“Law & Grace, Part 2”
[2nd half of Scott’s message in the California prisons.]
“FortheLawwas given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.”—John 1:17
The LAW is of the earth and for the earth so man doesn’t destroy himself.
I remember the day I confronted Carson with his misconduct and after a lengthy discussion, he said, “Thanks. I didn’t know how to stop.” Maybe sin is a foreign invader who captures us and holds us in bondage. An inmate once told me, “I was locked up long before I got in here.” Could the law actually benefit a wrongdoer? During his last few hours in jail, a young man heard a voice of wisdom whisper, “It’s time to stop lying and grow up.” Would he have heard that voice without the law to grab him and hold him still?
God “grabs” us with the Law so we don’t destroy ourselves. If the Law is a wall (guardrail), you are free to jump over it…and you will be free…until you hit the ground. No one really breaks God’s Law; they only break themselves against it.
“The truth is somewhere in the middle,” they say. The LAW is not a Ladder to climb to God, nor a Wal to keep us from having fun…
The LAW is A MIRROR to REVEAL what God wants to HEAL. When you look at yourself in the light of the Law, you discover your flaws, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). The UN-Righteous live below God’s standard, while the SELF-Righteous live above it, but both fall short. There is only one righteousness God accepts—Christ’s.
So let’s look at the cross again. The horizontal relates to the earth and the vertical to God. Don’t get the two confused! The LAW reveals SIN in man, but Jesus Christ reveals GRACE from the Father. Jesus, being both God and man, intersects the two kingdoms at the crossroad. [He’s the “A” in LAw and GrAce.] Having lived under the Law in sinless perfection, He became the perfect sacrifice, breaking the curse of the Law—death—so that we might live in right relationship with God.
Rm 8:2-4—“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
Rm 10:4—“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”
abusing Grace and promoting the Law. If we are to walk in Christ as we received Him (Col. 2:6), why do Christians revert to a “neo-legalism”—a law-based discipleship as if they were adding to what Christ has already accomplished for us? It’s like they understand salvation comes by grace through faith, but then think sanctification comes by works through self-effort.
one point, he has become guilty of all.” MERCY