“We don’t have to follow the Old Testament anymore because that is legalism and we are under grace, Right?”
According to Pastor Joseph Prince, Pastor Clark Whitten and many others, we are in a new reformation – a grace revolution.
Throwing off the chains of traditions and legalism left behind from the reformation that took place five hundred years ago with Luther and Calvin.
I, for one, hope we are experiencing a grace revolution.
That which distinguishes Christianity from all other religions is grace.
The sinful heart of mankind has separated him from God and banished him to hell for eternity.
We can never become good enough through personal effort or religious activity to earn entrance back into His presence and be accepted by Him.
Yet, that is exactly what all other religions teach and practice.
The core of true Christianity is: God loves mankind so much He entered the world in the person of Jesus Christ for the express purpose of paying the penalty for sin and restoring the relationship between God and mankind.
This is distinctly different from all other faiths.
God seeking is seeking relationship with mankind according to Christianity, not the other way around. Jesus clearly said, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
It is all an expression of God’s overwhelming love.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)” (Ephesians 2:4-5 NKJV).
God’s love overflows with mercy (compassion); His mercy overflows with grace (benevolence); and His grace overflows with reconciliation (restored relationship).
We don’t deserve it. We can’t earn it. It is an absolute free gift from God; all because He loves us.
The grace revolution!
What is our response to God’s love, mercy and grace?
That is where Deuteronomy and Galatians come into the picture. What do those two books of the Bible have in common? How are they alike?
Moses is speaking to the children of Israel in Deuteronomy 6:1, “Now this is the commandment… which the Lord your God commanded to teach you…” How is that statement similar to Galatians 5:22?
The Apostle Paul told the disciples in Galatia, “But the fruit of the Spirit is…”
Both the New American Standard and the New King James translations record Deuteronomy 6:1 with the singular “Now this is the commandment…” just as the Apostle wrote to the Galatians with the singular “But the fruit of the Spirit is…”
Interesting because God gave Ten Commandments and the Apostle listed nine fruits of the Spirit.
The singular in both references are consistent with the whole of Scripture.
“Now this is the commandment… Therefore, hear O Israel, and be careful to observe it…You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:1-5 NKJV). “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22 NKJV)
The one commandment that fulfills all ten of the commandments is love.
The one fruit of the Spirit that will manifest all nine fruits of the Spirit is love.
That sounds exactly like what Jesus said, doesn’t it? ”Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets'” (Matthew 22:35-40 NKJV).
How does one express their love to God with all their heart, soul and strength?
That is the significant question of the new “grace revolution” and the subject of our next blog: 4 Ways Grace is Reflected Through the Commandments.
Learn more about the power of grace in my new book Charis- The Power of Grace