On Mixing Law and Grace

Some people insist that grace is not enough in order to be saved. We are saved by both law and grace, some claim. Is this true? Let’s find out:

law and graceIn Acts 15 , some Jewish Christians from Jerusalem visited Antioch up north where Paul and Barnabas were based and where believers were first called “Christians.” These Jewish Christians insisted that the Gentile Christians should also keep the Law of Moses in order to be saved. In other words, believing in Christ or grace was not enough according to them. In addition to believing in Christ, they also had to keep the law—the Law of Moses—in order to be saved. In essence, “mixing law and grace” for salvation (Acts 15:1,5 ). That is their view. But thankfully, the apostles clarified the matter and declared that salvation is by grace. There was no need to also keep the Law of Moses in order to be saved. (Acts 15:7-11 )

Not Law and Grace

In a similar situation in Colossae, some of the Colossian Christians felt that Christ was insufficient for salvation. They insisted that some additional things needed to be done. But Paul argued that: “Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”?” (Colossians 2:20-21 )

Paul explained that the Colossian Christians were already complete in Christ—they had “fullness in Chist.” There was no need for other supplements to attain salvation. “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him” (Colossians 1:19 ).

“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority” (Colossians 2:9-10 ).

We have been given fullness in Christ. We need no other supplement (law, rules, other gods, etc.) in order to be saved. Christ is sufficient for our salvation. That was Paul’s argument in Colossians.

We are not saved by law and grace. We are saved by grace through faith in Christ alone, apart from works, apart from the law. It’s not law and grace. Salvation is by grace alone.

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