Recently I saw a cartoon that featured a father and his son gazing at a broken lamp. In the caption, the father said to his son, “What do you mean it just happened? Didn’t we discuss the laws of cause and effect?”
That got me to thinking about the difference between law and grace when it comes to cause and effect. Under the law, the Jews were told,
“Ye shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God hath commanded you, that ye may live…” (Deut. 5:33).
This was the law in a nutshell. Under the law, God said, “keep My statutes, and My judgments: which if a man do, he shall live” (Lev. 18:5). We know that He meant they would live eternally if they kept His statutes, because when the Lord was asked what to do to inherit eternal life, He quoted Leviticus 18:5 (Luke 10:25,28). You see, under the law, men were saved by faith plus works, the specific works of observing the statutes and judgments of the law. That included being circumcised, keeping the Leviticus 23 feasts, bringing animal sacrifices, and so forth.
But while the law said “walk…that ye may live” (Deut. 5:33), grace presents a different cause and effect, as we can see from the words of Paul, the apostle of grace:
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Gal. 5:25).
See the difference? Under the law, walking in God’s statutes caused the effect of eternal life, but under grace, the eternal life that we are given by faith without works (Eph. 2:8,9) should cause the effect of walking in God’s ways!
So how about it? Are you walking in the Spirit? Can it be said of you what Paul said to the Thessalonians?
“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” (I Thes. 2:13).
The words of men can come and go without having any effect in your life, but if you truly believe God when He says you have eternal life in the Spirit, why not determine to walk in the Spirit? You’ll be eternally glad you did.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.