Under Grace, Not Law - Part A
So if the Scriptures say that the law has no place in the life of the believer, the most logical question is this: If the law isn’t our moral guide, then what is? As Christians, we have an inborn desire for our behavior to turn out right. In fact, the desire to please God is what drives some to embrace the error of law-based living!
Fortunately, God hasn’t taken us out from under the law and left us with nothing. When we believe, the Holy Spirit then lives in us. The Spirit produces fruit through us as we depend on him. But it’s important to recognize the “system” that the Holy Spirit uses in place of the law. He operates through a radically different system, namely, one called grace. Recognizing the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives requires a solid understanding of grace.
But often our idea of grace boils down to nothing more than mercy. In this case, the typical definition of grace might go something like this: “Grace is what happens when a punishment is lessened or waived after someone has done wrong.” Grace is often seen as a response to sin, much like being pardoned from a capital crime. But the New Testament portrays grace as far greater than this. Notice what grace does in the lives of Christians:
“The grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.” - Titus 2:11–12
Grace is the system that the Holy Spirit uses to counsel and teach us on a daily basis. Grace is in place, whether or not we’ve sinned recently. We worry that an absence of law will result in a lifestyle that is out of control. This concern is natural. But it contradicts what the Scriptures say about the effects of grace. Grace isn’t just a treatment for sin; it’s actually the cure for sin!