Law and Grace Series Introduction

In Romans 6v14 Paul tells us that, as Christians, we are not under law but under grace, and here Beresford establishes precisely what he meant. The questions raised and answered are:

What is this law we are not under?

Why are we not under it?

What, therefore, is this grace that we are under?

Is being under grace a form of lawlessness then?

And in answering these questions two of the most prevalent false teachings to have plagued the Christian Church throughout history are tackled head on and dealt with. The area covered here, as you will discover, is really that of the different covenants God has made with man. A truly foundational subject!

Biblical Covenants LG 1

In this first talk the errors of legalism and license are defined, as is the meaning of, and the difference between, in both English and Greek usage, the words covenant and testament. The various types of covenant/testaments used in the ancient world of Bible times are outlined, followed by a discussion as to which ones God employs in His dealings with mankind. The first four of the six main covenants He has made with mankind are covered, and then placed in their proper categories. If you don’t know your Parity and Suzerain-Vassals from your Royal Grants, then this talk is definitely for you.

The Old Covenant – Law! LG 2

The Error of Legalism
The Mosaic Law is shown to be the fifth of the six covenants in question. Its nature, scope and purpose are defined, followed by a clear demonstration that this is the Law which Paul tells us we are not under. The reasons for this are outlined, as is the uniqueness of this particular covenant amongst all others God has made. Until the actual reason for the giving of this Law is understood, in contrast to the misunderstanding Israel was under, confusion will always surround it. This talk takes care of the error of legalism once and for all. And, just to get everyone going, Beresford goes on record as saying that the Ten Commandments are not binding on Christians in any way at all, having no practical bearing on our lives whatever. Is he, we hear you ask, a heretic after all? You’ll have to wait until the series is completed to find out!

The New Covenant – Part 1 LG 3

With the first two questions answered Beresford now moves onto the third and demonstrates the nature of the sixth covenant in the Bible, and it’s the one that, as Christians, we are under – the New Covenant of Grace! Its difference from the Old Covenant is explained, and the very basis of our salvation, through faith in Jesus, is brought out. A very real issue hit up against here is the question of how one actually gets into this covenant, and there you may well be in for something of a surprise. A talk to really get you thinking!

The New Covenant – Part 2 LG 5

The Error of License
We now move on to answering the last of our four questions and turn to the issue of whether or not being under grace, as opposed to law, is a form of lawlessness. Beresford demonstrates that nothing could be further from the truth, and that grace is itself a covenant with its own demands and restrictions which God expects those within it to be faithful to. Indeed, the purpose of grace goes beyond merely saving us from the penalty of sin, and includes within itself God’s provision for sanctification; that is, being saved from the power of sin in our lives. The error of license is therefore here refuted in no uncertain terms. Beresford also continues and completes his reasoning for having asserted in the second talk that the Ten Commandments don’t apply to us, and that we are not under them. Has he thus redeemed himself from the charge of not being biblically sound? You’ll have to decide that for yourself.

A Summary and Two Questions LG 6

This talk provides a re-cap of everything that has gone before and crystallises it into one readily understandable and digestible lump. Some loose ends are also tied up by way of answering a couple of questions that naturally arise from the subject matter covered. These pertain firstly to the usefulness of the Old Covenant to us, even though we are dead to it, and secondly to the issue of the relationship of obedience in regards to grace as opposed to obedience in regards to law. Or, to put it another way, is justification – salvation from the penalty of sin – purely by faith, and therefore a matter of grace, but sanctification – salvation from the power of sin – by obedience, and therefore actually a matter of law and not grace at all? The answer is clearly shown to be that everything in the Christian life, sanctification included, is by the grace of God alone through faith in Jesus.

Distinguishing Characteristics of Legalism and License LG 7

Having dealt with the theory of it all, this talk brings into focus the nitty-gritty business of actually identifying any presence and practice of either of the evils of legalism or license in our lives. None of us will come out of this talk with a completely clean bill of health, but at least in highlighting the presence of the condition we are half-way to the cure being applied. So many problems in our lives, both individually, and corporately as churches, can be conquered by us judging ourselves truly in regards to these issues.

The Grace-Filled Christian Life LG 8

This last study examines what grace actually is: a fundamental aspect of the Lord’s character and nature. This affects our understanding both of Him, and of how we relate to others. The relationship between grace and truth is also outlined in order that the delicate balance that avoids the twin errors of legalism and license might be maintained. Growth in the grace of God is what the Christian life is all about.