Mercy and Salvation – Law and Works
1) Law of God – Literal Definition
Law of Moses = Commands given through Moses in the Old Testament (1 Corinthians 9:20)
Law of Christ = Commands given through Christ in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 9:21)
2) Spiritual Warfare in Christian Debates
True Spiritual Warfare includes casting down “false religious” arguments as Verses below describe & by doing so, we are not ‘fighting flesh and blood (other humans) but the spirits which deceived those humans by letting people know the truth’ according to Verses (please see Ephesians 6:12 too):
“for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,” (2 Corinthians 10:4 – 5, NASB)
Lord Jesus Christ did many religious debates “within Judaism (analogy: Christianity) ONLY” against the Pharisees (for example) and did NOT comment on other religions & we follow likewise.
“For what have I to do with judging outsiders [non-Christians]? Do you not judge those who are within the church [Christians only]?” (1 Corinthians 5:12, NASB)
Let’s follow Christ and not men (1 Corinthians 11:1 – 2).
3) Doubting Holy Scripture
Someone questioned – How do we know if apostle Paul is right?
A Simple Reply:
Apostle Paul is in heaven and those who imitate him will be too (1 Corinthians 11:1 – 2).
Not sure about you or your leaders if they teach against apostle Paul.
4) How about observing the Law of Moses (Torah) instead of the Law of Christ?
“For as many as are of the works of the law [of Moses] 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.:” (Galatians 3:10, KJV)
“For whosoever shall keep the whole Law [of Moses], and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” – apostle James (James 2:10, KJV)
That’s why apostle Paul makes it clear that though we are free from the ‘Law of Moses’ (Romans 7:6, 1 Corinthians 9:20) but a believer is still ‘under (bound to) the Law of Christ (or Christ’s Commands in the New Testament)’ as 1 Corinthians 9:21 clearly implies.
5) Does Salvation depend on the Law (of Moses)?
“Therefore by the deeds of the Law [of Moses] there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the Law is the knowledge of sin. But now the Righteousness of God without the Law [of Moses] is manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the prophets,” (Romans 3:20 – 21, KJV)
6) How are we ‘Saved’ then?
Mercy ONLY (the Law of Faith):
“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 uncircumcision through faith.” (Romans 3:27 – 30, KJV)
Not ours but the Faith of Lord Jesus Christ only:
“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:” (Romans 3:22, KJV)
Believers are NOT the only recipients of His Mercy (please note the rarely translated word “ALL” in Verse above which exists distinctly from referring to believers or ‘them that believe’ in this ‘same’ Verse in Romans 3:22 as quoted above) but the ‘first recipients’ (in the “present time, now, at this time”):
“To declare, I say, at this time His Righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (Romans 3:26, KJV)
Mercy to ALL eventually is even the Last Word regarding Judgment as apostle Paul Concluded in Romans 11 too in Verse below agreeing Perfectly to all this:
“For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.” (Romans 11:32, NASB)
“For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all.” (Romans 11:32, KJV)
*There is no ‘maybe’ in Greek in these Verses. God Will have Mercy on ALL as Promised in this Verse in the Context of [afterlife] Judgment as it is echoed by apostle James too in Verse below (though an [afterlife] Judgment with ‘no Mercy for those having shown no mercy to others may have to be endured first’):
“For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; Mercy triumphs over Judgment.” (James 2:13, NASB)
Mercy triumphs over Judgment = Mercy ENDS any [afterlife] Judgment even in the context of the WORST “merciless Judgment to one who has shown no mercy” first as it is pointed out in this Verse.
What does His Great Mercy Result in when shown?
It causes SALVATION as it did to us (Titus 3:5, Romans 3:26) and to ALL [Creation] likewise eventually (Romans 11:32, Romans 3:22, Colossians 1:16 with Colossians 1:20, 2 Corinthians 5:19, 1 John 4:14, 1 Corinthians 15:28, Romans 8:20 – 22).
7) What about our works?
The Justification based on works (as it is mentioned in Verse below) is NOT Salvation but ‘rewards especially for works done in faith’:
“You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.” – apostle James (James 2:24, NASB)
Justification by Faith of Jesus Christ —> Salvation (Romans 3:22, KJV).
Justification by Works through our faith in Christ —> Great Rewards (James 2:20 – 23).
Works only without faith —> lower rewards (e. g. the reward for the Pharisees’ good works). Yes, such a reward exists as Christ mentions it toward such ‘hypocrites’ too in Verse below:
“And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 6:5, KJV)
Logic: For what even the ‘hypocrites’ do ‘right’, they get ‘their reward’ accordingly as God is Just.
Rewards or punishment:
“For we must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10, NASB)
“But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal [age-during] life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God.” (Romans 2:5 – 11, KJV)
May we be shown His Mercy:
“For He [God] saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth Mercy.” (Romans 9:15 – 16, KJV)
Yes, the Living God Saves “believers” and “ALL men” eventually by His Great Love (post – Judgment) but ‘those that believe are more special’ as the quoted Verses and Verses below too mean when taken literally as it is Written:
“For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the Living God, Who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.” (1 Timothy 4:10, KJV)
“Who [God our Saviour] will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4, KJV)
A Closely related post for edification: