Law vs. Grace

Just as it is difficult to experience forgiveness without some knowledge of what you have done wrong, so it is difficult toi understand Grace apart from the Law.  If the Law is the first word, Grace is the last.  Listen closely: The Law exposes [us] while Grace exonerates [us].  The Law diagnoses, but Grace delivers.  The Law accuses, Grace acquits.  The Law condemns the best of us, while Grace saves the worst of us.  The Law says “cursed,” Grace says “Blessed.”  The Law says “slave,” Grace says “son.”  The Law says “guilty,” Grace says “forgiven.”  The Law can break a hard heart, but only Grace can heal one.

– Tchividian, Tullian; One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World; David Cook Publishers; copyright 2013; Kindle Edition; Location 1137

It Is At Its Best When We Are Not

One-way love is always at its most palpable and transformative when we are at our lowest ebb.  Grace, like water, flows to the lowest part.  “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we are still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 NIV, emphasis mine) is how the apostle Paul puts it.

– Tchividian, Tullian; One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World; David Cook Publishers; copyright 2013; Kindle Edition; Location 1091

Our View of Grace is Inextricably Linked to Our View of the Law

Only when we understand that God’s Law is absolutely inflexible will we see that God’s grace is absolutely indispensible.  A high view of Law involves the devastating reminder that God’s acceptance of us is ultimately contingent on Christ’s imputation, not our improvement.  Such inscrutable demands push us twoard the infallible deliverance we find in the Gospel.  In other words, a high view of the Law produces a high view of grace.  A low view of the the Law produces a very low view of grace.

– Tchividian, Tullian; One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World; David Cook Publishers; copyright 2013; Kindle Edition; Location 1005

Cheap Law Does Not Just Cheapen Grace – No, It Nullifies It

Cheap law weakens God’s demand for perfection, and in doing so, breathes life into … [our] own making … It creates people of great zeal, but they lack knowledge concerning the question “What Would Jesus Do?”  Here is the costly answer: Jesus would do it all perfectly.  And that’s game over for you.  The Father is not grooming you to be a replacement for His Beloved Son.  He is announcing that there is blessing for those who take shelter in his Beloved Son.  Cheap law tells us that we’ve fallen, but there’s good news, you can get back up again… Therein lies the great heresy of cheap law: it is a false gospel.  It cheapens – no – nullifies grace.

– John Dink

as quoted by Tchividian, Tullian; One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World; David Cook Publishers; copyright 2013; Kindle Edition; Location

God, In Fact, Is Not the God of Second Chances

This is why the Gospel is such good news to those who have failed in significant ways.  It offers more than a second chance to get things right, it offers a substitute.  God, in fact, is not the God of second chances.  He is the God of one chance and a second Adam.

– Tchividian, Tullian; One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World; David Cook Publishers; copyright 2013; Kindle Edition; Location 963

It Shows Us What Godliness Is, But It Cannot Make Us Godly

We make a big mistake when we conclude that the law is the answer to bad behavior.  In fact, the law alone stirs up more of such behavior.  People get worse, not better, when you lay down the law.  This isn’t to say the Spirit doesn’t use both God’s Law and God’s Gospel in our lives and for our good.  But the Law and the Gospel do very different things.  The Law reveals sin but is powerless to remove it.  It points to righteousness but can’t produce it.  It shows us what godliness is, but cannot make us godly.

– Tchividian, Tullian; One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World; David Cook Publishers; copyright 2013; Kindle Edition; Location 933