The Law of Grace – Gospel in Life

The Law of Grace

Tim Keller |  October 27, 1996

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  • The Bible
  • Christian Living and Obedience
  • Understanding the Gospel
Matthew 5:1-10, 17-20
RS 72-8


The Sermon on the Mount is very famous because in it, Jesus says, “This is what God wants from you. This is the law.” Jesus demands things that no other founder of any religion has ever demanded. Traditionally, when people read the law, they say, “This is what I have to do to be a Christian.” That is not what Jesus is saying here. If you stand back and look at the whole thing, you see that even the law is filled with grace.

The law of God, as Jesus Christ expounds it, just picks us up and, like a wave, drives us into grace.

How is the law filled with grace? How does the law actually show you a Savior? Let’s look at 1) the pain of the law, 2) the premise of the law, and 3) the profile of the law.

Matthew 5:1–10, 17–20

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount gives us deep understanding about the big questions of Christianity: why we believe and how we live that out. This teaching explores God’s law, showing us how deep it goes and making clear that living right is not easy. But, it’s also full of grace, showing us that we need God’s help and pointing us to Jesus.

2. Premise

Jesus helps us understand God’s law in a new way. He shows us that we need God’s grace and helps us understand what grace is. He tells us that it’s not just about what we do, but why we do it. He reminds us that it’s important to know when we’ve done wrong, to be humble, and not to worry too much, because God cares about us a lot. The Sermon on the Mount teaches us that knowing we are valuable to God and living right are things we need to do before we can live a real Christian life, not things that come after.

3. Profile

When we look at the laws in the Old and New Testament, it’s clear that they’re more than just rules. They’re a guide to being the kind of person we should aim to be. Jesus lived out this law through what he did and what he taught. The Beatitudes are not different ways for different people, but things we all need to do to live in line with God’s law. We should all be humble, feel sorry when we do wrong, and want to live right, just like God does. This shows us that what God thinks is right is more important than what we can achieve on our own, and that the law helps us see why we need Jesus.



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