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How Are We Saved by Grace If "Doers of the Law Will Be Justified"?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
May 28, 2024 5:00 pm

How Are We Saved by Grace If "Doers of the Law Will Be Justified"?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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May 28, 2024 5:00 pm

Episode 1497 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

  1. Is it okay for Christians to use meditation apps? 2. Did the devil trick the wise men into going to Jerusalem? 3. Is it unbiblical for a wife to make more money than her husband? 4. How are we saved by grace if "doers of the law will be justified"? 5. Do denominations that don't speak in tongues ignore the book of Acts?     Today’s Offer: 5 Names of God You Should Know   Want to partner with us in our work here at Core Christianity? Consider becoming a member of the Inner Core.   View our latest special offers here or call 1-833-THE-CORE (833-843-2673) to request them by phone.

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How are we saved by grace if doers of the law will be justified? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of Core Christianity. Hi, it's Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. This is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. Our phone lines are open right now, and you can call us at 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. And we also have a YouTube channel, and you can watch Adriel live right now on YouTube. In fact, every day from 11 30 a.m. to noon Pacific Time, you can check that out and send him your question through our YouTube channel.

How cool is that? And you can always feel free to email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com. Speaking of emails, Adriel, we got this email from one of our listeners named Lancy, and Lancy says, I enjoy listening to Core Christianity. I do have a question about meditation and mindfulness. I find that it really helps me to do mindfulness and meditation exercises on the Calm app. Is that okay for a Christian?

Hey, Lancy, thank you for that question. So I actually think it's a good thing, I guess depending on how you're using it. When I say it's a good thing, I think it's probably a lot better than, you know, waking up and jumping onto social media right away. I mean, there's so many things that crowd us out, that are vying for our attention, and I think it's good to be in the presence of the Lord, to be prayerful, to be quiet, and still before God. And so if it's helping you to do that, then I would say wonderful. Of course, there are, you know, there are some meditative practices, I think, that are maybe more associated with the New Age movement, and of course you'd want to steer clear of those, but if we're just talking about being still in the presence of the Lord, taking stock of where you're at, being introspective in a good sense, you know, a lot of times I think we avoid doing some of the work we need to do internally by just busying ourselves. And so there's something good about sitting and being quiet and not having distractions and ultimately praying. I think prayer is so important, but if you're going to think about things, meditate upon things, then use the encouragement that Paul gives in Philippians chapter 4 verse 8.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. And so Paul's saying, look, these are the things we want to be meditating upon, these are the things we want to be thinking about. And so, chiefly, I mean, this comes from God's word, so meditating upon scripture, being prayerful in the presence of God, being still, being quiet, all of those things I believe are really good and really important.

So I would encourage you, if this is something that's beneficial for you, I don't have that app, the Calm app or whatever it is, but it doesn't seem to me like there's anything wrong with what you're doing. And so God bless, and God help you to continually grow closer to Him in prayer and being in His presence. Anything that will help us become more calm in today's culture is a good thing, right?

I think absolutely, because there's just so many voices out there, the news, media, social media, it feels like we're being pulled in all these different directions. And I think for a lot of people, they don't take the time to just stop and take stock of their own spiritual life, of where they are, of the things that they're anxious about and worried about, and then take those things to the Lord. It's just like we're bombarded with all of these voices, and so you almost have to be really intentional about saying, no, I'm actually going to step away and get in my prayer closet, right, and just be in the presence of God and do that more important thing of listening to Him and meditating upon His word.

Such good counsel. I do my best to practice the spiritual disciplines of solitude and simplicity. I don't always succeed at that, but I've noticed when I do those things, when I take a time in my life and I practice those disciplines, man, my spiritual life improves dramatically.

Yeah. And sometimes people can, when they think about spiritual disciplines, they can get legalistic, and that's not good. But the fact of the matter is I think discipline is a good word.

Paul talks about exercising and godliness, so he draws an analogy there between physical exercises in his letter to Timothy, an analogy between physical exercise, which requires discipline, right, getting up and going to the gym, doing push-ups, going on a run. It's not like we always feel like doing those things, but we do it because this is good. This is good for my health. It's good for my mental health. It's good for my physical health. Well, similarly, the spiritual disciplines, we do this to exercise that muscle, if you will, to grow in grace and godliness by meditating upon the word of God, by praying. And so it shouldn't be viewed in a legalistic manner, but it should be seen as something that, man, this is just wisdom. This is good, and it's something we should devote ourselves to.

Well said. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, feel free to call us right now.

Our phone lines will be open for the next 20 minutes or so. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. This question came in from Steve in Iowa. He says, I was reading in a Jehovah's Witness Bible study that the star that appeared to the wise men was put in the sky by the devil because it led them to Jerusalem instead of Bethlehem. Is this true?

No. I mean, so a couple of things. One, I would encourage you to get into a better Bible study. Now, I don't know if you were reading in a Jehovah's Witness Bible study like it was a study Bible that they have or if you're going to, you know, one of these Watchtower Association Bible studies, but I mean, I've said this on the broadcast before, Jehovah's Witnesses don't teach the true gospel. They're not a Christian church. They're outside the bounds of Core Christianity, and so you're going to get things from them that are just not true. For example, they teach that Jesus is a created being.

He's a creature. Now, they'll refer to him as divine and say that he has this elevated status, but they will not say that he's God, so they reject the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. They reject the doctrine of the Trinity. They don't properly understand the doctrine of the gospel. I mean, if you don't have a proper understanding of who God is, of who Jesus is, you can't properly understand the gospel, and so there is, I think, a real strong deception there. I've spoken with many, many Jehovah's Witnesses over the years, and my heart just breaks because so often, you know, I'm sitting down with these Jehovah's Witness, you know, evangelists, and they're regurgitating the same things that they're told to say. When you start confronting those lies, those errors with the truth of scripture, they don't know where to go, and so with regard to this, you know, what you're hearing, no, you know, that's just not true. I recommend, one, if you're going to use a translation of the Bible, don't use their translation. It's called the New World Translation, and it's also rife with errors, with, you know, mistranslations. Get something like the ESV or the NIV or the New King James, something like that, and get into a good church that is faithful to the Word of God, a church that preaches the Bible.

It doesn't mean you can't have Jehovah's Witness friends and, you know, we shouldn't engage with them and have conversations about the gospel, but you don't want to be getting your theology from Jehovah's Witnesses. You know, you pointed something out to me that was really helpful this past weekend when there were some Jehovah's Witnesses in my area, and you said, you explained how in their New World Translation of the Bible, they've misinterpreted, mistranslated different things, and you said, take them to Ephesians 1, 15 to 16, which really clearly spells out the divinity of Jesus. Colossians 1. I mean, you definitely get the deity of Christ in the book of Ephesians, too, but in Colossians chapter 1, you do see that in verse 15, it says, he is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. And they'll say, well, look, it says he's the firstborn there, but they don't realize that that word firstborn has to do with preeminence. He's the preeminent one of all creation, you know, in the whole world.

All worship goes to Jesus. You see this in places like Psalm 89, that this idea of being the firstborn had to do with preeminence, for by him all things were created. So Jesus isn't, you know, in the category of creature. He's creator. He's the one who made all things, and it's interesting because in the New World Translation, the Jehovah's Witness Bible, they add a word there. They say, for by him all by him all other things were created. That word other is just not in the Greek text, but what they're doing is they're insinuating that he himself was also created, and then he created everything else. Well, that's just not in the Bible, and so there you begin to see some of those problems, some of those errors that they have, and so it's important for us as Christians to know the scriptures well for ourselves so that when they, you know, come on your doorstep or whatnot, you're able to have a conversation and to point them to the Word of God.

So well said. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Our number is 833-THE-CORE.

Let's go to Dominic calling all the way from Canada. Dominic, what's your question for Adriel? Hi there, Pastor Adriel.

I really enjoy your show. I just have a quick question about relationships in a Christian marriage. Is it sinful or unbiblical if the wife in the relationship makes, like, a lot more money than the husband, even though they both, you know, love each other and they're committed to the Lord? I just want to know that because I've seen some, you know, online questionable sources from, you know, some influencers who, you know, try to say some stuff.

I just want to make sure it's, like, biblical, that's all. Yeah. Yeah. No, there's nothing in the Bible that would indicate that that's sinful or wrong or that they'd need to be ashamed of that.

Right? It's just sometimes that's how things work out. Now, what I will say is, as a family, you know, you're having children. If God permits, you have to really think about, okay, what does it look like for us to raise our kids in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and how do we do that well as a family?

And so I think that could raise other questions in terms of, like, well, can we both be committed to working full-time, and what are some of the challenges that that brings in? So this is more of an issue of wisdom, I would say, but there are some who I think go further than that and want to bind the consciences of Christians and say, oh, you know, well, if your wife works at all, then that's bad. There's something wrong with that. No, I don't think that that's true.

But also who are insecure, right? Like, well, what if the wife makes more money than the man? Is that wrong or bad? Again, I just don't think that there's anything in the Scripture that would say, yeah, you know, they're sinning. The wife actually, you know, if she's going to work, she needs to take a job that isn't going to—I mean, it just seems like a lot of insecurity there, frankly. But again, the wisdom here, and especially as if in the Lord's providence, you know, the family begins having children, really thinking about, okay, how can we—and this is, I think this is important, and this is something where, you know, we as parents do have to be proactive and think about, okay, how are we making sure that we are raising our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and giving them the attention and care that they need? And so that might change the dynamic up some, but again, I think it's unhelpful when, you know, influencers, as you said, say, well, this is exactly how it has to look, and then now they're bringing in these categories of your sinning if you're making more money than your husband or even if you're working.

Again, you just don't see that. It's interesting because you have, in the New Testament, couples like Priscilla and Aquila, who seem to have been of some means, you know, it doesn't look like they had any children. We're not sure. I mean, it doesn't say that, but in places like the book of Acts and in 1 Corinthians where they're mentioned, you know, they're moving around, they're engaged in the work of missions, they're also working together. They're both involved in the same profession. It's really an interesting couple, but they're being used by the Lord massively for the building up of the church. Oftentimes, Paul in the New Testament is commending them as co-laborers in the gospel. He doesn't say, well, you know, Aquila, you need to tell your wife to take it easy to slow it down. No, he's so grateful for how God is using them.

They were used by the Lord to house some of the early churches in various places, and so that's what I would say. I would say, again, we want to exercise wisdom here. We want to think about, are we taking care to honor the Lord and to raise our family in the nurture and admonition of the Lord? We're not putting work before our family. Those are really important questions that you want to ask, and so Dominic, I appreciate your question.

Thanks for calling us all the way from Canada. You know, Dominic mentioned how he saw that information online, and you've said this numerous times, Adriel, we've got to be really careful about, you know, these so-called Christian experts or Christian influencers that we see who make these statements that oftentimes have no basis in Scripture. Yeah, and again, I just want to say wisdom is so important here. It's really easy for us to say, oh, it's just black and white, and it has to look like this, and then we begin to say, if you're not doing it just like this, then you are sinning, and, you know, it's just not helpful. That's not helpful, and as you said, Bill, it's not biblical.

I find that oftentimes it's, you know, people who essentially want to impose whatever it is that they've done, what they're doing as a family, onto everyone else, and again, this is where we want to exercise charity and ask good questions and be wise, and so, yeah, appreciate, again, Dominic's question, and wow, reaching out all the way from Canada. So great to hear from all of our listeners, and we'd love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. The number is 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Love to hear from you, and we've also got a wonderful resource that we want to mention to you. It's called The Five Names of God You Should Know. Yes, if you're looking to continue to grow in your relationship with the Lord, especially in understanding who God is, get a hold of this resource, Five Names of God You Should Know, to walk you through some of those names that we find in the scriptures, and it's a free resource over at our website, corechristianity.com. While you're at the website, browse around, check out some of our other great resources. We have core guides and core questions that you can download on a wide variety of topics, and of course, our great core Bible studies from books from both the Old and the New Testament. You can find them all at corechristianity.com. Well, I mentioned you can email us your questions here at the CORE, and our email address is questions at corechristianity.com.

Here's an email that came in from one of our listeners named Daniel. Could you explain Romans 2-13, where it states that doers of the law will be justified? Galatians and Romans say we are saved by grace through faith. Can you please explain this seeming contradiction? Thanks.

Great. So, one, it's so important for us to understand this in its context, and I think the context helps to clear things up. You know, what Paul is doing in these early chapters of the book of Romans is highlighting the fact that everyone has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Both Jews and Gentiles alike, even Gentiles who don't have the law of God in the sense that, you know, they received the the mosaic covenant and so forth, they also sin against the law just through their conscience, through that natural law that is written on the heart of every human being, this sense of right and wrong.

Paul talked about that earlier again in Romans, you know, how God's revealed himself through his invisible, you know, through his invisible attributes, through the whole creation. And then we get to chapter 2, verse 12, where he says, for all who have sinned without the law will perish without the law. That's what he's getting at there with regard to the Gentiles. And all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law, for it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be justified. For when Gentiles who do not have the law by nature do the things the law requires, they are a lot of themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on the day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. And so Paul is going to continue here talking about this, you know, justification by the law and the fact that all have sinned. And he gets then to chapter 3, where essentially he concludes in verse 19, and this is again where the context is important, where he says, now we know that the law says it, now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For, here it is, by the works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes the knowledge of sin. And so, so, I mean, I think there's your answer, Paul saying, look, if it were possible to be justified by the law, you'd have to do the law, but the fact of the matter is no one, no one is able to be justified by the law. And that's very clearly what he says there in chapter 3.

So then, what does that leave us with? It means we have to be justified not on the basis of our good works, but on the basis of something else. And this is what he gets it in verse 21 of chapter 3, but now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified by his grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

And so here's, here's what this means for you. If you're listening to this right now, you cannot be justified before God on the basis of your own law keeping. It isn't how obedient you are to his commandments, to the command to love him and the command to love your neighbor. That's not what justifies you in his sight in the sense that, you know, that's not, you know, it's not that you're forgiven, you know, because of how good you do those things. Paul's point in Paul's point in the first few chapters of Romans is we've all fallen short of that.

None of us. You have not kept God's law like you should have, and so we're condemned by the law. But here's the good news. Here's, here's, here's where Paul is going. He says, but look, there's hope, and the hope isn't in you in the fact that you've perfectly kept this law. The hope is in Jesus, who came to perfectly keep the law and to bear the curse of the law for your sake, so that by faith in his name you might be justified. And again, that's the argument that the apostle Paul is making. Now, there are others who, who, you know, will make the argument that, well, what he's talking about there in Romans chapter 2 verse 13 is sort of similar to what he's going to get into later in Romans chapter 8, where he says that by the Spirit we fulfill the righteous requirements of the law. And so they're not saying we're justified by works per se, but just that the person who is justified by the Spirit now begins to obey the law. And of course, Paul is going to talk about that as, as the book of Romans continues.

You know, he does emphasize the blessing and the importance of sanctification, but I don't think that's what he's getting at there in the early chapters. And so there's a great gospel hope, a great gospel comfort for us here. And then there is that encouragement later in the book of Romans that, look, you who have been justified, the Spirit of God now lives in you, and by that Spirit we are seeking to love and obey God. We never do it perfectly, but nevertheless the Spirit is at work in our lives so that we might grow in grace day by day, molded more and more into the image of Jesus. And so, boy, the book of Romans, such an amazing book of the Bible, and so, so powerful in, in the way it influenced many throughout history.

In particular, I think of, you know, Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer. And if you've not read the book of Romans, encourage you to do that, man. Find some time this week even to, to open it up and to read Paul's letter to the Romans.

Some really good encouragement. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Love to hear from you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life.

You can always leave us a voicemail 24 hours a day at 833-THE-CORE. Let's go to Steve calling in from Kansas. Steve, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, my question is, speaking of tongues in the book of Acts, now the only denomination that I'm aware of that does this is Pentecostals. And I mean, I've been to a bunch of different churches and Baptists and stuff trying to find my home, you know. But some of these denominations, like the Baptists, they don't, they don't emphasize it, they don't practice it, they don't teach it. Now, with that being said, I mean, it's clearly in the book of Acts that the speaking of tongues, as the Spirit came over them, they all started speaking in tongues. Now, also with that being said, there are some churches that are just full of crap on it, right? I mean, I've been to some that, you know, they... Let me, Steve, let me just jump in here because we only have about a minute left, and I want to answer this question.

Let me say this. There's a helpful distinction that we need to have when thinking about the book of Acts, and it's, okay, is what we're seeing in the book of Acts prescriptive or descriptive? In other words, are the miracles and the tongues speaking, is that prescriptive for the church in all ages? Is that what we should be doing today, or is it merely a description of what was happening then really happened, but it's not necessarily prescriptive for the church in all ages? And I would say a lot of those miracles that we see associated with the day of Pentecost, I mean, this is a unique event in the history of redemption, God pouring out his Spirit, accompanied by all of these miracles, and so it's a description of this amazing thing that was happening. But the everyday Christian life is not the Pentecostal experience. It's not walking on water and speaking in tongues. It's growing in the Word of God, and so having that distinction, I think, is helpful. Prescriptive, descriptive, I think that will clear things up a little bit for you, and thanks for reaching out to us, brother. God bless. God bless.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-28 20:18:07 / 2024-05-28 20:28:35 / 10

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