The Faithbook

A place of writing and reflection…

Law or Grace

Forgive& Grow What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance.You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
—Romans 6:15-23

Paul contrasts the phrase “under law” with “under grace” (see Romans 6:14 – 15; Galatians 4:4 – 5; 5:18). “Under grace” means having a God who is for us and gives us what we need; in contrast the law is against us and says we have to earn, through our own performance, what we need. What this means is that life under the law is basically a life in which we get what we deserve, and we have to be afraid of God (see Romans 6:23; Colossians 1:21). In this scenario, to get anywhere we have to make it all happen ourselves. On the other hand, grace means God is for us and says, “I will help you do it.” Grace reverses the law.

For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
—Romans 6:14-15

But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.
—Galatians 4:4

But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
—Galatians 5:18

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
—Romans 6:23

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.
—Colossians 1:21

When we are under the law — in our natural state — we feel that God is the enemy and that we get what we deserve. We try to “earn” life. We try to do whatever we think will get God to like us or whatever we think will solve our day-to-day problems. Thus, we try to save ourselves; we try to grow and resolve our issues by our own efforts. Yet Paul says that this way of living is the exact opposite of living according to faith and grace. This is not just theology; it is exactly how people end up living out their real-life problems until they grasp the reality of grace. And the result of living under law is failure.

That’s not the path God designed for us. He planned a system that goes beyond the first half of Romans 6:23 and includes the second half. That’s the way of grace — freely receiving “the gift of God,” that is, “eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” And it means that we continue to turn to God for his grace not only to be forgiven, but also to live and help solve life’s problems. “Eternal life” begins today, not when we die. By living in his grace, we begin to come to life, and that life through grace will last forever.

 

The Faithbook 2018
Copyright, Bible.com Forgive, Grow and Find God’s Path for you plan.

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