There were three errors concerning LAW and GRACE during the time of the writing of the New Testament.  They are errors which have continued until this day even though the truth is so clearly taught in the Scriptures.  These errors are:

1. LEGALISM-It is the teaching that we are saved by works, by observing rituals and ceremonies, and by keeping the Law.  One entire book of the New Testament is devoted to an answer to this soul-damning error.  It is the Epistle to the Romans.  It can be summed up in Romans 3:28.  “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”

2. ANTI-NOMIANISM-The second error is anti-nomianism.  It teaches that because we are saved by grace, it makes no difference how we live and behave.  One book of the New Testament is devoted to answering this satanic error.  It is the Book of James.  It may well be summed up in James 1:2.  “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”

3. GALATIANISM-This is the false doctrine which teaches that we are saved by grace, and then after that we are KEPT by the Law, making our ultimate salvation dependent upon OUR WORKS instead of the GRACE OF GOD.  To combat this error, the Holy Spirit chose Paul to write the Epistle to the Galatians.  It is the strongest argument that we are SAVED, KEPT, AND FINALLY REDEEMED BY GRACE, without the works of the Law.  It is summed up in Galatians 5:1.  “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”

Salvation is not a matter of Law and Grace, but it is a matter of Law or Grace; for it cannot be both.

“And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” Romans 11:16

And what was the GOSPEL Paul preached?  It was the message of GRACE.  The test of the Gospel is GRACE.  I want you to know that if the message you hear is the Gospel, ask only one question, “Is it the message of grace, and only grace, with nothing added?”  Yes, the test of the Gospel is grace.  If the message excludes grace, or mingles the law with grace as the means of either justification or sanctification, it is another gospel.  Paul sums it all up in Galatians 2:21, ” I do not frustrate the grace of God; for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”

What a terrible thing to say that our righteousness can be gained by works or lawkeeping.  It accuses God of needlessly letting His Son be murdered without reason.  The believer saved by the grace of God renounces all legal claims to the mercy of God, but accepts everything as a GIFT.  If you work for a thing, then you earn it.  If God saves you because of anything you DO, then God is indebted to you.  Notice in Romans 4:4, “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.”

If you can work for, or earn, your own salvation, or work to keep it, then God owes you salvation as wages, and you don't have to thank Him for it, because you have earned it, and God owes it to you. Don't you see why God will not allow any man to work his way into Heaven?  God does not 'Give us a start for Heaven by grace', and then say, “Now keep going on your own power.”  That would give us something to crow about, saying, “Yes, God saved me, but I got here by hanging on.”

Grace is the death of pride.  It slays all self-exaltation.  Nothing will humble a person like the grace of God, and when I see a proud Christian, I know he does not fully understand God's grace.  There will be no bragging or strutting in Heaven.  If the Lord would let you have anything to do with your salvation, you would be the biggest bore in Heaven.  You would be a pest in boasting.  Heaven would never hear the last of it.  You would never get through telling about it.  That is the reason, says Paul, why it is “NOT OF WORKS-LEST ANY MAN SHOULD BOAST.”  “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8,9).”