If we choose to dabble in the law, we are cheating. We are turning our back on the marriage that we have supposedly committed to and cheapening the cost of grace. Grace made a way for us to be married to the Bridegroom so the law is detrimental to the harmony of our marriage.
Jesus calls Himself the “Bridegroom” to us, the church, His “bride.” Romans 7 explicitly likens the responsibility of grace to the commitment of marriage. We are bound to who we are married until death, lest we commit adultery. If we have been born again in Jesus, we are married to Him and His grace. If and when we flirt with the law, we do so at the cost of respecting His sacrifice.
“So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.” (Romans 7:4)
We can’t be married and alive to the law while also in Christ. The verse preceding this passage calls it “adultery.” We are either committed to Him and grace or we are unfaithful.
The times that we entertain the law in an adulterous fixation are times that we are likely attempting to earn favor so we apply rules in place of heart transformation. The net result is striving to accomplish religious stuff. The problem is it won’t add up. Our striving to do religious stuff produces stuff that reflects our temporal, flawed capacity. It won’t stand the test of eternity.
If, however, we will die to the law to be married to Christ and His grace, then “we might bear fruit for God.” Fruit comes from a plant other than itself and is produced as evidence of health. Fruit doesn’t try to be fruit; it just is because the plant it comes from is functioning in a way that can and will produce it. We can’t do God stuff; He does it in us and through us . . . by grace.
There is no burden in fruit; it just shows up on the branch. If we’ll abide in the Vine, we’ll produce in the likeness of the Vine without a burden. We won’t have to prove we are good fruit by way of meeting the law; He’ll make us good fruit by marriage.