Is it really Grace versus Law

Is it really Grace versus Law

 Before I get too many feather’s ruffled up let me start off by saying that I believe it is only by the Grace of God that we experience the fullness of salvation, but I hear so many negative things being spoken against anything that is Law I have to wonder if expressing such anger or bitterness is appropriate. What I see clearly laid out before us in scripture is that there is a state of existence called righteousness. When Adam and Eve first existed they were in this state of righteousness and free from any influences that would hinder the quality of life that God had created and given to them. We know then that at some point later this all changed when they received the knowledge of good and evil, which we refer to as the moral law. It was at this point that they defined themselves as righteous or not through what they did instead of simply being righteous by God. A major point is that prior to this knowledge they never did anything unrighteous because there was no outside influence that caused them to behave or believe anything contrary to their inherit nature from God.

As soon as they received the moral law then what did God say? Was it oh no they have become our enemies? No in fact God said they have become like us to know good and evil. So receiving the moral law did not make less like God but more like him. So what was the problem then? The problem was that man could not handle it. The influence pride has, which the adversary used to tempt them in the first place, was too strong for them to resist for all eternity. God knew though before man ever existed that man would become a victim of pride and planned on a means of restoration through Jesus. Not wanting to get off subject then we can conclude that the Law is not evil but it is a part of God is some way. It is a reflection of God, His perfection, and an outline of how to be righteous independent of God. This is something though that no one could ever maintain and all would fail.

So the Law is not in opposition to God but a means to achieve the goal of righteousness. It is a process though that is without end or a perpetual goal, because it is not a standard that upon achieving one can relax and cease in its maintenance. Grace though is not a list of attributes or functions that one must continuously work at but its mode of operation is totally the opposite. It is not in opposition to the goal of righteousness but it is a totally opposite means of achieving and sustaining it. The secret to grace is that you must effortlessly receive it. Yep that’s it. It is a gift that is given by God through Jesus. This is why it is called the gospel (good news) of grace.

 Now honestly ask yourself does the Law appear to evil or at odds with grace? Not to me, but with that being said there are some things that we are told to enable us to experience the fruits of righteousness. Both are paths to arrive at the same goal but only one is achievable and sustainable. We are also told that if you mix the two together in any way then they both are of no effect. You can go back and forth between the two. Not because God is going to send the hounds of Hell after you but because you will fail to see any benefit of either in your life. We become our worst enemies at times and try to blame everyone for the mess we create. We are told that if you are going to live by the Law then you must keep the whole Law and not just what you choose to so that you can feel in righteous. And if you choose to live by Grace then it must be by Grace alone and no mixture of the Law.

 So if we who have chosen to live by God’s Grace are truly not under the influence of the Law then why do so many choose to bash it and those who are trying to live by it? I can only speak from my personal observation and experience but I would say it is because they are not truly 100% under the influence of Grace. It is one thing to encourage others and reveal to them an effortless life full of Grace through the one we life, but quite another thing to not be a living example and judgemental as well of those who are not trying to live by the grace God offers. The later is always fear based and though we may not be afraid like someone holding a gun to our heads type, there is a fear that one is not experiencing the fullness of Grace and starts to wonder what is wrong. This may not be as much a cognizant thought as subliminal but the influence in one life is till there.

What I have noticed is that there are those who are truly under the influence of Grace and there are those who think they are, and in all seriousness I believe they are working out letting go of the influences the Law still has in them. How have I noticed the differences? Well in others as in myself, I notice the things which we are trying to justify in contradiction to the inherit nature we receive from our Father. Since out topic is more focused on the moral Law let’s use behavior as an example.

 No matter how much many want to say that behaviourism is irrelevant in the Grace led life, there is nothing to back that up in scripture. It is true that our behaviors can never achieve what Grace freely gives, but our behaviors our the fruits of our beliefs. If we do not believe the truth then we will not manifest the fruits, characteristics, behaviors or whatever you want to call it of the truth. I say this to mainly point out the fact that we never see people who come under the Grace of God remain the same. I can attest to the fact that as I see Grace become the major influence in one’s life, many of the behaviors which are contrary to our inherit nature of God cease to have influence and therefore no longer manifest themselves. This is how Grace effortlessly produces change in our lives so the we can experience the quality of life God desires for us. If we true to produce the same results that Grace does effortlessly then this is called living under the Law.

 Let me clarify something here. When something is trying to influence our life to do something contrary to our inherit nature we are not being legalistic in resisting it. If we continue to try to use willpower though to overcome its ongoing influence though we will never be at peace and since the root of the matter is never addressed the temptation for that influence to overcome a person always remains. The Law does benefit us in that as we see the flags going up that say there is something wrong we can seek to receive Grace in those areas where we are still under the Laws influence. Again many are not honest with themselves and try to justify their behaviors under the blanket of Grace, yet we are taught that Grace is the power to change. Anyone who uses Grace to justify their actions is not experiencing the benefits of Grace, which would empower them to experience the quality of life that God desires for them. One who is truly living under the fullness of Grace never experiences the need to justify their deeds because they manifest behaviors that only reflect what they inherited from our Father.

 The Law though only points out our faults and unlike Grace, it does not provide a means to receive healing or wholeness in the area that is causing one to fall short of righteousness. The Law will point out every time you make a mistake, but it relies on your willpower to take any corrective actions to live in compliance of the Law. It is all about you and your own ability. The source for those who choose to live under the Law then is pride. Pride is the driving force because it is all about self and ones ability to be like God independent of God.

Using then the same scenario as with Grace, those who find themselves in violation of the Law must choose either one of two things. They must choose to try to be better at keeping the Law or they must justify their inability to change by trying to change the Law to accept the behavior. We see examples of this everyday around the world where in one community they accept one form of behavior that another would find detestable. What we have then is the influence of the moral law that is of God then perverted to suit the needs of those trying to fulfill it to give the appearance of righteousness and remove the need to change.

Regardless of the means then in which we try to justify anything in contradiction to God it remains just that, a contradiction. A negative influence, no matter how much we may enjoy it, that inhibits us from experiencing the liberty of a life that is righteous. I am very well aware that there are things that influence my life which cause me to act in ways that I know are not what God desires for me to experience. I also know that there have many things that have effortlessly shed themselves from out of my life as I receive His Grace in the areas that produce the fruit associated with unrighteousness. Could I easily cover myself in a blanket called grace and never change a thing? I could but I do not desire to sell myself short nor God’s provision and I know that such a blanket is not a gift from God but one that is from an adversary who wishes to keep us in bondage through any means possible.

 Paul literally asks the question should we sin that Grace may abound? His answer is an emphatic no. Some will say that sin is no longer an issue because Jesus took away the sins of the world. I understand that though no one would argue that we still see the results of its influence everywhere we go. Wherever we see death, destruction, bitterness, hatred and the list goes on, then we still see its influence. God has absolutely no desire to see us under any influence that would cause us to experience anything other than the quality of life He freely offers. We should not judge anyone either because every person is on their own journey. Some are closer to realizing the fullness of Grace in their lives than others. Again if someone has chosen to live contrary to the truth there it is one thing to be a living example of Grace versus bring their judge and condemning them. It is not our job to judge those who are not under Grace but offer them the righteousness, peace and joy that fruits of resting in God’s grace.

 

Another thing that is overlooked is the fact that once man received the knowledge of good and evil, God never removed this knowledge of the moral law from man. Again God knew this would all happen but that man would never be able to attain and sustain righteousness through the Law so He gave us Grace. Had the Law been corrupt then God would have destroyed it, but since it is a reflection of God He empowered us to live in the Law under Grace. Not according to the Law but in existence with it.

 

Another thing that is overlooked is the fact that once man received the knowledge of good and evil, God never removed this knowledge of the moral law from man. Again God knew this would all happen but that man would never be able to attain and sustain righteousness through the Law so He gave us Grace. Had the Law been corrupt then God would have destroyed it, but since it is a reflection of God He empowered us to live in the Law under Grace. Not according to the Law but in existence with it.

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About Thomas Myers

The one thing I enjoy the most is helping people discover their identity in Jesus. As one starts to see who they really are and why they even exist it is so powerful to see them come to life as the bondage that has tied them down over years of false identity is broken off. It is wonderful to be free of guilt, shame and condemnation and experience unconditional love and a value for ones self that is solid and does not waiver based on circumstances. True liberty can only be found in Christ Jesus. View all posts by Thomas Myers

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