Our Grace-Based Rights

Prime time television shows about the legal system are entertaining, but they’re based solely on the laws of man. They all seem to have the same straightforward plot, and the script neatly ties everything up at the end of 60 minutes, minus the commercials. The overriding themes focus on guilt, condemnation, and the legal rights of individuals. But God’s laws have been in effect since the beginning of time, and they give His children certain inalienable rights.

Even with the best of intentions, laws written by humans can be flawed. They can have unintended and harmful consequences, and can inadvertently violate our individual rights. Lawmakers are constantly tampering with them, changing them, and repealing them. By comparison, God’s laws have remained unchanged.

Under the old covenant, when God handed down the Law to Moses, He did so out of love and compassion. Even under the Law of works, God demonstrated the heart of a teacher, not a harsh dictator. “And the Lord said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them” (Exodus 24:12). The Law was in place to protect God’s children from sin. “Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator” (Galatians 3:19, NIV).

God knew exactly what He was doing when He wrote the Law. “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes”(Psalm 19:7, 8). Even before Jesus arrived on earth to establish the law of grace, God’s laws were written to bring transformation, reassurance, and joy. He wrote them to remind His people of their rights to peace, happiness, wisdom, and knowledge in His Word.

When Jesus brought His ministry to the people, the eternal laws He spoke of completely baffled lawyers of the world. “But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 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. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets”(Matthew 22:34-40).

Under divine law, when we live according to His Word, we have the right to all that the finished works of Jesus made available to us. That includes peace, joy, happiness, prosperity, abundance in every area of our lives, and an identity as God’s children. We also have the right to freedom from fear and freedom from the power of sin. What a bill of rights!

The devil doesn’t want us to have any of this. Picture a courtroom setting where he accuses us, reminds us of everything we’ve done wrong in the past, and questions our identity in Christ. But when we accept God’s Grace, the Judge dismisses all charges, and we are victorious through Him. Case closed!

— Creflo Dollar