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The Law and Gospel views on Christian marriage and divorce (4)

By John Moyibi Amoda
THE world without Israel was heathen, gentile, who “were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12).

The Lord Jesus characterised the heart of Israel of the Law as “hard”, and the Law only regulated the conduct of man, not their hearts.  The churches of the gentiles to whom Paul wrote were churches saved from the Law in two senses.

Being saved on the basis of the Gospel of Christ, they were beneficiary of Christ fulfillment of the Law.  In every member of the churches of the gentiles, it was not the Law that constrained them, but the love of Christ.

“For the love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead.  And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again” (2Cor 5:14-15).

Mankind before Calvary, that is, mankind made up of Jews and gentiles were under the sentence of death, awaiting the execution of the sentence passed on them by a Just God.  Mankind declared guilty of a capital offence could not and cannot seek justification in the sight of God by any post-judgment doing of the law.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…Therefore by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in (God’s) sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:23,20).

The Gospel of Christ is the Good News announcing God’s justification of all – the Gospel that reveals the new basis of righteousness without the Law.

“But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested being witnessed by the law and the prophets, Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe, for there is no difference.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare (God’s) righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time (God’s righteousness: that he might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.  Where is boasting then?  It is excluded.

By what law?  Of works?  Nay: but by the law of faith.  Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.  Is he the God of the Jews only?

Is he not also of the Gentiles?  Yes, of the Gentiles also; seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcised through faith.  Do we then make void the law through faith?  God forbid: yea, we establish the law” (Romans 3:21-31).

The Jews are justified before God by faith; the gentile believers are justified through faith.  Is the Law then irrelevant in the course of the salvation of Gentile believers? No!

The Gentile is justified because he believes the Lord God who has “set forth” Christ Jesus” to be a propitiation”, the sacrifice for sin, and who has faith in Christ Jesus “blood”.

God has declared both to the Jews to whom the law is given and to the Gentile to whom the law was not given, that remission for sins that are past through the forbearance of God was through faith in Jesus’s blood.

Jesus’ blood establishes the justice of God and the just demand of a just God and the final and ultimate fulfillment of the Law.  The Blood of Jesus brings to an end in an irrevocable manner the career of the Law.

God cannot and will never again demand of mankind the keeping of any of the works of the Law because the blood of Jesus has satisfied the just sentence of death passed on all of mankind so concluded under sin by the scriptures.

III
The Gospel of God Concerning His Son Jesus Christ

This is the Gospel of Christ, God effecting the end of the Race of Mankind brought into being by the sin of the First Adam and creating through the resurrection of the Last Adam a New Race of the Children of God.  The Gospel of Christ is Jesus was offered for our offences and He was raised for our justification (Romans 4:25).

This is the Gospel of Christ, the God News that: “when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).

This is the Gospel of Christ that God:
“…commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
This is the Gospel of Christ that God had given life again to mankind; “…who were dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1).

God effected the salvation of mankind for a New Covenant, New Creation Beginning with Him, when while we were yet “without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6).

Mankind’s New Covenant Beginning with God is on the basis of Calvary’s Redemption of mankind under condemnation.  God’s salvation through grace by faith, is on the basis of the full discharge by Jesus of the penalty imposed by the Law.  Christ died for our sins, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:28).


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