“Where There is No Law, There Can Be No Grace” – Brad Green

Brad Green

Many Biblical subjects are misunderstood and perverted by man, but perhaps none more than that of God’s grace. Many in the religious world teach that man is saved by “grace plus nothing.” This doctrine is foreign to the Bible, seeing that God says we are saved by faith (Mark 16:16), by hope (Rom. 8:24), by grace (Eph. 2:5), by Jesus’ blood (Rom. 5:9), by water baptism (1 Pet. 3:20-21), etc. The Bible very clearly states that man is not saved by grace only.

There is also a misunderstanding regarding the relationship between law and grace. Many have falsely concluded that law and grace are mutually exclusive (i.e., law and grace cannot coexist). The Bible teaches just the opposite—there can be no grace without law. The apostle Paul states that Christians are “justified freely by his [God’s] grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24). Justified is a legal term that means to declare as guiltless (Thayer’s). To leave a courtroom justified, one must be either: (a) innocent or (b) pardoned by the judge. Since the preceding verse proclaims that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (3:23), the only way to be justified in God’s sight is to be forgiven of our sins. Thus, we all need God’s grace because “all have sinned.” If we were innocent, we would be justified in God’s sight and do not need grace. Since God defines sin as “the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4) and “where no law is, there is no transgression” (Rom. 4:15), then it is by law that we are deemed in need of grace. Without law, there would be no sin, and man would not need God’s grace. Therefore, you cannot Scripturally separate God’s grace from God’s law.

Consider the example of Noah, who “found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Gen. 6:8). Noah needed God’s grace because “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (6:5). Man had sinned, transgressed God’s law, and needed God’s grace. God’s grace was offered to all men, but sadly, only Noah and his family took advantage of the offer. The offer of grace required faith (Heb. 11:7), a law (Gen. 6:14-16), and works of obedience—“Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he” (6:22). Noah and his family was saved that day (1 Pet. 3:20) because of God’s GRACE + God’s LAW + Noah’s FAITH + Noah’s WORKS of obedience.

Today, we are amenable to the Law of Christ, the New Testament (Gal. 6:2). Thanks be to God for His grace in supplying the plan by which man can be saved (Eph. 2:8-9). If we accept this gracious offer by faith in God (Heb. 11:6) and obedience to God’s Law (John 14:15; Heb. 5:8-9), we can be saved and live with God in eternity.

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Author: Editor

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