Olsen Park Church of Christ

“Not Under Law but Under Grace”

Introduction.  Romans 6:11-14  Note:  “Not under law but under grace.”  This is a text which is and should be highly esteemed by all because it declares the glorious change which can occur in the human life through Christ of escaping bondage to sin and finding freedom and life in the gospel.  This text brings up a question that is very important for us to understand if we are to be pleasing to God, namely what does it mean to be “under grace?”  Conversely, in what sense is it that mankind is “not under law?”

I.  There Has Always Been Divine Law.

A.  The Law of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil (Genesis 2:16,17).

B.  The Law of Sacrifice. 

·         In Genesis 4:3,4,  God respected Abel and his offering. 

·         In Hebrews 11:4 we learn that Abel offered this “by faith”. 

·         Romans 10:17 tells us “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”   Thus it is clear that Abel obeyed some Divine instruction that God had given.

C.  The Law of Adultery (Genesis 39:9). Joseph recognizes that to be intimate with Potiphar’s wife would be a “sin against God.”

D.  There can be no sin where there is no law (Romans 4:15b).  Sin is the violation of Divine law (1 John 3:4).

E.  There was sin from Adam to Moses (Romans 5:13).  Thus, there was some type of Divine law.  

II. The First Written Divine Law:  The Law of Moses.

            The Law of Moses was (from everything that has been revealed to us) the first written Divine Law.  It was as Ephesians 2:15 puts it a “law of commandments contained in ordinances.”  It had a number of purposes.

A.  The Purpose of the Law of Moses.

1.  It was a schoolmaster to lead men to Christ (Galatians 3:24).

2.  It kept men “under guard” awaiting something to be revealed latter  (Galatians 3:23).

3.  It was a shadow of good things to come (Hebrews 10:1).

4.  It revealed the horror of sin (Romans 7:7,13).  Sin requires death, ostracism, purification, and sacrifice.

B.  The Weaknesses of the Law of Moses.  The law of Moses was never intended to be a final complete system that could make men righteous before God. 

1.  The Law of Moses was made weak by the flesh.  Romans 8:3

2.  The Law of Moses made no one perfect or complete (Heb. 7:18,19).

3.  Breaking one command made one guilty of breaking the whole (James 2:10).

            Because of these things the Apostle Paul through the direction of the Holy Spirit declared in 1 Corinthians 15:56  that “the strength of sin is the law.”

III. Christ And The Law of Moses. 

            Christ had a very important relationship to the Law of Moses.

A.  He was born under it (Galatians 4:4).

B.  He was obedient to it (Hebrews 4:15).

C.  He came to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17,18).

D.  Having fulfilled it He became the end of it (Romans 10:4).

IV. The Law of Christ.

            While Christ is the end of the law there is also a sense in which Christ replaces the law. 

A.  The New Covenant.  The book of Hebrews uses the phrase “covenant” which was used in reference to the Law of Moses.  It was a “covenant” God made with His people.  In Christ there is a new covenant. 

·         Hebrews 8:13  tells us “He has made the first obsolete.” 

·         Hebrews 7:12 declares Christ’s priesthood brings a change of the law. 

·         Hebrews 10:9b makes it clear “takes away the first
 that He may “establish the second.”

B.  What is the nature of this “second covenant?”  

1.  It is a system of grace.  The text we began with declares we are “not under law but under grace.”    John 1:17 teaches “Grace and truth came through Jesus.”  Note:  In comparison to the Law of Moses the new covenant is “grace and truth.” This doesn’t mean that God demands nothing of us.  Grace is something that teaches us things  (Titus 2:11-13).  It is a “system of grace.”

2.  It is a system of faith (Galatians 2:15,16).  The Law of Moses granted no one justification, it comes rather through “faith.”  However, this is not just personal subjective faith but it is a revealed system of belief.  Jude 3 charges us to “contend earnestly for the faith.”  Read: Romans 3:21-28  Note:  “law of faith”  and vs. 23 all have sinned. 

            Now we have seen that there is no sin where their is no law, yet Christ was the end of the Law of Moses.  Yet there is clearly sin to this day.  Obviously then there must be a system of law which has replaced the Law of Moses.

3.  It is a system of law. 

·         Law of Christ (Galatians 6:2).

·         Law of the Spirit of life  (Romans 8:3-4).  Compare  Galatians 5:18, then read Romans 8:5.  Being led by the Spirit is setting our mind on the things of the Spirit.  We do this by meditating upon the things of God’s word and letting them live in us.  Jesus said in John 6:63 “the words that I speak to you are spirit and they are life.”  Romans 8:2 spoke of freedom from the “law of sin and death.”

·         Perfect Law of Liberty (James 1:25, 2:12).  Christ’s Law—the gospel, brings liberty from sin, liberty from death.  Note:  we will be judged by it.

Conclusion.  Read: 1 Corinthians 9:19-22.  Note:  All are “under law toward Christ.”  It is evident than that Christ has taken away all Divine law that preceded Him and established Himself as Savior, King, Teacher, Shepherd, Priest, and Lawgiver.  All men are called into submission to His law which is revealed to us in the New Testament.  Will you submit yourself to the “Law of Christ?”

Kyle Pope 2010

  Home     Directions     Times     Elders     Deacons     Preachers     Lessons     Members Section     Post Question     Contact Us