One of the most difficult concepts for Christians to comprehend is the continued role of the law for the one saved by grace. If a believer attains righteousness by accepting the sufficiency of the life and death of Jesus, why is it still necessary to keep the law? This question provides another opportunity to repeat a key point: the law was never intended to provide salvation; its function (after the Fall) was to define sin. Yet, the Cross doesn’t negate the need for a person to follow God’s law any more than someone having been pardoned for violating the speed limit can now continue to violate it.
Grace and the law are not contraries; they do not negate each other. Instead, they are powerfully connected. The law, because it can’t save us, shows us why we need grace. Grace is not opposed to law but to death. Our problem was not the law itself but the eternal death that resulted from violating it.
Paul warns the Christian to be careful about using the promised gift of grace as an excuse to sin (Rom. 6:12, Rom. 6:15). Because sin is defined through the law, when Paul tells Christians not to sin, He is basically telling them: keep the law, obey the commandments!
Paul had ever exalted the divine law. He had shown that in the law there is no power to save men from the penalty of disobedience. Wrongdoers must repent of their sins and humble themselves before God, whose just wrath they have incurred by breaking His law, and they must also exercise faith in the blood of Christ as their only means of pardon.-Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 393.
Why is it so easy to get caught up in the faulty logic which says that because we are not saved by the law, we no longer have to obey it?