For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. Romans 6:14
I once knew a boy who was picked up for speeding. He was issued a ticket and given a stiff fine. There was some question in his mind about the whole thing, so he went back to the scene of the crime and re-enacted the event. It was proven that he couldn’t have been going 35 mph in a 25 mph zone because he had just come to a stop at an intersection and wasn’t able to get up to 35 mph where he was clocked. Also, on the ticket, the car was reported to be brown. The boy’s car was blue. Hmm…. The boy decided that he should plead his case.
On judgement day, the boy stood before Her Honor to defend himself. He presented his case with humbleness and respect. Clearly, a mistake had been made and he was certain that his straight-forward honesty would redeem his driving record. The judge asked, “Were you speeding?” Not one given to lies, he admitted that he was perhaps going 27 mph. “Then you broke the law.” Once again, he reiterated the facts that didn’t seem to line up. “You admitted to going over the speed limit.” Gavel bangs. Guilty.
I once knew another boy who had a fender bender. He was issued a ticket and given a stiff fine. There was some question in his mind about the whole thing, so he went back to the scene of the crime and re-enacted the event. It was proven that the car turning the corner had cut into his lane, causing the minor accident. The officer took both driver’s statements and the boy pleaded his case with humbleness and respect. Clearly, a mistake had been made. The other driver said, “I may have cut into his lane.” The boy, not one given to lies, said, “I did roll forward slightly.” Gavel bangs. Guilty.
So it is with the law. There is no grace. Admitting even the slightest infraction makes you a law-breaker. In fact, the law makes you want to be less than truthful; the law makes a sinner out of you.
All that passing laws against sin did was produce more lawbreakers. But sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. Romans 5:20
Now, for something truly remarkable: In the mailbox, an envelope appears; no stamp, no address, just the name of the boy. An anonymous note: “Like the MasterCard commercial: truthfulness – priceless.” Inside the envelope: cash to pay for the ticket.
Grace wins hands down.