IF I WERE DISCERNING, THEN I would know the difference between Law and Grace. I would certainly know that the law can’t save me, but my discernment would need to go much deeper than that because my entire Christian life is based on keeping these two in balance. Balance, however, has never been the Christian norm, so in order to make myself feel good, I lean on my trusted friend Rationalization to come to the rescue. It helps me feel good about keeping the law because it appeals to my self-righteousness. It convinces me that by keeping God’s law I will move up the ladder of righteousness a few rungs and can then look down on the rest of the motley bunch below me. It tells me that grace is my ticket to do whatever I please.
If I were discerning, then I would know that I am not under the law but under grace (Rom. 6:14). I would also know that Jesus said He did not come to do away with the law but to fulfill the law (Matt. 5:17). The law is also holy and just and good according to Paul (Rom. 7:12). So how do I put these together? Not being under the law does not mean I am free to break the law, but should I do so, it can no longer condemn me. It is not a means by which I obtain God’s approval. God’s grace is the power to live the life that he has called me to live (I Cor. 15:10).
If I were discerning, then I would know I need to have a right relationship to the law and to grace which is provided in the person of Christ. However, if you are like me, then you realize we all lack discernment to fully understand all there is to know about law and grace. But there is one thing I am confident in: I am rightly related to the law and rightly related to grace because I am rightly related to Christ who kept the law for me and by his grace gave me the righteousness that the law demands.