You read a lot in the Bible about grace vs. the law.
It makes you wonder what’s the big deal, right? Follow the rules and it’ll all be okay…I think. The problem is that most people add a lot of rules that aren’t in the Bible.
Grace is inviting, welcoming, and it offers hope.
Ephesians 2:8-9 says that it is “by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
When Christians are walking in grace lost people are drawn to Jesus like bugs to a bug zapper.
However, when Christians start adding things to grace things get really hairy.
“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness [comes] by the law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Galatians 2:21).
What is God’s grace?
God knew that we would be sinners from the beginning of time, so He made a way through His only son, Jesus Christ, in order for us to be reconciled back to Him.
Grace cannot be earned nor is it deserved. That’s what makes it so awesome.
What is the law?
Most people consider the law to be the rules and guidelines given to the Israelites in the Old Testament. If you’re having trouble getting a mental picture, think of Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments. Think of lots of cows, sheep, goats, and doves being sacrificed to atone for sin. It’s actually quite bloody when you think about it.
The Bigger Picture
Without Jesus I have no hope of living up to the law. It’s impossible. However, the blood of Jesus Christ makes it possible for me to be in right standing with God. He came and took the place of my sins, became my blood sacrifice. Only because of Jesus’ sacrifice do I have any hope of following the commands of God, aka The Bible or God’s Word.
The law says, “You stink! How dare you come less than perfect? You’ll never measure up.”
Grace says, “You can change. Don’t be afraid of past mistakes, present struggles, or future mishaps.”
I hope that the difference is obvious to everyone. The law, religion, legalism—whatever you want to call it—is not the message that Christians were called to share.
We are called to follow Jesus and walk in grace. That’s the message we need to be sharing.