“Free From the Law — O Happy Condition!”
In Christ every believer is totally free from the law. — “We are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:15). We are not justified (Romans 3:19-24), sanctified (Galatians 3:1-3), motivated (2 Corinthians 5:14), ruled (Titus 2:11-12), or glorified (Jude 24-25) by the law, but by grace.
The End of the Law
“Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth” (Romans 10: 4). — Do you ask what that means? It means that Christ is the fulfillment of the law, the satisfaction of the law and the termination of the law to all who believe on him unto life everlasting. It means that there is no righteousness to be had, of any kind, to any degree, by our own works of obedience to the law. The only way anyone can have righteousness before God is by faith in Christ. He is “THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jeremiah 23:6); and we are the righteousness of God in him (Jeremiah 33:16; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
Dead to the Law
“Ye are become dead to the law by the body of Christ” (Romans 7:4). — Do you ask what that means? It means that if you are a believer, if Christ died for you, insofar as the law of God is concerned you are dead. It can make no demands upon you. It can require nothing from you. It can do nothing to you. If you and I are in Christ by faith, we have no covenant with the law, no curse from the law, and no commitment to the law.
Not Against the Law
Because we repeat Paul’s frequently stated, inspired declaration that God’s people are “not under the law,” we are often denounced by prating legalists as people who are against the law; but those who make that accusation know that it is not true. God forbid! Every saved sinner delights in the law of God (Romans 7:22). It is the legalist, who pretends to keep the law, who is against the law. He lowers the standard of the law to the measure of his own obedience. Otherwise, he could find no comfort in his obedience. It is the legalist who is antinomian.
Why are we so dogmatic in declaring the believer’s freedom from the law, as it is set forth in the Scriptures? Let me give you three reasons for our dogmatism: First, the legalist would rob Christ of the glory of his grace, making some part of salvation dependent upon the works of the law. — Second, the legalist would rob the believer of the joy of faith; the joy of assurance and the joy of service to Christ, making assurance to be based upon obedience and service to Christ mercenary service. — Third, the legalist would rob the world of the hope of salvation, for if salvation requires any good work from sinners, then there is no hope.
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