Robert Morris — Amazing Husband
I want you to turn to two passages of scripture. Romans 6 and Galatians 3. So you can open your Bibles or click to Romans 6, however you read the Bible, just as long as you read it. Roman 6 and, then we'll go to Galatians 3 a little bit later. We're in a series called, "Amazing Grace", and the title of this week's message is, "Amazing Husband". You know that we're the bride of Christ. When you accept Jesus, you become the bride of Christ. Revelation 21:9 the elder says to John, "Come with me and I will show you the bride, the lamb's wife". So the Lord uses, in scripture, this marriage analogy of our grace relationship. So I want to talk to you about that.
In order, though, to talk about that we've got to talk about law some. And the law is not bad, because, God gave the law. And I'm going to cover this the next couple weeks. We're going to talk about law and grace. So the law is not bad. I want you to understand that. But I do want you to understand that we're not under the law. And Christian's really get confused about this and how to explain under law or under grace. So look at Romans 6:14, very clear in the scripture, "For sin shall not have dominion over you for you are not under law but under grace". "You're not under law but under grace". So what does that mean that we're not under law but under grace?
Okay. So in Romans 7, we'll go to Galatians in a moment, Romans 7 Paul gives us an analogy from the law and it's about marriage. Okay? So you have to understand that. Romans 7:1, he says, "Or do you not know Brethren, for I speak to those who know the law. That the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives". Now, we're going to come back to that phrase but I want you think about that, "the law has dominion over a person as long as that person's living". And, then he gives this analogy, this is from the law. Okay?
"For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives but if the husband dies she's released from the law of her husband so then if while her husband lives, she marries another man, she'll be called an adulterous. But if her husband dies she's free that law so that she's no adulterous though she's married another man". In other words, if you're married to one man and you go to live with another one while you're still married to that man, you know, it's saying, well, that's not right. But watch what he's saying. He's trying to bring this around just using a natural example. Look at verse 4, "Therefore my Brethren you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ that you may be married to another". In other words, you were married before now married to another. "To him", that's Jesus, "who was raised from the dead that we should bear fruit to God". Okay.
Now, but here's the point. The law is not bad but there is a person who's bad. His name is Satan and Satan is called the "accuser of the Brethren". And let me tell what he accuses you with, the law. Now, listen to me careful. You think, oh, he wouldn't use God's word, he used scripture to tempt Jesus. Isn't that right? He said to Jesus, "It is written". That's, kind of, funny to me, you know, he's talking to the word telling the word what the word says, you know? But he says, "It is written". Of course, Jesus' response was, "It's also written". He knew the word better. "But yes, he will condemn you, Satan will take something that's good and use it for bad".
And this what Paul spent most of his life dealing with. Trying to get people to understand this. So here's what he's saying, "You were married to the law but you've died to the law so you're now free to be married to someone else and that other person is Jesus". Okay? But because we were married to the law for a season, it messes our thinking up with how Jesus wants to treat us. Because I want you to think for a moment. What kind of husband do you think the law is? Do you think that he's a forgiving husband? Do you think he's loving, caring, kind, compassionate, understanding?
No. Let me tell you what the law does. The law points out what you do right and what you do wrong. That's what the law does. And here's the way the law does it. The law would say something like this, you did this wrong, you did this wrong, you did this wrong, now you did that right but you did this wrong, and you did this wrong, and you did this wrong. The law is, when we're talking about a husband now, the law is an overbearing, fault-finding, critical, judgmental husband. You're married to the law until death do you part.
And, by the way, the law is not going to die. It's God's word. God gave the law. Jesus said it this way, "Heaven and Earth will pass away before the law passes away". It's not passing away. It will stand forever. So how can you be free then to marry someone else? Since the law's not going to die, God comes up with this brilliant plan, it's brilliant. The law is not going to die but you can die. You can die, not physically, but you can die to self. You can die to your own desires and if you'll die to that you can be married to another. Isn't that incredible? That's what all of Romans 6 is basically telling us. That we're buried with Christ in baptism. Galatians 2 says it this way, "I've been crucified with Christ".
So if you'll die to self you can be married to another but you need to understand some things about your first husband. Okay? Let me tell you a couple things. Here's number one. "Law cannot justify". It cannot justify you in the sight of God, make you right in the sight of God. Romans 3:20, "Therefore by the deeds of the law, no flesh will be justified in his sight". Romans 3:28, "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law". So you can't be justified by the law. You need to know that. You can only be justified by the Lord, Jesus Christ but you can't be justified by the law.
Now, we're going to go to Galatians. So if you want to go ahead and flip over there or click over there or whatever. Galatians 3. Let me give you a little background on Galatians. There are people going around preaching and they're saying, "We believe in the Gospel of Paul". "We believe in the Gospel of Paul that you're saved by faith, by grace through faith". We believe that but, "In order to mature, in order to be sanctified, in order to grow, in order to keep your salvation, you also have to do the law". So they're traveling around saying that he's preaching this. All right? And Paul's addressing this in Galatians.
Now, I would like to bring this up though. This was 2000 years ago. This was the problem Paul was dealing with. Aren't you glad we've come a long way since then? And the churches today don't say, "Yes, you're saved by grace but you need to also do this, this, and this". We're still living with this. Paul wrote about a third of the New Testament. Over half of his writings were trying to get people to believe you're saved by grace and grace alone. That's was the theme of his life. He's trying to tell then that. Okay? So Galatians 3, Paul's trying to talk to them about this group that's come in that said, "Yes, you're saved by grace but you've got to keep it by being circumcised". And you can read Galatians and he'll address it even more specifically than right here.
But watch this. Galatians 3:1, "Oh, foolish Texans". I'm just trying personalize the word to us. If you're from Galatia then you're a Galatian. If you're from Texas you're a Texan. Even if you weren't born here, hopefully you got here as quick as you could. And we do accept you if you'll act like us. All right. So, "Oh, foolish Galatians" Texans, "Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth before whose eyes, Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified. This only I want to learn from you". In other words, I have one question for you. Did you receive the spirit by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith? I can ask you, how did you receive the spirit of God? By the works of the law or by the hearing of faith? Al, you can answer me. Hearing of faith. Verse 3, "Are you so foolish having begun in the spirit, are you now being made perfect or complete by the flesh"?
Okay. I want to read this to you again in the message. I like the message. I like to read it in my quiet time. If you don't have a copy of the message version, get it because it's really just a fun version of the Bible to read. Here it is. Galatians 3 in the message. Verse 1, "You crazy Galatians. Did someone put a hex on you? Have you taken leave of your senses? Something crazy has happened for it's obvious that you no longer have the crucified in Jesus in clear focus in your lives". Well, that's so good. "His sacrifice on the cross was certainly sent before you clearly enough". Let me put this question to you. How did you new life begin? Was it by working your heads off to please God or was it by responding to God's message to you?
Isn't that good? "Are you going to continue this craziness for only crazy people would think that they could complete, by their efforts, what was begun by God. If you weren't smart enough or strong enough to begin it, how do you suppose you could perfect or finish it"? Is that good? That's just grace. That's what he's saying. Okay.
So let me explain something to you. Grace plus law for salvation. When you do that, no matter what you add to it, it is heretical. You need to know that. I'm going to tell you straight out, heresy, that's where the word heretical comes from. It's heretical. It's heresy. It's false doctrine. Here's the reason, "You reduce Christianity to the same level of every religion in the world when you do that".
First of all, you need to know Christianity is not a religion, it's a relationship. It's not a religion. But every religion in the world teaches works. You have to do something to be in right relationship with God. Buddhism, there three things you have to do. Hinduism, two things. Islam, five things you have to do. Christianity, again, it's classified as religion and we don't believe it is a religion, one of the religions, but it's the only religion, if we want to say that, where you don't have to do something, you just have to receive something. So when you preach you have to do something, you bring it down to the level of religion. And that's not what it is. It's a relationship with God by grace through faith.
You need to know law can never justify. They just can't do it. Here's number two. "Law cannot empower". In other words, law can't make you or give you the ability to do the right thing. It can only tell you what you do wrong. Again, I'm not putting down the law, I'm just telling you what scripture tells us about it. For instance, let me read you a couple scriptures. Romans 7:4 that we read a moment ago, "Therefore my Brethren you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ that you may be married to another to him who is raised from the dead", and watch this phrase, "That so that we should bear fruit to God".
Do you remember when we talked about the Root Cause Series, what we said was, Jesus is the fruit producing vine. That's what the word means. Fruit producing vine as opposed to a wild vine. He's the fruit. The only way you're going to bear fruit is to be married to Jesus. Look at this scripture. Galatians 2:21, "I do not set aside the grace of God for if righteousness comes through the law then Christ died in vain". If righteousness comes through the law why would Jesus stay on the cross if we could have been righteous by the law? We can't. It's only through grace.
It's like saying, Pastor Robert, I know you didn't get saved until you were 19 so just to ask you a personal question, did you steal before you were saved? Um, yes, I did. I did. I did steal. Matter of fact, one of my teachers said of me, she was trying to complimentary and she said, "He picks up things rather easily". I'm joking. All right. But I did. I did steal. Well, why did you stop stealing? Well, I was reading the law one day and I read, "Thou shall not steal" and "bam" just like that, never stolen again. Just because I read it, I've never stolen again. And one day I was reading "Thou shalt not covet", and I never covet again. I didn't even notice you got a new Lexus, didn't even notice it. No, is that your testimony? Is that your testimony in any area of your life?
Now, I'm not talking about the word of God giving his life. I'm talking about that you read something in the law and once you read it you were empowered to never do it again. And I'm talking about before you were a believer. No. The way you broke any stronghold in your life was that you gave your life to Jesus Christ and Jesus gave you the power.
We were married to the law. So that was your first husband. And now, you're married to Christ. Second husband, okay? Some of you have been married before so I want you think about this whether you've been married before or not, you can relate this. Okay? First husband was the law. Now, you're married to Jesus. Here's the problem. Many Christians are trying to impress their second husband, Jesus, by keeping a good relationship with their first husband. Try that in the natural and see how it works out for you. Listen. We don't serve a list. We love a person. That's why he died on the cross so we could come to relationship.
So law cannot justify and can't empower. Here's point number three, "Love can. Love can justify and empower". Love can. Now, you say, "you just talking about love, like, love everybody and love in the general sense of the word love"? No. I'm talking about who love is. What's the Bible say? "God is love". So really what I said was, God can justify and God an empower. But I want you to understand about this love. Think about this, the law contains the commandments. Here's what they asked Jesus. "What's the greatest commandment"? You remember what Jesus' response was? "Love". "Love the Lord, your God with your heart, mind, soul, and strength and love your neighbor as yourself". The whole law is wrapped in those two things. Just love. Love is the strongest governing force in the world. I promise you. Not law.
Now, listen to me carefully. People have said this to me before. "Pastor, you better not preach on grace too much because if you preach on grace too much people just go out and sin. They just go out and sin". Okay? Well, how can I say this nicely? You're wrong and you don't know what you're talking about because grace does not produce sin. Grace produces righteousness. See, everything is opposite with God. I want you think about it. See our natural mind would say, if you preach on grace people will go out and sin. If you tell them they're forgiven, they'll out and sin. You need to tell them, don't, don't, don't, don't. You need to preach the law. That's what our natural mind would say.
Okay. But, I want you think about this, it's all backwards with God from our natural mind. God says, "If you want to receive, give". "If you want to have authority, get under authority". Matter of fact, let me tell you what law does. Have you ever thought about this? What's the strength of sin? What would give sin strength, cause sin to get stronger? You ready for this? 1 Corinthians 15:56, "The strength of sin is the law". All right. Let me give you one more example and, then I'm finished. Two husbands, law and Jesus. All right? All right. So two examples, I'm married to Debbie so which husband do you think she want's to be married to? All right?
Let's say first example is that I say to Debbie, "Debbie, I just you want you know I've been reading the law and the law says not to commit adultery, so, because the law says not to, I'm not going to. Now, I want to and I think about it all the time". By the way, don't take that one little clip and put it on the Internet, would ya? This is an example, all right, this is an example. All right? But I'm asking you, what kind of husband do you want to be married to?
Do you want to be married to the husband that says, "I'm not going to commit adultery because it's wrong", or, what if I said to Debbie, "When your eyes open in the morning, the sun rises and when your eyes close at night the stars shine, and when you walk in a room, I can't see anyone but you? And I have absolutely no desire for any other woman because you're the most beautiful woman in the world and I love you with all of my heart no matter what and forever and always. And you will never, ever have to worry about me being unfaithful because I am madly and passionately head over heels in love with you".
By the way, now you can nudge, you know, now, why can't you ever say anything like that, Ralph? Okay. Which husband you want? You want the one that says, "I'm not going to do it because it's wrong even though I want to" or you want the husband who says, "I don't want to because I'm in love with ya". Now listen to me, you got the second husband when you married Jesus. Because let me tell you what Jesus says to you, "When you wake up in the morning the sun rises. When you close your eyes at night, the stars shine and you will never, ever, ever have to worry about me being unfaithful to you because I will never leave you and I will never forsake you. And even when you are faithless, I'll be faithful because I am passionately head over heels in love with you". And when you catch that, it causes you to be passionately head over heels in love with him. See, what's amazing about grace is we have an amazing husband.
You know it really is amazing when you think about it that Jesus Christ becomes our husband. That we are married to him when we accept Jesus. We become the bride of Christ. So you know, when you think about it really, Jesus is on one knee proposing to the whole world. He's proposing to you right now. If you've never accepted Jesus as your Lord and your savior, you can do that right now. You just simply say, "Yes, yes, I want to enter this covenant relationship with you". And let me just remind you, he is an amazing husband. Hey, thanks so much for watching. I'm going to continue this series next week, "Amazing Grace". I'll see you then.