The Law: The Handmaid of Grace

Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. – Galatians 3:24

Hagar was not intended to be a wife; she never ought to have been anything but a handmaid to Sarah. The law was never intended to save men: it was only designed to be a hand-maid to the covenant of grace. When God delivered the law on Sinai, it was apart from His ideas that any man would ever be saved by it; He never conceived that man would attain perfection thereby. But you know that the law is a wondrous handmaid to grace. Who brought us to the Saviour? Was it not the law thundering in our ears? We should never have come to Christ if the law had not driven us there; we should never have known sin if the law had not revealed it. The law is Sarah’s handmaid to sweep our hearts, and make the dust fly so that we may cry for blood to be sprinkled that the dust may be laid. The law is, so to speak, Jesus Christ’s dog, to go after His sheep, and bring them to the Shepherd; the law is the thunderbolt which affrighteth ungodly men, and maketh them turn from the error of their ways, and seek after God.

What is God’s law now? It is not above a Christian-it is under a Christian. Some men hold God’s law like a rod, in terrorem, over Christians, and say, “If you sin you will be punished with it.” It is not so. The law is under a Christian; it is for him to walk on, to be his guide, his rule, his pattern. “We are not under the law, but under grace.” Law is the road which guides us, not the rod which drives us, nor the spirit which actuates us. The law is good and excellent, if it keeps its place…but when it is set up as mistress, away with her; we will have nought to do with legality.~ C.H. Spurgeon


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