Hebrew Roots/Restoration/Grace & Law/Salvation
SALVATION BY GRACE
Salvation is provided through Yeshua the Messiah solely upon the basis of His grace and not upon any attempt of ours by any means whereby we might hope to attain God's standard of righteousness. Man was created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26) which was according to His own righteousness, and that is the standard of righteousness which He has ordained for man and by which He measures man. Adam's disobedience caused mankind to become a 'fallen' creature who cannot regain that original glory of God in which he was created.
The scripture says that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23)
"As it is written, there is none righteous, no not one;" (Romans 3:10)
"Therefore just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all have sinned" (Romans 5:12)
It is the state of spiritual death into which we are all born that causes us to be unable to attain God's standard of righteousness. All of our good works originate out of our fallen self-nature and are unable to redeem or transform us, nor are we able to bring about a regeneration of spiritual life, to renew our fallen nature. We are spiritually dead and without hope, apart from the mercy and grace of God.
"But God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) ... "
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." (Ephesians 2:4, 8)
It is His grace that has made it available, it is our faith that makes it our possession.
"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord, Yeshua the Messiah, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." (Romans 5:1-2)
"For if by the one man's offense death reigned through one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Yeshua the Messiah." (Romans 5:17)
All of God's gracious promises to us are accessed through faith. Our standing with Him is based upon His grace and not upon our own efforts. Therefore to obtain that which He has promised, we must exercise our faith to receive it. It is also only by faith that we receive an impartation of the righteousness of God - it is a free gift given to us in Yeshua so that we might reign over sin, and walk in His ways.
THE LAW AND RIGHTEOUSNESS
The Law was set in place to define the standards of God's righteousness for man so that sin could be identified. It exposed sin as sin (Romans 7:7-13), whereas previously, before the Law was given, man was dependent upon the honesty of his own conscience, which isn't reliable as an unbiased judge upon one's own actions. So, with the giving of the Law, clear identification was given to things which had not been addressed previously.
"For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law." (Romans 5:13)
Sin was in the world before the Law was given but the Law was added to impute sin, not to save us. "But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident: for, the righteous shall live by faith" (Galatians 3:11)
"Know that whatever the Law says, it says to those who are under the law [lit. in the law], that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin." (Rom. 3:19-20)
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us" (Titus 3:5)
The scripture is clear that by the "deeds of the law", our "works of righteousness" or obeying the Law, no one is justified or made righteous with God. The Law leads us to acknowledge our sin and seek His mercy and grace. Then, by faith in the Sacrifice He has provided, we can be cleansed from our sin.
"Is the Law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! for if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law." (Galatians 3:21). But the Law was never intended to do that. The Law was given because of their transgressions and to instruct them in righteousness; as a pattern for righteous living of what Yahweh expected of them, not as a means of salvation, but as a way for a people in covenant relationship with Him to live, and how Abraham himself lived before the Law was given (Genesis 26:5)
Obeying the commandments in one's own efforts, will not make one righteous because the Law in itself is unable to impart life, but being made righteous through faith in Yeshua's atonement for sin, and receiving an impartation of His life, will enable one to be able to walk in obedience to the commandments of the Law.
THE PENALTY OF THE LAW
Adam brought sin upon his descendants and through sin, the death penalty upon all mankind. Salvation for mankind therefore, could only be through paying the death penalty for sin. The Grace of God required that a substitute for man be found and so animal sacrifices were given as a means for sinful man to release his faith in the promised atonement for sin until the One came who would be the perfect and complete Sacrifice for sin.
The penalty of death reigned before the Law was given, even though there was no identification of it (Romans 5:12-14) and death continues to reign over all who are outside of Christ - they are still under the penalty of the Law. His death was to atone for all from the time of Adam who did not have the Law, as well as those who were given the Law. The Law increased the accountability of those who received it to seek salvation and forgiveness for sins committed, rather than it excluded those before it was given of any accountability.
"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons". (Galatians 4:4)
Because He was born into Adam's race, He also was born "under the law" so that He could redeem those who were "under the law". This terminology has been taken to mean those under the Mosaic covenant, to whom the Law was given. But Paul is speaking to Gentile believers here as "we", being the ones who were born "under the law", that is, under the penalty of the Law. He is not speaking to Jewish believers as being "under the law". If he were meaning under the law-system, the Mosaic covenant, then redemption would only be available to those under that system - they would be the only ones "under the law", that Yeshua came to redeem. It would then even exclude all the patriarchs who were not "under the law". But that is not what Paul is saying here.
The term being "under the law" means all who were born under the death penalty of the Law, from Adam to Christ, because all outside of Christ are under its penalty, and He came to redeem all mankind.
"Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us" (Galatians 3:13)
The Law itself is not a curse but the curse results from breaking the Law. The curse of the Law is the outworking of the death penalty as a result of sin. "For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse"...... because man is unable to keep the Law perfectly, without defection (Galatians 3:10-12; Hebrews 7:19).
Yeshua took that upon Himself to release us from the curse of the Law in it's penalty upon us.
Therefore those who desire to be justified by the "works of the law" after they have been saved by grace, put themselves back "under the law". In other words, by attempting to be righteous by keeping the Law, they put themselves back under the penalty of the law which they will incur for not keeping the Law perfectly. By so doing, they negate the work of grace in their lives, no longer being "under grace", but "under law".
As Paul said, "he is a debtor to keep the whole law, you have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by the law, you have fallen from grace." (Galatians 5:3b-4)
Grace delivers the believer from the jurisdiction of the law, works bring one under the power of it's curse.
But being not "under law" but "under grace", does not exempt one from the standards of God's holy Law.