Lately, at night, I have been dreaming I am again working in law offices. I have always enjoyed working in law and learning the legal side of life. Unfortunately in my dreams I am not accomplishing much other than imaginary work. In one sense it has been lovely because I have been working for one of my favorite employers/mentors who has since passed away. It was good to see Pete again even if he had aged 30 years.
My time spent in the legal field was a time of constant learning. One thing about law that was interesting is that laws are changeable under certain circumstances. The changes may occur because of nuances in interpretation or by legislation. This continues to keep me interested in public law and our Constitution.
As I consider how laws affect all of us, of course I think of what is referred to as Mosaic Law or rather God’s law – the Ten Commandments. Here I see the origin of laws. These laws of God’s are not changeable.
The Ten Commandments give us our basic understanding of who God is, who we are in relationship to God, and how we are to behave to honor that relationship. God’s laws are so clear and so precise in their wording that it shows a willful negligence on man’s part that Jesus had to clarify for us their true meaning.
Even after Jesus illuminated God’s laws an early Christian thinker introduced the seven deadly sins. I find that as sinners, we keep trying to redefine and remodel God’s law, which is already very clearly stated, in order to adjust it to our values.
I believe that God gave me this interest in law so that I would better understand His grace. When I read the Ten Commandments I see clearly that I am unable by myself to keep those pure and guiding laws of God. I was born a lawbreaker and sinner. The book of Romans 3:23 tells me, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
After I understood the basic fact that I was a sinner in need of a Savior, then I understood why it was necessary for Jesus to come to Earth and give His life for me. He did this so that I could be reconciled to God and purified by Jesus shedding His blood for my sin. Now it is no longer necessary for me to die as my punishment for sin because Jesus took my punishment upon Himself.
What greater love can there be? Jesus himself said, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13. And so He did this not just for me but all of the human race, which He created.
Jesus also explained to His Disciple Thomas, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” From this I understood it was impossible for me to get to heaven on my own. I had to put my faith in Jesus because He is the only way to God and eternal life, His is the only truth, and my own life must abide in His life.
Grace. Beautiful grace. “Grace is love that cares and stoops and rescues.” In this quote by Rev. John Stott, I see the very picture of my Savior Jesus. Grace is a gift from God that I am unworthy to receive but He gifted it to me anyway. How great is our God!
But, I would never understand this beautiful gift if I did not understand how unworthy of it I am via the law. I testify gladly that I am a very grateful recipient of God’s grace and the more I understand the abundance of His continual grace to me the more grace I find myself freely giving to others.
This grace also inspires me to seek the Holy Spirit’s help to guide and direct me in all aspects of my life. I truly desire to “Be holy as God is holy.” I want to have the ability to walk calmly through troubled waters and to be still and know that He is God.
Grace allows me to forgive more easily and to accept criticism better. It also allows me to be a healthier member of the Body of Christ – the fellowship of believers. Knowing that we are all listening to and giving our best efforts to obey the same holy God helps me to grant grace to my brothers even when I strongly disagree with them. The beauty of grace cannot be overstated.
In the last pages of the Bible we are guided with the words, “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.” May it be so.
ED. NOTE: Amy Patsch writes from Ocean City. Email her at writerGoodGod@gmail.com.