FURTHER STUDY: Study apostolic teaching regarding the importance of the Ten Commandments for Christians: Rom. 3:31; Rom. 7:7, 12, 14; Rom. 8:3, 4; James 2:10-18; 1 John 2:3, 4; 1 John 5:2-4; Rev. 12:17; Rev. 14:12.
The law is never presented either in the Old or in the New Testament as the means of salvation. Salvation is the gift of God's grace to the person who has faith (Eph. 2:8-10; Rom. 1:16, 17; Hab. 2:4). Such faith will always result in obedience to God's law. Works of obedience do not save us or improve our salvation standing with God. But they demonstrate that true faith is in our hearts and that we are enjoying the born-again experience. The standard of righteousness is God's law; the means by which we arrive at the standard is God's grace given to us freely when we believe. For example, a husband who enjoys a loving relationship with his wife does not wash the dishes and help her in other home duties in order to earn her love. He does these things because he already loves her and knows she loves him. We do not earn Christ's love when we keep His commandments. We keep them because we have His love and the gift of His saving grace. Such obedience is a joy and a privilege. We love to do those things that please our heavenly Father. (See John 8:29.)
SUMMARY: The principles of God's great law of liberty have always existed and will exist eternally. If the law could have been changed, Jesus need not have died for sin. The law of God is the standard of righteousness now as it was before the cross. As salvation was by faith before the cross, so it is now. The cross made possible forgiveness for sin, and it made possible obedience to God's unchanging law.