So, does “being under grace” mean that we no longer have to abide by the law? Are Christians – as a result of their faith – exempt from keeping the law of God? Is it necessary for Christians to still be obedient to the commandments we find the Bible?
The answer is yes, we do still have to keep the law. In fact, our faith doesn’t nullify the law at all…it upholds it. Our faith is what allows the law of God to do its proper and intended work.
The Work of the Law
A right understanding of justification through faith as a gift of God’s grace confirms the law. Christians – through their faith – set the law free from the burden of justifying sinners. This is a role and responsibility the law was never intended to have or to bear. It is impossible for the law to accomplish redemption.
The law does not contain provisions for correcting a previous brokenness. It can never “make us perfect” once it has been disobeyed. As a result, under the law, we all stand condemned before our Creator. But there is good news!
The Gospel and the Law
The gift of grace and justification by faith allows the law to perform is proper functions. What are those functions?
First and primarily, it show us our sin (Rom. 3:20). By doing so, is reveals to us our need for justification by some other means. Specifically, through faith.
Second, it functions as the norm for holy living. Because of salvation by grace through faith, we can teach (and live out) the real value of the law. That is, to point out right from wrong.
You Still Have To Follow the Law
Here is a point that is rarely made in the American pulpit: as a revelation of God’s will to us as Creator, His law is absolutely binding upon us. Further, we have an absolut obligation to obey it. Why?
Because grace does not remove us from under the category of creatures. God stil is – always has been – and will remain our Creator. Grace does not change this fact. We are not under law as a way of salvation. However, we are under law as a way of living.
Our responsibility to obey the law of God is not involved in the first part of the double cure (i.e. justification); but it isabsolutely necessary for the second part of the double cure (i.e. sanctification).