"Law and Grace - Distinctions and Relationship"
Our memory verse for the week speaks to both the relationship and the distinction of law and grace. "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17).
The law was administered through a sinful man. Grace and truth came by the sinless Son of God.
The law foreshadowed the Lord Jesus. Grace and truth fulfilled the foreshadowing.
The law made promises of hope to come. Grace and truth kept those promises.
The law was given to a nation. Grace and truth made salvation possible to all.
The law commanded righteousness. Grace and truth provide righteousness.
The law made works necessary for righteousness. Grace and truth made righteousness necessary for works.
The law killed 3,000 on the day it was administered. Grace and truth gave life to 3,000 on the day of Pentecost.
The law worked from without. Grace and truth work from within.
The law (had it ever been kept) would have exalted the adherent. Grace and truth exalt the Lord Jesus.
The law was written on tablets of stone. Grace and truth are written on the heart.
The law required obedience. Grace and truth enable obedience.
The law was a schoolmaster leading to Christ. Grace and truth provide the Holy Spirit as our indwelling teacher.
The law made servanthood to a master necessary for sonship. Grace and truth birth sons and daughters who serve a Father.
The law made necessary the death of the Lord Jesus. Grace and truth made possible His resurrection, and the resurrection all who believe.
The law led to eternal condemnation. Grace and truth lead to eternal life.
The law could not lead to genuine love in sinful hearts. Grace and truth provide "the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).
The list could go on, and allow us to state categorically that the law fulfilled its Divinely intended purpose. Moreover, there was nothing wrong with the commandments given to Moses. The problem involved those to whom they was given. "Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful" (Romans 7:12-13). We must keep both the relationship and the distinction in mind. We live under the covenant of God's grace and truth in Christ whereby we are delivered from the ritual of the law, and inhabited by Holy Spirit so that "the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us" (Romans 8:4). There is a difference between the old and the new covenants, and we must increasingly understand the distinction. However, there is also a relationship, and we must increasingly rejoice in a good law that prepared bad people for a perfect Savior.
"Sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace."
"Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound, that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."
Weekly Memory Verse
For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.