GRACE TO GROW
Crucified with Christ
Jerry A Collins
· When should we publicly rebuke another believer?
· How does someone become a hypocrite?
· Does the law play any role in my life today?
A third century rabbi counted 365 prohibitions and 248 positive commands in the OT Law of Moses. David reduced them to eleven in Psalm 15. Isaiah turned them into six in Isaiah 33:14-15. Micah 6:8 binds them into three commands. Habbakuk reduces them all to one great statement: The just shall live by faith! For us today, that is the truth of it. We are not saved by the law nor are we sanctified by it. We are saved by faith in Christ and then must live by faith in Christ. The commands of Christ, the NT, are to be applied by faith. To insist on either a justification or sanctification by works will nullify the grace of God and pervert the very gospel we claim to believe. However, we will always have to fight the tendency to either demand others or rebuke others based on our personal convictions, preferences or perspectives rather than the principle of God’s Word. It was difficult for Peter and the others he misled this way.
1. DONT DENY OUR ONENESS IN CHRIST BY YOUR PREFERENCES
only basis of our relationship with one another and our fellowship with each
other is solely on an understanding of the written Word of God. When we replace
that with our preferences or our convictions we place on arbitrary standard on
our oneness and that is sinful. Peter the apostle stood condemned 11-13 This
conflict happened in gentile territory, in the city of
2. OUR PREFERENCES COMPROMISE THE GRACE OF THE GOSPEL This is the principle reason that set Paul off and created a public and personal confrontation with Peter. The gospel in practice had violated the gospel in principle!
(1) Inconsistency 14 Peter was Jew, he lived like a gentile, at least during his stay in
(2) Superiority 15-16 From a Jewish perspective, gentiles were inferior because they did not possess the law so the gentiles were sinners who needed the Jews help to become righteous before God vs 15. But the point is that the Jews forsook this very law for justification by faith vs 16. Making gentiles adopt Judaism, OT law-keeping as a means of pleasing God, was a way to preserve their supposed superiority over gentiles. But noone is justified by the works of the law. Only thru faith in Christ Jesus. Just as the Jews had done 16b. If Jewish xians are saved in exact same way the gentile xians are then there is no claim to any kind of spiritual superiority. And Peter has completely misrepresented the gospel of grace and led people astray from the truth! The law can only reveal your need it cannot take care of it. It is like washing yourself with dirty soap! You are only a fool if you believe that after using that soap you are now clean.
(3) Misunderstanding 17-18 It is true that in order to be justified in Christ necessary to abandon faith in law as means of deliverance 17a. Then become sinners in sense of being reduced to level of gentile and sinners vs 15—so both gentile and Jew must admit their sin to be justified in Christ. It does not follow tho that Christ then becomes an agent of sin-in sense of promoting wrongdoing. In other words, since justification eliminated law it encourages sinful living—so xian must return to that law to live godly life. But to do so vs 18 would only demonstrate you are a sinner—a lawbreaker since it cannot be kept which is what Peter’s actions were demonstrating and misleading.
(4) Futility 19-21 In Christ one dies to the law 19 so it can no longer condemn him. Powerless to live righteously under it he is now free to live to God. It is utter futile to try to become righteous under something which a person has died to. Now he is able to live a new life by faith not by works 20. Christ now lives in me and I live a new life by faith in the Son of God. Returning to the law only makes sin inevitable. The law was never intended to saver not to sanctify. So there are only two choices 21; (1) I can live by faith in Christ and experience it’s grace or (2) I can strive for righteousness under law. But what you cannot do is buttress faith by law-keeping. If the law was sufficient to save or sancitify then Christ’s death becomes needless. God’s grace is either all or nothing.
(1) We are not to be vascillating in doctrine or practice. (2) Under law it is impossible to live to God. (3) Under grace the goal is to live to God not licence to sin. (4) We do not crucify ourselves-Christ was but we live by faith. (5) The gospel must be applied personally ‘I’ vs 20.