January 23, 2018

God’s Law and Grace

George Stiekes

Exodus 20:20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that His fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. Principle: The Law of God manifests the grace of God, though it is misunderstood by many Christians.

John 1:17 – The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

There should be no fear in relationship to the Law – unless of course you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your own personal Lord and Savior. God’s Word clearly tells us not to fear.

Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness (Isaiah 41:10).

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (II Timothy 1:7).

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love (1 John 4:18).

God told the children of Israel not to fear when the Egyptians were coming toward them. They watched as God brought the waters of the Red Sea upon the Egyptian army. But at Sinai mountain when God gave to them the Ten Commandments, the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it they removed, and stood afar off (Exodus 20:18). They thought God would take all of their lives. And Moses said unto the people, Fear not for God is come to prove you, and that His fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not (Exodus 20:20).

God was manifesting His presence at the mountain, just as He had earlier with Moses at the burning bush. God chose to manifest Himself to people in different ways, as recorded in His Word. He revealed Himself as:

  • A faithful God (Deuteronomy 7:9).
  • A God of love (Romans 5:5; 8:39; Ephesians 2:4; I John 4:8, 16).
  • A God of light (John 8:12; 9:5; 12:46; I John 1:5; Revelation 21:3).
  • A Spirit (John 8:24; Romans 8:9; I John 4:2).
  • A consuming fire (Deuteronomy 4:24; 9:3; Hebrews 12:29).

When the commandments of God were presented to Israel, the people sincerely responded, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do (Exodus 19:8). While they meant this promise with all their hearts, they could not fully obey God. The law was a manifestation of God’s grace, revealing both Himself and His will for the people. The first four commandments dealt with man’s relationship to God while the last six dealt with man’s relationship to others. By obeying these commandments they would experience God’s grace by way of the blessings that would come to them (Psalm 1:2; 37:4; 40:8; 119:47; Romans 7:22). Furthermore, we would not know the gracious gift of God’s salvation if it were not for the law (Galatians 3:23-24). We would not know that we were sinners in need of a Savior if it were not for the law (Romans 7:7).

The privilege of having been given the law was totally of grace. No other nation had this privilege. The words full of grace in John 1:14 describe Jesus Christ as the perfect redemption. The words and truth show Him to be the perfect revelation. The words grace for grace in verse 16 emphasize our unlimited resources in Christ Jesus. None of this was available under the law. These blessings came only in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, but it is the law that leads us to Christ (Galatians 3:24).

The law only proved that we could not keep it, that we could not meet God’s standards. The law was kept before mankind constantly because The soul that sinneth, it shall die (Ezekiel 18:4) and The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death (James 1:15). We have all violated the Law of God, but we have a Savior Who kept the law perfectly and paid the penalty on Calvary’s Cross for our sins that we might be righteous in our standing before Him, for in Christ we have His righteousness. The law still stands, and those without Christ will one day be judged by it. Believers will not be judged by it because Christ kept it in our stead. One of our failures is to recognize just how blessed we are to be IN CHRIST. Thank God today that you are no longer under the condemnation of the law. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1a).

George Stiekes held successful pastorates in churches in Michigan and Washington among other places. He currently resides in North Carolina and blogs at Reverent Reflections. We recommend his ministry and republish his material by permission.

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