Darwin, signposts, and the mystery of the Gospel

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graceNpeace

Senior Member
Aug 12, 2016
2,180
107
63
#1
I live in Brisbane, Australia.
Driving west out of Brisbane past a small city called Ipswich on the Warrego Highway while still within the city limits of Ipswich one comes upon the first signpost to Darwin.
Now this may not seem much of a big deal, but Darwin is 3600 km and change from Brisbane.
Darwin is a small city on the north coast of Australia and is the capital of the Northern Territory (a rough equivalent to an American state).
The route from Brisbane to Darwin takes one through thousands of kilometres of almost uninhabited wilderness (particularly if one uses North America or Europe for comparison) mostly via what can best be described as a sealed goat-track. This road is certainly not a multi-laned dual-carriageway behemoth like an American interstate.
The quickest I have ever done the entire drive is three days of very long hours of driving.
Why do people go to Darwin?
Mostly because in Australia Darwin is an iconic place in an iconic Territory.
Most of it is wilderness.
Most of it is in the tropics.
All of it is still frontier.
Any Australian with a keen sense of what Australia is and was wants to visit Darwin and the same goes for international visitors too.

But what might this have to do with anything, especially the Gospel, and the mystery of the Gospel?
Well, it goes like this:
Currently on this forum there many "Law-keepers" and those of the Hebrew Roots Movement active on this site that would have us all believe that to be true Christians we are bound by the Law, obligated to observe days and feasts as Jews have traditionally done.
However, for those of us who understand that our salvation is by grace through faith, wholly dependent on the work that Christ Jesus did for us on the cross we know that our justification is entirely on the merits of Jesus Christ and absolutely not on our own merits.

And so back, to the trip to Darwin.
If my destination is Darwin and driving out of Darwin I see that sign indicating that Darwin is still 3600 km up the road have I reached my destination?
This sounds like such a silly question, and the answer is very obviously - NO!
Well, our "Law keeper" friends would have us believe that that sign is Darwin and, in fact, there is no need to travel any further. We have actually arrived.
If this seems silly and stupid, this is, in fact, their theological approach.
Instead of understanding that the Law, as given to Moses, is actually a signpost (as was the earlier Abrahamic covenant), as are the various days and feasts, also signposts, they would inform us that those Laws and days and feasts are our ultimate destination.
Well, if your destination is Darwin, that signpost is not your destination, and if your destination is salvation by grace through faith, mediated by the completed and efficacious sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, then neither the Law, nor any days or feasts can be your destination either.

Well, what is point of signposts then, whether on the side of the road, or in history as recorded in the Bible?
Simply put, they are signposts - they point to the ultimate destination!
On the Warrego highway they tell you how to get to Darwin, and in your Bible they point you to Christ.
If you mistake the sign for the destination then guess what - you have NOT reached your destination.

What about the value of those signposts once I have reached my destination?
Do I dig up or destroy those signposts as I go on my route to Darwin?
Well no, what about the travellers that follow behind me?
Surely they would also need those same signposts to get to Darwin too?
The principle also holds for those who need to get to Christ Jesus.
The Law is not made void because I come to Christ - it remains as a signpost for those who still need to get to Christ.
However, once I reach Darwin do I need those signposts anymore?
No, of course not!
I am in Darwin, I have reached my destination.
What about the Law?
No, once I am in Christ (my ultimate destination) the purpose of the Law as a tutor to bring me to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ is done.
I am no longer under the Law.

Our "Law-keeping" friends tell us that we are indeed saved by grace through faith, but, in order to be immediately placed back under the demands of the Law!
Strangely, and incorrectly, they somehow accept that, through Jesus Christ, forgiveness for past sins is obtained but not for future sin!!
The argument goes that somehow, because we are now "in Christ" this makes us, in an absolute sense, perfect and capable of living a sinless life according to the dictates of Levitical law.
However, the word of God clearly teaches that while God the Father, does indeed see us as in a state of sinless perfection, this is purely and completely due to the fact that we are covered by the blood of Christ Jesus.
The Bible teaches very plainly that human beings on earth are sinful by nature (since the Fall recorded in Genesis) and we remain sinful since we are still flesh and blood, even once we are saved. Our spirit is regenerated but our flesh remains as sinful.
Our challenge as believers is to align our fleshly bodies with our regenerated spirit.
We are exhorted to die to sin and to live to Christ.
This process is called sanctification and is never complete in the lifetime of the believer.
With a full understanding of the Law, made plain by Jesus Christ Himself during His earthly ministry, and reinforced by the convicting presence of the Holy Spirit in the regenerated believer, no believer I know would dare proclaim him or herself sinless.
All of us know, not only that we are still capable of sin, but that we do, in fact, still sin.

So, to say one hand that I accept the saving work of Jesus Christ, by grace through faith, but then to immediately proclaim that from that point on that my future relationship with God is dependent on keeping the Law is the ultimate oxymoron.
One immediately divorces oneself from saving grace, from union with Christ Jesus, to bond with the Law, the result of which can only be eternal condemnation, precisely because our fleshly sinful nature will inevitably result in sin.

One cannot mix the Law and the works of the Law with grace.
They are incompatible.
If one wishes to seek righteousness by works and by the works of the Law then grace is excluded and excluded absolutely.
Failing on one point of the Law makes one guilty on all points of the Law.
No part of the Law is void, not one jot and tittle has passed away.
Every statute in Levitical Law is still operational, including the sacrifices, if one proclaims himself under the Law.
No exceptions!

If one wants to accept the saving work of Jesus Christ, proffered by grace, and received by faith then the righteousness one obtains is purely and totally by the merits of Christ Jesus. He was the sinless perfect sacrifice made on our behalf. He was the one who fulfilled the righteous demands of the Law on our behalf.
His sacrifice was made once for all.
There is no more sacrifice to be made.
There are no more demands of the Law to be met.
Trying to reinstate the demands of the Law makes void the saving grace made manifest by Christ Jesus.
One would be proclaiming that the shed blood of Jesus Christ is redundant, unneeded, pointless!
One would be claiming righteousness by works, by the works of the Law.
This despite the fact that the Law can only condemn - no flesh will be saved by the Law!

The Gospel, the mystery, and the offence, of the Gospel, hangs squarely on the cross!
Pun intended!
The great mystery, as well as the offence, of the Gospel lies purely on the fact the righteousness offered by grace through faith cannot be earned.
Apart from the cross there is not one, not ever, who could stand righteous before God.
All we can do is humble ourselves before the cross and admit our complete inability to reach God on our own terms.
There is nothing we can do, there is no merit we could ever earn, that would make us righteous before God.
The righteousness we seek was literally poured out on the cross in the form of the blood of Christ Jesus.
That disgusting obscene spectacle of a broken, bleeding man, crucified and condemned, yet innocent in all respects, is our salvation, our hope, our future, our life.
There is nothing we can do to add to that salvation.
It is complete.
It stands alone as the single most significant moment in human history.
Nothing before and nothing since can even compare!

Passover is celebrated by Jews as a singularly momentous time in human history when God intervened on behalf of His people.
It is celebrated in remembrance of that great event in history.
But that is not all.
Passover also looked forward to a time of ultimate deliverance and salvation.
Well that time has already come in the form of Christ Jesus as the ultimate Passover sacrifice.
Passover delivered a nation from the slavery imposed by the Egyptians but Jesus Christ delivers us from the ultimate slavery - death!
Jesus Christ also delivers us to the ultimate Promised Land - eternal life and fellowship with God!
Passover is merely a pale shadow of that achieved by Jesus Christ on the cross.
The cross completely and utterly fulfilled the promise and the hope encapsulated in the celebration of Passover.
Jesus Christ is the ultimate and efficacious Passover lamb.
Celebrating Jesus Christ is celebrating Passover!

For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:2)