May 27: “Balancing Law and Grace”

7 Minute Read


2 Samuel 12:1-31
John 16:1-33
Psalm 119:65-80
Proverbs 16:4-5


2 Samuel 12:13-14 (CSB): “David responded to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’ Then Nathan replied to David, ‘And the LORD has taken away your sin; you will not die. However, because you treated the LORD with such contempt in this matter, the son born to you will die.’ “


Two of the primary themes we see running like a thread through all of Scripture is Law and Grace.

Law is found in God’s written commands. It is the standard by which we are to live. When we don’t comply, we are rendered “lawbreakers” and must be punished accordingly.

Grace is found in God’s heart. It is the outflow of God’s love for us and His glory. As He demonstrates to us His goodness and His love for us, He reserves the right to overlook our sin … and place it on Jesus as He hung on the cross.

One of the major responsibilities of contemporary churches is to balance Law and Grace.

Some churches err on the side of Law. They have a clear standard and condemn anyone who fails to live up to that standard. Further, they breed a sense of hopelessness because they provide no way back to a good standing with God and others. The sinner must forever wear the “scarlet letter.” These kinds of churches are known as harsh, legalistic places that lack warmth and love.

On the other hand, some churches err on the side of Grace. They don’t talk much about sin. They only speak about love and forgiveness. They affirm the sinner without acknowledging the seriousness of the sin. They are known as places where sinners are welcome … and they can remain in their sin because grace is always abounding. So, the sinner is offered superficial forgiveness that never really remedies the deep-seated guilt they have in their heart. Simply put, these kinds of churches lack substance and don’t deal with the reality of what nags at the sinner’s heart and robs him of fellowship with God.

Law – Grace = Legalism

Grace – Law = License

As I mentioned above, the responsibility of contemporary churches is to balance Law and Grace. We take sin seriously but we also take grace just as seriously.

We preach against sin and hold the sinner (including ourselves) accountable. But, we also lavish grace upon the repentant sinner and graciously partner with the sinner so that they can break free of sin’s chains.

We stand on the truth that sin separates us from God (Law) but also stand on the truth that the sinner is only a repentant prayer away from coming back into fellowship with God (Grace).

Why must we balance these two?

Because our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, did so. It is what He is filled with: Grace and Law (Truth).

John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Now, let’s look at the verse that I have chosen for Today’s Bible Verses.

David had committed some very, very serious sins. He had sexually violated a married woman and then actively brought about the death of her husband. He was guilty of, among other things, adultery and murder.

What did the Law say about these two particular sins?

Leviticus 20:10 (CSB): “If a man commits adultery with a married woman — if he commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife — both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.”

Exodus 21:12 (CSB): “Whoever strikes a person so that he dies must be put to death.”

The Law clearly demanded David’s death. It required that David, someone who had committed adultery and murder, should die.

For sure, sometimes God required the death of the guilty. Sometimes a death sentence was administered to make it clear how seriously God took sin.

But, remember, Law should also be balanced with Grace. Grace acknowledges sin and guilt but chooses not to give the sinner what he deserves.

How do we see this play out in David’s experience?

Grace: David did not receive the death sentence.

Law: David’s sins were brought to light and he would experience some serious consequences for his sins.

2 Samuel 12:10 (CSB): “Now therefore, the sword will never leave your house because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hethite to be your own wife.’

2 Samuel 12:11 (CSB): “This is what the LORD says, ‘I am going to bring disaster on you from your own family: I will take your wives and give them to another before your very eyes, and he will sleep with them in broad daylight.'”

2 Samuel 12:13-14 (CSB): “David responded to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’ Then Nathan replied to David, ‘And the LORD has taken away your sin; you will not die. However, because you treated the LORD with such contempt in this matter, the son born to you will die.’ “

So, what are we to take from this?

Realize that God’s grace is yours to claim. When you sin, all you need to do to receive God’s complete forgiveness is to confess it and forsake it (1 John 1:9).

But, realize that just because God is willing to forgive you doesn’t mean that your sin will not create consequences that you will have to endure. Sometimes, God’s Grace (forgiveness) is mixed with Law (consequences).

Let this truth sink into your mind and heart. Let it be a deterrent to sin. Let it enable you to understand a little more clearly what “the fear of the Lord” is. Sure, He will forgive you of any and every sin but He may also dish out some consequences for your sin.

Friend, it could not be more clear that pursuing holiness is in your best interest. Chase after Jesus and you’ll never go wrong.

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

2 thoughts on “May 27: “Balancing Law and Grace”

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