Grace and Law The Balance of Dynamic Tension Romans 8:4

It is common for most westerners to approach the Bible from their own personal perspective of culture and language. We often forget that the Bible was written by ancient Hebrew thinkers, not in English but rather in their tongues of Hebrew and Aramaic for the First Testament and Greek for the Second. Foreign concepts of Middle Eastern lifestyle, traditions, archaic language and idioms of those time periods are not easily understood by modern readers today.


The people within “the Church” have developed quite a different mindset that was passed down by our Greco-Roman leaders and teachers. Christians rarely realize that Yeshua, and all His disciples were speaking and thinking from a Jewish mindset called “block thinking” which is quite unfamiliar to non-Hebrew speakers.


Greco-Roman thinking is based on linear or sequential thoughts. The Greeks taught us to move from point A to point B and come to a calculated conclusion. We have also learned from the Greeks that opposing positions of a matter can’t both be true.


However, block thinking is different. Opposite ideas are actually considered in order to derive a conclusion. This kind of “dynamic tension” seems to be contradictory to westerners—which is why so many of them think the Bible contradicts itself.


On the contrary, the Bible only appears to hold a sense of conflict—but in reality, it is a perfect balance of God’s love, grace and mercy and at the same time righteous indignation to the opposition of everything God is. There is good and evil; light and darkness; God’s ways and man’s ways; heaven and hell and right and wrong.


Consider the irony; Yeshua is called The Prince of Peace, but He said, “Don’t think I’ve come to bring peace but rather the sword” (Matthew 10:34 CJB).


The first coming of Yeshua 2000 years ago caused many to receive Him as Lord and others to reject him, which is in and of itself “dynamic tension”. The first coming of Messiah brought salvation to many hearts but also caused divisions among families and friends. By the same token, His coming again will come on the heels of great tribulation but will culminate in perfect peace as government will rest solely on His shoulders. So…both are true. “The Savior” brought conflict, the sword and a splitting of a nation, but He is coming as the prophesied Messiah who will bring judgment to the rebellious nations and usher in world peace as He rules all nations in righteousness.


A good example of Jewish block thinking is a familiar scene from Fiddler on the Roof. Tevye is considering the dilemma of his daughter Tzeitl and Motel the tailor. After learning that his daughter and Motel gave each other a pledge for marriage, he considers what he should do concerning this untraditional betrothal. Tevye expresses his inward thoughts out loud:


“He’s beginning to talk like a man. On the other hand, what kind of match would that be? With a poor tailor? On the other hand, he’s an honest hard worker. On the other hand, he has absolutely nothing. On the other hand, things could never get worse for him, they could only get better.”


This typical train of thought purposely considers both sides of a coin, explores the good and the bad, the pros and the cons. All the while both sides of the argument are true.


Many Christians seem to think that law and grace are antonyms, and polar opposite in meaning. This misunderstanding has caused many to stumble as they are taught, they are “under grace” and somehow do not have to walk in the Godly instructions that were given supernaturally to His newly formed nation on Mt. Sinai”, named Israel.


It is true that the great task of man “abiding by God’s perfect Law” in his own mortal power was doomed from the start. But the Father made a promise – that is, in due time the Torah (or Law) would become flesh in the form of Messiah and by covenant, the penalty required by Torah would be paid for on behalf of man’s inability to faithfully comply with the written instructions from God. That payment would buy us grace.


What is Grace then? Grace is “the power of God manifest” in the born again, covenant believer. Grace integrates His Laws into the hearts of His children of faith. This is called the Law of the Spirit in Christ Jesus. His Spirit writing His Laws in you! Then, if this is true, grace is not in opposition to His Law (instructions) but rather it is how the Law becomes a part of the new nature of man.


It’s not something you did that you can be proud of. Instead, we are God’s accomplishment, created in Christ Jesus to do good things. God planned for these good things to be the way that we live our lives (Ephesians 2:9-11 CEB).


Do not be deceived. Grace is not a free pass or license to sin on the world’s wide road of life but it is the power (God’s accomplishment) to convict the born again believer to recognize his error in word or deed and return back onto the “narrow path of God’s ways”. This is an act of laying oneself down daily and allowing the Spirit of Grace to always guide you.



Is God a “God of Judgment and Vengeance?” Yes, and He has all power and authority to punish those who hate, oppose and sin against Him as sin separates us from Him.


Is God a “God of Mercy and Grace?” Absolutely, He has the power to pardon and forgive sin and empower those who deny themselves and choose to love Him. Mercy is forgiveness and grace is empowerment.


As Yeshua said “If you love me, obey my commandments”-which means if one enters in covenant with me (love Me), I will operate through him or her in My power, walking out My ways as he or she yields their will to Me (obedience by the power of the Spirit). This is grace!


We are children of faith. We must trust in the unseen and believe the Good News that we have been redeemed by the power of the blood of Messiah and show forth that faith by good works that is called the fruit of the Spirit. This fruit is the evidence He has transformed us. So, faith and works are not oppositional either. No, the two concepts are a part of a perfectly balanced mindset that empowers dual actions of the physical man of “doing good” motivated by the beautiful grace of the Spirit of God residing in man.


It all comes down to trust (leaving selfishness behind and loving God with your whole heart) and obeying His commandments (treating others with selfless love) —And we do this only by the Power of His Grace!

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