The Cornerstone of Christian Doctrine

Romans 3.21-31 serves as the cornerstone of New Testament Christianity. The cross, as depicted in Romans 3.24, symbolizes the embodiment of God's grace. Salvation is not earned through works but received as a gift through faith. This understanding dismantles the misconception that salvation can be achieved through personal goodness or acts of service. Salvation is not a product of human accomplishment but a result of placing trust in (depending on) the finished work of Christ on the cross. The benefits of salvation are applied personally through faith in the blood of Jesus. He accomplished our salvation, and our faith is the expression of our trust in His redemptive work on our behalf.

Does Grace Nullify God's Law?

Some avoid embracing the doctrine of grace because they fear that it may not effectively discourage sinful behavior. There's a prevailing concern that grace implies a lack of obligation to engage in good works, potentially leading to a lifestyle of indifference, self-indulgence, and complacency. Such fears do not align with the truth of God's Word. In fact, the doctrine of grace should never be seen as a license to neglect God's moral law or live a life devoid of holiness, Romans 3.31; 6.1-2.
Contrary to the misconception that grace encourages sin, it places a serious obligation on Christians to refrain from sin. Grace actually highlights our divine calling to live uprightly and righteously in the sight of God. Furthermore, it demands that we crucify our old, sinful selves and embrace a life of righteousness, Galatians 5.24-25. It calls us to discard the ways of the world and embrace a renewed, Christ-centered existence, 2 Corinthians 7.1. This transformation is not a mere suggestion; it is a divine imperative, 1 Peter 1.15-16. Christians bear the obligation to uphold God's moral law, John 14.15. This responsibility is not diminished but rather intensified under the grace of Christ, 1 John 2.1-6.

The Empowering of the Holy Spirit

Grace does not exempt us from God's standards; instead, it empowers us to meet those standards. God accomplishes this by the presence of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 3:16 reminds us that we are strengthened with power in our inner being through His Spirit. In the pursuit of righteous living, we are not left to fend for ourselves. While Philippians 2:12 emphasizes the need to "work out our own salvation with fear and trembling," this work is not alone. Philippians 2:13 reassures us that it is God who is working in us, both to will and to work according to His good purpose.

Saved to Fulfill the Law

We must recognize that salvation by grace does not imply an indifference to God's law. On the contrary, we are saved to fulfill the law, to walk in obedience to God's righteous standards. The doctrine of grace is not a dismissal of our responsibilities but a divine enablement to live in accordance with God's will. God has empowered you to walk in holiness, guided by His Spirit, motivated by a deep love for our Savior. True faith reveals a living and transformative relationship with the One who justifies, redeems, and sustains us.
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Matthew Allen

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