Works of the Law
The word "works" in the Old Testament relates to "works of the Law". These are all the rules and regulations set forth in the Torah. Also the Mishna and the Halakah. They include both written rules and spoken rules (i.e., the large body of Jewish rules not written). They are regulations that stretch from Moses to the pronouncements of the latest Rabbi.
Jesus freed us from all of these.
What He did not free us from are works of faith. These are the rules that come directly from God, Himself, i.e., the commandments of Jesus. If we want to have eternal life, we must live within the commandments of the Gospels.
A child of God listens to the words of God; if you refuse to listen, it is because you are not God's children.' (John 8:47). "I tell you most solemnly, whoever keeps my word will never see death." (John 8:51).
There was no room for mercy in the Law. One failure meant total failure. You were either fully in or fully out. That is one of the primary reasons why salvation was not possible in the Law. In the rules of Christ, there is mercy. One may stumble and fall, but those who get back up in contrition and penitance are allowed to re-enter the path to life. The forgiveness of the cross protects them from failure.
"The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life; they will never be lost and no once will ever steal them from me. the Father who gave them to me is greater than anyone, and no one can steal from the Father. The Father and I are one." (John 10:27-29).
"If anyone hears my words and does not keep them faithfully, it is not I who shall condemn him, since I was sent not to condemn the world, but to save the world: he who rejects me and refuses my words has his judge already: the word itself that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day. For what I have spoken does not come from myself; no, what I was to say, what I had to speak, was commanded by the Father who sent me, and I know that his commands mean eternal life. And therefore what the Father has told me is what I speak." (John 12:47-50).
2. Faith vs Works
Return to Subject Index:
Goodnews Christian Ministry
Send E-mail to: