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BIBLE STUDY: The Concepts of God’s Grace & The Law

Are You Willing To Examine The Word, Hear The Truth, And Keep It (Luke 11:28)?

"In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue; but have taken them at second-hand, from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing" (Mark Twain's Autobiography, 1959)

The previous quote is one of my favorites! It is full of truth, and speaks to 1 Thessalonians 5:21 / 2 Corinthians 13:5 / and especially Acts 17:11.

Bible Study Instructions: One Nation Under God Ministries (www.onug.us) publishes and distributes weekly Bible Studies, worldwide – free of charge, to anyone who requests them, in both printed and electronic formats. Our Studies are intended to be a simple and fun way to learn the Scriptures, and are very easy to follow! We adhere to Jesus Christ’s Biblical instructions to teach and feed the flock of God portions of meat in due season, on weekly Sabbaths, and on the seven annual Holy Days throughout each calendar year (Luke 12:42 / Isaiah 28:9-10 / Matthew 13:52). Using both the Old and New Testaments, our Bible Studies are designed to present a premise, make a statement, or ask a question – followed by one or more Scriptural references. Just look up and read from your Bible the Scriptures listed. Comments following questions elaborate on the Scriptures you just read. Pray always before beginning any study of God’s Word, asking God to open both your eyes and your mind to His Truth; then Prove everything you read, is in fact the Truth, by comparing it to The Word of God (1 Thessalonians 5:21 / 2 Timothy 3:15-17). Then use the Biblical System of Checks and Balances, and SEE if both Jesus Christ, and the First Century Church of God Apostles – also Did, Said, and Taught these SAME THINGS (Galatians 1:1-12, 5:25 / 1 Peter 2:21, 25 / 1 John 2:3-6)! That’s all there is to it! Our Bible Studies are based on the King James Version, unless otherwise stated. We will be praying for your eyes to “see” (Matthew 13:11-17); and we are always available to answer any of your questions! Be Blessed, in Jesus’ Name! - One Nation Under God Ministries (www.onug.us).

I have learned many years ago to be an examiner. I hope you are too. Being an examiner is the first step toward unlearning error, correcting ignorance, and verifying Biblical Truths! Be wary of any teacher of truth without scriptural support, dig beneath the surface (Matthew 7:15-20 / Psalm 111:10 / John 15:1-17 Matthew 13:10-17). Take the time to actually read the scriptures we provide, from your own Bible - for yourself. Prove for yourself, whether or not these things are so! Why? Because Jesus Christ said it matters whether or not you and I - get it right! See Matthew 7:21-29 /15:7-9, 6:5, 24:4-5 / Luke 13:24-29 / Galatians 1:6-12 / Hebrews 13:8 / Malachi 3:6 / Revelation 1:5-6, 8, 11).

How can so many people today, all read the same Bible, and become convinced of so many things that are not so (2 Timothy 3:1-9)?

The simple answer is that Satan has deceived the whole world (Revelation 12:9 / 1 John 5:19-21 / Matthew 24:24-25), and uses very subtle deceptions to get us off track and to keep us off track. Then there is the need for God’s Holy Spirit; without which, you may read the Word of God, but you won’t understand it (Luke 10:21-22 / Acts 2:36-47 / Romans 8:14-17 / John 15:15-16)!!!

Getting Off Track

When I was a child, I played a very simple game at birthday parties. All the children would all sit in a circle and one person would silently read a very short statement written on a piece of paper. Something very much like this:

“Jack had two sisters and their names were Mary and Alice. Mary liked to watch tigers at the zoo, and Alice liked to eat vanilla ice cream!”

Each child would whisper the message, into the ear, of the person on their right. By the time the message was heard and retold by 15 children, it sounded nothing like the original! I have also tried this exercise with very accomplished adults; the distortion of the original message at full circle usually elicits some laughter, but makes the point to which Mark Twain spoke of previously. You cannot convey truth, without a quality control of checks and balances. God’s word, the Bible – is our Check (Matthew 4:4 / Luke 4:4 / Deuteronomy 8:3); the Balance is the Spirit of our Heavenly Father that speaks in us and through us (Matthew 10:20 / John 16:5-15)!                                                       www.onug.us

But unlike kids at a birthday party playing this story / word game; God intends for us to hear His TRUTH – correctly – the first time (Matthew 15:10), to have His TRUTH written down accurately (Revelation 1:19), and for us to read, and speak, and hear His TRUTH over and over again (Revelation 1:3), until we learn it, memorize it, and eventually write His TRUTH in our hearts (Proverbs 22:6 / Jeremiah 31:33 / Hebrews 8:10, 10:16)! God uses His Holy Spirit to guide us at each step of the way, correcting errors (John 16:13), until we learn enough to accept His Invitation, become Baptized, and then receive His Holy Spirit as a Divine Gift inside, to guide us from that point on – in correct Worship of our Father God (Acts 2:37-39 / John 4:22-24)! It all begins with Praising God in His Church (Psalm 47:6-7), and it ends with us Praising God in His church (Psalm 149:1 / Acts 2:47)! In between, is God Calling sinners to SEE His Great Works and Plan for mankind (Psalm 40:5, 92:4-6), and then to Repent and Commit to Following Him and His Ways (Mark 1:14-15 / Acts 3:19-26)! If we will remember Him as our Creator, and Give Him back His Sabbaths and His Holy Days – which we have stolen; He will forgive us and then Teach us His Meat in due season – and we will grow thereby (Malachi 3:7 / Hebrews 4:1-11)! If we will stop stealing our tithes and offerings from God, He will financially Bless us and give the heritage and the wealth of the heathen to us (Malachi 3:8-12)!!! Obedience to God is investing in Absolute Assurance and Divine Wisdom; it is Rejoicing in Our Father God’s Plan to teach the whole world to begin giving back - of our time and of our finances to God, so that in obedience We Are Blessed, We Are Prospered, We are Granted Understanding and Wisdom, We are Empowered, We are Healed, We are Restored, We are Reconciled, We are Filled with great Joy, and We Praise God Continuously – Forever, and Ever, and Ever (Psalm 111:1-10)!!!

Having travelled internationally, and all over these United States for more than 30 years now; I have witnessed a tragedy within the Body of Christ: it is fragmented, it is divided, and it is estranged from the other members of that very same body! On the other hand, Satan’s kingdom is very much a united front (Matthew 12:22-30)!

Organizations that might seem to have nothing in common, except a disdain for anyone who promotes Biblical Values in public; frequently unite to attack and undermine anyone or anything they perceive as shining “Light” on their darkness! This was exactly the case when the Chik-fil-A restaurant chain endorsed the Biblical view of marriage; enraging abortionists, homosexuals, atheists, and those who cannot tolerate God’s Authority in the affairs of mankind!

Diversity?

In my hometown, for instance, there are now more than 80 registered - but separate, houses of worship or churches; all practicing their faith, their religion, according to “their” understanding of the God of the Bible.

Nationally, we are not much different. The United States has more than 300,000 churches that list more than 120 million people as regularly attending (according to the Gallup Research organization). In 2006, there were 217 main church denominations listed, with many smaller sub-divisions within these!

Looking at the differences between just the top 25 Denominations from a 2011 list of North American Churches (and their 145 million plus - total membership) is startling! Most officially state that the God of the Bible (and His written Word) is the source of “their” spiritual wisdom and practices. Yet when examining the very different practices between what each of the “Top 25” actually believes, does, and says; it is amazingly difficult to substantiate this claim. It is even harder to believe they all once started out from the very same teachings of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 30:21 / John 14:6)! www.onug.us

“Now wait a minute”, some may say. “You, yourself, just showed us how a simple story can grow or change from person to person, let alone from generation to generation. It is very difficult to keep something exactly the same, over a long period of time. Besides, the culture was very different back then from our modern times. We have to keep religion interesting to the people, keep it relevant to our modern society, or people will reject it.”

Well, yes, that logic holds true with some things; but it is not a valid argument when applied to how God commands us to worship Him. I’m glad automobiles have improved from the Model- T, into what I drive today. That change is very much within man’s realm of God-given authority to act on things, here on this planet. However, God says He has a very strong opinion about how we are allowed to worship Him (see Deuteronomy 12:1-4, 28-32 / John 4:23-24 / John 14:12-17 / 1 John 2:3-6, 15-17, 20-29 / Psalm 119:172-176).

In 1945, Burton Baskin and Irvine Robbins came out with 31 flavors of ice cream, and have been delighting customers with irresistible treats ever since. It seems many churches today have done the same thing!!! They have changed the non-changeable things of God - listed in the scriptures above (Deuteronomy 12:32 / Revelation 22:18-21), as it suited them to speak to the particular pleasure and taste of their congregations (Romans 1:25, 29-32 / 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 / 1 John 2:18-19)!

God’s Grace and The Law:

The Grace of God and its relationship to His Law is one of the most misunderstood topics in the Bible. This lack of understanding and failure to examine the scriptures for clarification of concept, (particularly on these two subjects) are responsible for many of the divisions we see in what the world recognizes as the church today.

Are God's law and His grace really contradictory, as many seem to think? Or do they work together? Let us ask God for His guidance, examine the scriptures and see (Jeremiah 10:23-24).

 

The 3 Main Schools of Thought in churches today:

1) We are under Grace now, The Law was done away with at the cross (is this a Monopoly: Get Out of Jail- FREE card?).

2) We must still keep the Law to receive or earn a better reward or salvation at Christ’s return (is this Legalism?)

3) Grace paid our sin debt and saved us; we now ALSO still keep The Law out of Love for God. Obedience to His Law is one of the works of Faith in Christ (does this hinder our salvation by going back to the law?) www.onug.us

Let’s Investigate and see which of the three above groups is supported entirely by Scripture and the Teachings of Jesus Christ and His First Century Church!

Group 1: The Anti-Law Crowd: “Grace Only!”

Many Christians today have been taught and firmly believe that God's grace is the opposite of the Law. They believe that God's grace alone is enough for a believer. What does the Bible have to say?

I have attended many “Grace Only” church services over the years, and have heard many different ministers tell their flocks, “We are not under The Law anymore”, “Grace has replaced The Law”, “Christ kept the Law for you, so you don’t have to”, or “The Law was nailed to the cross with Jesus”. These ministers sometimes even tell their congregations, “That anyone who seeks to obey God's Law has rejected salvation found in Jesus Christ.” In their view of Christianity, obedience to God’s Law is wrong and declared to be legalism. But is this so?

Remember, the Bible is of no personal interpretation: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation” (2 Peter 1:20)!!! www.onug.us

“Whom shall He teach knowledge? And whom shall He make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little” (Isaiah 28:9-10)!!!

Many of these same ministers will cite the epistles of Paul when addressing this topic, and use his writings to justify “their” nullifying of the Law. Let’s look at a few examples of the scriptures they give to support the idea that obedience to the Law is no longer required, or even forbidden, for believers in Jesus Christ:

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14).

“But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter” (Romans 7:6).

“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the Law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Galatians 2:21).

“For as many as are of the works of the Law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the Law to do them. But that no man is justified by the Law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the Law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” (Galatians 3:10-13). www.onug.us

“But before faith came, we were kept under the Law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the Law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:23-26).

“Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the Law; ye are fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4).

On the surface, these passages might initially seem to teach that those who have received God's grace don't need to keep the Law. That is exactly what the “anti-Law” crowd teaches today. They use God’s Grace and Christ’s sacrifice on the cross as a kind of “Get Out of Jail – FREE” card; believing they can both teach and practice disobedience to God’s Law in this present age (see Matthew 5:19), and still “make the grade” or be reckoned as righteous, at the judgment seat of Jesus Christ (Romans 14:10 / 2 Corinthians 5:10). However, we must remember Isaiah 28:9-10 & 2 Peter 1:20; and ask ourselves the question, “Did Paul really believe and teach that God's grace trumped the Law and made it invalid?”

The Anti-Paul Groups:

Some people cannot reconcile these verses with other Scriptures that show obedience to God's Law is a necessary part of a believer's life. As a result, they have taken the extreme position of rejecting the writings of Paul altogether. They conclude that Paul wasn't a true apostle of Jesus Christ and believe his epistles should NOT be considered Scripture and his teachings should be discarded (A Warning: Revelation 22:19).

I believe the proper relationship between the Law of God and His Grace, can be found, and is revealed in all the books of the Bible - including Paul’s writings. The Apostle Peter validated and confirmed Paul as an apostle, and Peter did the same for Paul’s writings too! If Paul was good enough for Peter, and of course Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:8-11); that is good enough for me!

Hopefully, you will agree with me: Paul’s writing stay – we just have to understand them in light of the other scriptures! So if all those that are proponents of the “Grace Only” doctrine - derive their ideas from Paul’s writings, we then must look at what Peter has to say about Paul:

Peter Weighs In On Paul:

Peter said Paul’s writings were wisdom given by God (2 Peter 3:15). www.onug.us

This wisdom was in all of Paul’s epistles – although some were hard to understand – and the “Biblically ignorant or unlearned and unstable” would wrestle with, and twist Paul’s writings into their own destruction (or false teachings), as they twist all the other scriptures and the rest of the Bible (2 Peter 3:16).

Peter warns us to not to be led away with the error of the wicked (the LAWLESS people who misused Paul’s teachings), by also misinterpreting Paul’s writing too (2 Peter 3:17) but to grow in grace and knowledge of Christ (v:18).

Even in the days of the early church, it seems that some who called themselves Christians were using Paul's epistles to do away with God's Law – and they are still trying today!

Let’s stop here and define a few terms that will help us to better understand, and analyze the scriptures we are about to read.

1. GRACE - In the New Testament, the Greek word generally translated "grace" is charis. When referring to God's grace given to sinning humans, it is defined as God's benevolent attitude toward mankind. This attitude results in favor being granted by God to man. God's grace is wholly undeserved by mankind; it has not been (and cannot be) earned. www.onug.us

2. JUSTIFICATION - This English word comes from the Greek nouns dikaioma and dikaiosis. The verb: dikaioo means, "justify," "justifies," and "justified". In the Bible its implication is "a regulation relating to just or right action, requirement, commandment" and "an action that meets expectations as to what is right or just, righteous deed . . ." It is the concept of being made right with God by being acquitted of our transgressions. It can also be used when referring to those who, in error, seek this justification, or to be made righteous - by their own acts or works; solely by means of keeping His Commandments.

3. LASCIVIOUSNESS - This archaic English word, also translated "lewdness" and "licentiousness" in modern translations, comes from the Greek noun aselgeia. It means "as living without any moral restraint licentiousness, sensuality, lustful indulgence; especially as indecent and outrageous sexual behavior debauchery, indecency, flagrant immorality."

4. LAWLESSNESS - Anomia is the Greek word underlying "lawlessness." Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament  says that it is "properly, the condition of one without law – either because they are ignorant of it, or because they are violating it. . . . contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness".

1 John 3:4 defines SIN as lawlessness; therefore, sin is biblically defined as the violation of God's Law. Those who break God's Law because of their contempt for its value to a believer are practicing lawlessness (Matthew 7:23-27; 13:41-43). In 2 Corinthians 6:14-15, Paul rhetorically asks "what fellowship has RIGHTEOUSNESS (Gr. dikaiosune) with LAWLESSNESS (or anomia)?" The implied answer is NONE!!! www.onug.us

5. LEGALISM - This term is NOT found in the Bible. The Webster Comprehensive Dictionary, Encyclopedic Edition gives two theological definitions for legalism: "The doctrine of salvation by works, as distinguished from that by grace," and "the tendency to observe the letter rather than the spirit of the law".

Scripturally speaking, the first of these definitions best fits what we are speaking about here. “Legalism" has become the term of choice the "Grace Only" crowd, to tag anyone who advocates or believes that obeying the Law of God is required of believers. “It is frequently redefined by those who use it, but "legalism" is generally meant to slander, disparage, and cast doubt upon the beliefs so labeled. Due to the negative connotation of the word, those tagged as "legalists" are immediately put on the defensive regarding their beliefs.

It is important you understand all of these terms, in order to grasp what the Bible really teaches about the Grace of God - and its relationship to the Law!

Group 2: The Legalists

I have only met a few in my lifetime, and all were Jewish! I think Galatians 2:21 & Ephesians 2:1-9 kind of puts Legalism to rest. If we continue reading, (Ephesians 2:10-22) we get into Grace and the Law – and into a discussion of Group 3.

Group 3: Grace AND The Law working together!

Before getting into the scriptures to validate Group 3’s beliefs and further explain the scriptures used by Group 1 (the “Grace Only” crowd), let’s use an analogy that shows the Grace Only crowd to be a really silly position for anyone to take:

THE SPY

There was a man who was caught selling sensitive, classified information to a foreign government. He was legally tried in Federal Court, and convicted of the crime of Treason against the United States. The man realized he had made a terrible mistake, and was deeply sorry for what he had done; but the severity of the crime required the death sentence be given to him based on the laws of the United States.

The prisoner is sent to death row to await execution. But in the spirit of forgiveness and grace (unmerited favor), the President of the United States grants the man a full and unconditional pardon, and has him released from prison!

Does this pardon received by the prisoner now nullify the legal code of the United States? Would this man now be able to break any, and all, US laws - with impunity after his release? Would he be able to quit paying income tax to the IRS, traffic in illegal drugs, distribute child pornography, or even murder another US citizen, without having to worry about the consequences of his actions? www.onug.us

Just using human reasoning, it's easy to see that the pardoned man would NOT be free to break the laws of the United States after his pardon. In fact, it's reasonable to expect that the man would be so thankful for his undeserved reprieve from death, that he would become a model, law-abiding citizen. How do you think this man would react to someone who advocated, now that he had been set free, that he actively set out to disobey all US laws from this point forward? He would, or should, be so grateful for the mercy that was shown him, that he would flatly reject such advice, and have nothing to do with the person giving it to him (Matthew 18:23-35)!

Through His grace, God has provided The Way for us to be pardoned from the death sentence we've earned by breaking His Law. Why then, would someone assume that this pardon negates the Law of God? Why would anyone repay the unmerited favor shown to them by God with a rebellious disregard for His commandments? Why would anyone believe that an eternal, unchanging God (Malachi 3:6) would contradict Himself by requiring believers to disobey His own Law in order to maintain His divine favor (John 14:15-16)? www.onug.us

Why we still keep The Law AFTER Grace:

Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the Law (Galatians 3:13).

What is the curse of the Law (Ezekiel 18:4)?

The curse of the Law is death. We are saved by Grace and not by the works of the Law (Romans 6:14).

God’s Grace or His favor is the result of Christ’s atonement for our sins on the cross. Being under God’s favor means we are forgiven for our sins! So by implication, “Grace” or “charis” means forgiveness (Acts 13:38-39)!!! www.onug.us

By having FAITH in Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection, we are justified from all things (sin), we are justified by God by His forgiveness of our sins! This in NO WAY gives us the right to keep on sinning, and sinning, and sinning (Romans 6:1-4, 12-16)!

It is true that we are not saved by works or the Law; and it is also true that once our sins are forgiven, we PROVE our FAITH (Belief in Christ) by WORKS (James 2:18-26)!!! James said he will show us his faith BY HIS WORKS! Faith without works is DEAD Faith!!! Our Faith is a Living, Righteous Faith, which produces FRUIT (Mark 11:22-24)!!! This is the Faith, backed by Works, that Pleases God (Hebrews 11:6-8)!!! This is our Faith!!!

Some people make the statement, “Since I am not under the Law, I don’t have to keep it! Not keeping the Law is by definition, “lawlessness”. What did Jesus say about such people? (Matthew 7:22-23). The word, “iniquity” literally means “lawlessness”!!! Jesus is actually saying here, “Depart from me, you Law breakers!” (Isaiah 24:5) The word, “everlasting” means never ending, eternal, or forever! You can’t argue with God and win!!!

The Commandments of God:

The Commandments of God still exist; and are we still expected to obey them! They are not obsolete, fulfilled and done away with by Christ’s death on the cross!

Majority does NOT rule here! (Matthew 7:13-14) God will only start His Plan / His Gospel with “a few”, until the second coming of Christ. Even Jesus began with a small team (Matthew 10:1). The Christ who had 12 Legions of Angels (Matthew 26:53) on standby, chose to start off small against a great number who were in opposition (Matthew 10:16 / Luke 10:3).

Even though millions of professing Christians “think” they are not under the Law, because it was done away with; and they “think” they no longer are expected to keep it. Even though this is a major doctrine of many Christian churches today; it cannot change or negate the Word of God! (Psalm 111:7-8) Forever is forever (Matthew 24:35 / Mark 13:31)! www.onug.us

Now let’s read Paul again (Romans 6:14-15). He is saying we are not under the “curse or penalty of the Law” which is death, but rather, we are now under forgiveness or Grace!

What does the Bible say is our greatest command? (Deuteronomy 6:5) Did Jesus say the same? (Matthew 22:36-38) But what does this command mean? How do we do it? (Deuteronomy 11:13, 22 / Joshua 22:5)

Keeping God’s Commandments or The Law is extremely important to God! Is this still true after the second resurrection, after the return of Christ, and after the 1000 year rule of Christ? (Luke 16:31). These verses tell us, that in order to love God, with all our heart, and with all our soul and with all our might; we must "Keep His Commandments"!!!

Praise God, we have the Spirit of God in us, and the Spirit of Truth!!! We can love God, love each other; and also overcome sin and error (1 John 4:1-8)! www.onug.us

It is The Spirit of The Father inside us (1 John 4:6), that allows us to:

- know that we (you and I) are of God!

- hear and understand God (the rest of the world cannot)!

- hear and understand those God raises up to teach Truth (the rest of the world condemns God’s teachers [Matthew 5:10-12 / John 10:3-5])!

- discern the spirit of error in others (Exodus 31:13 / Revelation 20:4)!

 It is not only possible to be overcomers, but it is our duty to do so (1 John 4:7-17 / 1 Peter 4:16-19 / 1 john 5:2-3)!!!

The Commandments keep us on course (Luke 13:24 / John 14:15, 21). Obedience to the Law allows Christ to manifest himself to us and in us! That is an awesome Truth!

Many people will go to Paul's writings to show that we no longer need to keep the Law. But if Paul taught against the Law, that would make him a false prophet (Galatians 1:8-12)!!! Did Paul teach against the Law (Romans 7:12)?

Remember what Peter said, that those who use Paul’s writings to teach against the Law, are untaught and unstable (2 Peter 3:15-18)!!! Peter calls their religion, “the error of the wicked”. Christ calls them “workers of iniquity”! (Matthew 7:23 / Luke 13:27)

I find it amazing that ANYONE can believe that once we are followers of Jesus Christ, we are then no longer required to keep the Law!!! (Matthew 5:17-20). The word “fulfill” means to perform. It is the same way a husband and wife “fulfill” their wedding contract; or a member of the military fulfills their enlistment contract. It means that they "do it, perform it, and honor it!" They don’t just do it ONCE and FORGET IT FOREVER!

Jesus did not come to destroy the Law; but rather, he came to perform, to do, and to HONOR the law of His Father - our God! (Psalm 19:7-11) Ask yourself, why would we no longer be required to keep something that is Perfect (1 Peter 4:18-19)?

Our God-given calling is to be different from most! (Matthew 7:13-14) To know the right way (John 14:6, 8:31-34) and to be FREE from SIN, death, error, lies, and Satan’s ways!!!

Our Mission is to live a life free from sin, through the power from on High! We need to continue in Christ’s Words! (1 John 3:4 / James 1:22-27) Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter (Ecclesiastes 12:13 / Matthew 19:16-22 / James 2:14-26/ Romans 2:1-16 / Revelation 22:10-21)! www.onug.us

Grace is central to our salvation! Without grace the world would not have been formed, nor would you have been created! God will call each one of us, in turn, out of a sinful world, at our appointed time – by Grace (John 4:23-24 / Deuteronomy 30:19-20)! We need Grace to save us all, from our often flagrant disregard for the Ways of The Most High God; and from the Righteous Judgment that The Holy God must require of us! Grace is why God Calls us, and Sanctifies us by His Holy Spirit!!!

It is the Mercy of God to provide a path for our redemption; to make a way to apply the Blood of His Son to us, in order to pay our death penalty for us – in our stead, so we do not have to pay it for ourselves (Ephesians 2:1)! Baptism for the remission of sins, in Jesus’ Name, so that we may receive His Spirit; is God The Father’s WAY to apply that Blood to us!!!

We then are given FAITH by God, which we must then exercise to grow in size and strength (Hebrew 11:6 / Mark 11:22-26); determining to live the rest of our lives in OBEDIENCE to our LORD God. Faith allows us to KNOW that God will complete the process of Salvation unto eternal life; walking with us each step, filling in the blanks, picking us up when we fall, teaching us to think like Him, act like Him, love like Him… and eventually be like Him (1 John 3:1-4)!!!

Don’t believe the lie of “Once saved, Always saved”!!! We can fall from GRACE if we are not careful, if we stop walking in the very footsteps of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 6:1-20 / Hosea 4:6)! A once Wise Virgin can begin to act foolishly, and can become an Unwise Virgin (Matthew 25:1-13)!!! www.onug.us

Just as the ancient nation of Israel failed to enter into the promised land, because they did not follow God’s direction; we too can fail to enter into the marriage supper of the Lamb, if we do not follow the directions, written on the invitations we have been sent (Revelation 19:7-9 / Luke 13:22-30 / John 13:10-17 / 2 Corinthians 6:1 / 2 Peter 3:17 / Hebrews 3:19-4:3, 10:26-27 / Matthew 12:31 / 1 Corinthians 1:26-31)!

“For as the body without the Spirit is dead, so Faith without Works is dead also” (James 2:26)! Works are OBEYING The Law – God’s Law (John 15:14)!!!

"Show me Thy ways, O LORD; teach me Thy paths. Lead me in Thy Truth, and teach me: for Thou art the GOD of my Salvation; on Thee do I wait all the day" (Psalm 25:4-5).

Try Using The Key to Wisdom in Any Area of Life:

Psalm 119:97-112; "O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.

Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.

I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.

I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.

I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.

I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.

How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.

I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O LORD, according unto thy word.        www.onug.us

Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me thy judgments.

My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law.

The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts.

Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.

I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes always, even unto the end!!!" (Psalm 119:97-112). www.onug.us

The Character of God and The Character of The Law:

A TRUTH of God is that The Law and GRACE are Complimentary! They have to be TOGETHER! If you get rid of God’s Law (as many churches today do), You get rid of the Character of God – THEY ARE IDENTICAL!!! Notice:

Trait:          The Character of God:    The Character of The Law:

JUST:          Romans 3:26                  Romans 7:2

TRUE:         John 3:33                       Nehemiah 9:13

PURE:         1 John 3:3                      Psalm 19:7-8

LIGHT         1 John 1:5                      Proverbs 6:23

FAITHFUL:  1Corinthians 1:9              Psalm 119:86

GOOD:        Nahum 1:7                     Romans 12:7, 16

SPIRITUAL: 1 Corinthians 10:1-4       Romans 7:14

HOLY:         Isaiah 6:3/1 Peter 1:15   Exodus 20:8/Romans 7:12

TRUTH:       John 14:6                        Psalm 119:142, 151

LIFE:          John 14:6                        John 12:50/Matthew 19:17

RIGHTEOUSNESS: Jeremiah 23:6        Psalm 119:172

PERFECT:    Matt.5:48/Psalm 18:30     Psalm 19:7/ James 1:25

FOREVER:   John 8:35/Hebrews 13:8  Psalm 111:8/Luke 16:17

One Nation Under God Ministries        (www.onug.us)

If YOU get rid of God’s Law, YOU get rid of the Character of God!!! They are IDENTICAL, as YOU have just seen and proven from God’s Holy Scriptures!!! We cannot become Christ-Like, or put on the Mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) without The Law!!!! www.onug.us

The Law is a Shadow of Things to Come (Hebrews 10:1 / Colossians 2:16-17), it is a Shadow of God; which shows us and shapes us – by keeping it; to BECOME Gods too (Psalm 82:6 / John 10:34 / 1 John 3:1-3 / Hebrews 2:9-10 / Revelation 5:9-10, 20:4 & 6 / Daniel 12:2-3)!!! The LAW is given to us by God’s Grace; we are given the ability to keep that Law by the Blood and the Spirit of Jesus Christ given to us at Baptism (Romans 8:9)! The Grace of God is teaching us how to Keep His Law; NOT to nail it to the cross, or to throw it away!!! The Law of God when OBEYED, makes us Holy, PERFECT, Kings, Priests, SAINTS of The Most High God!!! THE LAW STANDS! IT CANNOT BE CHANGED!!!

“Ye shall walk in all The Ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess” (Deuteronomy 5:33)!!!

May we all OBEY God, and LIVE!!! That is the Grace of God; Calling us and Teaching us How To Escape Eternal Death (Revelation 22:16-21)!!! www.onug.us

The First Century Church of God is still alive and well; and we are still about our Father’s Business! We would like to Thank You for joining One Nation Under God Ministries (www.onug.us) today in the Study of God’s Word, and hope that you will continue on with us next week! We so enjoyed having you study and fellowship with us!!! Please stay in touch!

In Jesus Christ’s Mighty Name, Peace!

                                                                                                     - submitted by R. C. Brown III

 One Nation Under God Ministries                                                                            www.onug.us

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The sad state of affairs today is that the vast majority of Americans are Bible illiterates (Hosea 4:6). They simply have never read the book which they profess to regard as the “Word of God”. If we are to change this, we must begin using the Bible as our primary source of education, to learn about God and His teachings (Matthew 6:33).

If you have never faithfully kept God’s seventh day Sabbath holy or God’s Holy Days, the way Jesus Christ did – in the flesh, and in the fellowship of other followers of the Son of Man (Hebrews 10:25); we invite you to obediently enter into God’s rest today, and to keep the Feasts of the LORD (Hebrews 4:1-11 / Leviticus 23:1-44)! Contact us to find out where we fellowship and worship God, in your area, on His Sabbath Days (Exodus 31:12-18). We would love to hear from you and help get you started!

Join us on-line each Sabbath and Holy Day at www.onug.us where you can download our Bible Studies, or join us on facebook to listen in to our live webinar each week.

You may write to us at:

One Nation Under God  Ministries

P.O. Box 111960

Naples, Florida 34108 U.S.A.

You can telephone us at: (239) 353 – 1303

Or e-Mail us at: one_nation_under_god_usa@msn.com

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”But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one” (John 10:26-30).

Christians must learn to read the Bible, interpret the scriptures according to Biblical principles (Isaiah 28:9-10, 13), and begin to apply the precepts they learn in their walk with God. Individual study is essential; coupled with fellowship times of group study, worship, and discussions of personal insights and observations.

We strive, each Saturday, to foster an open and welcoming atmosphere where Spirit led confirmation, clarification, questions, and correction can be made in the fellowship of other students of God’s Word.

One Nation Under God (www.onug.us) is working to unify the body of Christ in the worship of God the Father, in the way Jesus showed us to - in Spirit and in Truth! We strive to promote rediscovery of American History, and renew in current generations the Vision and the Covenant of our Founding Fathers.

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NEVER A COST - All of our Bible Studies, are mailed FREE, worldwide to anyone that asks.

“And when He had called unto Him His twelve disciples, He gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease… And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.  Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat”                     – Jesus Christ (Matthew 10:1, 7-10).

PRISON MINISTRY - Is there anyone you know in jail or in prison who may like to begin receiving our FREE weekly Bible Studies? Please let us know, we would be happy to share the Good News of God’s Coming Kingdom with them!

TITHES, OFFERINGS, & DONATIONS – We gratefully acknowledge and thank every one of you, led by God, to support this ministry! All of our Bible Studies, Booklets, mailing costs, and internet ministry expenses are paid for by the Tithes, Offerings, and Donations of our church membership, and by others just like you, who partner with us to help preach The Gospel in these last days!

We Pray Daily for all of you who come alongside us and continue to support this work; and we ask that you to join us in also Praying for all those around the world, to whom God’s Word will be sent - by our collective efforts! Please Pray with us; and Please Pray for us!

For those who wish to financially contribute to this Work, you may do so:

- Online at www.onug.us - just click the “Donate” button.

 - In the United States, checks and money orders may be made payable to: One Nation Under God Ministries

 - From outside the U.S.A., payments may be made to: The Church of One Nation Under God International, P.O. Box 111960, Naples, Florida 34108, U.S.A.

Notes:

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