The Biblical Reasons Why Christians Are NOT Under Law

A visitor to our website responded to our article, Not Under Law: What the “Struggle Verses” of Romans 7 Really Mean by writing:

The problem with this article is that you don’t understand history, which gives you a false understanding on how to interpret scripture.

The God of Israel gave the instructions (the law, the first 5 books of the bible) to Israel at Sinai setting a precedent on how to know if a prophets is of God or not.
The law is the standard to the rest of the scripture.

So to have the understanding that Paul seeming says we are “not” under law but under grace, would mean that Paul is a false prophet and should be stoned according to the God of mt Sinai.

Paul is not above God, and he has no authority to change what God said at mt Sinai.

So question really isn’t law and grace.. but:

Is Paul a false prophet?
Or
Are “you” misinterpreting Paul?

Since others may be making the same mistakes that our visiting friend has, I thought I would share my response to his concerns in this article:

Many well-meaning Christians believe they are still under law, yet are ignorant of what the law really says. Galatians 4:21 (NKJV) says: “Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law?”

The Law is a binding covenant with over 600 commandments and regulations. It is an unbreakable whole, not just the ten commandments. There is no such thing as “buffet law”, where you can pick and choose the parts that are relevant and which are not. A person under law is bound to all 600+ commands. There is no such thing as “some parts of the law are relevant today and some parts are not.”

A person who is under law is cursed, not blessed, if they break one of the commandments of the law, even once. Deuteronomy 27:26:

[26] ‘Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this law.’
“And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’

Deuteronomy 27:26 is cited in Galatians 3:10 (NKJV)

[10] For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”

Deuteronomy 28:15-19 (NKJV):

[15] “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: [16] “Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country. [17] “Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. [18] “Cursed shall be the fruit of your body and the produce of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks. [19] “Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.

… and so it continues for 55 painful, agonizing, misery-filled verses (Deut 28:15-68). I challenge you to carefully read Deuteronomy chapters 27 and 28 right now. There is absolutely no “wiggle room” for a person who insists that a Christian is still under law. If anyone fails in obeying all 600+ commandments and regulations even once, they are under a curse, not a blessing. Period.

Then Jesus came along speaking to Jews under the law, saying that mere outward obedience is not enough. Even if you do not sin outwardly but still commit the sin in your heart you are guilty. So, for instance, if you did not physically carry out the act of adultery yet lusted after a woman in your heart, you are guilty of the sin of adultery. Under the law, you deserve only curses and no blessings.

Galatians 3:10-14 makes this point very clearly:

[10] For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”[11] But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.”[12] Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”[13] Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),[14] that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

These five verses say so very much:

  • Those who are of the works of the law are under the curse: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law”
  • This curse is applicable to everyone who does not continue in all things . . . to do them.
  • NO ONE is justified by the law
  • The reason? “The just shall live by faith“.
  • The law is not of faith. Because “the man who does them shall live by them”. In other words, wrongly believing that we live by our doing. The emphasis is on our doing, not on Christ’s doing.
  • Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, because He became a curse for us. That is incredible: Jesus Christ became a curse. He didn’t just “take on” (carry, bear) the curse. He actually became a curse. The reason is that in our being we were by nature “children of wrath”. In other words, we weren’t just the targeted recipients of wrath, we actually were, in our being, our nature wrathful children. We were the curse. That is why Jesus had to become a curse for us.
  • Why did Jesus became a curse for us? “that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus”.
  • The reason why the blessing of Abraham would come upon us: “that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” [as opposed to works of the law]. The “promise of the Spirit” is God Himself  given to us for real and eternal resurrection life. Christ Himself in us the hope of glory (Col 1:27).

We in Christ, whether Jew or Gentile, are no longer under law, no longer under the curse, no longer by nature children of wrath. The Bible is very clear that a person who is IN CHRIST is not under law but under grace. Romans 6:14 plainly declares, “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace”. The “shall not” and “are not” in Romans 6:14 are absolute negations in the Bible Greek. Literally, Romans 6:14 reads, “For sin shall absolutely not have dominion over you, for you are absolutely not under law but under grace.” That’s powerful. A Christian is not under the never-ending, ever-failing DO of the law, but under the incredible DONE of grace, thanks to the perfection of The Lord Jesus Christ and His perfect, finished work for us.

The center of the law is SELF. The center of grace is THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. Which would you prefer?

The Book of Hebrews is very clear on the distinctions between the Old Covenant of Law and the New Covenant of grace. Throughout this incredible epistle The Spirit repeatedly declares the infinite superiority of The Lord Jesus Christ in His perfection and perfect, finished work. I am currently recording an eye-opening teachings series for the Daily In Christ podcast called, “Hebrews: The Glory of The New Covenant“. I encourage you to download and listen to these life-transforming lessons. They are available here at DailyInChrist.org without charge.

In a later study I will explore the incredible, Biblical truth of “Absolutely Not Under Law, But Under Grace” that will provide a multitude of scriptures proving the Biblical truth that the believer is absolutely not under law, but under grace.

One more thing: you say, “The law is the standard to the rest of the scripture”. You are in error. The Lord Jesus Christ is the standard and center of all scripture, not the law. You commit the same error as the scribes, Pharisees and teachers of the law of Jesus’ day. Jesus confronted them by saying:

[39] You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. [40] But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. [John 5:39-40 (NKJV)]

We do not live by law or even the scripture, for that matter. We live by faith in the living and indwelling Person of The Lord Jesus Christ. Hallelujah!

Yes, indeed, it was the Holy Spirit inspiring Paul the apostle to write, “Sin shall absolutely NOT have dominion over you FOR you are absolutely NOT under law, but under grace.” (Romans 6:14)

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