What does it mean to be “under the law” or “under grace?” Who is “under the law” and who is “under grace?”
Some professing Christians seem to think, “I am not under the law, so I don’t have to keep the commandments. I am under grace and therefore I’m saved even though I keep sinning.” This is gross error.
The Bible teaches that those who are Sinning are Under the Law and those who are Under Grace are Not Sinning. That is, those who are sinning are under the mere influence of law but those who have stopped sinning are under the influence of grace.
Those who are Under Grace are Not Sinning:
Romans 6:1-2: What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Rom 6:14: For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Titus 2:11-12: For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
Those who are Sinning are Under the Law:
1Ti 1:9-10: Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
Rom. 3:19: Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
Those who are Not Under the Law are Not Sinning:
Gal. 5:18: But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
Gal 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
The Man in Romans 7, for example, was under the law. He was convicted of the law and was therefore wretched or miserable in his sinning. It wasn’t until he came under the influence of grace in Romans 8, when he started following the spirit instead of the flesh, that he had victory over sin.
Rom. 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh
It’s the grace of God that gives us victory over sin, whereas the law only makes us miserable in our sinning. That influence of the law is not enough to stop a man from sinning. That is why those who are sinning are under the law but those who are under grace are not sinning.
The law is a teacher so that we might become righteous through faith in Christ, which is why those who are still sinning instead of living righteously are still under the law because they haven’t yet learned the lesson of the schoolmaster.
Gal. 3:24: Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring usunto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
So which one are you? Are you under the law and consequently sinning? Or are you under grace and consequently living holy?
The Bible warns that a believer is condemned whenever he sins and must repent or perish:
Jas 5:19-20: Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
1Co 11:32 – we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
Eph 5:6-7: Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
Rom 1:18 – For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Heb 10:27-31: But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
~ Jesse Morrell
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