Law and Grace by Alva J. McClain

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In response to many who were (and still are) calling the believer to go back under Law, McClain, former president of Grace Theological Seminary, wrote this excellent little book. McClain firmly believes that the Christian is no longer under the Law as a rule of life — they cannot be sanctified by keeping the Law. Rather, the church is under grace.

McClain teaches:

While the Law may have three elements it is wrong to divide the Law into three laws (the moral, ceremonial and the civil) in such a way that we are obligated to keep the moral but not the other two laws. Thus the Law is a unit. If one element is obligatory then all elements are obligatory. Important point!

The Law is still in existence and has several divine purposes.

“The command inwardly stimulates the attitude of rebellion in men with sinful natures. On the other hand, the penalty externally restrains the outward act of rebellion” (page 27).

“As a written Law, it was given in the form of a covenant to Israel alone” (page 31).

The Christian is not under the Law (Rom 6:14,5; Gal 5:18; I Cor. 9:20), neither for salvation nor for sanctification (chapter 7). “The Law can neither regenerate men nor make them good. Only the grace of God in Christ can do that” (page 73).

The keeping of the commandments of Christ does not mean to put ourselves back under any legalistic system of any kind (page 62). The new commandment is that we love one another as Christ loved us (John 13:34), which is fulfilled as we “walk in the Spirit” (Gal 5:16). “While we are commanded to love one another, and this love is the fulfillment of the Law, nowhere are we commanded to ‘fulfill the Law’! The proper Christian formula is set forth in Romans 8:1-4.

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