There is a difference in the ways we deal with God. God has “performed” three primary works: Creation, Providence, and Redemption. In these works God has three primary roles: Creator, Ruler, and Redeemer. Every person ever conceived deals with God in at least two of the three ways. Each one of us deals with God as Creator. Each one of us deals with God as Ruler. But only some of us deal with God as Redeemer.
Instructions from the Creator
As Creator, God has every right to give and expect obedience to His commandments. Those commandments He gives in His role as Creator are what Paul calls works of law or simply works. He uses this phrase throughout his letters, especially in Romans and Galatians.
The question is: What constitute works or works of law? Answer: Anything done by creatures (i.e. you and me) in response to the law commandments. This necessarily includes both positive (obedience) and negative (disobedience) responses. The law codes given by God – either the creation law) Romans 1:21), moral law of the heart (Romans 2:14-15), or Law of Moses (Romans 2) – all provide law conditions. In fact, they require a single condition: absolute and total obedience.
Instructions from the Redeemer
On the other hand, in His role as Redeemer, God has also given instructions under grace. These “grace conditions” are instructions given by the Redeemer to sinners on how to receive salvation. This is a critical distinction, and one many fail to recognize.
God has given us specific conditions by which we can receive His gift of grace and salvation. Law conditions represent “necessity of precept” while grace conditions represent “necessity of means”. Actually, law conditions – if kept perfectly – represent both necessity of precept and necessity of means. What are we talking about? You’ll have to tune in to this episode of DTLC Radio to learn more.