While traveling on an interstate highway, I observed an interesting analogy of the relationship between law and grace. I saw motorists pulled over by state troopers, reminding me that the law always remains in force. But I also noted that if I stayed in the traffic flow, I would need grace, for nearly everyone was exceeding the speed limit. Yet I saw no motorist being pulled over for merely keeping up with the traffic. This reminded me that when we break God’s law we deserve punishment, but He deals graciously with us.
It may be possible to obey every traffic law, but in the traffic flow of humanity there is another law— God’s righteous law—that everyone has violated (Rom. 3:10,23; 5:20). Yet God graciously cancels our violations of His law when we personally put our trust in Jesus and believe He died for our sins. Then God puts us in a new relationship to the law and to Himself (8:1).
That’s not all. He delivers us from the power of sin by giving us His Holy Spirit, who teaches us to love and obey Christ. This actually results in “the righteous requirement of the law” (v.4) being fulfilled in us!
Think of it. The same holy God who demands righteousness also provides the way to obtain it.
Though freed from the law with its stern commands—
No longer ruled by its harsh demands—
I'm bound by Christ's love and am only free
To live and to act responsibly. —DJD
God's Law shows us a need that only God's grace can supply.