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One side says, "Salvation is by grace and grace alone." The other side counters, "That idea leads to lawlessness. God's righteous standard in the Law must be upheld." And someone else chimes in wit...
Romans 5:20 is the answer to those who think grace alone leads to lawlessness. It states, 'The law was brought in so that trespass (sin) might _increase.' Romans 6:1-7 goes on to explain it more fully in that we have died with Christ and are raised in Him again, set _free from sin. Paul also states in Galatians 3:10, 'For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse.' The antitheses to those who say grace alone leads to lawlessness are Romans 7:5 -sinful passions are 'aroused by the Law' and 1 Corinthians 15:56 ' the power of sin _is the Law'. People who believe in keeping or following the Law are trapped by legalism either having been raised that way or learning it after reaching the age of reason. They can't accept that we don't have to _do anything except believe to be saved by grace. And before someones comes back with 'faith without works', we are indwelt by the Spirit of Jesus and 'works' follow naturally because He is guiding us. A believer _wants to do good works rather than being shamed into them by taking James 2:26 as a condemnation rather than conformation of salvation through grace. The crowning verses to settle this disagreement are Ephesians 2: 8-9, ' For it is by _grace you have been saved, through faith -and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -not by _works (the Law) so that no one can boast'. (Most quotes are from the NIV.)
Without the law we would not be sinners. Paul said that when the law came it made him sin more. We can only be saved by grace because we cannot live up to Gods standard of righteousness. If Jesus had not come we would have no hope. He fulfilled the law for us. When we sin grace does abound. But we are not to use grace for license. But even when we do there is grace upon grace. Our greatest sin is not believing and trusting in Jesus to save us. He paid a terrible price for our sin. It is a debt we could never pay. It is that saving grace that makes us love Him and want to live for Him. While we were yet sinners, Chirist died for the ungodly. If salvation is not by grace then we have to earn it through good works. But Jesus said by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. The self righteous say they can live up to Gods standard without Jesus. The bible says we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. If we say we have no sin we are a liar and do not the truth. Paul said that even when we do good there is evil present with us. Jesus is grace. The best of us on our best day cannot live without sin. We do not know what God wants us to do 100% of the time all the time, and even when we do we don't. Grace is the reason we love God and people. When people sin against us we can forgive them because Jesus forgives us for our sin. We love others because Jesus loves us. We try to treat people with grace because of what Jesus has already done for us. The bottom line is that Jesus paid our sin debt in full. That is grace beyond measure. If I do any thing good it is His life in me, when I do evil, that is my own. I cannot boast in anything except the cross. If we could live a sinless life, then Jesus died in vain. Some say, well, you just want fire insurance. Amen I say. Jesus pulled me out of the flames of hell and set my feet in heaven. I owe Him my life. I wish I could love Him the way He loves me. But in my sinful flesh I cannot do it. Compared to Gods holiness, I am the most wretched vile thing that ever walked the face of earth. Thank God for Jesus who gave His life for mine.
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