Law And Grace

Law And Grace

George M. Landis

Text: “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).

Grace is ever seen in striking contrast to law. The law was given through Moses to the people Israel; grace came through Jesus Christ. Law demands righteousness; grace provides righteousness. Law requires its blessings to be earned for they are dependent upon human works; grace freely gives its richer blessings which are dependent upon faith in Christ. The law exposes what is in man’s heart, inherent sin; grace displays what is in God’s heart, infinite love. The law gives a knowledge of sin; grace gives salvation from sin. Law promises to bless the good but shows that there are none such; grace promises to save the bad who trust in Christ. The law condemns even the best; grace offers salvation even to the worst. The law is a ministration of death and condemnation; grace is a ministration of life and justification. The law shuts sinful man out from God; grace brings him into God’s presence. No man can fully keep the law, for it gives no power to perform what it demands; no one need refuse grace which gives more than the law requires, a righteousness which is Christ Himself.

The world does not understand grace. When pure grace is preached, proclaiming that the vilest sinner may be saved through faith in Christ’s atoning death, many say: “Such a doctrine gives license to sin.” This charge was made against Paul, who some said made void the law and encouraged people to sin that grace might abound. Such objections fail to recognize that the saved sinner is born again and is possessed of a new nature which hates sin and loves righteousness.

Grace rules out all supposed human merit, giving all the glory to God who displays the grace; hence many reject it because of the inveterate pride of the sinful heart. Salvation is by grace alone.