What Does Being “Not Under Law But Under Grace” Look Like?

Not under law but under grace

Although God-given law always had the potential to justify the one who was amenable to it, God knew beforehand that all would sin and fall short of His glory (cf. Rom. 3:20,23). Therefore, the only possibility that sinful man had to be justified or saved lay outside of himself and rested upon God’s gracious gift of His Son. This is what Paul was talking about when he said we “are not under law but under grace” (Rom. 6:14); which means, we are no longer under A SYSTEM OF JUSTIFICATION BY PERFECT LAW-KEEPING, but A SYSTEM OF JUSTIFICATION BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH. But, all who think this means that redeemed sinners are no longer “under law” need to keep on reading what, in the very next verse on through the end of the chapter, the apostle wrote:

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 6:15-23).

As Christians saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8), our whole duty is to fear God and keep His commandments (Eccl. 12:13). But because we are no longer “slaves to sin,” we have now become “slaves of righteousness.” We have not become such slaves in order to become saved or even to stay saved, but because we are saved and want to glorify God in everything we do (cf. 1 Cor. 6:20; Eph. 3:20-21; 1 Pet. 2:13). Ours, then, is not a “faith plus works,” but a “faith that works” to bring glory, honor, and praise to El Shaddai, the Almighty God; YHWH, the I AM THAT I AM; the divine Logos who, as the God of the “then, now, and not yet,” became a man and dwelt among us, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen (Jude 1:24-25).

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