Wrong Thoughts on Grace
In the world of Christian thought, there has always been a conflict between living by grace and living by law. Some believers think that if we live by grace, then that gives us license to sin. The origin of this line of thought comes from the fact that we no longer have to worry about the judgement of sin because of Christ’s work on the cross.
Wrong Thoughts on the Law
So to solve this obviously wrong thinking, some Christians have recommended that we ought to live according to the law of God. The theory is that if we live by the law then we are prevented from sinning against God. The problem with this line of thinking is that if we live under the law, we are not under grace and God has decreed in the Bible that we are to live by grace.
What is the Law?
Which idea is correct? The first thing we must do is figure out what is the law? A working definition of the law is that it is any form of an outside command that creates an opposite reaction from what it is intended to create.
Law Teaches How to Live
God’s law runs contrary to the nature of man, that is why it is so hard for people to obey it. Now I am not saying that the law is evil. On the contrary, in God’s law is all truth and its purpose is to reveal what it means to have a life that is satisfying and right before God.
It Teaches But Not Enforces
Unfortunately there are limits to what the law can do. Although it shows us how to live, it does not have the capability to correct the sins in our lives in order to give us that fulfilling life that it promises. As a result, the law is often viewed as accusatory and judgmental; and any judgment or evaluation, even if it approves and speaks a blessing- will be perceived by us as negative.
What is Grace?
Since the law cannot fix what is broken in mankind, which is sin, God sent His Son Jesus to fix the problem; not with law but with grace. What is grace? Grace is love that is directed at you for no particular reason at all.
One Way Love
It is a “one-directional” love that requires nothing in return from us who receive it. However a strange thing happens when we are given grace. The act of being loved for no good reason produces in us a response of love back to God who first loved us.
Christ’ Example of Grace
An example of one-directional love is shown through the crucifixion of Christ. Jesus took upon Himself all the sins of humanity, taking the judgment that the law requires for all our sin. Now He didn’t wait for people to get their act together in order for Him to love them; that is not how grace works.
The First Easter
The first Easter was so meaningful in showing what grace looks like. Before Christ died, we were separated from God because of our sins. Then Christ’s resurrected body bridged the gap between God’s law and sinful men and women, ending the strife completely. When this happened, we can now approach God in Christ; this is grace.
Review of Grace and Law
So which one is better? We have already discussed how God’s law can’t guide us in how to live a life that is right with God. It was never meant to do this, but instead it show us that the only way that we can live right with God is through His grace and mercy. This He did willingly through His Son Jesus.
How Do You Live You Life?
So what about you? Are you living in grace or are you living according to a set of laws? Examine your hearts and if you are living according to the law thinking that it will save you, turn away from this immediately. Living a Godly life is suppose to be a response to God’s saving grace and not the other way around.