture: Romans 4:2-6, Ephesians 2:8-9, Revelation 5:9
What must we do to be saved? This broadcast continues a study of God's plan of salvation. We are all saved by grace through Jesus who was sacrificed for our sins. Some wonder what role the law has in our salvation? Are we no longer under the law but under grace? What does this mean?
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Today I want to continue the subject that we introduced in the last broadcast concerning God's plan for saving mankind. We talked about the tragic fall of Adam and Eve into that first sin and how Jesus offered Himself to die in their place. What a tremendous hope it must have given our first parents when they began to understand the love that their Creator had for them.

On that fateful day when sin entered Eden, Jesus came down to the garden and called to Adam, "Where art thou?" as He had often done before. Adam was hiding in the shadows, filled with terror. He thought the death hour had come. But instead of coming to kill Adam, Jesus came to save him. As Adam watched, Jesus called an animal to Him, shed its blood, and of the skin made clothes with which to cover Adam and Eve. The animal had done no wrong. Then and then alone did Adam begin to realize how terrible, how fearful, how deadly are the results of sin.

In order that Adam might live, that very day someone else must give his life. That was the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world. It was just outside Eden, outside that beautiful home, that we find the first altar of sacrifice set up. Every one of those sacrifices in the Old Testament times, every one of those meat offerings and those drink offerings, those yearly sabbath days and rituals pointed forward unerringly to Jesus Christ. Even the incense burned in the sanctuary pointed to Jesus, our Passover, sacrificed for us.

Four thousand years after that first sacrifice, that first animal that was slain, Jesus gave His life upon Calvary. That is what He meant when He cried out, "IT IS FINISHED." Jesus had paid the price; He had cancelled the debt of all the faithful of the Old Testament times. He had consummated the sacrifice for all time. For the cross points both ways, to those in the past and those in the future. Those in the past looked forward to the cross, and we look back to the cross. We are all saved by the grace of Jesus Christ.

I like the way Paul puts it in Romans 4:2, 3: "For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness." Abraham was not saved by offering a sacrifice on the altar that he erected. He was saved by faith in Jesus Christ, just as you and I are saved.

It was not by making all the beautiful plans for the temple that Solomon built that David was justified, but as it tells us in Romans 4:6: "Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works." David was saved by righteousness, by faith in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Every soul that has ever been saved was saved through the grace of Jesus Christ.

Salvation is a gift. We don't have to earn it. It is the most valuable gift of all. The Scripture says in Ephesians 2:8, 9: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." Salvation does not come from any human effort. It is a free gift without a penny and without price. It is the science of salvation that deserves our attention and our study.

In Revelation 5:9, the redeemed are pictured as standing before the throne of God, both those redeemed from the Old Testament times and from the New Testament times, singing glory to Jesus, the Lamb, "Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation." A great, fundamental truth is expressed here, the only way a sinner can be saved is through the blood of Jesus. Since the time of Adam, sinners have been saved by believing in Jesus.

If men are saved through faith in Jesus Christ, where does the Ten Commandment law come in? Throughout all the ages of controversy between Christ and Satan, the devil has sought to destroy the authority of God over man by casting the law aside and by preventing a knowledge of the truth about the law. The enemy of Christ brings this about by rejection of the law or a wrong concept of the dispensation of the law as opposed to the dispensation of the gospel.

Satan could bring in the principle of salvation through works, and prevent the functioning of the law according to God's design. The role that the law fulfills in relation to the gospel is two-fold. First, it is God's standard of what is right and true. As a standard the law expresses the mind or will of God, for in Psalm 40:8 it says, "I delight to do thy will, 0 my God; yea, thy law is within my heart." The law also declares man's duty to God, for in Ecclesiastes 12:13 we read, "Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man."

How often I have heard Christians boast that they don't care about the law of God. They hide behind Romans 6:14, "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace." They say that since they are saved by grace, through the atoning blood of Christ, they don't have to keep God's commandments at all. Have you ever heard that theory? Well, I am sure the Bible doesn't teach that.

In Romans 6:15, the very next verse in the chapter, Paul says, "What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid." The fourteenth verse has stated, "Sin shall not have dominion over us," or "it shall not be our ruler." We are not under sin, or the condemnation of the law either, when we obey God. Why? Because we are saved by grace. But does that license us to sin? "God forbid." Friends, when an individual is saved by grace, he is under greater obligation than ever before to keep the law of God.

As it says in Romans 3:31, "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; yea, we establish the law." Are we licensed to break the law of God because we are saved by grace and saved by faith? God forbid. "Yea," he says, "we establish the law." The law is firmer than ever in our lives. Who is under the law today in your city? Those who have broken it; they are under the law, and in jail. The man who keeps the law is the man who is free today. The law breaker is under the condemnation of the law.

Right here let us stop a moment and read the definition of sin in 1 John 3:4. "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." That is very clear. When a man sins he has transgressed the law. Every sinner has broken the law. What is sin? "The transgression of the law." When a man sins, what does he do? He breaks the law of God. There must be a law, otherwise he couldn't break it. We are not under the law unless we break it.

The governor of the state has life-and-death power. A man has been sentenced and condemned to die. He is under the sentence of death. Friends intervene. They present evidence to the governor, special factors involved in this case, contributing factors as to why this individual was caught in this particular crime. As the governor investigates the evidence, he feels that this man deserves clemency; so he uses his official prerogative as the head of the commonwealth. He takes his pen and dips it in the ink and signs across those condemnation papers, "PARDONED," and then signs his name.

That condemned man, my friend, has been saved by grace, not by his works or by his goodness. He was doomed to die, and being ever so good in that death cell would never, never in this world save him. That is very obvious. In other words, after an individual has broken the commandments of God, he cannot be good enough to save himself. The wages of sin is what? Death. We have all sinned, so are under the sentence of death. And there is only one way of salvation, through Jesus Christ.

Now the condemned man is pardoned. He can hardly believe his eyes as he sees the kindness, the stroke of generosity and love shown by that governor. PARDONED. SAVED. FREE. You meet the freed man a little later and he says, "Wonderful what that governor did for me, and wonderful this new freedom of mine. Now I can break the law all I like, for the governor set me free from the law and from the sentence of death. I was saved by grace." Did the governor pardon him so he could go out and become a greater law breaker? Shall we who are saved by grace continue law breaking? "God forbid." We are under even greater obligation to keep the law because we are saved by grace.

I hate to think of heaven divided into two camps. You come up to one group and say, "How did you folks get here?" And they answer, "Oh, we got here by our works. We did this and that. We obeyed the commandments, and we kept the law of Moses. We followed faithfully all those Old Testament services, and we are saved by our works." Then you ask another group, "How did you folks get here?" And the answer, "Oh, we were saved by love, saved by grace, saved by faith. We didn't have to keep the commandments, we were just saved by grace." Do you think heaven is like that?

I have heard some say, "Those commandments were only for the Jews." Then a Christian can lie and steal, and murder people, and do anything else that he pleases. Is that possible? Jesus says in John 14:15. "If ye love me, keep my commandments." It was because these were broken that Jesus gave His life. If these were to be abolished, why not abolish them before Jesus came to die? Then His death would not have been necessary.

People are always looking for bargains, for special discounts. Some churches advertise, "Come to us, we will give you a bargain, 10% off of the Ten Commandments." But will that stand in the judgment? Just because some great churches tell you that they will make it easy and only ask you to keep nine of the Ten Commandments, is that sufficient? Will you pass in the judgment day? Has any church the right to discount the commandments of God? How do we dare to imagine that we are on the high road to heaven when we knowingly break any of God's commandments?

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