Some Christians believe we should still keep much if not all of the law. Some say that because Jesus fulfilled the law we are not bound at all to any of it. Like most polarizing issues, a right understanding is found in allowing God to guide our Bible study.
.There is a distinction between a birthright and grace we ought to understand. A birthright is normally passed on from father to eldest son. There are no conditions which the recipient is required to meet. The son does nothing to qualify for it. He receives it as his right for no other reason than he happened to be born his father’s son. He has a right to it without earning it or qualifying to be worthy of it. He could however, disqualify himself to keep, or even to receive it.
But the gift of immortality received by grace does have qualifying conditions. It is not your right, or mine, to receive the gift of eternal life. Think what conditions would result if it were. A rebellious, defiant, hostile, God-hating criminal or atheist could shake his fist at God and say:
“Look, God! I hate you. I defy you! I refuse to obey you! But I demand your gift of eternal life! It’s my right! I want to receive all the power of a son of God, so that I can use that power to oppose you! I want to make your family a house divided against itself. I will cause friction, hostility, hatred, unhappiness among all your children. I demand that power, as your gift, as my right, so that I may abuse that power – use it for evil!”
Grace Requires Conditions
Most professing Christians, and most teaching of what is called “traditional Christianity” – say there are no conditions, nothing that we must do to receive God’s glorious grace. They deny that God requires obedience to His law! They twist the truth around by saying that would be earning one’s salvation. They do demand it of God though, while still rebelling against His law.
Think where that would lead. Understand this! Eternal life is, indeed, God’s free gift. You can’t earn it! But it is not your right! You cannot demand it of God as your right, while you defy God, rebel against His government, refuse to let Him rule your life His way.
Therefore God has imposed conditions. Those conditions do not earn you one thing. But God gives His Holy Spirit only to those who OBEY Him (Acts 5:32). He does not pay it – but the passage speaks of His Holy Spirit which “God hath given to them that obey Him.” It is still a free gift.
A rich man might have seven men stand before him and say:
“I will give, as my free gift, $1000 to any or all of you who step forward and receive it.”
Their stepping forward does not earn it. It is merely the condition required to receive the free gift.
The word grace means unmerited, undeserved pardon! God pardons those who repent! And “repent” means to turn from rebellion, hostility, disobedience. Repent means to turn to obedience to God’s law. The fact that God chooses not to give this wonderful gift – the gift of immortality, which carries with it divine power – to those who would misuse it for harm and evil; the fact that He chooses to give it only to those who will rightly use it – does not mean it comes by works instead of grace. If there were no conditions, then everyone could demand it – and it would be received as a right by birth, instead of grace.
The very fact of grace makes necessary God’s required qualifications. But it is still an undeserved gift. Obedience does not earn anything – that is only what we owe to God. A birthright requires no qualification. It is a right by birth.
Source: The United States And Britain In Prophecy, by Herbert Armstrong, Chapter IV, Page 31-32.