As mentioned in yesterday’s post, when the word “Law” appears in the New Testament, it is usually shorthand for “the Law of Moses.” The original Hebrew word used for “law” was “torah,” meaning law in the sense of “teaching,” “instruction,” or “direction.”
When the word “grace” appears in the New Testament, it is usually short for “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.” “Grace” is that spiritual understanding brought to the Scriptures through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.
Thus “law” and “grace” are two different ways of reading what we call the Old Testament. (Of course, the New Testament writers called those documents “the Scriptures” because their own writings would be collected and called “the New Testament” only after they had died.) Thus Paul wrote:
Galatians 2:19-21 “For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”
This transition from law to grace is not an opportunity to sin. On the contrary, Paul writes:
Romans 6:14-15 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!
Grace was actually more demanding of Paul and his contemporaries than was the Law. But it was more rewarding as well. That is, the demands it made yielded significant fruit in their lives.
The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB unless otherwise noted.
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