Faithlife Sermons

How Salvation Works Pt. 4: Grace Produces Good Works

Notes
Transcript

Intro

Should Christians keep the Law?
To ask it another way: Does the Law still matter for Christians?
The relationship between the Law and the Gospel is one of the most poorly taught and misunderstood doctrines for Christians today.
Charles Spurgeon said “There is no point upon which men make greater mistakes than upon the relationship which exists between the Law and the Gospel” (Reisinger, The Law and the Gospel, xv).
Most Christians don’t even know what to do with the Law.
We are not under the law but under grace is about as far as their theology goes, so because of this, most Christians ignore the Law altogether.
Who needs the Law? It doesn’t saves us. Why do we need to know it or care about it?
Its just a bunch of weird commands that don’t apply to us anyway. All we need to know is Law bad, Grace good.
But the Bible says the Law is holy, righteous, and good. And the Bible also says all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable to equip us for every good work.
God wants Christians to understand the Law and what it says about him, us, and living a godly life.
Without a biblical understanding of the Law and Gospel we are missing out. We are missing out on the glory of God’s grace and the beauty and joy of a holy life.
According to the Bible, the the Law and the Gospel go hand in hand.
The more we understand the Law, the more glorious God’s grace in the gospel becomes.
And the more we understand the gospel and all God did to save us, the more we delight in God’s Law to live a joy-filled and holy life.
If we are going to praise God for all he’s worth in Christ and live a holy life to the glory of his name, we need a biblical theology of the Law and the Gospel.
So is the Law still relevant for Christians today? Does God expect Christians to keep the Law? Those are the questions I want to answer today.
So let’s start in Titus 3:8 with point number 1...

I. The Law Tells Us What Good Works Are

Titus 3:8 The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.
Paul starts by writing The saying is trustworthy. What saying?
The saying is what Paul had just said. Its the gospel!
He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:5-7).
So after laying out one of the clearest proclamations of God’s grace in Christ, Paul says Titus, I want you to insist on these things.
Paul says, Titus I want you to stress the gospel. Proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ and God’s glorious grace in him as often and as loud as you possibly can. Why?
So that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works.
Paul wants Titus to keep the gospel front and center in the churches on Crete so that the Christians there would be careful to devote themselves to good works.
And notice the effort and intentionality Paul assumes in the life of the Christian. They need to be careful to devote themselves to good works.
This doesn’t happen automatically. There is clearly a diligence and effort Paul has in mind for believers who are striving to live a godly life.
Its not passive. Imagine if it was translated like this: vigorously pursue good works. That is what Paul has in mind.
But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, we need to ground this in Paul’s argument.
Paul is clearly not saying, Titus make sure the Cretans do good works so they can be saved, or do good works so they can be good Christians.
He already said, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness.
Paul is specifically saying those that are to vigorously pursue good works are those who have believed in God.
Paul assumes holiness and a godly life:
Number 1. The goal of the Christian
Number 2. motivated by God’s grace in the gospel.
That’s why he wanted Titus to insist on these things. The more Christians know and treasure all God did in Christ to save them, the more they want to live a godly life and do good work.
And number 3. Empowered by the Holy Spirit.
A godly life and good works are working out what God is working in us by the regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.
So if the sermon last week was You can live a holy life by the power of the Holy Spirit, this week the message is You must live a holy life by the power of the Spirit.
A true faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ will always, hear me, always produce the fruit of obedience and good works.
Faith without works is dead (James 2:17). Faith that has no life and power because its a faith that is not connected to Christ and the power of his resurrection.
As Bible believing Christians, and its very important that we understand this, works always follow faith.
We are not saved by our works. We are saved by God’s grace through faith.
But that doesn’t mean works are unimportant in our salvation.
While works don’t save us, they are the necessary fruit of salvation. They are the evidence of genuine, saving faith in Christ.
That’s why James says in James 2:24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.
James is not contradicting Paul. James is saying Faith, that doesn’t produce any good works isn’t faith.
Its false faith. False belief. Genuine faith always produces the fruit of good works and genuine faith in Christ is the only thing that forgives our sin and justifies us before God.
And Paul himself says this same thing.
In Ephesians 2:8-9 Paul says For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. And that’s usually where people stop.
But Verse 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
So you see, biblically, God’s grace through faith in Christ, if it is a genuine faith always bears fruit in good works.
Now that brings us a very important question that we will spend the rest of this sermon focusing on: What are good works?
They are obviously important.
Good works are works that honor God, but what works honor God? How do we know what God wants us to do to honor him?
Are good works just religious activities? Things like going to church? Abstaining from alcohol? Or if you’re a good baptist never dancing?
Is it loving your neighbor? Even the world seems to say that’s important.
But what does that love look like? Is it acts kindness? Just being nice to other people? Do we just need to start affirming everybody and their lifestyle because the world says we hate-filled bigots if we don’t?
Let me go one further. Do you need to wear a mask? Do you need to get a vaccine? Isn’t that loving your neighbor?
Without an objective standard for what Paul means when he says good works, we have no hope to live out the gospel. We have no hope to live out God’s amazing, saving grace in Jesus Christ.
We will end up being tossed to and fro by the doctrines and traditions of men instead of living all of our lives according what God says What are good works?
The Heidelberg Catechism, one of the earliest Reformed Catechisms written in 1563 says this:
Question 91: But what are good works? Only those which are done out of true faith, conform to God’s law, and are done for his glory; and not those based on our own opinion or human tradition.
The Catechism is clear. Good works are not defined by our opinion or human tradition, by what we think is good.
Good works are works are those done out of true faith to the glory of God in obedience to God’s Law.
When HC Talks about the Law it has in mind the 10 commandments, but as we will see the 10 commandments are really the summarized, condensed version, of all God’s Law.
Now before you start wondering if I’m a legalist trying to put Christians under the burden of the Law like the Judaizers and false teachers in the New Testament, remember Paul’s context.
One of the things Titus is working against on Crete is Jewish false teachers who are trying to pervert the gospel and the grace of God by saying if anyone wants to be saved in Christ they need faith + works.
They need faith in Christ, plus they need to keep the Law or else they won’t be saved.
Well how is that different than what I’m saying? I mean, Paul himself is starting to sound dangerously similar to these false teachers by saying we need to be careful to devote ourselves to good works.
Isn’t that what the False teachers are saying? That we need to keep the Law? I mean verse 9, right after this, specifically says these false teachers quarrel about the law.
How do we navigate this?
We need to remember the order of salvation. We are not saved through faith in Jesus plus a bunch of obedience to the Law.
We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.And from that grace, God renews us by the Holy Spirit to free us from our slavery to sin and disobedience to now obey him in Christ.
To keep the Law out of loving gratitude for salvation and not a means to try to earn our salvation.
Good works, obedience to the Law, is the fruit of salvation. Not the cause of salvation.
But inevitably someone will say. Ok. But we aren’t called to obey all the Laws anymore. If we were we could never eat pork or shellfish. And We would still be offering animal sacrifices. Those Laws are irrelevant to us!
The Law for the Christians now is to just Love God and Love neighbor. That’s what good works are now! Christians aren’t under the Law of the Old Covenant. We are under the Law of Love!
But let’s look at that passage. A Lawyer comes to Jesus to test him and asks, Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?
And does Jesus say, Oh. Well the Law doesn’t matter any more. I’m here to fulfill all that. Its not important you can just forget about any of those commands from the Old Testament, because all you need to do now is believe in me.
No. He said Matthew 22:37-40 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
So far so good. But then what does he say in verse 40? On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.
That’s all the Old Covenant. That’s all Testament means. Covenant.
Jesus is saying that Love God and Love Others is just a summary of all the other commandments in the Bible.
So according to Jesus, how Christians love God and love neighbor is by keeping the Law. By Doing good works.
The question isn’t whether God expects Christians to keep the Law. Believers are saved for good works. Works God prepared beforehand for us to walk in them (Eph. 2:10).
The question is how does God expect us to keep the Law? What role does the Law play in the gospel, salvation, and the life of the Christian?
Because that is the key. And that is where most Christians are ignorant of what God actually expects from those that have been justified by his grace.
But before we can answer that, we need to look at two pitfalls of the Law and the Gospel. And that’s point number 2.

II. Two Pitfalls of the Law and the Gospel

Romans 6:14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
Two pitfalls of the Law and the Gospel have plagued the church from the very beginning.
Those two pitfalls, those two unbiblical understandings of the Law and the Gospel are Legalism and Antinomianism.
And both of those pitfalls, are rampant in our culture today, and both of them are answered in Romans 6:14.

Legalism

Let’s start with Legalism.
Legalism is essentially the belief that righteousness comes through the Law. That we can save ourselves and make ourselves acceptable to God through our good works.
Ultimately legalism is just faith, not in Christ, but in our own self-righteousness.
And you get legalism two ways.
One way, is by religious scruples. Traditions and commandments of men. We typically call this being religious, and not in the good way.
So these are things God’s Word hasn’t commanded, but men have said this is what holiness looks like. Don’t drink, don’t dance, like the Pharisees set up a bunch of fences in your life so that you don’t even think about coming close to breaking the Law.
The other form of legalism is by looking to the Law for our righteousness, both in our justification and our sanctification.
That if our good deeds outweigh our bad deeds God will forgive us.
Its where our hope and our righteous standing before God are not in Christ and his perfect keeping of the Law, but our hope is in ourselves and how well we keep the Law.
But it doesn’t stop there. Because the Bible is so obvious that we are saved by grace and not by works, what happens people will say, Yes. Yes. Yes. I’m not saved by works of the Law. But God’s love for me is dependent on how much I keep the Law.
The more I obey, the more God loves me.
So the argument goes that we are not justified by our works, but we are sanctified by our works.
Here again is self righteousness.
Because if God’s love for us is dependent on what we do, then ultimately our faith is in ourselves and our self righteousness, and not in Christ and his perfect righteousness.
And Let me tell you an even more subtle form of legalism. HOPING IN THE LAW TO SANCTIFY US
In this way, legalism also relies on the Law for the power to live a godly life.
This is where all a Christian wields as a weapon against sin and temptation is the Law.
Don’t look at pornography. Don’t yell at your kids. Don’t lie. We look at the commands and think, those will save me from my sin.
Instead, the Christian looks to Christ and says, Christ is worthy. He has saved me. He has forgiven me. I’m a new creation and through him I’m no longer a slave to my sin.
But here’s why legalism will never work. the Holy Spirit Clearly says in Galatians 2:16 We know that a person is not justified, is not counted righteous by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ.
Legalism is a fools errand. The Law has no power to save either in our justification or our sanctification.
The only thing that saves us and reconciles us to God is not our obedience, not our legalism, it is only the precious blood of Christ.
And the only way to be covered in that blood and wash your sins away is by God’s amazing grace through faith in the sinless life, sacrificial death, and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.
No amount of human effort or striving, no amount of our self-righteousness will wash away even one sin.

Antinomianism

And ironically that foundational truth, the very core of our Christian faith, is twisted and abused to create the other pitfall of the Law and the Gospel: Antinomianism.
Anti means against, Nomos is Greek for Law, so Antinomianism means against the Law.
Basically the argument of Antinomianism is because Christians are saved entirely by God’s grace there is no need or expectation for a Christian to obey the Law. The Law doesn’t matter.
There is no standard of Christian living and holiness. God forgave you in Christ, and God will always forgive you in Christ so it doesn’t matter if you keep on sinning.
It doesn’t matter how you live. It doesn’t matter if you’re holy. God will forgive you anyway.
This false teaching completely ignores the fact, that once justified by God’s grace in Christ, God calls and expects believers to be holy.
Peter quotes the Law from Leviticus in 1 Peter 1:16 saying You shall be holy, for I am holy as the reason why Christians are to be obedient to God and holy in all their conduct.
And John said in 1 John 3:9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning.
Antinomianism is a plague. Yes. God will always forgive you. This side of glory we will stumble and fall into sin. And when we do we can confess our sins and God will forgive us.
But that doesn’t mean Christians don’t need to be holy. Not to earn salvation, like the legalist says, but because God has given us salvation.
Christian liberty and freedom does not mean we are free to live however we want.
Christ does not free us from sin so that we can sin. Christ frees us from sin so that we can keep the Law.
Romans 6:1 Are we to continue in sin that grace by abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it.
Grace frees us from sin. And if sin is lawlessness, that means Grace frees us from lawlessness to keep the Law.
And as I said, Romans 6:14 answers both of these pitfalls.
For the legalist, we are not under the Law but under grace.
By under the Law, Paul means under the Law as a means of salvation. The Law cannot save us. The only thing that saves us is God’s grace in Jesus Christ.
The only thing the Law contributes to our salvation is knowledge and condemnation of our sin.
It doesn’t have the power to save, but it does have the power to damn sinners to hell.
The Law says we are sinners, and puts us under a curse for that sin. The wages of sin is death.
But through faith in Christ we are no longer condemned under the Law, we are saved and justified under God’s grace.
Now the antinomian will say See! Doesn’t matter! The Law is meaningless for the Christian and obedience is not necessary.
But look at the first part of that verse. For sin will have no dominion over you.
In other words sin will not reign over you. Why? Because Christ now reigns over you!
And how do Kings reign? How do Kings establish their authority? Their Law.
So Paul is saying, because you have been saved by grace, you are now free from the tyranny of sin to obey Christ. To live out our lives according to his Law and his reign and give all of our lives in obedience to him.
Now, I’m obviously not saying we keep the Law as a means to salvation like the Judaizers and False Teachers of the New Testament.
We have torn apart that erroneous use of the Law throughout this whole sermon.
That is another gospel and those that teach it are accursed.
But in salvation we are freed from sin and lawlessness to obey God and live with Christ as our King!
How then do Christians keep the Law? What does that mean? What does that look like?
Does that mean we should be offering animal sacrifices? Keeping the feast days? Stoning adulterers, homosexuals and disobedient children to death?
How do Christians keep the Law as people who not under the Law and its condemnation but under grace?
And that’s point number 3...

III. Christians Keep the Law In and Through Christ

There is a Christian use of the Law.
Contrary to the legalist the law does not save us, make us holy, or make God love us anymore.
And Contrary to the antinomian the Law is not irrelevant for the Christian life.
The question we need to ask is what is the Christian use of the Law?

The Reformers 3 Uses of the Law

According to the Reformers there are 3 Christian uses of the Law.

1. Civil Use

God’s Law tells us how he designed the world to work.
So a Government should take God’s Law which governs his creation, and use it to make laws to govern their own nation.
Now that doesn’t mean, I believe you should take the Old Testament Law and just drop it on every single country.
Israel was a Theocracy and the specific laws related to how Israel governed as a nation passed away with the nation of Israel.
But the principles of those civil laws are still relevant today.
The civil laws of the OT are case laws that show how a nation should apply the 10 commandments as a country, both for the good and blessing of its citizens and to restrain evil in society at large.
You might call this General Equity Theonomy. But that’s a sermon for another day.
Basically the closer a nations laws line up with God’s Law the better off that nation will be because that’s how God made the world to work.
The second use of the Law for the Reformers was its...

2. Pedagogical Use

The Greek word Pedagogos was a slave who took a child to school and tutored them. So they were a teacher, leader, guardian or guide.
And Paul says in Galatians 3:24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.
The Law shows us our sin, and in showing us our sin drives us to Christ.
So the Law is meant to cut through all of our self righteousness. James says Whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it (James 2:10).
The Law convicts and condemns in hope that we might turn to Christ for forgiveness and grace.
This is why you don’t have grace without Law, and the Law becomes a crushing burden without grace. Law and Gospel go together.
Finally, the third use of the Law, the Law is the...

3. Rule of Life for Believers

According to the Reformers we are freed from the curse of Law and its condemnation, but that doesn’t mean we are free from the Law as a way of life.
The orthodox view of the Law and the Gospel is that God saves people by his grace in Christ, frees them from sin and works in them to obey his Law out of love and gratitude for Christ and His sacrifice.
Jesus himself said, If you love me, you will keep my commandments (John 14:15).
Calvin thought this was the most important use of the Law for the Christian. Its a guide and instruction for how a believer saved by God’s grace ought to live.
And because Paul said Christians are to be careful to devote all their lives to good works this is the use of the Law is what I want to focus on the rest of this sermon.

The Law as the Rule of Life

How is the Law the rule of life for believers?
To answer that you need to understand the three types of laws given in the Old Testament.
Now it is not right or proper to draw a hard line between these Laws. As you’ll see these are all tied together, but historically the church as understood the Law to consist of three parts: The ceremonial, civil, and moral law.
The Ceremonial laws are laws regarding Jewish worship. Feast days, sacrifices, food laws. How the people of Israel were supposed to worship God.
The Civil or Judicial laws are laws that governed Israel as a nation.
So these are laws that deal with what do you do when someone steals? How do you handle property laws, taxes, and crimes. Things like that.
Then you have the moral law otherwise known as the 10 commandments.
And here’s how these three fit together. All the laws the ceremonial, civil, and moral law are the Word of God. They are all authoritative.
But among them, the moral law is preeminent. Not in regards to authority. But in regards to foundation.
Think of the Moral Law as the foundation of all the other laws.
The ceremonial and civil laws, are God given applications of the moral law.
What are the first four commandments?
You shall have no other gods, You shall not make any idol or carved image, you shall not take the Lord’s name in vain and you will keep the Sabbath day holy.
All of these commands are about worshiping God and God gave all the ceremonial laws to show Israel just how to do that.
What about the civil laws?
Think of the civil laws as case laws. We do the same thing today. How does this law work itself out in this particular situation? What’s the precedent.
And all the civil laws showed Israel how to apply the last 6 commandments.
Honor your Father and Mother, you shall not murder, commit adultery, steal, lie, or covet.
The ceremonial laws showed Israel how do you love God, and the civil laws showed Israel how do you love neighbor which is a summary of what the moral law says.
And lest we forget, this Law, all this Law points to Christ and his Kingdom.
The Ceremonial law points to the King’s Salvation and Grace.
The Civil Law points to the King’s Justice.
And the Moral Law points to his Holiness and Righteousness.
So here’s what I want to argue.
A lot of people, meaning well, will draw an arbitrary line between the moral law on one side, and ceremonial and civil on the other.
And they’ll say The moral still applies. Everything else is irrelevant because of Christ. But that’s an oversimplification.
What I want you to see is because of God’s grace in Christ, Christians are now free and have a duty to keep all the Law in and through Christ.
The difference is, we don’t keep it like the Judaizers and false teachers who taught that we need to keep the Law as a means of salvation relying on our own self righteousness.
We keep the Law in and through Christ who fulfilled the Law on our behalf relying on his righteousness.
As Paul said in Romans 3:31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.
All the Law applies to us. The question is: is how?
How do Christians uphold the Law and live out the Law under grace in Christ?
We are going to fly over these but I want to give you some examples of how the Law works itself out in the life of the Christian.

Ceremonial

All of the ceremonial laws pointed to and were fulfilled in Christ.
Hebrews 10:1 For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.
The author of Hebrews calls the ceremonial laws a shadow. And in Colossians 2:17 Paul calls the food laws, festivals, and Sabbath Day a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.
Here’s what that means. All the ceremonial laws were really about Jesus. They foreshadowed him.
That’s why Christians don’t offer sacrifices anymore. All of the sacrifices pointed to and were fulfilled in Christ.
It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins, only the precious blood of Christ can give eternal forgiveness (Heb. 10:4).
In fact, to offer sacrifices like this would actually be blasphemy and denigrate Christ and his work.
This even helps with some of the Laws Christians are embarrassed about but don’t know how to answer, like the food laws.
You’ve seen it. You say that homosexuality is wrong according to both the Old and New Testaments and someone immediately asks, “Well do you eat pork or shellfish?”
If you do, you must not care that much about keeping the law.
But what does Jesus say about food laws? Its not what goes into someone’s mouth that defiles a person.
All the food laws talk about food being unclean to the people of Israel.
God was showing Israel that even in their diet they were to be holy to him.
Well how are Christians made holy? We are holy in Christ which is why we are no longer required follow the food laws as written. They pointed to and are fulfilled in Jesus.
So how Christians keep the ceremonial law is in Christ. Worshiping Christ. Following Christ. All of those laws were fulfilled in him, and he is now how we keep them.

Civil

What about the civil laws?
Should Christians uphold and keep them?
Hear what the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith says:
To Israel He also gave various judicial laws, which ceased at the same time their nation ended. These laws no longer obligate anyone as part of that institution. Only their general principles of justice continue to have moral value (19:4).
We do not keep the laws themselves, but we do uphold the general principles or the general equity of those laws.
Remember the civil laws are just case studies, applications, of how we love our neighbor from the second table of the 10 commandments.
Let me just give you two NT examples of how the general equity of the civil law is still beneficial for Christians today.
In cases of church discipline or if charges are being brought against an elder, you are to have two or three witnesses. Where did Jesus and Paul get that?
The Law! That’s Deuteronomy 19.
Or how about this one. In 1 Timothy 5 Paul says Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.
Paul. The one who time and again says the Law has no power to save talks to Timothy about paying pastors and quotes an animal husbandry law of the Old Testament.
Now does Paul follow that up and say Now I know the law doesn’t matter and its all done away with? No. He quotes another law and says the laborer deserves his wages.
Paul uses the general equity of an animal husbandry law of not muzzling the ox while it treads out the grain to say churches should pay their pastors and by extension Christians should pay their workers.
So no. Christians are not bound to keep the civil laws as written. But the principles behind them show us how to love our neighbor and give us a rule and guide for Christian living.

Moral

Finally the moral law. The 10 commandments. Now we don’t have to do much work here because we all believe Christians shouldn’t murder, lie, or commit adultery.
Everyone knows breaking one of the 10 commandments is a sin, and will always be a sin.
So let me just say this. All 10 commandments are repeated and upheld in the New Testament. They are still binding on Christians.
Even the 4th commandment to keep the sabbath holy, which some people argue isn’t still binding on Christians is repeated and upheld because according to Hebrews our Sabbath rest is found in Christ, and Keeping the Sabbath holy and resting from our work looks like believing in him.
In fact, Christ explicitly upheld the Law. In the Sermon on the Mount Christ said didn’t come abolish the Law and the Prophets but to fulfill them. Instead of abolishing it, he actually strengthened it.
For Christ, obedience to the Law is not just about external actions, but its about the internal affections of the heart.
Hate your brother? That’s murder. Lust after someone who is not your spouse? That’s adultery.
But in the New Covenant, God gives us new hearts that love his Law more than our sin.
In Christ, because God has saved us by his grace, we can actually obey God’s moral Law from the heart.
And what did Christ say obedience looked like? Love God and love others.
The two commands on which all the Law and the Prophets rest.
In and through Christ, Christians uphold the Law.

Christ

So when it comes to the relationship between the Law and the Gospel, think of it like this.
God still accepts us according to the perfect standard of his righteous law.
The difference is, he accepts us on the basis of Christ keeping that Law, not us.
We are law breakers. In our sin, we are under a curse for breaking the Law.
But Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.
So God accepts us on the basis of Christ and Christ alone. And how Christ can bear your curse is only if you put your faith in him. Repent of your sin and believe in Christ.
Jesus fulfilled the law by obeying it perfectly on our behalf.
He also fulfilled the law by bearing our curse on the tree, and dying for us in our place for our sins.
In Christ, God upholds his holy, righteous, and good law so that God could be just against our sin punishing our sin as we deserve, and at the same time the justifier who declares us righteous in Christ because Christ himself is our righteousness.

This is how Christians keep the Law in Christ.

Through faith we are united to him, and Christ keeps the fullness of the Law on our behalf.

But being justified in his grace, Christians also now keep the Law through Christ

We have been freed from sin.
In the New Covenant God writes his Law, the same Law we’ve been talking about, on our hearts and gives us new hearts with new desires.
He forgives our sin and fill us with the Holy Spirit who regenerates and renews us into the image of Christ.
In other words, the Holy Spirit works in us to make us holy like Jesus.
Paul said it this way in Romans 8:3-4.
Romans 8:3-4 By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Through Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Christians are free from their slavery to sin so that we might obey Christ and keep the Law to the glory of God.
That’s Christian liberty. That’s Christian freedom. And that is carefully devoting ourselves to good works.
This is why the Law doesn’t save. Because even keeping the Law is a work of God’s grace in the heart of the believer who is being renewed day by day into the image of Christ.
And what does Christ say about the Law? Psalm 119:97 Oh how I love your law.

Conclusion

A true understanding of the Law and the Gospel shows us the glory of Christ, the sinfulness of man, and the grace and love of God in saving sinners when there was nothing they could do to save themselves.
And because of that grace, Christians are free to live a life of joyful obedience and devote themselves to good works.
This is the last message of a four part series on How Salvation Works.
First God saves us solely by his grace in Christ.
Then through faith God makes us born again, new creations, and fills us with the Holy Spirit to renew us and empower us to put our sin to death and follow Jesus.
Then, finally, through Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit we live a holy life because...

God's grace produces the fruit of obedience in the life of the believer.

Let’s Pray

Scripture Reading

Psalm 119:105-112 Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
106  I have sworn an oath and confirmed it,
to keep your righteous rules.
107  I am severely afflicted;
give me life, O Lord, according to your word!
108  Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O Lord,
and teach me your rules.
109  I hold my life in my hand continually,
but I do not forget your law.
110  The wicked have laid a snare for me,
but I do not stray from your precepts.
111  Your testimonies are my heritage forever,
for they are the joy of my heart.
112  I incline my heart to perform your statutes
forever, to the end.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ps 119:105–112.
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