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Law and Grace Personal Notes

These are my personal notes on the topic of law and grace.

There is a wide variety of thoughts going around in Christianity about the status of "law" since the inception of salvation by grace through faith in Christ. Some say that since we're saved by faith alone, then seeking to "keep the law" in any way amounts to legalism and denying God's grace. Others say that a life of faith in Christ demands a fundamental change in the way we live our lives. Some atheists criticise Christians for not being distinguishable morally from a secular person (e.g. divorce rate among Christians being much the same as that for atheists).

It's a big topic to figure out exactly what apostle Paul meant about justification through faith and grace (especially in Romans, Galatians and Ephesians), in light of the many Biblical exhortations to a life of pure living and commandment-keeping.

Scriptures Challenging Law

John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Romans 4:1-8 Abraham justified by faith, not works.
Romans 7:1-6 Freed from the law.
Galatians 2:15-21 We know man is not justified by the works of the law.
Galatians 3:1-25
Galatians 5:16-18 If you're led by the Spirit, you're not under the law.
Ephesians 2:8-9
Philippians 3:9 not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ

Law Before Old Covenant

Genesis 26:5 Abraham kept God's laws.

Law in Old Covenant

Leviticus 18:5; Nehemiah 9:29; Romans 10:5 God's laws are laws "Which if a man does, he shall live by them."
Deuteronomy 4:5-8; 5:28-33; 6:1-2,6-9,17-25; 10:12-13; 13:4; 32:46-47
Deuteronomy 17:18-20 The king must write a copy of the law, and be diligent to read it and live by it.
Joshua 1:7-9 Meditate on God's law day and night, in order to be able to follow it, in order to live successfully.
2 Chronicles 7:14
Nehemiah 9:13-14 God's laws are just and true.
Psalm 1:1-2 Blessed is the man... whose delight is in the law of the Lord...
Psalm 11:7 The Lord is righteous. He loves righteousness.
Psalm 15:1-5
Psalm 19:7-13 (verses 12-13 speak of God's grace)
Psalm 103:17-18 Mercy on those who keep God's commandments.
Psalm 119:1-6,97-104,137-152
Intent of law is to do good.
Psalm 34:12-16 quoted by 1 Peter 3:10-12
Proverbs says a lot about righteousness vs wickedness.
Proverbs 11:3-8
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
Isaiah 1:16-17 Intent of the law.
Isaiah 48:17-19
Jeremiah 22:3
Ezekiel 18:4-9
Hosea 14:9
Micah 6:8
Zechariah 7:9-12; 8:16-17

Grace in the Old Testament

Genesis 6:8-9 Noah, the righteous man on the earth at the time, found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
Genesis 15:6 Abraham's righteousness was through faith. Romans 4:3-6,9,20-25
Exodus 33:13-17 Moses found grace in God's sight.
Exodus 34:5-9 Moses sees God's goodness on the mountain.
Psalm 16:2 "My goodness is nothing without You."
Psalm 19:12-13 (coming after verses 7-11 which say the law is good)
Psalm 32:1-2 quoted by Romans 4:7
Psalm 40:11-17
Psalm 51 is a remarkable psalm of repentance and calling on God's mercy/grace.
Psalm 103:11-14
Isaiah 1:16-20 Forgiveness of sin that comes with repentance and obedience.
Isaiah 54:17 "...And their righteousness is from me," says the Lord.
Isaiah 55:6-7
Jeremiah 31:34
Romans 11:1-5 quotes 1 Kings 19:18 "I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal." Election of grace in the Old Testament.

Law in New Covenant

Matthew 5:17-20 Sermon on the Mount amplified many Old Testament laws and showed their spiritual intent.
Matthew 7:21-23 "Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness!"
Matthew 7:24-27 "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock."
Matthew 13:41 At the end time judgment, the angels will gather up "those who practice lawlessness".
Matthew 19:16-22 Commandment keeping still a condition in New Covenant. "But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments."
Matthew 23:1-3 Jesus endorsed the Mosaic law, while criticising the Pharisees for hypocritically ignoring the law and missing the point of the law.
Matthew 28:18-20 Apostles' commission: teach all nations to observe all Christ's commandments.
Mark 10:17-22 Keep the commandments. Jesus showed a greater depth of spiritual living ("sell whatever you have, and give it to the poor, and have treasure in heaven, take up your cross and follow me").
Luke 13:23-27 "Workers of iniquity" not welcome in God's kingdom.
John 3:19-21
John 8:11 "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."
John 8:34 "Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin."
John 14:15,21-24 It is those who keep Christ's commandments who truly love Him.
John 15:9-17 Follow Christ's commandments, which are centred on love.
Acts 5:32 Holy Spirit given to those who obey God.
Acts 22:12 Ananias was a good man, "devout according to the law", and having a good testimony with the Jews in Damascus.
Acts 24:14 Paul saw his faith as firmly based in Old Testament scripture--law and prophets.
Romans 2:1-13 Sinners will be judged by the law.
Romans 3:8,31 Faith doesn't void the law, it establishes it.
Romans 3:20; 4:15; 5:13,20; 7:1-12,21-25 The law highlighted the wickedness of sin, but also gave us condemnation.
Romans 6:1-2,12-23 Ongoing necessity to battle against sin.
Romans 8:3 The law is weak to save us from sin, due to our weak human ability to obey it.
Romans 13:8-10; Galatians 5:14; 1 Timothy 1:5 Law is founded in love.
Romans 10:5 reiterates Leviticus 18:5; Nehemiah 9:29 which say God's laws are laws "Which if a man does, he shall live by them."
1 Corinthians 5:1 alludes to Leviticus 18:6-8.
1 Corinthians 5:1-13 Exhortations re sexual immorality.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 alludes to numerous OT laws. Unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom.
Galatians 2:17-21 Living in faith, we must turn from sin.
Galatians 5:21 Those who practice the "works of the flesh" won't inherit the kingdom.
Ephesians 2:2 Despite the context of grace, unbelievers are described as "sons of disobedience".
1 Timothy 1:8-11 Law is made for lawless people.
2 Timothy 3:15-17 Affirmation of Old Testament as foundation of New Testament.
Hebrews 5:9 "And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him."
James 1:25; 2:8,12 refers to "the perfect law of liberty", "royal law". Law which we don't follow out of obligation, but which frees us from sin.
1 John 2:3-6; 3:22-24 We know we know Him if we keep His commandments.
1 John 3:4-15 Sin is lawlessness. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous.
1 John 5:2-3 (following verses affirm faith in Jesus Christ)
1 John 3:4; Romans 7:7 Law defines sin.
2 John 1:6
Revelation 12:17; 14:12 God's true people are those who "keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ".
Revelation 22:14-15

Law in Millennium

Isaiah 2:3 All nations to learn God's law in the Millennium.

New Covenant: Law Written on Hearts and Minds

Jeremiah 31:31-33; Hebrews 8:7-10 New covenant: write God's law on people's hearts and minds.
Deuteronomy 30:6-8
Ezekiel 11:19-20; 36:26-27
Romans 8:1

Law's intent is love of God and neighbour

Genesis 2:16-17; Exodus 16:4-5,20,28 Some laws were simply to test obedience to God.
Exodus 31:13; Leviticus 11:45; 20:25-26; Ezekiel 22:26; 44:23 Some laws for us to learn to trust God's sovereignty, that he is our lawgiver, sanctifier and saviour.
Leviticus 19:17-18 Love your neighbour as yourself.
Deuteronomy 6:5; Joshua 22:5 Even in the Old Testament, the intent of the law was to love God.
Matthew 22:36-40 Two greatest commandments.
Romans 13:8-10 All commandments are summed up in "love your neighbour as yourself".
Galatians 5:14 All the law is fulfilled in one word: "You shall love your neighbour as yourself."
1 John 3:23 Belief in Jesus Christ is central to obedience.

Weightier Matters of the Law

Proverbs 21:3
Isaiah 1:10-17 God is interested in good and justice, rather than outward form of worship.
Jeremiah 22:3
Micah 6:8
Zechariah 7:9-10; 8:16-17
Matthew 23:23

Spirit Versus Letter

Matthew 23:23-28 Pharisees engaged in law-keeping minutiae, but ultimately were full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. "Strain out a gnat and swallow a camel".
John 1:17
John 4:23-24 The Father is seeking people to worship Him in spirit and truth.
Romans 2:29 "but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God."
Romans 7:6 "But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter."
Romans 8:1-17 Live by the Spirit, not the flesh.
Galatians 3:1-3,14
Galatians 5:16-18
2 Corinthians 3:6 "who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."


Sabbath-keeping churches are sometimes accused of being legalistic. It is possible that we might be legalistic, however, the solution to legalism is not lawlessness. Rather, we must love the spiritual purpose and intent of God's good laws.

Law is Good

Leviticus 18:5; Nehemiah 9:29 If a man does the law, he shall live by it.
Deuteronomy 6:24; 10:13 God gave them the law for their good.
Psalm 19:7-11 (then the following verses 12-13 affirm grace)
Psalm 119
Proverbs 3:1-2; 6:23
Nehemiah 9:13-14
Isaiah 42:21 The Lord will exalt His law and make it honourable.
Hosea 14:9
Romans 7:7-14,16,22,25 "...the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good... the law is spiritual (but I am carnal)..."
Romans 10:5 which quotes Leviticus 18:5.
Galatians 3:12 likewise.
Hebrews 8:8 Fault was with the people, not the law. James 1:25 "perfect law of liberty".

Law of Moses a Burden?

Acts 15:10-11,28 What was the yoke on the Gentiles neck that they couldn't bear, nor the Jewish fathers?
Matthew 11:30 "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
Matthew 23:4 "For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers."
Luke 11:46 And He said, "Woe to you also, lawyers! For you load men with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers."
Galatians 3:10 Curse of the law.
Galatians 6:13 For not even those who are circumcised keep the law...

Hints "Law" Sometimes Means "Covenant"

Galatians 4:21-31
Hebrews 7:11-19 compared to Hebrews 7:22 and Hebrews 8:6-13

Works of the Law

Romans 3:20,28 (aka "deeds of the law")
Romans 9:32
Galatians 2:16; 3:2,5,10

Under the Law

Romans 3:19 Whatever the law says, it says to those under the law, that everyone may become guilty before God.
Romans 6:14-15 We are not under law, but grace.
1 Corinthians 9:20-21 Gentiles were not under the law.
Galatians 3:23 All Israel was put under it 'til Christ.
Galatians 4:4-5 Christ redeemed those born under the law.
Galatians 4:21 Some Gentiles desired to be under it.
Galatians 5:18 Led by the Spirit means not under the law.

Law Can't Save Us

Salvation and justification are not through the law.

Because the law defines sin, it brings a penalty and not salvation.

John 1:16-17 "For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ."
Acts 13:38-39 by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.
Romans 3:20 Nobody will be justified by the "deeds of the law". Law reveals sin to us.
Romans 4:15; 5:13,20; 7:5-13; 8:3-4
Romans 9:30-33 Israel sought righteousness through the works of the law, rather than faith. They stumbled at that stumbling stone, Jesus.
Galatians 2:14-21; 3:1-5 The law doesn't justify.
Galatians 3:10-14,19-24 The law brings a penalty, not salvation.
Romans 3:9,19-28; 4:15; 5:13,20
However Galatians 3:25 remains a puzzle.
Philippians 3:9 (nor can our own righteousness save us)
1 Timothy 1:8-11
Hebrews 7:11-19 James 2:10-13
1 John 3:4

Beware of Self-Righteousness

Luke 18:9-14 Parable of Pharisee and tax collector.
Philippians 3:3-11 Paul could boast "in the flesh" and the "righteousness which is in the law", but it was worth nothing without Christ.
Revelation 3:14-17 Self-righteousness of Laodiceans.

We're Saved by Grace not Works

Ephesians 2:5,8-10 Key scripture.

Luke 18:9-14 Parable of Pharisee and tax collector. Repentant tax collector was the one who was justified.
John 6:28-29 Believe in Him sent by the Father.
Acts 15:10-11 Is this anti-works, or anti-something-else?
Romans 3:19-28; 4:1-8; 5:1-2,12-21; 10:3-13
Romans 6:14 You are not under law but under grace. (yet read that verse in the context of verses 12-18)
Romans 7:24-25 Even the Apostle Paul saw himself as wretched, in need of salvation from his "body of death" through Jesus Christ.
Romans 9:30-33 Jews pursued righteousness through the law, not through faith, and stumbled over faith in Jesus.
Romans 10:1-13
2 Corinthians 5:19,21 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. ...
Galatians 3:1-14 (nor by law)
Philippians 3:7-11
2 Timothy 1:9
2 Timothy 3:15 (then following verses affirm works)
Titus 3:5,7 (then verse 8 affirms works)
1 Peter 1:10 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you,

Works Still Important

Ephesians 2:8-10 In the key scripture about grace, not works, nevertheless it affirms that a person led by God must enter a life of good works, by God's workmanship.

Matthew 3:8 Bear fruits worthy of repentance.
Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 6:46-49 Jesus expects action, not just lipservice.
Matthew 16:27 Reward according to works.
Matthew 25:14-30 Parable of the talents -- God expects us to live a life of bearing spiritual fruits of righteousness.
John 3:19-21 He who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.
John 10:32 Jesus did many good works.
Acts 9:36 Dorcas was full of good works and charitable deeds.
Acts 26:20 repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.
Romans 2:6-7 which quotes Psalm 62:12 Reward according to deeds. "Eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honour and immortality".
1 Corinthians 3:12-15 Build spiritual work which will stand the tests God gives us.
Colossians 1:10 Walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, be fruitful in every good work.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
1 Timothy 6:18 Rich people should do good, to be rich in good works.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (follow on from verse 15 which affirms both Old Testament scriptures and faith in Christ!)
Titus 2:7 show yourself to be a pattern of good works.
Titus 2:14 zealous for good works. Christ gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed.
Titus 3:8,14 be careful to maintain good works (follow on from verses 5,7 which affirm grace)
Hebrews 6:1; 9:14 Repentance and cleansing from "dead works".
Hebrews 10:24 Consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.
Hebrews 11 Faith chapter is full of works.
Hebrews 13:21 May God, thru Christ, make us complete in every good work, doing what is well pleasing in His sight.
James 2:14-26 Faith without works is dead. Abraham was saved by faith, but also works. Faith was working together with works, and by works faith was made perfect. Genesis 22:16-18; 26:5
James 3:13 works and conduct.
1 Peter 1:13-17
1 Peter 2:12 Our good works should be a witness to unbelievers.
1 Peter 3:9-13 God's eyes are on the righteous. His face is against those who do evil.
2 Peter 1:5-11
1 John 2:29; 3:7,10,16-23
Revelation 2:7,11,17,26; 3:5,12,21 In letters to 7 churches, promises "to he who overcomes..."
Revelation 2:23; 20:12-13 future judgement according to works.
Revelation 2:26; 3:21 Keep Jesus' works until the end. Overcome.
Revelation 2:23; 22:12 Jesus will give to every one according to his work.

Active Response to Grace

Genesis 15:6 (grace to Abraham) leads to Genesis 18:19; 22:12,16,18; 26:5
Psalm 103:17-18 The mercy of God is on those who keep His commandments.
Matthew 3:8 Bear fruits worthy of repentance.
Romans 2:4 The goodness of God leads us to repentance.
Romans 4:1-3; Galatians 3:5-9 (Abraham's faith was accounted to him for righteousness). Yet then Hebrews 11:8-19; James 2:20-23
Romans 6:1-18 Don't let sin rule over us. Live a new life free from sin.
Romans 8:3-4,12-14 Live and overcome by the Spirit. Put to death the deeds of the body.
Romans 12:1-2 Present your bodies a living sacrifice. Don't be conformed to this world, but be transformed.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11,15-20 We must turn away from the unrighteous acts, which are sin.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Run so that you may receive the prize.
2 Corinthians 6:14-18; 7:1 Don't be unequally yoked with the world.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 War by the Spirit; cast down every stronghold of the flesh; bring every thought into captivity.
Galatians 2:17-18 While we seek to be justified by Christ, we must not sin. We must destroy those old things, otherwise we are transgressors again.
Ephesians 4:1 Walk worthy of the calling.
Ephesians 4:17-24 No longer walk the old way or live as the old man. Put on the new man.
Ephesians 5:8-9 Walk as children of light.
Philippians 1:9-11 Be filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
Philippians 1:27 Let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ. Strive for the faith.
Philippians 2:12-13 Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. God works in us to will it and do it.
Colossians 1:10 Walk worthy, be fruitful in works.
Colossians 2:6 Walk in Christ.
Colossians 3:1-10 Set your mind on things above; put off fleshly lusts; put on the new man.
1 Thessalonians 2:12 Walk worthy of God.
1 Thessalonians 4:1-7 Live pure lives; abstain from sexual immorality and lust. God called us to holiness not uncleanness.
2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God...
2 Timothy 2:19 Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
Titus 2:11-14 We must deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and be zealous for good works.
Titus 3:5,8 Be careful to maintain good works.
Hebrews 3:15-4:2 The Israelites failed to obey because they lacked faith.
Hebrews 4:11-16 Let us be diligent to enter that rest.
Hebrews 11:4 etc — notice faith leads to action.
Hebrews 12:1-4 We must "strive against sin".
James 1:21-27 Be doers of the word (not hearers only, deceiving ourselves).
James 2:17 faith results in works.
James 4:1-10
1 Peter 1:13-19 Gird up the loins of your mind. Be sober. Rest your hope fully on grace. Be obedient children. Be holy in all your conduct.
2 Peter 1:1-11 Be diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble.
1 John 3:3 Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself.
1 John 3:4-9 Since Christ came to take away our sins, we turn away from sin. He who sins is of the devil.

We Must Do What Is Right

Psalm 50:23 "to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God."
Isaiah 1:16-20 "Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good..."
Isaiah 65:11-12 God's people must do righteousness, the things in which God delights.
Matthew 7:21-23 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord'..."
Acts 10:35 ...whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.
Galatians 2:17-18 Even though justified by Christ, we are expected to avoid sin, otherwise we are "transgressors".
Revelation 19:7-8 Marriage of the Lamb to His wife. She is clothed in fine, clean, bright linen, which is the righteous acts of the saints.
Revelation 21:7-8 He who overcomes shall inherit all things. Sinners will suffer the second death.

Be Righteous as God is Righteous (Law Describes Godly Righteousness)

Genesis 17:1 God told Abraham to "be blameless".
1 Chronicles 29:17 God takes pleasure in uprightness.
Psalm 119:172 "...all Your commandments are righteousness."
2 Corinthians 7:1
Ephesians 5:1-2
Philippians 2:5
1 Timothy 6:14 "Keep this commandment without spot, blameless..."
1 Peter 1:13-16 v.16 "be holy as I am holy", quoting Leviticus 11:44; 19:2; 20:26.
2 Peter 3:11,14
1 John 1:5-10; 2:1-11 Walk in light as God is only light (but also acknowledge our sins).
1 John 2:29
1 John 3:1-10, especially v.3, "everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure"; v.7 "he who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous".
1 John 4:17 We can be confident in the day of judgement if we live righteously like God.
3 John 1:11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.


It's not enough to "commit our hearts to Jesus". We must repent of sin.
2 Chronicles 7:14
Proverbs 28:13 He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.
Isaiah 59:20 The Redeemer will come to those who turn from transgression.
Jeremiah 3:13 Acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed... and not obeyed God's voice.
Ezekiel 18:21-22,30
Malachi 3:7 "...Return to Me, and I will return to you," Says the Lord of hosts...
Matthew 3:2-12; Luke 3:7-14 Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Matthew 4:17 Jesus preached "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
Mark 1:15 Jesus preached "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."
Mark 2:17 Repent of sin.
Mark 6:12 Disciples went out preaching repentance.
Luke 15:17-24 Parable of prodigal son—son's repentance (even though the word "repentance" is never used).
Luke 24:47 Apostles' commission: preach repentance and remission from sins in Christ's name to all nations.
Acts 2:38; 3:19; 5:31; 17:30-31; 20:21
Acts 26:20 repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.
Romans 2:4-5 The goodness of God leads us to repentance.
2 Corinthians 7:9-10 Corinthians' godly sorrow led to repentance.
1 John 1:5-10; 2:1-2 Especially 1:9 "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Hebrews 3:7-19 Don't be rebellious toward God. Beware the deceitfulness of sin.
Hebrews 6:1 "Repentance from dead works" is listed as one of the elementary, foundational doctrines.
2 Peter 3:9 God's will is that none should perish but that all should come to repentance.
Revelation 3:19 "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent."

We are saved from what?

Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Psalm 130:7-8
Matthew 1:21 Jesus will save people from their sins.
John 1:29 Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
John 8:31-36 Jesus frees us from slavery to sin.
Acts 3:19 Repent and be converted, so our sins may be blotted out.
Acts 3:26 Jesus was sent to bless us by turning us away from our iniquities.
Acts 5:31 God exalted Jesus to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.
Romans 3:21-25 justification, redemption, propitiation, pass-over of "sins that were previously committed"
Romans 5:8 "...while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:9 saved from wrath
Romans 6:4-7 "Old man", the old sinful way of living.
Romans 8:1-11 Life of the flesh, including sin.
Romans 11:26-27
1 Corinthians 5:7 Christ was sacrificed for us, to make us "unleavened", free from malice and wickedness, to be instead full of sincerity and truth.
Galatians 1:4 Our Lord Jesus Christ gave himself for our sins.
Galatians 5:16 desires of the flesh.
Ephesians 1:7 In Jesus we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins...
Ephesians 2:1 you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins...
Colossians 1:21-23 Christ came to save us from wicked works.
Colossians 2:11-15 Our trespasses, resulting in the handwriting of requirements against us.
Colossians 3:5-9
Titus 2:14; 3:3 We are redeemed from lawless deeds. We were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures...
Hebrews 9:14 Christ died to cleanse our conscience from "dead works".
Hebrews 10:10-14
1 Peter 2:24 Christ bore our sins so that we can "die to sin and live to righteousness".
2 Peter 1:4 Escape corruption in the world through lust.
2 Peter 1:9 Cleansed from old sins.
1 John 1:7 the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 2:1-2 "these things I write to you, so that you may not sin." Jesus is the propitiation for our sins, and those of the whole world.
1 John 3:5 "He was manifested to take away our sins"

Jesus died to save us from sin and from the penalty of death due to sins. Sins are defined by the law, and the need for Christ's sacrifice shows the ongoing seriousness of sin, and the ongoing penalty for sin according to the law. We should be zealous to flee from sin since Christ died to save us from it.

John 3:16-21


Psalm 62:12
Ecclesiastes 11:9; 12:13-14
Jeremiah 17:10
Ezekiel 14:12-23 God's righteous judgment on a land for its sins.
Ezekiel 18:30 Judgment according to a person's ways.
Matthew 12:33-37 Judgment according to our words, which are a window into our hearts.
Matthew 10:15 Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment.
Matthew 11:20-24 Tyre, Sidon, Sodom in the day of judgment.
Matthew 12:41-42 People of Nineveh, queen of south will rise up in the judgment and condemn "this generation".
Luke 3:17 Jesus will clean out His threshing floor, gather the wheat into His barn, and burn the chaff.
John 5:29
Acts 17:30-31
Acts 24:15,25
Romans 1:32
Romans 2:1-16 Sinners will be judged by the law. Therefore, repent.
Romans 3:4-7
Romans 14:10-12
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 Our works will be judged, whether they have been physical or spiritual.
2 Corinthians 5:9-10
Colossians 3:6
Colossians 3:24-25
Hebrews 6:2 "eternal judgment" is listed as one of the fundamental doctrines.
1 Peter 1:17 Judgment according to works.
2 Peter 2:9 Punishment on the unjust on the day of judgment.
1 John 4:17 (aside)
Revelation 2:23; 20:12-13; 22:12 future judgment according to works.

Understanding Galatians

Paul addresses a heresy in his letter to the Galatians. The question is, do we properly understand the meaning of what he was saying to the Galatians? We have to "read between the lines" to discern the issue he was addressing.

Galatians 4:8-9,17; 5:1-6; 6:12-13 Target audience appears to be Gentile.
Galatians 1:6-8; 3:1 They were turning away from the grace of Christ to a different gospel. A perversion/distortion/replacement of the gospel of Christ.
Galatians 1:10-12 This "different gospel" was one more appealing to people than the true gospel of Christ. Galatians 5:11; 6:12 Gospel of Christ on the cross suffered persecution, apparently from those supporting the "different gospel" connected with "circumcision".
Galatians 1:13-15,23-24 The gospel of Christ clashed especially with Judaism (of which Paul formerly was a chief advocate).
Galatians 1:16; 2:1-2 It's something to do with the gospel going to the Gentiles.
Galatians 2:3,7-9,12; 5:2-6; 6:12-13 Circumcision is a key issue.
Galatians 2:4 Issue described as liberty of Christ versus bondage that is somehow connected with circumcision. The term "bondage" refers to what? See also Galatians 4:3,9 which talks about bondage to the "elements of the world" and the "weak and beggarly elements". And Galatians 4:21-31 which talks about a covenant of bondage. See notes below.
Galatians 2:7-9,12-15; 5:1-6; 6:12-15 It appears that "circumcision" is connected with the "Gentile" issue. "Circumcised" are Jews, "uncircumcised" are Gentiles. Circumcision is not just an action, but an intimate part of the Judaic identity that sets them apart from Gentiles. Romans 4:12; Galatians 2:12; Ephesians 2:11-12; Colossians 4:11 refer to those who are "of the circumcision", apparently to mean the Jews. Romans 3:1-2 appears to use circumcision as a metonym for being a Jew. Romans 2:28-29 says that circumcision of the heart is what is truly important.
Galatians 2:9 James, Cephas and John accepted Paul's calling to bring the gospel to the Gentiles.
Galatians 2:11-13 There was hypocrisy and inconsistency in the Jewish Christians' unwillingness to eat with Gentiles, influenced by "those who were of the circumcision". See also Acts 11:2-3 regarding Peter's calling at Joppa to take the gospel message to Gentiles.
Galatians 2:14 Something to do with "compelling Gentiles to live like Jews".
Galatians 2:16 Something to do with justification through the "works of the law" versus "faith in Jesus Christ".
Galatians 2:15-16 Those who were natively Jews acknowledged their salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ, not works of the law.
Galatians 2:16; 3:11 About how we are "justified".
Galatians 2:17-18 There is an expectation that someone who is saved by Christ should live a life oriented around righteousness, not sinning.
Galatians 2:17-21 Rehearsing Jewish believers' concept of doctrine of salvation through Jesus Christ, in relation to sin and law. Difficult to understand statements about law.
Galatians 2:21; 3:21; 5:4 Crux: is salvation through the law or through Christ's death?
Galatians 3 elaborates law versus faith.
Galatians 3:1 Jesus Christ was central to a truth that some were not obeying.
Galatians 3:3; 4:23 relates "under the law" with "of the flesh".
Galatians 3:6-9,14-18 Abraham's salvation was through faith, not law.
Galatians 3:13 Christ redeems us from the curse of the law.
Galatians 3:2-6,14 Promise of the Spirit received by faith.
Galatians 3:14,26 Salvation for Gentiles is also through faith in Jesus Christ.
Galatians 3:14-18 Promise of salvation through faith, originally given to Abraham, is completed in Jesus Christ (New Covenant?).
Galatians 3:15,17 speak of a covenant (Abrahamic it seems). Galatians 3:17 speaks of "the law which was 430 years later" — which is at the giving of Old Covenant.
Galatians 3:23; 4:4-5,21; 5:18; Romans 3:19; 6:14-15; 1 Corinthians 9:20-21 speak of "under the law". What is it? Putting it all together: Old Covenant. Galatians 4:24.
Galatians 3:26-29 Salvation through faith has no favouritism according to identity; it's available to all without prejudice or distinction. It seems the New/Gentile issue saw Gentiles as needing to come to God (be a "seed of Abraham") through Jewish law-keeping within the construct of the Old Covenant.
Galatians 4:5-7 seems to imply that Gentiles were also "under the law" and redeemed by Christ. This seems to imply "under the law" means "in bondage under the elements of the world" not "under the Old Covenant". This seems to contradict 1 Corinthians 9:20-21. What's going on?
Galatians 4:3,8-10; 5:1 What is this bondage about? Puzzling. Especially since Gal 4:4-5,21 are again talking about "under the law". I have heard in the past that "elementals" are a gnostic teaching. But Ellicott's commentary says it means "elements/rudiments of religious teachings". That seems to fit context better.
Galatians 4:17 "They" teaching the false doctrine seem to want to exclude the Galatians by it.
Galatians 4:21 Galatians desiring to be "under the law".
Galatians 4:21-31 clearly comparing two covenants — of bondage and promise. It seems remarkable that the Old Covenant is described as a covenant of "bondage".
Galatians 5:1 "yoke of bondage", while Galatians 5:2-6 is again talking about circumcision, attempting justification by law.
Galatians 5:1-6 seems key—they were attempting to require Gentiles to be justified by the law, specifically by being circumcised—and by implication to embrace precepts of Judaism—rather than being justified through Christ.
Galatians 5:16-18 Led by the Spirit, not under the law.

Law and Grace Together

James 2:14-26 Faith and works together.
Revelation 12:17; 14:12 God's true people are those who "keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ".


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