The law is not the method; the law establishes God’s righteousness, standard, and ways. The law as a method is powerless. Romans 8:3-4 tells us, “For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (NIV) Through Jesus and, only through Jesus the righteous requirements of the law will be fully met. Jeremiah prophesied on this matter by telling us,
“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people. Jeremiah 31:33 (NIV)
How is this going to be done? How can that law be in our minds and hearts? Through this method, God has given humanity: Grace and Truth. John tells us “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17 (NIV) The law or the way things are supposed to be according to God, was revealed to us through Moses; however, how to fulfill that law was given to us through Jesus by the balance of grace and truth. To focus on the Law and ignoring grace is a legalistic approach to God; it is exactly what the Pharisees did. The problem is that system does not work, why? Galatians 3:10 provide us with the answer,
For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” (NIV)
Why are we cursed if we rely on the law? Because we won’t be able to fulfill everything in it. We must understand that when it comes down to the law… everything MUST be followed perfectly; if you violate one thing, you violate the whole law. I know folks like to pick and choose sins and, there is indeed a category of sins, however, James told us, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” James 2:10 (NIV) Jesus came to fulfill the whole law; that is exactly what He did when he states, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Matthew 5:17 (NIV)
So, the balance of grace and truth is the only method powerful enough to incite changes in the heart of a person. Some folks look at grace as weak; if you do that, you are calling Jesus weak because, as stated before, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. Don’t be fooled by the definition of grace that is out there in some sectors of the church… it is simply not biblical; the effective method is the biblical implementation of Grace and truth.
We conclude that the law was never given to us as a method, but to reflect the character, demands, righteousness, standards, and ways of God. To attempt to fulfill the law in any other way than the biblical application of grace and truth is arrogant and, it is the sin of the Pharisees and every legalistic denomination in existence today. The application of grace without truth is an open door to confusion and, perdition. The application of the truth without grace is a system that will always birth hypocrisy; pretending to be what we are not in public while consumed with sin in our homes and our secret places.