In the encounters with the rich ruler and the lawyer in Luke 18:18-20 and Luke 10:25-28 respectively, why did Jesus share the gospel with them starting with the demands of the law ?
Surely not because we can have eternal life through works of the Law but that the Law will show us how terribly sinful and helpless we are and invoke in us the penitent heart of godly sorrow for our sins like the Tax Collector in the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector.
Only by knowing and feeling the weight of the Law, can we ask for mercy with a penitent faith that God can forgive us somehow.
The Pharisee could not see the weight of the Law and believed that as long as he stayed ahead of other sinners in works of righteousness, he considered himself justified.
The Tax Collector felt the full weight of the Law and felt so remorseful and helpless about his sins and asked for mercy in penitence. And God justified him by imputing the righteousness of Christ which is the only way of justification.
On the other end, the hyper grace believer also never feel the weight of the Law by trivializing it altogether. Though he understands one can only be saved by the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, he fails to see the good purpose of the Law and God’s abhorrence of sin. And thereby failing to come to God to ask for mercy with a contrite heart as well, just like the Pharisee, he too considers himself justified.