This is the Balance God Strikes with Us
Dear friends, let us love on another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love (1 John 4:7-8).
The grace of God is not without its critics. They drone away about taking grace too far and using it as a license to sin. They say grace needs to be balanced by law. That is not God’s plan. God’s plan is “by grace through faith.” This is the balance God strikes in us.
As believers, we live in the new covenant. This new covenant is our rule of life, and it is a covenant of grace. The first provision is that God writes his laws on our hearts and places them in our minds. This is not the law of Moses, or the old covenant. It’s the law of faith (Romans 3:27), the law of hope (1 Peter 1:3), and the law of love (1 John 3:23). As new-covenant believers, we are not without law. The writer of Hebrews stated, “When the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also” (Hebrews 7:12). The priesthood changed. Jesus is now the high priest, and we have become the royal priesthood. As a result, the law changed. Our new way is by the law of the Spirit of life (Romans 8:2), the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2), and the law of liberty (James 1:25).
Grace does not leave us without law. Nor are we left to carry these laws out through human effort. God’s Spirit works in us. He animates our faith, anchors our hope, and sources our love. He has lifted us out of that old way and ordered our steps to walk in the way of love.
The apostle John connects the dots: “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:7-8). Loving others means you have been born of God and you know God. Knowing God and Jesus Christ is eternal life. To know God is to know that he is love. This is the mark that distinguishes us from the world and is the evidence we are the disciples of Jesus Christ (John 13:34-35).
You have been entrusted with the knowledge of God. That is the story of the gospel and that is what distinguishes you from the world.