‘Tis a Charming Sound
For the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.
To understand the link between Law and Grace, remember that God is pure, perfect, holy, and righteous. We are not; but without a measuring stick we can’t see how truly sinful we are. When God gave the Ten Commandments (which is the Law in its essence), He revealed His character in a way that allows us to measure ourselves by His holiness. Standing on tiptoe and trying to be as tall as the Law can never save us. The Law simply shows our deficiency.
It also reveals our need for Grace. When Christ came, He perfectly fulfilled the Law; and when He died on the cross, He took our failures upon Himself and transferred His righteousness to our account.
There was nothing wrong with the Law; it simply defined sin. But it also prepared us for a better hope — the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we draw near to God. The Law was conditional, but Christ’s redemption is unmerited, unconditional, final, and worthy of praise forever.
Grace first inscribed my name in God’s eternal book; ‘Twas grace that gave me to the Lamb, who all my sorrows took.
Philip Doddridge, in the hymn “Grace, ‘Tis a Charming Sound”