FREE booklet : The New Covenant: Does It Abolish God's Law?
The New Covenant: Does It Abolish God's Law?
¬ Introduction
¬ God's Magnificent Series of Covenants
  Did Abraham Keep the Same Commandments God Gave to Moses?
  How Can We Obey God's Commandments?
  The Sinai Covenant and the 'Voice of the Lord'
  God's 'Laws, Statutes and Judgments'
  Key Elements of the Sinai Covenant
  Rightly Understanding 'Justification' and 'Righteousness'
  Did the Ten Commandments Exist Before Moses?
  God's Law: Is It a Burden or a Blessing?
¬ A New Covenant for Transforming the Heart
  What Was the Main Weakness of the Sinai Covenant?
  How God Balances Justice With Mercy
  How Is the New Covenant 'New'?
  The Ten Commandments: Keys in a Law of Love
¬ The High Priest Essential to Salvation
  Grace and Law: Why Are They Inseparable?
  A High Priest Eager to Help Us
¬ Circumcision vs. a 'New Creation' in Christ
  Current Confusion Over Christian Freedom
  The 'Curse of the Law'
  Galatians 4:9-10: Are God's Laws Bondage?
  Did Paul's Words to the Galatians Contradict His Actions?
  Why Paul Used the Term 'the Whole Law' in Galatians 5:3
  What's Wrong With Our Human Nature?
  The Holy Spirit: God's Promise of His Divine Help
¬ The Justice and Judgment of God
  How Paul Put the Law on 'Firmer Footing'
  How Does Justification Relate to Salvation?
  Does Romans 14 Abolish Laws on Unclean Meats?
  Did Paul Teach That All Days of Worship Are Alike?
  Did Paul Tell the Romans One Thing and the Corinthians the Opposite?
¬ Peace and Unity in Christ
  Paul Imprisoned Over a Man-Made Taboo
  The Corruption of Apostolic Christianity
  What Was 'Wiped Out' by Jesus Christ's Death?
  What Does 'Shadow of Things to Come' Mean?
  The Calendar Used by the Earliest Gentile Christians
  The Ascetic Philosophy Affecting the Colossians
  Colossians 2:16-17: Are God's Laws Obsolete?
¬ The Apostles, the Old Testament and God's Law
  Jesus and Paul Emphasize the Law's Correct Focus
  Paul Regularly Used the Old Testament as the Authority for His Teaching
  Acts Shows What the Early Church Believed and Practiced
  What Did Paul Mean by 'Christ Is the End of the Law'?
  The Jerusalem Conference of Acts 15: What Was Decided?
¬ Jesus' Teaching on God's Law
  Other Important Ways Jesus Fulfilled the Law
  Does the New Covenant Abolish the Commandments?
  The 'New' Part of Jesus Christ's 'New Commandment'
  Confusion Over Legalism: What It Is and Isn't
  Does God Set Conditions on His Gift of Eternal Life?
¬ All the World Under the New Covenant
  Liberty Through God's Law
  A Covenant of Marriage
   
From the publisher of The Good News magazine.
The New Covenant: Does It Abolish God's Law?
Request this FREE booklet
View booklet in PDF format
Related Articles
Why Is the New Covenant Better?
Does the New Covenant Abolish the Commandments?
Did Jesus Christ Abolish the Law?
The Need for a New Covenant
FREE Booklets
The Ten Commandments
Sunset to Sunset: God's Sabbath Rest
 

Grace and Law: Why Are They Inseparable?

The word grace is regularly used by some religious people as if it replaces all need to obey God's law. That conclusion is not only inaccurate, it is also diabolical!

Here is the reason: Without law there would be no need for grace. The word grace, as the Greek word charis is translated in the New Testament, means freely shown "favor"—a gift (it's from charis that we derive the English word charity). In a religious context the word grace is used most often for the gift of forgiveness. It refers to how God extends His favor to repentant sinners by forgiving their former disobedience of His law—their "sins previously committed" (Romans 3:25, NRSV).

This is necessary because "everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness" (1 John 3:4, NIV). If there is no law to break, there is no such thing as sin. And if there is no sin the very idea of grace, as God's forgiveness, has no meaning at all.

God does not just dismiss our sins, our lawless acts. Nor does He simply ignore them. Rather, "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:3) so "that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone" (Hebrews 2:9).

In other words, it was to make God's favor—His grace—available to all who repent (by turning away from sin) that Jesus "gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works" (Titus 2:14).

Therefore, grace encompasses more than just the forgiveness for past sins. It also includes the gift of the Holy Spirit to help us obey God's laws. Indeed, it refers to all the free and unmerited gifts of God. It includes His help in initially turning us away from sin and leading us to His truth and way of life, His forgiveness of our past sins and ultimately His granting us the greatest gift of all—eternal life in His Kingdom.

But without law, grace would be meaningless because there would be no way to define sin. Yet without grace, forgiveness of sin for breaking God's law could not be made available to us.

So Jesus died and rose again to make grace available to anyone who is eager and willing to "go and sin no more" (John 8:11). Through grace, we can first be forgiven of our lawbreaking and then enabled by the Holy Spirit to obey God's law from the heart—with the ultimate goal and promise of being able to live for all eternity in perfect obedience.

Thus, law and grace are utterly inseparable. Law is necessary to define sin and its consequences. Grace is necessary so sinners can be forgiven and led to obedience to God through the power of the Holy Spirit and the assistance of Jesus Christ, who is our Savior and High Priest.


Why Does God Allow Suffering? 1997-2007 United Church of God - British Isles
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
All correspondence and questions should be sent to info@ucg.org.uk. Send inquiries regarding the operation of this Web site to webmaster@ucg.org.uk