Philip Bliss, in his great Gospel hymn “Once for All”, begins with this glorious declaration, “Free from the Law, O happy condition!” Indeed, the desperation of all who are trying to please God by keeping the Law has been overcome by God’s gift of grace.
They have been given a gift of grace through Christ’s full obedience to the Law and then dying for all who break it. We are no longer condemned by the Law that we cannot keep. We are pardoned through the shed blood of the One who kept it. But does that mean that we are free from obedience to the Law of God?
Walking in Grace
Paul asks, “Shall we sin (break the Law) that Grace may abound? God forbid!” Christ summarized the Law into two behavioral demands that illustrate that we can keep the Law while walking in the glory of Grace.
Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” We might think of this as a Grace walk. One foot walks in holiness to God and the other foot walks in love to mankind. Both feet walk together in the path of Christ as revealed in God’s inerrant holy word.
The heart grows stronger in love toward God and man the more walking is done. The brain becomes more focused on the beauties seen in the walk as the walk progresses more toward the image and glory of Christ.
Confidence in Grace
The conflict does not come in coupling Grace to obedience to the Law. The Holy Spirit, who is God and loves man and indwells the believer, will strengthen us in this dual walk every day.
The conflict comes from the attempt by man to supplant God’s grace by our own obedience to the Law as being sufficient to please God. That will never do. It will end in failure, fatigue and Pharisee-ism.
But, walking in graceful obedience in order to love God and man will result in blessing: it will bless God and will bless man. Jesus, led by the Holy Spirit, walked this Grace walk. Let us sing with Washington Gladden, “O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee”, and direct our hearts to walk the Grace walk with Him today and every day.