“For the Law was given through Moses; Grace and Truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).
What is the Law? The Law is the set of commandments by which we shall live without offense before God. As it was given to the Isrealites, the Law was like a manual for humans living in a fallen world. It considered the various areas by which offences would come and provided a way for justice to prevail. According to this Law, the penalty for disobedience and sin is death, a just recompense to God, against whom the offence was ultimately committed.
What is the Truth? The Truth is that we can never measure up to the Law! It is humanly impossible. Even if we technically met the literal requirements of all the commandments, we would still fall short in Love, which is the greatest of all the commandments and the sum thereof! Love isn’t legalistic, and this is where we are all caught out! Many people who legalistically follow the Law lack the traits of love, which include humility, compassion and forgiveness. The fullness of Truth is that, more than the Law, we need God’s Spirit to be righteous. Jesus came to make the Spirit of Truth available to us (John 16:7).
What is Grace? Grace is a two-fold provision and expression of God’s love! Grace is mercy and favour, a gift of God that liberates us from the curse of the Law (being that no one can live up to its demands) and empowers us to live by the Spirit of the Law (which is Love, the fulfillment of the Law). First we are pardoned, then we are empowered to fulfil the Law, not by our own righteous works but by the transformative work of God’s indwelling Spirit. The evidence that the grace of God is active in our lives is the fruit of Love…the fruit of the Spirit.
“the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Gal 5:22-23).
If we know the Truth about our nature, we ought to be humble and thirst for His righteous nature. Knowing that we are not qualified in ourselves, we seek the qualification and justification only God can give, by accepting His gracious pardon through Jesus Christ. If we have received His Grace, we ought also to be gracious. If we know the Law, that it is fulfilled in Love, then we ought to practice love and teach others about love. We should lead others to its Source, so that they too may be delivered from condemnation, and experience joy, peace and liberty in His presence!
“where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Cor 3:17).
Photo credit: http://www.thegospelcoalition.org
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