“The Law of the Lord is perfect … ” (Psalm 19:7-11).
“By grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:8).
Do this. Don’t do that. Is this what the word, “law”, says to you? Go back to the very beginning of “the Ten Commandments” (Exodus 20:1-17) What do you find there – in Exodus 20:1-2? Before there is law, there is grace. Before there is the call for obedience, there is the gift of salvation.
“And God spoke all these words: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”
- This is what you are to do for Me – This is not God’s first Word to us.
- This is what I have done for you – This is God’s first Word to us.
“The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 7:7-8) – This is the Old Testament way of saying, “”By grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:8).
This has nothing to do with our reaching up to God. It has everything to do with His reaching down to us. He didn’t save us because we proved ourselves worthy of His reward. He saved us because He loved us. He saved His with His mighty hand. This is the work of grace. Salvation does not arise from our good works. “Salvation comes from the Lord” (Jonah 2:9). We look away from our good works. We say, “This is the Lord’s doing. It is marvelous in our eyes” (Psalm 118:23). We consider what the Lord has done for us, and we say, “Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to Your name be the glory, because of Your love and faithfulness” (Psalm 115:1).
Grace – this is what lies behind the wonderful words of Psalm 19:7-9 –
7 The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is pure,
The ordinances of the Lord are sure
and altogether righteous.
- Reviving the soul: Where does this come from? – It comes from grace. It’s by the grace of God that ours souls are revived.
- Making wise the simple, giving joy to the heart, giving light to the eyes – This is grace. Where does wisdom come from? Where does joy come from? Where does light come from? Here’s the New Testament answer – “By grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:8).
- How great is the God of grace! Giving thanks to Him for His free gift of saving grace, we look at “the Law of the Lord”, and we say, from hearts full of praise to Him, “The words of the Lord are more precious than gold, than much fine gold” (Psalm 19:10).
- How great is the God of grace! Praising God for His wonderful gift of salvation, we do not come to the words, “In keeping of the commands of the Lord, there is great reward”, with any thought of our own worthiness. This is our “reward” – in some small measure, we are learning to live “tp the praise of His glorious grace” (Ephesians 1:6).
- How great is the God of grace! We will never glorify Him perfectly. We will always be sinners, who need to receive “redemption through Christ’s blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Ephesians 1:7).
“The Law of the Lord is perfect” – but we’re not perfect. When we become deeply aware of our failure to live in full obedience to God’s holy Word, may we receive with faith in our Saviour, Jesus Christ, these wonderful words: “By grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:8).