“Somewhere C. S. Lewis comments that he is surprised that the critics of God have brought almost every criticism against the character of God that could be imagined except the one for which there is some real evidence – namely, that God is an inveterate gambler. Certainly God, as pictured through Jesus’ parable of the prodigal, is a gambler. But the goal of personal relationships which God is seeking with his children cannot be achieved in any other way. Although the free forgiveness of the father is a gamble that may not work, the alternatives are certain not to result in the relationship sought by the father, even though they may result in better external behavior. When we begin from the fact that God seeks an interpersonal relationship with his children, we can see why the law cannot result in righteousness. Luther, summarizing Paul, says: ‘The works of the Law are those . . . which take place outside of faith and grace and are done at the urging of the Law, which either forces obedience through fear or allures us through the promise of temporal blessings. But the works of faith . . . are those which are done out of the spirit of liberty and solely for the love of God.’ Because, by it’s very nature, the law compels, cajoles, or enforces behavior, it is incompatible with a free interpersonal relationship.”
William Hordern, Living by Grace, Page 37.