If you’re reading this, it means you desire to have an understanding of grace and law, two concepts that appear in regular arguments concerning the Christian faith these days. I advice you to clear your mind and not be in haste so that you can get the full experience. I’ll be taking this in stages for better understanding. Please note that you can click on any bible verse and it’ll reveal the verse it contains. First this question; is it possible for any country to govern its people without laws? Let’s dive in.
A brief illustration
Imagine that the Chinese government after years of strategizing finally becomes the World power and in its bid to prove its superiority over other races, abolishes their law to propagate “true freedom.” Every prison is emptied and the Police are disbanded because where there is no law, there is no need for enforcement. Then the people are asked to “do the right thing” at all times. What do you think will become of China in some years time, scrape that in some months time?
The Chinese citizens suddenly find all inhibitions they were taught, taken away. The first thing I see is a 16 year old walking into a phone store and demanding for an iPhone 11. Within a month, every sector will be paralyzed and the sudden height of civilization and enlightenment that made the government take such actions would have backfired and China returns to an age of anarchy and survival of the fitness. In a bid to attain higher humanity, they become worse- beasts. We’ll come back to this story soon.
Unveiling the grace of God
“If we knew the depth of grace, we would not need to hype it because it is already hyped on its own”
-Rev. Gideon Odoma
The grace of God is bigger than what we know it to be. It has always been in existence contrary to what some think that it was “created” after Jesus died and offered his blood as atonement. Grace was what called Father Abraham from his home. It was what watched over Jacob in Laban’s house. It singled out Noah (Genesis 6: 8) and saved his family. It singled out Moses too. (Exodus 33:17) Grace was what provided the law to the people. Yes, grace birthed the law! And every other human you have ever heard of in the Old Testament that amounted to anything did so as a result of God’s help…grace. How do I know this? Because No man can come to God, desire or do the will of God without his grace. The bible records that Jesus himself was full of grace from his childhood, and he was yet to die then (John 1:14, Luke 2:40).
Not what is grace but WHO is grace?
God’s grace created the first man. Grace gave him the will to choose good or evil but when creation died along with Adam, God’s grace faded to the background. Jesus was the channel for this restoration (Hebrews 12:24) and in Titus 2:11, we finally hear a testimony; “for the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men…” Grace finally moved to the limelight! Now every man can be a partaker of God’s mercies and not just the Israelites. Grace is not a thing or a force, it’s a person. It’s the Holy Spirit himself- the power of God to do and create. Grace is help and empowerment (Hebrews 4:16) which is the Holy Spirit’s ministry.
Anywhere a creation takes place, signs, or wonders; anywhere God’s mercy is found, you’ll surely find his grace there too because it’s His mercy that provides the channel to deal with men.
Unveiling the law of God.
Laws are everywhere. It’s how the earth operates. After God delivered us from sin and death, and translated into his own government, the common wealth of Israel (Eph 2:12), he proclaimed our liberty himself but he did not make the mistake this fictional Chinese Government did by leaving us without a guide.
Jesus said “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17). Wikionary defines fulfil to mean to satisfy, carry out, bring to completion, to follow, comply or follow. From this, our model Himself is providing guidance He knows we will need.
Apostle Paul showed himself to be subject to the law too. Acts 18:18 records that Paul shaved his head in the fulfillment of a vow he had made. This is in line with the Law of Moses as recorded in Numbers 6:18. If you’re thinking it’s an error, in Acts 21: 26, Paul observed the rights of purification according to the Jewish law. Mind you, this took place in the synagogue. The synagogue is different from the church and operates after the customs of laws of Moses to this day.
If the chief teacher on the grace of God should do something like this, does it not call for a thought?
The Law of God was the foreshadow of things to come
We have established who grace is. It brings us to the next question, what was grace doing in the Old Testament? Remember I said grace birthed the law? Let me explain that.
Adam did not need the law of God or taught separately because he had it already, he was the law himself. When God saw that man was alienated from him, he had to provide a replacement system to keep him from straying. That system was the law. A supernatural government of course, will run on supernatural rules. This law had to take every detail into account explaining the length. Christ had not yet died and the law was to be used before the Spirit was to be given unhindered movement over the earth like He once used to have in early days of creation (Genesis 1:2).
Every aspect of the law is a fore shadow of the plan of God as we currently enjoy today (Hebrews 10:1, Col 2:17). Spiritual men saw it coming. David was a man who loved the law so much yet, he was able to see through the letters to the heartbeat of God when he cried “For you desire not sacrifices; else would I give it: you do not delight in burnt sacrifices. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit” (Psalm 51:16-17). In Psalm 32:1, he prophesied “Blessed is the man whose sin is forgive, whose sin is covered…”
I want you to understand that God cannot change. He remains the same God of both covenants. He was not more wicked then than now. The only difference is that Jesus’ blood is ever in His view as a reminder of mercy.
It’s true that some laws sound harsher than others but it does not devaluate it. Everything that was to be done under the Law of Moses has been moved to the spiritual. This was Paul’s cry that many were still walking after the physical rituals which had been abolished. The witch still should not be allowed to live. This does not mean that if we discover a witch, we should stone them to death. Yet, anyone that practices any form of witchcraft is dead spiritually. We should know that the spirit realm is the controlling world (Heb 11:3).
There are many aspects of this law that has not been cracked so it leads to many misunderstandings. Some people make excuses for God. Haha, you’d wonder the silliness. I used to be in that category. I admit that I’ve cracked only very few myself and, they were enlightening therefore, I’m looking forward to more. I mean, I’ve got my entire life to learn about God, so, no hurry. To provide a full study of the law will mean to study the entire scriptures which in turn will lead to studying the angles of God he has revealed to us in his word and that beloved, is a lifetime job. You should look forward to it too.
The weakness of the law
The law made life harder for God’s people; what was supposed to be guide became a burden (Acts 15:10). Let’s say they wanted to memorize it all, they did not have personal copies like we do today. They all had to go the synagogue on the Sabbaths and on special occasions to have it read to them. Whenever the script was lost, the laws were forgotten too. Remember when Josiah found the missing book of the law (2 kings 22:8-13)?
The law could not soften their hearts; when we read of the likes of Caiaphas and the Pharisees we wonder the kind of hardened hearts these teachers of the laws had. That’s the effects. They had to work to earn justification and those able to meet these requirements felt better than others. Let me bring it home.
If my married sister commits adultery and gets stoned to death, when I see another adulterer who do you think will be first to cast the stone? It was a recycle of hardness
Grace Vs Law
I’ll finish my story here. If truly the Chinese government attained higher understanding of human life, they would have a better way of expressing it. Let’s say by creating a little chip containing the constitution which will be inserted into their palm before they are free to roam. This way, even if the law was no longer above them, they would not forget. When that Chinese citizen is in a quarrel with another and he reaches for the kitchen knife, his chip would go red and he’ll hear a tiny robotic voice “this action has an 80% probability to cause death. Do not proceed”
What happened here?
There is another kind of law
Simple, God did not leave his children without a shepherd. That’s the law of the spirit of life in action. God said in the latter days, He would write His law on our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33). There are two contradicting words in that verse, “law” and “Spirit.” How do these two work together. What stops us from doing what our instincts tells us to, like the Chinese man? Or returning a punch? Do you think it’s because you read it in the bible? What made you remember that verse right then? That is our little chip there with the tiny robotic voice. That was the law in your heart speaking through the Holy Spirit. The law never really left you, it transported. It is true we are no longer under the law but the law of spirit and life.
Can one ever then say that our story’s Chinese man is really free? Are you? The answer is both yes and no. Yes, because he had the choice to listen to the chip and no because there was a restraint no matter how little. It’s a paradox. It’s a balance it’s the law of the spirit of life.
Finding the balance.
A chief argument for those who overstretch the doctrine of grace is that you cannot choose a part of the law and leave others so also can you not choose a part of God and leave the other. To do any would be extremes. There is a balance right at the center.
Yes, we are no longer under the law, Halleluiah! No longer do we need the physical rituals to meet God neither do we need rams to perform sacrifices. God does not consider our works to save us either, it’s solely by His grace and his own choice that he has called us. Now we should live for him (Romans 12:1) and perform works worthy of repentance (James 2:26).
Grace demands work too but not the works of acceptance or justification but works of thanksgiving as one who has been bought with a price now living for him. Grace is not a license for evil. Titus 2: 20 say it teaches us to forsake all ungodliness. If your life bears no difference from unbelievers, what then is the proof of your faith?
There are two boys writing their math exam in different areas. One uses a calculator the other does not have access to one. Results are revealed and the boy that used a calculator performed lower than the one without it. How severe do you think the repercussions would be? The boy with the calculator is grace. The children of the new covenant are favoured in that we have access to God’s resources as we walk this life path. It’s the same one David, Solomon, Samson, Ruth and others thread, but we have the extra help they did not have. Even with your human perspective, which do you think is weightier? I’ll answer for you. It’s the grace of God.
I believe this is the reason why God’s grace is one of the most argued concepts in Christianity dating back to the early church. It’s because it has many angles, people have gotten confused. For yourself, find this balance. Not because I said so, or because of what your pastor has said.
David said that he has only one desire in his whole life; to dwell in Gods temple beholding His beauty and making enquiries (Psalm 27:4). I advise you to adopt this technique today. Find time to sit, love on God and ask questions. Ask the hardest ones, don’t run from them. You’ll be surprised how much the Holy Spirit has been waiting to teach you.
If you read to this point, I’m very glad and believe it’s been a blessing to you. Don’t forget to comment.