“WE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW”
In the past few weeks I have been asked repeatedly, “What place does the law have in the believer’s life?” When I answer, “None,” I am asked, “Don’t you think the law is the believer’s rule of life?” I answer, “No.” Then, inevitably, I am asked, “What do you do with the law?” I answer, “Nothing.” You see, I refuse to be brought again into bondage. Our rule of life is not the ten commandments. Our rule of life is the whole Word of God. Our motive for godliness is love for Christ. Is this not the teaching of Holy Scripture?
The Ten Commandments cannot be separated from the other statutes given to Israel. If we are compelled to keep a sabbath day, we must also keep up the daily sacrifices, the priesthood, and the day of atonement. Either we are under the whole of the law or none of it. Either Christ fulfilled it all, or he fulfilled nothing. The New Testament reveals this as a matter of fact. It is stated as clearly as anything revealed in Holy Scripture. Believers are not under the law to any degree, for any reason, at any time, in any sense, or in any way, because “Christ is the end of the law.” In him, we are “dead to the law.”
Does this mean that believers are loose living, licentious people, who have no regard for the will and glory of God? Only a proud, prating legalist would even think of such a question as that! Believers are people whose lives are voluntarily given over to the rule and dominion of the Lord Jesus Christ, consecrated to him, seeking conformity to him, and communion with him, realizing all the while that Christ alone is all our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.
The Scripture distinctly teaches us that we are not justified by the law, nor is the law a rule of life. That which can only curse can never justify; and that which can only kill can never be a rule of life (Rom. 3:20)
Both the Jews who had received the law and the Gentiles who had never had the law were now to be “saved through grace” (Acts 15:11). Not only were they to be saved by grace, but they were to “stand in grace” (Rom. 5:2), and to “grow in grace” (II Pet. 3:18). All who seek to put believers under the law are tearing down the very foundations of the Christian faith.
Listen to the strong words which came from the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5:12.“I would they were even cut off which trouble you.” It is as clear as the noonday sun that the law is neither the ground of life to the sinner nor the rule of life to the Christian. The Lord Jesus Christ is both the one and the other. He is our life and our rule of life. The law can only curse and kill. Christ is our life and righteousness. He became our curse by hanging on a tree. He went down into the place of death and judgment, and by his death completely discharged all that was or could be against us. “Bless the Lord, O my soul!”
Grace Baptist Church of Danville - Grace For Today Radio Message #648
2734 Old Stanford Road - Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor -Telephone 606-236-8235 - Email firstname.lastname@example.org