Pastor's Column: God's grace, laws not the same
September 17. 2013 2:24PM
Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed. Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.
I've been studying a lot lately through the book of Galatians. I believe that Paul was teaching the Galatians not to mix Law and Grace because they had been doing so. They wanted to receive all of the goodness and the blessings of Jesus, but yet they believed that they had to perform to a certain standard in order to receive those blessings and the goodness of Jesus. Many people call this today, “balancing.” But in reality, this isn't a balance. It is a mixture and mixture in this instance is not good. This Scripture teaches us that the law was our guardian or teacher. The law is like a mirror and shows us our need for forgiveness -- our need for the Savior. But because of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary, we are no longer under the law, but rather grace.
Grace is the undeserved, unmerited and unearned favor of God -- and the moment you try to merit the free favors of God, His Grace is nullified.
Mark 2:22 says “and no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine is put into new wineskins.”
What was Jesus referring to when he shared on the new wine and old wineskins? He was referring to the mixture of the two covenants. The new wine represents the new covenant of grace, while the wineskin represents the old covenant of law. Have you seen or heard wineskins before? They are brittle, hard and inflexible. That's the law. It is inflexible. And when you pour the new wine of grace into the old wineskin of the law, you will lose both because the wineskin will be ruined and the wine will be spilled. The virtues of the old and the new covenants will be canceled out and lost.
Don't mix Law and Grace. When you put yourself completely under the law, you will find that the law will be your guardian or your tutor to bring you to the end of yourself. When you finally acknowledge that you cannot save yourself, you will turn to the Savior and His grace will fill your heart. You see, when you think that you can, His hands are tied and He cannot. But when you know that you cannot, that's when He can! You have heard the hymn, Amazing Grace? That my friends, is what makes grace so amazing!