One of the great teaching tools in the Word of God that is so very helpful for learning its truth is contrasts. Example: light and darkness, life and death, lost and found, etc. But the very best educational contrast in the Bible is law and grace!
Law and grace is far from being a dull theological subject, and is in fact the very backbone of the gospel message. The difference between the two is at the heart of how a person is saved and equally important how a person will live their Christian life. Law and grace is not a side issue; it winds its way into every nook and cranny of the Christian life. Without a proper understanding of law and grace, countless Christians will be double-minded and unstable in all of their ways, plus the Bible will be hopelessly contradictory to them. Further, they will have difficulty relating to God with confidence and thanksgiving.
As you can see, if a child of God doesn’t know the difference between living their life under law or under grace, they will be frustrated in their Christian walk.
What does the Bible say about the law? You may be surprised. It is generally believed that knowing and following the do’s and don’ts makes you a better Christian. However, the Bible says the Law empowers and increases sin. Do you believe the Bible?
The Bible says: “…the law gives sin its power.” (I Cor 15:56)
The Bible says: “The law came in so that the transgression (sin) would increase;” (Rom 5:20)
The Bible says: “And the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as the person who has broken all of God’s laws.” (James 2:10)
The Bible says: “For if we could be saved by keeping the law, then there was no need for Christ to die.” (Gal 2:21)
The Bible says: “But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under His curse…” (Gal 3:10)
The Ten Commandments, which are part of the law, were not given to stop sin. They have no power to stop sin. God gave the commandments to expose sin. Paul tells us in Romans 3:20, “For no one can ever be made right in God’s sight by doing what His law commands. For the more we know God’s law, the clearer it becomes that we aren’t obeying it.”
Now what does the Bible say about grace?
The Bible says: “For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.” (Romans 6: 14)
The Bible says: “…for all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Rom 3:24)
The Bible says: “for by grace you have been saved..not by works so that no one can boast.” (Eph 2:8,9)
The Bible says: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…” (Titus 2:11)
Living by grace through faith (not by the law) makes everything of Jesus and nothing of man. Grace allows man to live by constant faith in Jesus Christ for everything. Remember John 15:5, “For apart from Christ, we can do nothing…” The law reveals man’s effort while grace reveals Jesus’ finished work and gives all the glory to God.
By grasping this truth, you will understand one of the greatest misunderstandings in the church today. In the gospels which were still under the old covenant, Jesus was teaching under the law and letting us know that no man could keep the law, and that everyone needs a savior. The law was used to lead everyone to the only Savior, Jesus Christ. The old (law) became new (grace) at the cross. (Heb 9:16,17)
LIFE LESSON: Jesus alone satisfied every aspect of the law, and if we are in Him and He is in us, nothing more has to be done but to abide in His completed work. His life frees us from the power of sin. It’s all about Jesus; He lives in and through our bodies and gets all the glory. (Rom 12:1) That’s grace! Amazing grace!
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