Grace in the OT

It is fairly common notion that the God of the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) is all about Law, rules, wrath, and obedience whereas Jesus, who is also God in Christian orthodoxy, is all about grace and love.  Law versus gospel.  Upon closer inspection of our Scriptures, this is not the case at all.  

There is plenty of grace and love in the Hebrew Bible and plenty of law, rules, wrath, and obedience from Jesus in the New Testament.  For example, the exodus event (Exodus 12:33-15:21) depends upon God's gracious hearing, acting, and delivering the Hebrew people.  This is supremely an act of grace, love, and mercy.  Grace runs throughout the Old Testament and is the bedrock of God's covenant with Israel (e.g., Exod 34:6-7).  On the flip side, Jesus calls for obedience from his disciples (John 13:35; 14:15) and sits in judgment (John 5:22-24).  Obedience is love lived out.  For those found in Jesus, we are to keep the law of the Spirit (Rom 8:2-17).  

Grace, love, obedience, and life expectations are common themes that run throughout our entire Scriptures.  Law versus gospel is probably not the best way to think about God's salvation plan and how the Spirit works in us today.  Instead, we are set free to serve the law of the Spirit!

No Comments