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on the Mystery of LAW and
By Venerable Dr Ifechukwu Ibeme
Websites: http://www.scribd.com/ifeogo ; http://priscaquila.6te.net ;
Comment on The Chapel of Grace Blog: http://thechapelofgrace.wordpress.com
On LAW and GRACE: Clearing the confusion and getting it right…
Apostolic MAIN POINT about LAW and GRACE for ALL.
LAW = God’s Moral Commands or Mediatory Statutes.
GRACE = God’s Free Sanctifying Favour and Unmerited Saving Power.
Discerning the TWO Aspects of LAW AND WORKS Under the TWO COVENANTS.
CATEGORIES of LAW based of PURPOSES and SOURCES.
LAW, GRACE and POSTMODERNISM.
On LAW and GRACE: Clearing the confusion and
getting it right…
• God designed LAW to RESTRAIN DISORDER but NOT to save from sin.
• God designed GRACE to SAVE FROM SIN but NOT to permit disorder.
Ancient Jews mistook restraint of disorder to mean salvation from sin - LEGALISM.
Modern Church mistakes salvation from sin to mean permission of disorder -
The LAW of Moses is God’s means for bringing RETRAINED ORDER because it:
• Corrects by moral commandments.
• Condemns by civil judgments.
• Cleanses by ritual statutes.
• Constrains by deterrent curses.
• Convinces by persuasive blessings.
The GRACE of Christ is God’s means for bringing REGENERATED LIFE because it:
• Enlightens us by the Truth.
• Purifies us by the Blood.
• Empowers us by the Spirit.
• Warns against doom in hell
• Encourages towards boon in heaven
The orderly life HAS NO POWER to live the regenerated life.
The regenerate life HAS THE POWER to live the orderly life.
It is simply better, if we stop lumping things together. LAW has various meanings
in the Scriptures (God’s Word, Ritual Law, Moral Law, Civil Law or the Law of
Moses as a whole). Even WORKS also has various meanings in the Scriptures.
That is why we must distinguish between Works of the Law (Ritual Law), Works of
the flesh (Immoral acts), Works of righteousness (self-effort deeds), miraculous
Works (supernatural deeds by Divine or Demonic powers) and good Works (Spirit-
God's Word is God's Law - Ritual, Moral, Civil - with promises, penalties, provisos,
precepts, prudences, precautions and principles. We must know which of this the
Apostles speak in each case of mention of the word “Law”. God’s Law has the
moral Law of commandments and ritual Law of ordinances/statutes (Luk 1:6; Eph
2:15) and the civil Law of judgments (Lev 25:16; Deut 5:31; 6:1; 1Kin 8:58).
The LAW of Moses is God’s Covenant Testimony
Inspired Guiding Precepts which He revealed as
Ritual STATUTES and
in order to help His Covenant People walk in His
Being under the Law (biblically speaking) is about our needing the Law for
cleansing and access to God. This is purely about Ritual ordinances
(circumcision, blood-cleansing, observances, and ceremonies) NOT Moral
precepts (love, uprightness, sincerity, truthfulness).
In Christ we have His Blood for cleansing and justification; therefore to be
justified, we are no longer under any of those ritual cleansing ordinances of the
Mosaic Law as well as the cleansing ordinances of Gentile Rudiments (Gal 3; 4;
Col 2). For now, the Precepts of the Law no longer serves for cleansing but only
for the purposes of maturation in wisdom, by providing teaching, correction and
instruction (2Tim 3:15-16).
Even if we want to be under those ordinances for cleansing, they lack the power
to justify substantively, internally and eternally (except symbolically, externally
and transiently Heb 9:13-14; 10:1-4); they also lack the power to enable us resist
the Devil and keep God's Moral Precepts. Christians are delivered from these
ordinances (Jewish and Gentile) because we received the fulfilled cleansing and
justification by the Cross of Christ and the fulfilling empowerment by the Holy
Spirit. This makes Christians not only clean, but also able to walk with God
according to even higher or deeper Moral Precepts than those of the Moral Law
The Law of Moses as a temporal SIGN/FIGURE is too weak to save from the
profundity of sin because it depends only on exterior rituals on exterior flesh
(Rom 8:1-4, 9-11). The Law of Christ (Gospel of Grace) as the eternal
SUBSTANCE/REALITY is ultimately powerful to impart life both on the exterior
flesh and interior conscience to save from the profundity of sin (Heb 9:8-14).
God’s Election of Israel does not go for political Israel or natural descendants but
for spiritual descendants of the FAITH OF ABRAHAM (Rom 4:16). Even Jews are
not Jews because they are of Judean descent but because they live the spiritual
life of PRAISE TO GOD (Rom 2:28-29) even if they were Proselytes from other
nations. Christ has brought these spiritual Jews and Gentiles together to belong
to the same spiritual COMMONWEALTH of the spiritual ISRAEL OF GOD (Eph 2:12-
17; Gal 6:15-16).
Regardless of traditions or trends of old or new lopsided ideas, adaptive revisions
and presumptions, the Scriptures have left us COPIOUS, COHERENT and
COMPREHENSIVE precepts about God’s Law and God’s Grace as taught by the
1 Timothy 1:5-11
(5) Now the end of the commandment is love out of a pure heart, and of a
good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
(6) From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain talk;
(7) Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they
say, nor the things they affirm.
(8) But we know that the law is good, if a man uses it lawfully;
(9) Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the
lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and
profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for
(10) For fornicators, for homosexuals, for slave traders, for liars, for
perjurers, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound
(11) According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was
committed to my trust.
Both Law and Grace are holy, righteous and spiritual provisions divinely
(NOT Jewishly) designed (Rom 7:12-14) for different purposes but are not
mutually conflict or antagonistic (Rom 3:31): each is necessitated by the other
and none of the two hinders the other or destroys the other (Matt 5:17). Law
rewards curse or grants atonement on sin and blessing on human
righteousness but Grace releases from sin and endows with divine
righteousness so we could enjoy the blessings of the Law and much
more! Law convicts of sin but it cannot save from sin (except for temporary
outward cleansing) because it operates through carnal ordinances, means,
materials and mediators Grace saves from sin and empowers for righteousness
and so fulfils Law because it operates through eternal means, the Name and
finished works of divine Mediator, and His Holy Spirit (Rom 8:3-4; Heb 9:7-14).
Christ’s Grace goes further to provide and ensure so great a heavenly salvation
which Law was not designed to grant because of sinfulness. If salvation comes by
the power of priestly ritual works of the Law, then Christ died in vain (Gal 2:21;
Heb 7:11); and if Law was not divine commandments and ordinances (Luk 1:6;
Eph 2:15), needless for Christ to fulfil it by being born under the Law to die for
redemption of sinners condemned according to the Law (Gal 4:4-5).
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Apostolic MAIN POINT about LAW and
GRACE for ALL
Since the Garden of Eden, God's Law of RIGHTEOUSNESS or of SIN-AND-DEATH
has been written in the heart and conscience of all humankind (Genesis 2:15-17;
Romans 2:12-16) so that NONE HAS EXCUSE (Romans 1:18-20). However, it was
not until Moses that this Law became written in letters for Israel (Romans 5:12-
14). Again, God’s GRACE OF IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS has been manifested
since Eden on Adam before the Fall, on Noah before the Flood and on Abraham
before the Sign of Circumcision, but any redemptive law of PRIESTLY
MEDIATIONAL WORKS for atonement and restoration of the sinner was yet a
hidden mystery until Moses.
The Apostles clearly stated that because of scriptural revelation, the
knowledge that eternal salvation is not obtainable from personal
meritorious works of righteousness and priestly mediational works of
the Law until the coming of remission and redemption in the Messiah
(Christ) was not new to the Jews (Job 9:2-3; 25:4; Psa 130:3-4; Act 13:38-39;
Rom 3:20; Gal 2:15-16).
1. THE LAW: Eventually, God graciously revealed His REDEEMING LAW of Priestly
mediational ORDINANCES to Moses for atonement, cleansing and restoration of
Israel. Nevertheless, these temporarily redemptive WORKS BY PRIESTS under the
earthly shadow Tabernacle remain symbolic rituals waiting to be finally fulfilled
and superseded in the finished WORK BY CHRIST under the heavenly substantive
Sanctuary (Hebrews 9:9-15). This is simply the fundamental MAIN POINT of the
Apostolic Gospel, which the Gentile-minded Church has often tended to miss and
mix-up over the years.
(1) Now the MAIN POINT in what we are saying is this: we do have this kind
of high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in
(2) and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord
and not by any human.
(3) For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices.
Therefore, this high priest had to offer something too.
(4) Now if he were on earth, he would not even be a priest, because other
men offer the gifts prescribed by the law.
(5) They serve in a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of the heavenly
one. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the
tabernacle: "See to it that you make everything according to the pattern that
was shown you on the mountain."
(6) However, Jesus has now obtained a ministry that is as superior to theirs
as the covenant he mediates is founded on better promises.
(7) For if the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no
need to look for a second one.
(8) But God found something wrong with his people when he said, "Look!
The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant
with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
(9) It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors at the
time when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of
Egypt. Because they did not remain loyal to my covenant, I ignored them,
declares the Lord.
(10) For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after
those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds and write
them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
(11) Never again will everyone teach his neighbor or his brother by saying,
'Know the Lord,' because all of them will know me, from the least important
to the most important.
2. THE GRACE: God's REDEEMING GRACE was revealed temporally (but anticipated
messianically) in Moses’ shadow Law of expirable works of priestly ordinances
and filthy works of personal righteousness under the temporary shadow
Tabernacle. Finally God’s saving Grace is realized, released and accessed in
Christ’s substantively finished work on the Cross for eternal mediation under the
everlasting real Sanctuary and fruitful works through imputed righteousness.
Eternal salvation is now GRACIOUSLY GIVEN to be fully available to and
accessible by all humankind through Christ (Romans 5:15-19), Who graciously
atoned for our sins “THROUGH THE BLOOD OF HIS CROSS” (Colossians 1:20) and
Who also destroyed the power of death by His resurrection from the dead and
ascension to reign eternally at the “right-hand” throne of power in heaven
(Hebrews 7:22-27), so that NONE IS EXCLUDED (Colossians 2:20-23; Titus 2:11-
Once we are born, we OWE duty to God's Law and OWN right to God's
The consequences of what we already owe and own depend on our
chosen convictions and commitment.
All things are yours – only acknowledge these in humble faith – for
YOUR ATTITUDE AFFECTS YOUR ALTITUDE.
(6) But he gives greater grace. Therefore it says, "God opposes the
proud, but he gives grace to the humble."
(7) So submit to God. But resist the devil and he will flee from you.
(8) Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands,
you sinners, and make your hearts pure, you double-minded.
(9) Grieve, mourn, and weep. Turn your laughter into mourning and your
joy into despair.
(10) HUMBLE YOURSELVES BEFORE THE LORD AND HE WILL EXALT YOU.
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LAW = God’s Moral Commands and
“Old Testament Moral PRECEPTS OF THE LAW is God’s special aid to Human
Conscience; it gives us the standard truth for self-examination but does not give
the power against sin to obey the Law... The transient and weak Ritual WORKS
OF THE LAW have been overtaken by Christ’s eternal WORK of Salvation.”
(17) Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am
not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
(18) For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or
one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
(19) WHOSOEVER THEREFORE SHALL BREAK ONE OF THESE LEAST
COMMANDMENTS, AND SHALL TEACH MEN SO, HE SHALL BE CALLED THE
LEAST IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN: BUT WHOSOEVER SHALL DO AND
TEACH THEM, THE SAME SHALL BE CALLED GREAT IN THE KINGDOM OF
APOSTOLIC NUGGETS ON GOD’S LAW:
God’s Law works partly by His awful WRATH and severity AGAINST SIN (Rom
11:22) to bring BONDAGE to curse, damnation and death for all seared
conscience and rebellious sinners in the form of PUNISHMENT, PAIN and
The legal wages of ADAMIC SIN/OFFENCE is condemnation (i.e. JUDGMENT
and DEATH) for all according to God’s LAW and our WORKS (Rom 6:23a).
Adam introduced sin to all people and Moses revealed God’s Law fully to
Nevertheless, God’s Law and Wrath had always been partly operational long
before the Law of Moses: e.g. against fallen Adam and the deluged world
God’s Law provides symbolic ORDINANCES for temporal redemptive
atonement from sin through the mediating WORKS ministered by the
priesthood. Christ’s High Priestly mediating WORK finished on the
Cross has superseded these.
God’s Law is good not evil, but sin is evil (Rom 7:9-13).
Salvation is not to maintain us in sin and evil conscience, but to deliver us from
sin and evil conscience (Rom 6:11-15; Heb 10:22).
So we must uphold only the faith which constantly watches against and
insistently abhors sin and worldly disobedience!
(17) But thanks be to God! For though at one time you were slaves to sin,
you have obeyed with all your heart the truths found in the teaching you
(18) You were set free from sin and became the slaves of righteousness.
(19) (I use everyday language because of the weakness of your natural
selves.) At one time you surrendered yourselves entirely as slaves to
impurity and wickedness for wicked purposes. In the same way you must
now surrender yourselves entirely as slaves of righteousness for holy
(20) When you were the slaves of sin, you were free from righteousness.
(21) What did you gain from doing the things that you are now ashamed
of? The result of those things is death!
(22) But now you have been set free from sin and are the slaves of God.
Your gain is a life fully dedicated to him, and the result is eternal life.
(23) For sin pays its wage – death; but God's free gift is eternal life in
union with Christ Jesus our Lord.
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GRACE = God’s Free Sanctifying Favour with
Unmerited Saving Power NOT the Opposite
or Antonym of Law
God’s GRACIOUSNESS is His kind CHARACTER in Himself but God’s
SAVING GRACE is His GIFT of saving power through Christ, so having
the character of being Gracious is not that same as giving out the
empowering gift of Grace. As the Scriptures warn, Grace is NOT
LICENSE (Jude 1:4) to remain as we were and do the possible we could,
but unmerited saving ACCESS into God’s presence and supernatural
ENABLEMENT to do the impossible we couldn’t. It is by Grace that we
believers in Christ are redeemed from our depraved nature and brought
into His Divine Nature (2Pet 2:3-4), so we begin to live in the
supernatural of “them that are sanctified” (Act 26:18; 1Cor 1:2; Heb
2:11; 10:14; Jude 1:1).
“New Testament (Saving) GRACE is God’s full and free answer to Human
Depravity.... Christ gave us Grace when He had finished the WORK OF
SALVATION on the cross, FULFILLED the Law (Mat 5:17-20) and ESTABLISHED the
Law (Rom 3:31) for us, so that we inherit the PROMISES of the Law and much
(46) And [Jesus] said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it was fit for
Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
(47) And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his
name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
(48) And you are witnesses of these things.
(16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
(17) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but
that the world through him might be saved.
(18) He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believes not
is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the
only begotten Son of God.
APOSTOLIC NUGGETS ON GOD’S GRACE:
God’s saving Grace or Divine Power given through Christ came by His
awesome LOVE and compassion FOR SINNERS (Rom 11:22; Eph 2:3-6) to
bring for all penitent believers LIBERATION from subjugation to self, sin,
damnation and death in the form of PARDON, POWER and PRIVILEGES.
The gracious gift of MESSIANIC RIGHTEOUSNESS is salvation (i.e.
JUSTIFICATION and LIFE) for all, which Gift of God’s GRACE is penitently
received through our FAITH (Rom 6:23b).
Adam introduced sin to all people and Christ lived without sin, fulfilled the
Law, released God’s Grace fully to all people and revealed God’s Grace to the
Nevertheless, God’s Mercy and Love had always been graciously operational
long before the GIFT of saving Grace of Christ for all: e.g. for Adam before the
fall, Noah’s household, Abraham’s household (Rom 4:1-13) and Israel from
Egyptian bondage (Exod 3:7-8).
God’s Grace is not licence for the Broadway of destruction but POWER for the
Narrow and High way of life in holiness (Isa 35:8; Matt 7:13-14).
Salvation is not BY goodworks but UNTO goodworks (Eph 2:8-10; Tit 2:11-15).
So we must uphold the faith which pursues holiness and delights in goodworks
and godly obedience!
(3) For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, and wrong. We were
slaves to passions and pleasures of all kinds. We spent our lives in malice
and envy; others hated us and we hated them.
(4) But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour was revealed,
(5) he saved us. It was not because of any good deeds that we ourselves
had done, but because of his own mercy that he saved us, through the
Holy Spirit, who gives us new birth and new life by washing us.
(6) God poured out the Holy Spirit abundantly on us through Jesus Christ
(7) so that by his grace we might be put right with God and come into
possession of the eternal life we hope for.
(8) THIS IS A TRUE SAYING. I WANT YOU TO GIVE SPECIAL EMPHASIS TO
THESE MATTERS, SO THAT THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN GOD MAY BE
CONCERNED WITH GIVING THEIR TIME TO DOING GOOD DEEDS, WHICH
ARE GOOD AND USEFUL FOR EVERYONE.
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Discerning the TWO Aspects of LAW AND
WORKS Under the TWO COVENANTS.
Law of commandments and law of ordinances (Luk 1:6; Eph 2:15) as well as
works of righteousness and works of the law (Tit 3:5; Gal 3:5) are the most
muddled-up issues in the world today especially in the Gentile-minded Church.
Hasty theological lopsidedness and intemperate doctrinal polemics,
denominational preferences and divisive controversies have not allowed the
Church to serenely escape from Gentile philosophical mindset and
comprehensively discern these mysteries as the Apostles have contextually
delivered them to us in all the Scriptures.
1. The good and spiritual commands (PRECEPTS) of God’s MORAL LAW for
personal MERITORIOUS WORKS of PRACTICAL duties done BY US.
This aspect of the Law is about our RIGHTEOUS RESPONSIBILITIES which
should be conscientiously performed BY US to ACHIEVE divine
commendation. Christ has been divinely approved as our sinless EXAMPLE
in all these.
2. The good and spiritual statutes (ORDINANCES) of God’s RITUAL LAW for
priestly MEDIATIONAL WORKS of SYMBOLIC rites done FOR US or ON US.
This aspect of the Law is about REDEMPTIVE MINISTRATIONS which should
be ceremonially performed ON US to RECEIVE divine cleansing. Christ has
been divinely appointed as our endless MEDIATOR for uttermost salvation
which He accomplished through His Blood.
To avoid boasting (Eph 2:9), personal moral meritorious WORKS OF
RIGHTEOUSNESS or GOODWORKS (for both Jews and Gentiles) have no power to
EITHER EARN GRACE OR EARN ETERNAL SALVATION. Yet they are usually
rewarded with temporal or eternal prizes according to promise because these are
fruit born by us whether as works of righteousness or as works through Grace
(Eph 2:10). Christ will soon come to judge and repay everyone for every worthy
or wicked work (1Cor 3:10-17; 2Cor 5:10; Rom 2:6-11).
Priestly ritual mediational WORKS OF THE LAW or ORDINANCES (whether of
Moses’ Law or of Christ’s Gospel) have divine power to IMPART GRACE and BRING
REDEMPTION but are not usually rewarded with prize, because they are
redemptively granted without personal merit. Tenured Priests in earthly
tabernacle (under Moses’s Old shadow Covenant) offered atoning animal blood
and ministered limited figurative SYMBOLICAL grace of TEMPORAL and cleansing
for only Israel, but Christ as the Timeless High Priest of the New real Covenant in
the heavenly Sanctuary has offered His atoning Blood and guaranteed boundless
SUBSTANTIVE grace of ETERNAL salvation for both Israel and Gentiles (Heb 8:1-7;
In the Old Testament, SYMBOLIC ordinances of Moses’ Law written with Letters on
tablets of stone (for monotheist Israel) had temporary cleansing powers but
waning effect (Gal 3:19-24; Col 2:14-17; Heb 8:13). Even the carnally minded,
polytheist and atheist Gentiles who are under the wrath of ORIGINAL sin-and-
death ordinances since Eden (Gen 2:15-17; Eph 2:1-5), also have their SYMBOLIC
beggarly principalities and occultist powers as well as rudimentary superstitions
and philosophical traditions (Gal 4:1-9; Col 2:8-10, 18-23).
In the New Testament, the SUBSTANTIVE ordinance of Christ’s Law written by the
Spirit on tablets of our hearts has eternal saving powers and ever waxing effect
for not only Israel but also the Gentiles (Zech 2:11; Luk 1:32-33; 2:30-32; Rom
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CATEGORIES of LAW based on PURPOSES
LAW, to which humans have been subject (or have subjected
themselves) are of various sources according to the Apostles in Gal 3 &
4 and Col 2 (“philosopho-traditional” Col 2:6-10, “shadow-levitical” Gal 3;
Col 2:11-17 (which has both “commandments and ordinances” Eph 2:15),
“mystico-elemental” Gal 4:1-11; Col 2:18-23). Colossians 2:8 at once
distinguishes three extra-biblical sources of ordinances (human
philosophy, human tradition and elemental mystic forces), indicating
that apostolic references to Law should not be muddled up as if always
referring to one and same Law.
Christ came to sufficiently FULFIL every biblical Law and completely
NULLIFY every unbiblical Law FOR us, as well as to thoroughly FURNISH
all heavenly Grace TO us (Eph 1:3). Without Law there is no just reward,
and without Grace there is no just salvation from sin. The Gospel of
Christ does not only offer us ETERNAL SALVATION and guarantee our
KINGDOM INHERITANCE by Grace (Eph 1:11-14); but the Gospel also
saves us IN ORDER TO encourage holy life for grateful works of
REASONABLE WORSHIP (Rom 12:1-2), and enable us overcome with good
works for our HEAVENLY TREASURE (Matt 6:19-21; Rev 2 & 3) and our
ETERNAL REWARD (Rev 22:12).
Though there are three or more sources (biblical, philosophical,
traditional, mystical, etc) of ORDINANCE LAW for all Jewish and Gentile
humanity indicated by the Apostle in Galatians 3 & 4 and Colossians 2,
only the Biblical source in the Torah is authentically revealed, required
and respected by God. It is often missed that the Biblical Old Testament
temporal PROMISES to the Patriarchs and the Mosaic LAW of PENALTIES
with its outward and TRANSIENT MEDIATORY WORKS (i.e. RITUALS) by
earthly Priests (Heb 9:1-10) prepared the grounds (Gal 3) for the New
Testament inward Grace of PROPITIATION and REGENERATION with its
inward and FINISHED MEDIATORY WORK (i.e. the CROSS) by the
heavenly Christ and spiritual ENABLEMENT GRACE in Christ (Heb 9:11-
28). There are 613 Mosaic Commandments and Laws revealed in the
Torah and minor additional laws in the rest of the Old Testament.
The Church’s disregard and disdain for the Law have made most
Gentile Christians ignorant of the Law with its specificities and specialities.
This is why the Law is mainly glossed over, misunderstood and muddled
up in the Churches today. This is evident in the confusion about sin and
salvation, about works and grace, about redemption and responsibility,
about justification and sanctification, etc.
Broadly speaking, although all laws are inevitably interwoven, yet
LAWS (Israelite or Gentile) are always known to be of Ritual, Moral and
Civil categories ACCORDING TO THE PURPOSES THEY SERVE (inside or
outside the Bible). God’s Law has the moral Law of commandments and
ritual Law of ordinances/statutes (Luk 1:6; Eph 2:15) and the civil Law of
judgments (Lev 25:16; Deut 5:31; 6:1; 1Kin 8:58). This is applicable to the
613 Mosaic COMMANDMENTS and LAWS in the Old Testament
I. CEREMONIAL “works” or RITUAL Laws (STATUTES) of feasts,
Sabbaths, circumcision, sacrifices, exclusions and cleansings are
those mediated by the Priests for Tabernacle/Temple WORSHIP, all
of which are no longer possible since the 70 AD destruction of
Jerusalem and sack of Israel. Violation of Ritual Laws attracts
CURSES from God.
Such Ritual Laws with their symbolic and localised temporal means
CANNOT offer valid MEDIATORY WORKS or PROPITIATION WORKS of
Messianic Atonement and Heavenly Advocacy for the Eternal Gospel
of New Creation and the Universal Christian Church inaugurated in
the death and resurrection of Christ (Act 15; Heb 7-9).
II. CIVIL or SOCIAL Laws (JUDGMENTS) are those dealing with
GOVERNANCE, TORT and CRIME adjudicated by the State Judges
and Princes for societal harmony and peace, security and order
(even in Israel, these were further promulgated in addition to the
laws in the Torah). Violation of Social Laws attracts PENALTIES from
Such Civil Laws are not to be autocratic to lord it over the people of
the nations but humane to serve to protect natural and citizenship
rights and safety.
III. MORAL or SPIRITUAL Laws (COMMANDMENTS) are those of LOVE for
God and neighbour, of good CONSCIENCE and of FAITH toward God,
all of which are required (irrespective of atoning works of the Priests
and Tabernacle/Temple or witness/justice of the Judges and
State/Courts), to be accountably obeyed by all. Violation of Moral
Laws attracts CURSES from God.
Such Moral Laws are made more sublime, spiritual and
conscientious by Christ’s LOVE commandments which remain
unabolished and never ceasing.
It is important however to note that from the interpretation of
the Old Testament and its application to the Gospel by both Christ
and the Apostles (e.g. Act 15), Old Testament MORAL LAWS of
“loving God and our neighbour” (Mat 22:36-40) are still
immutably mandatory on the Christian believer with even greater
moral requirement (Mat 5:17-48). Under the New Testament’s
SPIRITUAL LAW OF FAITH IN CHRIST’S GRACE (Rom 3:24-31; 8:1-4;
1Cor 9:21), it is more grievous offence deserving more fearfully
fiery punishment to sin wilfully and spite the Spirit of GRACE (Heb
10:26-31). The LAW OF CHRIST (1Cor 9:21) is the LAW OF SPIRIT
OF LIFE (Rom 8:2) and the LAW OF LOVE (Rom 13:10) or NEW
COMMANDMENT KEEPING LOVE (John 13:34-35; 14:15, 21-24) in
which true believers always walk and abide as the result and
proof (NOT means) of their faith and Salvation (John 15:10-14).
The LAW OF CHRIST is the LAW OF GRACE. Grace is God’s free
grant of unmerited divine INVESTITURE on us which must not be
defiled and unmerited divine INVESTMENT in us which must yield
double dividend to God. Grace is undeserved grant of divine
PARDON and PURITY with which God ENDUES us and divine
POWER with which God ENDOWS us.
The principles of Old Testament CIVIL LAWS are still valid
patterns for State Governance and exemplary for Ecclesiastical
jurisprudence; but the Old Testament Laws of CEREMONIAL or
RITUAL WORKS are already fulfilled and have been superseded in
Christ’s SAVING WORK for all who believe in Him and now worship
God spiritually and morally but no longer ritually (Col 2; Heb 10).
Even modern Jewish “Israel” cannot keep much of such LAWS OF
RITUAL WORKS because there are no more Priests and Temple but
Synagogues which actually evolved from or replaced City Gate
Though Law is strong for moral precepts, it is weak being only external and
unable to cleanse conscience and merely transient for works of outward
PROPITIATION (Heb 9:8-14) unlike New Testament inward propitiation (Heb 10:20-
22). This is because Ritual Law is mediated by means that are not real and
eternal, but by illustrative SYMBOLIC RITUALS, multiple sinful tenured High-
Priests who needed animals for the Tabernacle/Temple that were perishable,
faulty, and handmade Shadow-copies (NOT the exact original) of the anticipated
heavenly realities (Heb 8:5-7; 10:1-11).
Grace gives POWER for moral living, it is ultimately powerful in all sufficiency for
inward regeneration and access to divine nature through PROPITIATION. This is
because Spiritual Grace is mediated by means that are real and eternal such as
real saving REALITIES, One sinless eternal Christ-Priest and needed no faulty
animals and perishable materials but the actual and exact Substance of Christ’s
sinless Body and precious Blood for actual Heavenly Sanctuary which were
copied and anticipated by the Law’s mediators, means and rituals (Heb 7; 10:12-
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LAW, GRACE and POSTMODERNISM.
Postmodernism is resurgence of age-old inexcusably godlessness in the Church
and heathenism in the Society described in the Scriptures by Apostles.
(3) Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common
salvation, it was necessary for me to write unto you, and exhort you that
you should EARNESTLY CONTEND for the faith which was once delivered
unto the saints.
(4) For there are CERTAIN MEN CREPT IN UNAWARES, who were before of
old ordained to this condemnation, UNGODLY MEN, TURNING THE GRACE
OF OUR GOD INTO LICENTIOUSNESS, and denying the only Lord God, and
our Lord Jesus Christ.
(5) I will therefore put you in remembrance, though you once knew this,
how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt,
afterward destroyed them that believed not.
2 Peter 2:1-3
(1) But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there
shall be FALSE TEACHERS AMONG YOU, who shall secretly bring in
destructive heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring
upon themselves swift destruction.
(2) And MANY SHALL FOLLOW THEIR SHAMEFUL WAYS; by reason of
whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
(3) And THROUGH COVETOUSNESS SHALL THEY WITH FALSE WORDS
EXPLOIT YOU: whose judgment of old now lingers not, and their
destruction slumbers not.
(18) For God's wrath is being revealed from heaven against all the
ungodliness and wickedness of those who in their wickedness SUPPRESS
(19) For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God
himself has made it plain to them.
(20) For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes-his eternal
power and divine nature-have been understood and observed by what he
made, so that PEOPLE ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE.
(21) For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor
gave thanks to him. Instead, their thoughts turned to worthless things,
and their ignorant hearts were darkened.
(22) Though claiming to be wise, they became fools
(23) and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images that looked
like mortal human beings, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles.
(24) For this reason, God gave them over to impurity to follow the lusts
of their hearts and to dishonor their bodies with one another.
(25) They exchanged God's truth for a lie and worshipped and served the
creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
(26) For this reason, God gave them over to degrading passions. EVEN
THEIR FEMALES EXCHANGED THEIR NATURAL SEXUAL FUNCTION FOR ONE
THAT IS UNNATURAL.
(27) IN THE SAME WAY, THEIR MALES ALSO ABANDONED THE NATURAL
SEXUAL FUNCTION OF FEMALES AND BURNED WITH LUST FOR ONE
ANOTHER. MALES COMMITTED INDECENT ACTS WITH MALES, and received
in themselves the appropriate penalty for their perversion.
(28) Furthermore, because they did not think it worthwhile to retain the
full knowledge of God, God gave them over to degraded minds to perform
acts that should not be done.
(29) They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed,
and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, quarreling, deceit, and
viciousness. They are gossips,
(30) slanderers, GOD-HATERS, haughty, arrogant, boastful, INVENTORS
OF EVIL, DISOBEDIENT TO THEIR PARENTS,
(31) foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
(32) Although they know God's just requirement-that those who practice
such things deserve to die-they not only do these things but even applaud
others who practice them.
Today’s world of postmodern paganism is angry at God for their predicaments
and rebellious against God because they learn that according to God’s Law,
righteous wrath is incurred by their sinful lawlessness and therefore abhors the
worship of the Holy and Only God (THEOSTUGEIA Rom 1:30). This new
heathenish vogue that detests any responsibility for their wrong-doing
is the product of rebellious hatred against parental discipline by
“boomer” youths since the hippie countercultural movement in 1960s
in fulfilment of 2Tim 3:1-5.
(1) You must realize, however, that in the last days difficult times will
(2) People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful,
arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
(3) unfeeling, uncooperative, slanderous, degenerate, brutal, hateful of
what is good,
(4) traitors, reckless, conceited, and lovers of pleasure rather than lovers
(5) They will hold to an outward form of godliness but deny its power.
Stay away from such people.
In Postmodern hippie culture and philosophy nothing should be called
wrong or sinful; the only detestable wrong is when one says that
someone else is wrong. Postmodernists are not angry at their sins but angry
at God’s Law and every absolute standards of morality and truth or any “father
figure” that would point their sins out or frown at it; yet it is NOT God’s good
Law BUT our evil sins that messed us up before God (Rom 7:7-13). Postmodern
heathenish existentialism and agnosticism have become a press-gang driving
the Church so hard to deny the divine revelations of Scripture, confuse the truth
about Law and Grace to end up derailing into lopsided fallacies of antinomianism
and libertinism that has progressively worsened both Church and the world by
The old Platonist classical culture hailed asceticism as the means to spiritual
actualisation and ecstasy so the Church of the Middle Ages preached legalism
and “gospel” of salvation by rigorous works and human capacity to keep the Law
without the help of Grace. The now Postmodern hippie culture hails hedonism as
their means for self actualisation and happiness so the present age Church
preaches libertinism and “gospel” of passionate pleasure and Grace without Law.
Without God’s saving Grace there was no offer for the Platonist to believe in and
thank Christ for; and without God’s moral Law there is no sin for the
Postmodernist to repent from and die to with Christ. When will the Church quit
this childish cultural to and fro tossing dance and become mature to the measure
of Christ that preaches the full Gospel and the whole of God in its four
dimensions? (Act 20:27; Eph 3:18; 4:13-14). Law PRESCRIBES the divine
configuration of righteousness while Grace PERFORMS the divine
upgrade of justification and regeneration! Law TASKS your ability but
Grace EQUIPS you with God’s own ability.
The saving Grace of Christ’s Cross is primarily the divine power that destroys sin
and endows holiness (Rom 6:11-15). Postmodern “Christianity” would promote
the preaching of power to overcome diseases, failure and poverty but not power
to overcome sin; rather silence should be kept about sin and holiness because it
makes the proud, rebellious and sin-loving Gentiles feel angry, depressed and
The post-evangelical “Church” of postmodern culture teaches the lie
that SOBER WATCHFULNESS against falling into sin and to ensure
CONTRITE PENITENCE are the same with sin consciousness (Heb 10:2-
4); they rather think and teach that SEARED CONSCIENCE – wilful
refusal to examine one’s life with Scriptural law and terrible wrath
against sin (1Tim 4:1-2; Jude 1:4) is a better virtue! But SIN
CONSCIOUSNESS is not watchfulness to avoid the evil of wilful sin and
the terror of falling into the hands of the living God (Heb 10:26-31) nor
is SIN CONSCIOUSNESS the same as contrition for any unconfessed sin,
rather SIN CONSCIOUSNESS is the fact of BEING UNSURE OF DIVINE
PARDON for the penitent or the FEELING OF LOSS OF DIVINE PARDON for
sins already forgiven. Post-evangelicals would teach people to confess
positively about being healed being able to do all things and about getting all
things but nothing like positively confessing about sinning no more or being holy.
Thank God, we have the true precepts of divine revelation COMPREHENSIVELY
taught in the Scriptures that we need no false presumptions of unfruitful
(8) For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God:
(9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.
(10) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works,
which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.
(11) For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,
(12) Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should
live sensibly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
(13) Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the
great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;
(14) Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity,
and purify unto himself a people for his own, zealous of good works.
(15) These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no
man despise you.
Law is God’s judgment statute therefore it prescribes and ensures appropriate
reward for every good or bad work but cannot qualify us for Grace; this still
remains valid beyond Rev 22 and final judgment even till eternity. Grace is God’s
free gift and therefore cannot offers reward for any good or bad work but can
only bestow abundant blessings as well as abundantly equip us for good works
that guarantee good reward; these have always been valid before Gen 1 and
initial creation even from eternity.
Law is unnecessary for sinless existence but necessary for sinful existence (1Tim
1:9) and offers good help (e.g. CONVICTION, CORRECTION, CONDEMNATION,
and CONVERSION) but limited by our fallen sinful flesh and mortal nature (Rom
8:3) which can do no good if not graciously helped by the Holy Spirit (Rom 7:18-
19). Grace is necessary for all and offers better help (e.g. CONVERSION,
DELIVERANCE, PARDON, and POWER) being unlimited in spite of our sinful
and mortal nature.
Law is weak because it is mediated by temporal and temporary means that are
not eternal, such as illustrative SYMBOLIC RITUALS, multiple sinful tenured High-
Priests and needed sacrificial animals and Tabernacle/Temple that were
perishable, faulty, and handmade copies or Shadows (NOT the exact original) of
the expected heavenly realities (Heb 8:5-7; 9:8-14; 10:1-11). Grace is powerful
because it is mediated by means that are eternal such as real SAVING REALITIES,
One sinless eternal Christ-Priest and needed no faulty animals and perishable
materials but the actual and exact Substance of Christ’s precious Body and Blood
and actual Heavenly Sanctuary which were copied and expected by the Law’s
mediators, means and rituals (Heb 7; 10:12-18).
For Law, the past matters much “the souls that sins shall die” and the future too
“behold I come quickly, and my reward is in my hand”. For Grace, the past does
not matter much “I count all things dung”, “I am crucified with Christ”, but the
future does “I press toward the mark”, “the [gracious]gift of God is eternal life in
Christ”, “it is no longer I that lives but Christ lives in me”.
Contravening the Law can veil our hearts from knowing Grace yet conforming to
the Law cannot secure Grace; Christ came to fulfil Law (removing every veiling of
Grace) and to pour out every Grace in heavenly places which we could never
Grace as a free gift cannot be a reward for whatever good or bad work but
provides abundant favour for all who acknowledge the need of Grace. Our
salvation is by Grace but our rewards (in fulfilment of Law) are for our good
works enabled by Grace of Christ.
<<Back to Top>>
Updated June 12, 2014
by Ven. Dr. I. U. Ibeme
Copyright © PriscAquila Publishing, Maiduguri, Nigeria.
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