2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
When a person gets saved, it is the beginning of a life on terms of God dealing with them by grace. The grace of God is the very heartbeat of the Gospel. It is what makes Christianity different than all man-made religions, which all are man’s attempts to initiate a work and offer it up to God for acceptance. Christianity is the total work of God reaching down to man and asking for an obedient response.
In getting saved it only took a minimal amount of knowledge of grace to be saved. After salvation, in our growth, it takes a maximum amount of knowledge in every area of life. Second Peter 3:18 says, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” One of the greatest hazards we can face as a Christian is in not knowing grace beyond salvation.
A basic understanding of the Bible is that it is made up of two testaments and for our purposes, two major covenants; the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. These are not only two covenants, but they are two ways of God dealing with man and two ways of man living under God. These two covenants, the Law Covenant of Works and the Grace Covenant of Faith, can never coexist together. It is either living under unconditional grace or living under conditional law. Grace is grace and works (of the law) are works (of the law), like east is east and west is west and never the two shall meet. Romans 11:6 says, “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work (see also Romans 4:4, 5).”
The Old Covenant that God gave to Moses can be described as:
A LAW COVENANT OF WORKS
It operates by man’s works. The two main principles of the Law Covenant of Works are:
- It was conditional, meaning blessing conditioned upon man’s obedient work.
- The power to fulfill its obligations, commands, principles, and standards was man’s power, man’s strength, man’s energy and efforts, man’s working, and man’s self-effort.
In contrast, The New Covenant, we describe it as:
A GRACE COVENANT OF FAITH
The two main principles of the Grace Covenant of Faith are:
- It was unconditional, meaning blessing is freely bestowed from God based on Jesus’ obedient work. Now we respond in faith and obedience and it operates by man’s faith.
- The power to fulfill its obligations, commands, principles, and standards is supplied by God by a divine life and Spirit within. It is by the power, strength, energy, and working of the Spirit, only, that we can do all that is expected and required.
As to our justification being made righteous by faith we establish the Law. “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law Romans 3:31.” Living by faith and under the power of our spirit we can fulfill all that was spiritual, holy, just, and good in the Law of the Old Covenant.