Under the law or under grace?
‘But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully.’ 1 Timothy 1:8
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Galatians 4:21–5:1
Jesus having finished the law, all other sacrifices are unnecessary and vain. The blessed gospel supplies the place of the ceremonial law, to the same advantage as the sun makes the twinkling of the stars and the feeble glimmering of moonlight no longer necessary. May the Lord help you to understand whether you are under the law or under grace. Do you love God? Have you always done so? Do you love your neighbour as yourself, perfectly and constantly doing to others as you would they should do unto you? Can you hear the Ten Commandments read and say deliberately, ‘I am free from the breach of every one, either in thought, word or deed?’ Will you say, why do I ask such vain questions? Why, nothing less than this can save you from hell, if you seek salvation by the law. The Lord help you to understand it, that you may embrace the gospel. By Jesus we are justified from those things for which the law of Moses would condemn us.
But if you are under grace, if you have put your trust in Jesus, then be of good cheer, he is able to save to the uttermost. You need not be afraid of the law; it is magnified and made honourable by your surety. Study it therefore as your rule and pray to him for grace that you may have a growing conformity to it in your temper and conversation, that he may be glorified in you and by you.
FOR MEDITATION: Thy grace is sufficient for me, but not the notion in my head—it must be the efficacy in my heart. Forgive the past, heal my wounds and anoint me with fresh oil. Let my soul live and it shall praise thee. O my Lord, thine eye beholds many hearts and hands and eyes waiting upon thee this morning for a blessing. Behold me among them. And shine upon me this day, that I may feel the importance of the truths and their sweetness in my soul, and may with an enlarged heart declare them to the people.
Diary, 15 and 16 June 1776
SERMON SERIES: 1 TIMOTHY 1:8, NO. 1 [2/2]