The Law is not versus Grace but is needed by Grace!
One the problems I possessed was a wrong view of the Law. I have always (well, since I said yes to Jesus) seen the Law as necessary to show my need for Christ's salvation. I've said many times that the Law was a picture pointing to Jesus. The belief that I have lived in has been that the Law's only function was to show us our need for salvation. However, the Law accomplishes so much more than that. It is the building which Grace jumps from, it is the ground that Grace launches itself fro. Without the Law, we could not understand Grace.
The Law shows us what righteousness looks like, but is powerless to bring people to righteousness because people sin! The Law cannot override a sinful heart and make it pure. The Law can demand but cannot produce. I believe when God wrote the Law, He knew sinful hearts could not keep it completely or produce obedience out of love. The Law demands love but a love under compulsion is no love. Only Grace can produce love, only Grace can bring that which was dead back to life. Only Grace can show the heart that does not deserve love to return love. The Law kills with punishment that is required, Grace absorbs that punishment and brings the one condemned back to life.
If we did not have the Law, we would not see our need for Grace. If we didn't see our need for Grace, then we do not receive that Grace and therefore live enjoying God's incredible love. We needed Christ to take the cross for us because we sinned. We blew it and the Law tells us that. It gives power to sin because it reveals what sin is and its' affects. God uses the Law to reveal Himself and His Grace. We could not and will never earn our way into God's presence. However, God did not allow our incapabilities to stop His desire to have us with Him and slaughtered His Son so that we could be His forever, with Him forever. That's Grace!
The Law says "you are condemned", Grace says "I am here to free you". The Law says, "you will pay for your sins", Grace says "I have paid for your sins, here's my life; it is yours'". The Law says, "you have blown it and cannot do anything about it", Grace says "you have blown it, but I have already done something about it for you and will accomplish all that you need to live the life that your sin took from you"! Grace uses the Law to show Himself and His love to us.
Grace is simply scandalous because it not only saves us, but is poured over us and lived through us; even when we blow it, again and again. The only problem with Grace is its lack of demands. Grace does not demand a response and many of us struggle with Grace because it cannot be used to manipulate someone into right living. However, the Law can demand a response but cannot produce one. Only Grace can produce one. Once a person receives Grace and recognizes their absolute need for it, their hearts are humbled and they see their need. Grace is so overwhelming.
Many of us refuse Grace and attempt to live lawfully. However, we cannot accomplish what God requires of us. We will fail, over and over and over. We need God to do what only God can do in our lives. We need Grace, but only see our need when we see our condemnation from the Law!