I wish I was a law merchant! But, I wish it only very briefly and only then when I have lost a sense of the glory of the gospel of God’s grace. But sometimes being able to wield the law does seem to be very appealing.
For example, to be able to say: “if you come to the prayer meeting you will be given a reward in heaven. Or if you attend the Bible Study then you will be a true Christian and be allowed into heaven.” This approach all seems so attractive when you once again attend a prayer meeting and/or Bible Study and there are but a few there. But hey, Philip! This is not right. Get yourself together. To have a lot of forced attendees is guaranteed to kill the spirit of the meeting.
And everything that matters is about grace. Our faith is grace. It is about:-
- For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. (2 Cor. 8:9).
- For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. (Eph. 2:8-9).
- For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. (Rom. 6:14).
How much better to have a few “graced” people there then a mass of “legalised” people there.
But there is more. Surely grace is more beautiful and wonderful than the drudgery of law keeping. Surely the wonder of what Jesus Christ has graciously done should be so captivating people that they respond to grace. And then they want to be in God’s place with God’s people to engage in God’s service.
So Philip get up. Live out grace. Be an example to others. Preach fervently and speak out about the wonder of this grace. Urge upon people the beauty of God’s ways in and through Jesus our LORD, and go before the throne of His grace to plead for His enabling. Grace after all, by definition involves giving, it involves a dependence upon the giver and so we must pray.
Oh no, no, no, I do not want law! I do not want to be killed and kill people by wielding the big stick to get people to do this and don’t do that and all will be well. It is a lie anyway. It is a lie because law kills because no-one can keep it.
Oh how the grace of God amazes me. Oh go and listen to this hymn here. As a suggestion pause at the end of each verse and worship, praise and pray.