“The hardest thing for believers to understand about the message of Grace, is that Jesus taught law.” — Brook Potter
As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, the ministry of Jesus was multifaceted in my opinion. Being God, he was sent to the lost house of Israel as a man under the law (Galatians 4:4-5), and taught the Law to the Jews who had watered it down to make it manageable. He also served in the role of an Old Testament Prophet, prophesying sometimes in the present tense of Judgment to Jerusalem and the Grace that was to come. He also hid the teachings of Grace in parables, as not to be found guilty of adding to the law (Deuteronomy 4:2), because no one understood what he meant until after the cross.
He demonstrated himself as the Jewish Messiah through a life of miracles and exorcisms, and ultimately became the expression of God’s love to the world through the Finished Work for all mankind and as all Mankind. There are many aspects to the ministry of Jesus that has been up for debate for centuries. For instance, the five point Calvinist believes that the work of Christ is only for the elect, while Arminians believe he came to offer salvation to the Whole World. Both accuse the other of Heresy and sending people to hell, because they do not preach their respective identity of Jesus Christ.
The same accusation has been lobbied against me for saying that Jesus taught the Law to the Jews. The proof of my apparent heresy, many would argue is John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. They would then spin around and say, “There, you see that, Grace Came by Jesus Christ, Everything that Jesus did was Grace.”
Now I do not deny that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, neither do I deny that he is the personification of Grace. But we forget one important thing: when this argument was used, Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Jesus Christ did everything as a man, fully dependent on God, and under the Law. Nowhere does it say that Jesus Christ did everything AS GRACE.
Those who say this tend to have a very twisted perception of Grace, and somehow see things like plucking out your eyes (Matthew 5:29) or cut off your hand (Matthew 5:30) as Grace. And none of them kept the Commandments to inherit eternal life, as Jesus instructed the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:17). None the less, they believe that those teachings are new covenant grace, even though they stand contrary to the teachings of Paul, After the Cross.
John 1:17, is most definitely true that Grace came BY Jesus Christ, it does not say Grace came AS Jesus Christ, even though that is what he is. The Grace came by the finished work of Jesus Christ, as the last Adam, from baptism to ascension for all mankind, and as all mankind. What ushered in Grace, was satisfying of the Law and the Prophets that put humanity back in right standing before God (Colossians 2:13-15)
So while the debate rages on, are we truly sending people to hell? All of our views can be wrong, but they cannot all be right, because they are all fundamentally different. Does that mean we are sending people to hell?
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
It does not say, we are saved by Grace through Faith plus correct understanding of God’s Sovereignty. Nor does it say, plus an understanding of Free Will, or the understanding of the Different Facets of Jesus Ministry.
Some might Argue, Yes, but Faith in What, Calvinism, Arminianism, Catholicism, Orthadoxy? The message that saves us, is one that most of us can agree on, believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Matthew 16:16 – 18 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Acts 8:37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
1 John 4:15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
1 John 5:5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
Just to be clear, the meaning of the Son of God, as understood by the Eastern Culture at the time meant that Jesus is equal to God. John 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
John Lynch talking about the Heretic Hunters.