What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under
grace? By no means!
Some years ago, I had a little school for young Indian men and women, who came to my
home in Oakland, California, from the various tribes in northern Arizona. One of these was
a Navajo young man of unusually keen intelligence. One Sunday evening, he went with me to
our young people's meeting. They were talking about the epistle to the Galatians, and the
special subject was law and grace. They were not very clear about it, and finally one
turned to the Indian and said, "I wonder whether our Indian friend has anything to
say about this."
He rose to his feet and said, "Well, my friends, I have been listening very
carefully, because I am here to learn all I can in order to take it back to my people. I
do not understand all that you are talking about, and I do not think you do yourselves.
But concerning this law and grace business, let me see if I can make it clear. I think it
is like this. When Mr. Ironside brought me from my home we took the longest railroad
journey I ever took. We got out at Barstow, and there I saw the most beautiful railroad
station and hotel I have ever seen. I walked all around and saw at one end a sign, 'Do not
spit here.' I looked at that sign and then looked down at the ground and saw many had
spitted there, and before I think what I am doing I have spitted myself. Isn't that
strange when the sign say, 'Do not spit here'?
"I come to Oakland and go to the home of the lady who invited me to dinner today
and I am in the nicest home I have been in. Such beautiful furniture and carpets, I hate
to step on them. I sank into a comfortable chair, and the lady said, 'Now, John, you sit
there while I go out and see whether the maid has dinner ready.' I look around at the
beautiful pictures, at the grand piano, and I walk all around those rooms. I am looking
for a sign; and the sign I am looking for is, 'Do not spit here,' but I look around those
two beautiful drawing rooms, and cannot find a sign like this. I think 'What a pity when
this is such a beautiful home to have people spitting all over it -- too bad they don't
put up a sign!' So I look all over that carpet, but cannot find that anybody have spitted
there. What a queer thing! Where the sign says, 'Do not spit,' a lot of people spitted.
Where there was no sign at all, in that beautiful home, nobody spitted. Now I understand!
That sign is law, but inside the home it is grace. They love their beautiful home, and
they want to keep it clean. They do not need a sign to tell them so. I think that explains
the law and grace business."
As he sat down, a murmur of approval went round the room and the leader exclaimed,
"I think that is the best illustration of law and grace I have ever heard."
H. A. Ironside, Illustrations of Bible Truth, Moody Press, 1945,
The law is the light that reveals how dirty the room is, not the broom that sweeps it clean.
Dr. Phil Williams, DTS, 1976.
A duck hunter was with a friend in the wide-open land of southeastern Georgia. Far away on the horizon he noticed a cloud of smoke. Soon he could
hear crackling as the wind shifted. He realized the terrible truth; a brushfire was advancing, so fast they couldn't outrun it.
Rifling through his pockets, he soon found what he was looking for--a book of matches. He lit a small fire around the two of them. Soon they were
standing in a circle of blackened earth, waiting for the fire to come. They didn't have to wait long. They covered their mouths with
handkerchiefs and braced themselves. The fire came near--and swept over them. But they were completely unhurt, untouched. Fire would not pass where fire
already had passed.
The law is like a brushfire. I cannot escape it. But if I stand in the burned-over place, not a hair of my head will be singed. Christ's death has
Adapted from Who Will Deliver Us? by Paul F. M. Zahl.
According to a 3rd century rabbi, Moses gave 365 prohibitions and 248 positive commands. David reduced them to 11 in Psalm 15.
Isaiah made them 6 (Isaiah 33:14, 15). Micah 6:8 binds them into 3 commands. Habbakuk reduces them all to one great statement: The
just shall live by faith.