So if sanctification is by grace through faith, then what about all the commands in the new testament?
What is the purpose of the law? Does the law work the same way for a christian as it does for a non christian?
"Through the law comes knowledge of sin." Romans 3:20
"The law was our guardian until Christ came." Galatians 3:24
The law is a sign to lead us to Christ, to lead us to the cross. I believe that the law works in tandem with the gospel. The law prepares you for the gospel. Is the law just the 10 commandments? I think that is what I believed for much of my christian life. I had also believed that the purpose of the law was only for non christians to lead them to Christ for the first time. I have been asking the Holy Spirit to teach me and He is showing me that the law is any command. There is law in both the old testament and the new testament. There is gospel in the old testament and the new testament.
People in the Old Testament were saved in the same way as they were in the New Testament. Law did the same thing as it does for us. They understood that through the blood sacrifice system that sin is not washed away by mans performance but by shedding of blood.
So what does that mean? When I read a command in the New Testament, what is my response? Typically, my response when I saw problems was to jack myself up, to try to get it together and try harder. Then I realize that my good works are like filthy rags to him. He is not impressed when I try harder because I do it in my own strength instead of use that law to lead me to the gospel.
When I read in the law that I should not covet and I am coveting, then I know that I need help. I know that I need the APPLICATION OF THE GOSPEL, not the application of grit, determination and will power. I need an experience with God's supernatural mercy to make me what the law could never make me.
Do we really believe that apart from Him we can do nothing? Apart from His Spirit living in us and His power working through us, we can't accomplish anything. A few weeks ago, I was involved in an outreach to the homeless of Minneapolis. Typically, when I see a homeless person, I do not have this overwhelming sense of love for them that I believe Jesus would have. Sure, I can serve them, be nice to them and try to love them, but I do it in my own strength. The week leading up to this event, my prayer was "Jesus, I can't love these people like you love them. You tell us to love one another. What we do for the least of these, we do for you. I acknowledge that in my own strength, I can be nice to them but it is not your love pouring through me. I need an impartation of your supernatural love. Let me be an empty vessel that can be used to love these people. Love them through me." When we acknowledge that apart from Him, we can do nothing, that is when His power can work mightily through us. As the day came, and the people walked up, I immediately started crying with tears of compassion and love for these people that I had never met. I wanted to know everything about them, I would do anything for them. I can assure you, THAT WAS NOT ME!! It was the Holy Spirits supernatural love being poured out on these people that He desperately loved and wanted them to come into relationship with Him.
Any command in the New Testament (law), should lead us to the cross as we acknowledge that we need a Savior. We can't love without Him. We can't serve people without Him. We can't encourage people without Him. We can't pray for people without Him. Let us truly be lives surrendered down, trusting that the Holy Spirit wants to do the work for us. Yield into Him. Allow Him to work through you. We need the gospel DAILY!!!
"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives His life through me." Galatians 2:20