Nothing But the Truth

I spoke today with a new friend. Our conversation centered around the true nature of the gospel, grace, and our freedom in Christ from our sins. It’s a conversation I’ve had a lot lately, and I’ve come to believe there is HUGE misunderstanding among believers about what the gospel really is. I won’t even be scratching the surface, here. Instead, my hope is that God, by his Spirit, will use the following to bring understanding. I pray he’ll do the teaching instead of me…

The Old Covenant Law Was to Point Us to Something Better

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
– 1 Corinthians 15:56

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.
– Romans 3:19

So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.
– Galatians 3:24

The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming– not the realities themselves.
– Hebrews 10:1a

These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
– Colossians 2:17

For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
– Romans 8:3-4

By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.
– Hebrews 8:13

The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.
– Hebrews 7:18-19

For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.
– Hebrews 10:1a

Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.
– Romans 3:20

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
– 2 Corinthians 5:21

He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant– not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?
– 2 Corinthians 3:6-9

Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed.
– Galatians 3:23

But now that you know God –or rather are known by God– how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by [the law] all over again?
– Galatians 4:9

For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death.
– Romans 7:5

It is Finished! The Work of the Cross

But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer.
– Acts 3:18

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.
– Colossians 2:13-14

Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
– Romans 10:4

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.
– Ephesians 2:14-16

For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.
– Romans 7:5-6

But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.
– Galatians 4:4-5

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
– Romans 8:1-2

For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law.
– Hebrews 7:12

Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our need– one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.
– Hebrews 7:22-26

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. “Everything is permissible for me” – but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me” – but I will not be mastered by anything.
– 1 Corinthians 6:9-12

Grace is Not a License to Sin

“Everything is permissible” – but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible” – but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.
– 1 Corinthians 10:23-24

The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
– Romans 5:20-21

Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?
– Romans 2:4

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
– Romans 6:1-4

If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin– because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
– Romans 6:5-7

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
– Romans 6:8-10

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.
– Romans 6:11-12

We are No Longer Under the Law

But now that you know God –or rather are known by God– how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles?
– Galatians 4:9a

These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar… But what does the Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.
– Galatians 4:24, 30-31

We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers…
– 1 Timothy 1:9

For if those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless, because law brings wrath.
– Romans 4:14

All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”
– Galatians 3:10

So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God.
– Romans 7:4

Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
– Colossians 2:20-23

But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.
– Romans 7:6

For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.
– Galatians 2:19

The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, “The man who does these things will live by them.”
– Galatians 3:12

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
– Galatians 5:1b

You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
– Galatians 5:4

Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.
– Galatians 3:25

But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
– Galatians 5:18

For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.
– Romans 3:28

For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
– Romans 6:14

How Should We Live Without the Law?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
– Galatians 5:22-23

Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.
– Matthew 16:24-25

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope– the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ…
– Titus 2:11-13

For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
– Romans 1:17

This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.
– Romans 3:22

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
– Romans 5:1-2

The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.
– Hebrews 7:18-19

Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
– Romans 13:10

So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
– Galatians 5:16-18

"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
– John 17:20-23

Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.”
– Galatians 3:11

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
– Hebrews 11:6

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
– Galatians 5:6b

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
– John 15:5

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14 thoughts on “Nothing But the Truth

  1. Dan I appreciate your zeal for things true, and of God. However I must point out that the “work of the cross” accomplished nothing in and of itself. It was not “finished” at the cross. The cross was the tool used to prepare the sacrifice that would pay for the sins of those whose names were written in the book of life before the foundation of the world.

    But if Jesus had died on a cross and that’s ALL he did, sin would not be forgiven. As I said, the work of the cross finished nothing. It did not wash sin away, and it did not change the nature of man. For that, the sacrifice had to be made, and the law had to be written on men’s heart through the holy Ghost. When Jesus went up to his father and presented his body as a sacrifice for sin, God responded by sending something back that would wash, sanctify, justify and regenerate men’s hearts – that is, the holy Ghost. So the issue is NOT, “do you believe Jesus died on a cross?” – this issue is “have you received the Spirit since you believed?” As Paul said, “without the Spirit, we are none of his.”

    You left out the most important part! That is: How ARE we made partakers of this new covenant? How IS the law written in our hearts? How do we get INTO the body of Christ?
    The answer is simple: Spirit baptism. “By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body…”(1Cor.12:13). Without Spirit baptism the cross is just a cross. We have to get INTO Christ, and how do we get INTO Christ? “for as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3:27). The confusion that exists today among God’s children exists because they are holding on to the wrong thing. They are holding on to the “cross”, but they should be holding on to “Spirit baptism”…. The kingdom of God is not meat nor drink (earthly things), but righteousness and peace and joy in the holy Ghost.”

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    • Dear brother. My view of the Cross is that it is central to God’s plan of reconciliation.( 1 Col 20 )
      We cannot look at Jesus Christ unless we do so through the filter of the Cross. To do otherwise
      will lead one along a religious path.
      All those who belong to Christ will at some time receive the full revelation of the mysteries of God or even the mysteries of the Gospel of Christ. These are terms that Paul speaks of and emphasizes in his epistles.
      Central to understanding God’s will, is understanding how Christ comes to live in the believer through the ” calling” and “birthing”. Man can do nothing to save himself.
      When we come to know who we truly are and how God made this possible through the instrument of the cross, we will be drawn into a deepening relationship with Christ who Now lives in each child of God.
      True believers mature quickly because of the Holy Spirit’s teaching and guidance and they are not dependent upon the teachings of men nor have any need for programs and activities arranged by men no matter how religiously correct they seem to be. I will not be surprised to learn that the majority of mature believers are not to be found “Churches” particularly those mega membership institutions. Incidentally my understanding of mature has more to do with heart transformation than head transformation.

      True believers come to rest in Christ and do not become busy with trying to build the church. Rather they walk by the Spirit and Christ manifests Himself through them as they are. This position is continually changing as more of Christ is being formed in the believer. True believers are led by the Spirit and are totally dependent on the Spirit’s leading for everything concerning life. The Word of God and the Spirit both bring balance and are confirmers of the Truth in all matters.

      Some of my favorite scripture verses are:
      We must be born again- John 3
      The Way, Truth and Life- John 14-16
      Reconciled to God through faith in His Son- Romans 5
      All crucified with Christ- Romans 6
      No longer slaves to religion- Romans 7
      We now live by the Spirit- Romans 8
      The Cross is central to God’s planning- 1 Corinthians 2
      Love is the most important thing- 1 Corinthians 13
      The Gospel of Christ is veiled to many- 2 Corinthians 4
      There is only one Gospel for this dispensation- Galatians 1
      God purpose and plan for mankind revealed- Ephesians 1 & 3
      Alive in Christ- Colossians 2
      True believers are at rest- Hebrews 3
      Confirm your calling and election- 2 Peter 1
      Continue walking in the Light- 1 John.

      It struck me that Jesus Himself taught Paul and gave him The Gospel to take to the Gentiles.
      Paul’s teachings then are representative of the message that God wants all men to hear in this current dispensation.
      Paul taught Christ crucified and to them who are called this message holds the power and wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:23-24 )
      So central to the Gospel of Christ is the message of the power of the Cross. ( Christ in you the hope of glory)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Many good verses to show the grace of God. We no longer live according to the law, or trying to earn our way to God. It is by His grace we are saved. Now the works are the good works that God produces through us as we love Him and love others.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi Dan, I enjoy reading your blog, as I too am no longer in the ‘institutional church’ after over 30 years – so reading about other people’s experience and walk is helpful – Thanks. I was reading your 2 blogs on tithing again – and I thought I would send you a link to an audio teaching by Arthur Burk on Giving which transformed my thinking. In particular, as well as saying much of what you also say about the misuse of scripture around the subject, he also uses it to talk about seeing the Old Testament tithe as a ‘shadow type’. So, for example, the Children of Israel were supposed to save up some of their tithes to take the whole family up to Jerusalem for a feast time; so what if we saved up to take our family away for a feast time? Would that be a way of being good stewards and hearing how God would like us to spend some of our money – creating great family memories – and would He consider that as ‘giving’. I realise you are busy and get lots of suggestions re reading etc – but I thought this was close to what you have been mediating on….. Trisha Horgan https://www.theslg.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=169 This is the link to ‘Perspectives on the church’ – and the CD is the one on Giving.

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  4. awesome! It never ceases to amaze me how such a multitude of scriptures for those who are in Christ,can be ignored or “explained away” by many law-minded ministers who CLAIM to boldly stand upon the truth of Gods’ Word.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dan, you nailed it! Thanks for gathering all these scriptures together in such a concise way that point us to the freedom that is ours in Christ and that we no longer are under the O.T. law or any part of it, but rather the New Covenant singular law, the law of love IN Christ.

    “If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchizedek, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.” (Hebrews 7:11-12 KJ2000)

    “I am giving you a new commandment to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35 ISV)

    I love you, Dan!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dan, as I read your post, I wondered if having this conversation “a lot,” as you say would eventually render you in despair. I say that because I sometimes see myself on the verge.

    As I pondered on your words, I was temped to share this though with you: why don’t you (or we) allow them to believe whatever they want? After all, don’t they have their own Bibles where all these scriptural truths are revealed?

    But before I had time to even consider it, I had yet another temptation: to feel condemned for having such ugly thought. As I persuaded myself to dismiss both thoughts, a third one hit me as a speed derailed train: “But Abraham said, ‘Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote” (Luke 16:29, NLT).

    How insensible of Abraham! Worst, why did Jesus even bring it up? Does that make sense to you?

    Furthermore, Jesus told his disciples that, “no one after drinking old wine (Old Covenant) wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better,’” ‭‭Luke‬ ‭5:39).‬ He also told them, “pay attention to how you hear. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what they think they understand will be taken away from them” (Luke 8:18).

    I’ve been trying, like you, to give people a piece of the Father’s mind when it comes to the truth and reality of the Gospel, in the hopes they will be open to it, but they hardly listen. Like you and I, Jesus pointed to the scriptural evidence of our freedom in Christ only to be persecuted and die at their hands.

    Unfortunately, people are been misled by the notion that great enterprises and seemingly successful organizations may hold the answers. Chief among them is the institutional church.

    We won’t trust the loving heart of the Father. We won’t trust God’s Zoe Life, His Spirit, to lead and guide us. We fear to abandon the traditions of the institutional church, lest they are right, and in so leaving, they may end up working against God.

    Since the beginning, man has had this inclination to hide in the midst of fear (fight or flight) of the unknown. Adam hid behind the bush. The Hebrews shielded themselves behind Moses at Mount Sinai. The Israelites sought a human king, relegating God’s presence to the tabernacle. The Chief Priests hid behind the Pharisees’ questioning of Jesus. And modern day Christianity hides behind the god-pastor or the God-book as their intermediaries to God. Why? Because a deep sense of fear, condemnation and shame, have been the utilized tool the institution has used to keep us within their ranks.

    Therefore, a deeper sense of shame has overtaken us to even consider any independent thought outside of the organization. They may entertain the thought for a short while, but as soon as it hits a religious never, flying they go. Such ignorance makes us think that God will shun us and chastise us for even considering such ideas. As John said, their fear of death and loss has delivered them into the jaws of their torment.

    The story of the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord has come to mean a holiday in which we remember Him, a Sunday school coloring paper and a tearjerker story that lasts as long as it takes to wipe them off.

    So, why can’t we just announce the gospel and allow them to respond…if the want? Why do we keep on beating the dead horse?

    Simple! Because we can’t stop! The life of Christ within screams in agonizing compassion for the lost. Like Paul, we keep trying in the hopes that at least one, only one will come to their senses and acknowledge they’ve been freed from the bondage of sin, death and fear.

    Because that one person, used to be us. If we were given to trust Christ’s life within as the perfect gift from the Father, capable of completing the work He started IN us, they can too.

    Don’t give up. One day it’ll be all worth it. Good scripture research!

    Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I read your comment and tears fill up in my eyes.

      I sit every week with a different friend who loves the Lord.

      I speak of these matters… True worship in Spirit and Truth, the Institutional ‘church’ harlotry.

      They look at me like I am nuts.

      I go into my room after and weep on my knees to the One who hears.

      He knows.

      So few believe.

      Even those within the systems… So few are trusting in Him.

      No life.

      Yesterday another friend came over… She ‘gets it’.

      She said, “do you think this means that all those people in church don’t truly get it”.

      I said, unfortunately I think this might be the case… But I hope I am wrong.

      The only comfort I have these days is knowing that God is bigger than my confusion. That he sees my heart which is to know Him and to Love.

      The sadness I feel that so many reject Jesus.

      Ugh

      Liked by 1 person

  7. If we are no longer under the OT law, then do the 10 Commandments still apply today? In ancient Israel, the Law consisted of the civil laws, ceremonial laws and the moral laws. The former two categories no longer apply but the moral code still applies; after all Jesus said that he did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. Grace does not give us a license to sin; rather it gives us the ability to be obedient to God’s commands as expressed in the NT which are in themselves extensions of the 10 Commandments. For example the commandment not to commit adultery not only encompasses the physical act but now includes the mental act of looking lustfully upon another person. Those who are born again now have the ability to obey God.
    Does grace cover the believer even when he or she willfully engages in habitual sin? Paul gives the answer in Rom 8:12-13 – “So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”
    Paul warns the brethren that spiritual death and not eternal life is the result of chronic disobedience and rebellion against God.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually,we were never under the Mosaic law,which was given only to the nation Israel, Christ in his life fulfilled the law,but in his death abolished it.Believers are now under the law of Christ.The commandments apply only as they are restated in the teachings of grace. 9 of them are restated.The 1 that is not is, keeping the Sabbath.The Mosaic law was a covenant of works,again ONLY given to Israel. It could hardly be described as a “success”,rather 1500 years of failure.It did not result in Israel becoming a better people.In fact,they became as evil and sometimes worse than those around them.The law was a unit,and to fail at one point was to be guilty of all.The Law was conditional.Grace is unconditional.The law said “do good in order to be blessed”.Grace says “because you are blessed,do good”.Christ did not die and redeem from the curse of the law and give the Spirit to enable us to “keep the law”.He did so ,so that we might live by the Spirit.Grace does not give a “license to sin”,but when mixed with the law,most assuredly will result in sin.Grace is the highest motivation one can have,NOT to sin.Grace absolutely covers the believer…even in the unfortunate case of those who would engage in habitual,willful sin.The inner misery of such a one,is heartbreaking. A “law-minded”mentality will see such a person and be angry or judgmental or even jealous.A “grace-minded” mentality will be moved to tears,prayer,and “ache” for the other person,being grieved,just as the Holy Spirit is grieved.In my opinion,many believers who HAVE turned to habitual sin in it’s many forms,have done so because they have not rightly understood Grace,being taught a mixture of law and grace.The law by itself was an unbearable yoke.Trying to be under grace AND under law is even more so.

      Liked by 2 people

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