We are supposed to be under grace not law, so why is there a de facto legalism? Maybe it is introduced to avoid the displeasure of God? We tend to believe that He is unwilling to act in the presence of sin yet God can do whatever He pleases, even through people I see as sinful. Who after all am I to set the standard for what brings God displeasure?
We have been brought up in an environment of cause and effect. If you do bad things then God can’t help you. This is the power of law and the fear that underwrites it. We do well to look at how God actually treats us rather than the logic of behaviour control. I am amazed at God’s mercy. Even when I do need to be trained through discipline, it is done so gently and He carries me every step of the way.
‘He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.’ (Colossians 2v13-14)
This is how Jesus gained us freedom from law. Crime deserves punishment beyond anything we imagine. Amazingly as we stand condemned before God and targeted for a punishment beyond description, Jesus stood in front of us and took it all! So God in His mercy disconnects sin and judgement and gains the freedom to show mercy. So the woman caught in adultery is not condemned by Jesus.