If you believe and act this way, God will react this way. If you believe and act any other way, God will react that way. This is supposedly the Gospel message, what I choose to call the “iffyness” of God. In other words, it all depends on you, Brother.
In our modern day vernacular the colloquial expression, “iffy”, denotes risky, of low probability. Is that the way God’s redemption works? High risk? Low probability?
Notably, before Christ, the maintenance of a relationship with God also depended on man’s effort. Obey the Law or suffer the consequences. So what is different now? How could the work of Christ have so little tangible results in assuring relationship with God? If knowing and responding to the rules are still necessary, then for all practical purposes, nothing has changed; and Christ has died in vain. Galatians 5:4 highlights the incompatibility of law and grace, thereby drawing a sharp distinction between what preceded Christ and what followed his redemptive work. In the newness of Christ there is no room for God to fail in His intended purposes, namely to draw all men unto Himself (John 12:32; II Corinthians 5:19). No “ifs”, no “ands”, no “buts”.