Grace Versus Law :: By Paul Kocourek

Some people accept that we are saved by grace, but they still want to follow the Commandments to be right with God. These cannot mix. Let’s see why.

“And He [Jesus] was also telling them a parable: “No one tears a piece of cloth from a new garment and puts it on an old garment; otherwise, he will both tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled out, and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins” (Luke 5:36-38, NASB).

By this parable, Jesus hinted at the New Covenant of Grace coming that would replace the Old Covenant from Moses and the Law, and illustrated it by showing two pairs of completely incompatible things:

1) Old cloth (already shrunk through washing) versus new cloth (which would yet shrink and, thereby tear the garment being fixed, as it shrunk and pulled at the surrounding old cloth).

2) Old wineskin (which had already expanded when grape juice was fermented in it, making wine, thereby making the old wineskin unable to expand any further) versus new wineskin (which could expand with new wine as it fermented, whereas new wine in an old wineskin would expand and burst the old wineskin, which cannot expand any further).

So, too, that Old Testament Covenant and the New Testament Covenant are incompatible. Once a person is saved and has the new cloth and new wine of God’s Grace, the old cloth and old wine of the Law cannot work with that Grace — the old cloth will rip and the old wineskin will burst. The Old Testament Law cannot fit in with New Testament Grace. Believers covered under Grace are no longer under Law. It is one versus the other — not both Law AND Grace, but rather Law OR Grace! New Testament believers are under Grace.

“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:14, KJV).

Paul contrasted ‘grace through faith’ versus ‘Law through works’ this way:

“And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace; otherwise, work is no more work” (Rom. 11:6, KJV).

And still people want to obey the commandments to be right with God. When they do this, they are actually trading the superior (Grace) for the inferior (Law). The righteousness in the Law is based entirely on human performance, and none of us — repeat, none of us — can meet the standard the Law requires, which is perfect obedience.

What so many people do not realize is that the Law with all its commandments is a package deal — in other words, it’s all or nothing.

“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10, KJV).

The Law brought only a curse for disobedience, and ultimately, death.

“For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them” (Gal. 3:10, KJV).

“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Rom. 10:4, KJV).

So, for those who want Grace AND Law, the word is: STOP! Yes, stop, as in stop trading the superior (grace through faith in Christ) for the inferior (Law through obedience to the Commandments).

They cannot mix. They are mutually exclusive. Learn to do as Peter the Apostle wrote:

“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen” (2 Peter 3;18, KJV).

Grow in God’s grace! Grow in the knowledge of what Jesus did for us on the cross!