The Bible reveals how God thinks. It contains laws that God gave “for your good” (Deuteronomy 10:13 ; Romans 7:12 ). They are beneficial family rules that show us how to love God the way He wants to be loved and how to love fellow human beings in the way that promotes the greatest peace and happiness.
However, the truth is that no human being, except Jesus Christ, has perfectly obeyed God’s laws. Going against God’s perfect and holy laws creates a rift between us and our holy Creator. His perfect righteousness can’t coexist with the vile corruption of sin. The horrible stain of sin must be removed if we are ever to have the close family relationship that God so greatly desires. While the law defines sin, clearly showing us what actions are right and wrong, keeping the law—even keeping it perfectly—cannot remove the penalties for our previous sins and reconcile us to God. We are saved “for” good works, not “by” good works (Ephesians 2:10 ).
God’s grace—His love and mercy and all of His generous gifts—makes reconciliation possible. Grace does not remove the beneficial laws but, through Christ’s sacrifice, pays the penalty of sin.
It is not a case of law vs. grace. God’s revelation is that law and grace work together.
So why do so many today believe grace abolishes God’s law or that they are at odds? In this section, we carefully examine the teachings of the Bible on law and grace to see what God really intended.