It is written in Matthew 5:14-19, and these are the very words of Christ Jesus,
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

These words were spoken not only to the multitudes that came to hear Jesus, but also to His disciples. So no matter if you’re a DISCIPLE of Christ Jesus, or just one of the crowd, these words apply to YOU!

A lot of people get hung up on that verse 17. I like to illustrate that verse like a glass of water: Jesus said He came to fill up that glass, He did not come to throw it on the ground and destroy it. That’s the simplest way I know how to explain it. People tell me we are in an age of “GRACE”. Yes we are, but we are seeing lawlessness all around us, and more so each day. The problem is, it’s getting real hard to tell the Disciples from the rest of the crowd.

One time I had this song playing over and over in my head, it was called “Secret Agent Man”. Maybe you remember it from years back. One line said, “They’ve given you a number, and taken ‘way your name.” Well, that sounds like a secret agent, doesn’t it? When thinking about that right now, it occurs to me, that’s exactly how the devil operates. He sneaks in and tries to give you a number 666, and tries to take away your name from the Book of Life. How? He gets you to blend into the world so successfully, that you no longer appear to God to be one of His children.

The devil uses “grace” as a means to lead you gradually into all kinds of lawlessness. He tells you, “Hey, the law is done away with now, and where there is no law, there is no sin.” I remember a man coming to one of my Bible studies years ago, who was sitting next to this attractive young “separated from her husband” lady. He was a married man, and his wife was not there. He spent much of the evening trying to hit on her, and once he reached over and kissed her.

That’s when I took him into the kitchen away from the others and said, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” I reminded him that both she and he were married, and not to each other. He said, “Pastor Jerry, we are under grace, not the law. Where there’s no law, there’s no sin.” I explained to him that Jesus did not come to DESTROY the law, according to His own words. Well, the man didn’t agree, so I asked him not to come back until he could act like a MARRIED man of God. Haven’t seen him again since.

People use “grace” as license to continue living according to their fleshly desires. That’s a kind way of saying, they want to live according to the lusts of their flesh. And that isn’t what God is calling His sons and daughters to do. We are to live HOLY lives, because the Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20,
19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Lots of people don’t want to hear that. Oh, they want Jesus to be their Savior, but they don’t want Him to be their LORD! What they REALLY are saying to Him is, “Lord Jesus, I want you to save me from hell, but I’ll run my OWN life, thank YOU!”

I had a discussion with one of my closest friends about the Laws of God, versus grace, and like many, he believed the Law of God is done away with because of GRACE. Now before you go judging me for using this approach, I had to explain it like this to get my point across, and I DID, AND HE SAW THE LIGHT! It went like this: He and his wife and I were sitting in his living room. I asked his wife, “What are you doing later tonight?” She said “Nothing”. I said, “How about you and I go to a motel for the night? I like you, and like your husband says, we’re under “GRACE”, not the law.” Then I reminded him that one of the Commandments says, Thou shalt not commit adultery. “But if there’s no more LAW, then there’s no sin, right?” Well, he got the point, and REAL QUICK! The Ten Commandments still stand!

I would imagine the Apostle Paul probably also had to use a similar approach at some point as well. There’s a fine line between trying to “earn your salvation” by works, and “keeping the law”, like the Scribes and Pharisees of the Jews did, and going in the other ditch by throwing the law in the trash and becoming lawless.

Sometimes I use the fact that most Christians have no trouble driving ten miles per hour over the posted speed limit. We’re under GRACE, right? And most law enforcement will let you slide if you’re not over ten miles per hour over the limit. So will GOD let you slide if you’re seeing how close you can live like the world and get away with it? Well, if that’s all the more important the salvation of your soul is to you, then go ahead, go for it. But I’m not willing to take the chance, in light of 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

Sure, none of us can live a perfect life, but it’s like this: suppose you go to a circus, and there’s a tightwire walker. His goal is to walk from one end of that wire to another without falling off. But in case he does, there’s a safety net below to catch him if he falls. That’s like grace. But too many of God’s children, His DISCIPLES, no less, want to use “grace” like a “TRAMPOLINE”, AND THAT ISN’T ACCEPTABLE!

I don’t strive to live a holy life in order to BE saved, I strive to live a holy life because I AM saved. His Holy Spirit living in me makes me want to please Him, not displease or shame Him.
Ask yourself, “Am I truly trying to please the LORD, or am I trying to see how much I can get away with and still be saved?” I’m trying to help you here. No condemnation or being judgmental. Just trying to help you look out for the most important thing you have, that being your soul. It is written in Matthew 22:35-40,
35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

So that means, if you’re doing those two things, you aren’t breaking any of God’s laws. And if you accidently do, then 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness.” Now, confessing your sins and asking God to forgive them also means STOP DOING THEM! That’s grace. Lawlessness is continuing to live in the lusts of your flesh. And now you know the difference. Amen?