For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (John 1:17 KJV)
My neighbour and I started a Bible Study; we decided to begin with the book of John. When we got to verse 17, I asked for her take on it. She was of the opinion that Jesus’ coming totally obliterated the law. I thought about it for some seconds and shook my head. It did not sound right to me. So I tried to verbalize something that I had taken for granted.
If there was no law, there would be no law breakers. If there were no law breakers, there would be no sinners. If there were no sinners, Jesus would not have come, died on the cross and risen on the third day. If Jesus did not die and rise again, there would be no grace. Therefore, if there was no law, there would be no need for grace.
Grace is a direct outgrowth of Jesus thus he could not have come to abolish the law. He was in fact, the crowning glory of the law. There was even a place where he said he came to fulfill the law. I am not a theologian by any means, but I like to understand what I read and I like for the words I read to have a personal meaning to me. I think grace is when a child breaks a rule and ordinarily should get punished. But mum or dad decides this time around to let it go – with a reprimand maybe. Sometimes when we sin, we deserve severe punishment. However, when we come before God in repentance, through Jesus, he looks at us and sighs But for my son… As a lawyer, I would say that grace is an exemption to the law. That means the law exists and still is active, but grace will stay the hand of the law.
I don’t know if I am making any sense because I am still trying to fully understand something that has always been a part of me.
Like the Apostle Paul, I do not think that grace is a license for us to sin. True, grace means we do not get struck down like that poor man who tried to right the ark of God in the Old Testament, but I think one who really understands what grace is about, and the price that was paid for grace would be very reluctant to sin. And when such a person sins, there is true repentance and not just remorse.
What are your thoughts on grace and the law? I am aware that there are several differing interpretations to that verse and it would be enlightening to read what others think.