The law of God is His perfect standard; not burdensome nor grievous. It is a beautiful loving thing, but it clearly was never meant as the means for our salvation. The law is like a mirror that reflects who and what we are. When we look into it we see sin and rebellion, which in turn causes us to realize that the law is unable to redeem us. The law is referred to us a tutor or teacher that shows us how depraved and lost we really are, and how even our best efforts to obey the law ultimately ends in failure. Why? Reason being we aren't sinners because we break God's law, we break God's law because we are sinners — we're already fallen and sinful creatures, and righteousness comes from Christ not the law.
Christ's commandments are like a surveyor's landmark, a monument that shows us where we are and how far we've got to go. It marks our road map so we don't lose direction, which would be easy to do on the long trek to eternity. But we have the Guide of Guides, the only guide because maps and landmarks simply aren't enough on their own.
All religion, including Christianity, have always suffered from the same malady — legalism. Legalism is a misappropriation and misapplication of the law in that the law was never meant to be a cure for man's deadly disease — sin — which can only be cured by a dose of Christ Jesus, anything else isn't potent enough. Christ alone is our doctor and hospital. It is his grace and mercy through our faith that makes us well.
When we ignore the saving grace of Christ, the Gospel, and try to replace it with the shackles of the law, we find ourselves in bondage — addiction, if you will — to medicine that simply doesn't work.
William Van Amber Fields