“For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).
The law reflects God’s holy and righteous standards to which we have all miserably failed to
measure up. Grace involves God’s love and unmerited favor, freely bestowed on wretched sinners who do not deserve one drop of kindness. They deserve judgment and wrath instead.
The law demands righteousness; grace freely justifies (Rom. 3:24).
The law utterly condemns the best person; grace saves to the uttermost the worst person (1 Tim. 1:15). The law kills; grace makes alive (2 Cor. 3:6). The law says, “Do;” grace says, “It is done!”
The law is prohibiting and demanding; grace is beseeching and bestowing (Rom. 12:1; Eph. 4:1). The law curses; grace blesses. The law shuts every mouth before God; grace opens the mouth in praise to God (Psalm 40:3). The law says, “Pay what you owe;” grace says, “I freely forgive you all!”
The law says, “The wages of sin is death;”
grace declares, “The gift of God is eternal life.”
While the law reveals sin, grace atones for it. The law demands obedience; grace bestows power to obey. The law brings distance between guilty man and God; grace reconciles man and draws him near to God (Rom. 5:1,10). The law promises life only on the basis of perfect obedience; grace offers good news to disobedient, guilty law-breakers.
Mt. Sinai has its place and its purpose, but thank God for Mt. Calvary, the place from which all grace abounds: “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Rom. 5:20).
“Run, John, run, the law commands, but gives me neither feet nor
hands; far grander news the gospel brings; it bids me fly and gives me
wings!” (John Bunyan).
Have you experienced God’s superabounding, life-transforming grace?