In Christianity today, there has been much twisting of the writings of Apostle Paul. Paul was responsible for bringing the teaching that we are no longer under the law, but rather now under grace. Many pastors and teachers today take this as a license to write off the commandments of God. These were all very difficult teachings to understand properly, and Apostle Peter warned us that Pauls writings would be difficult to understand.
“Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” ~ 2 Peter 3:13-16
Peter warned us that many would twist these scriptures unto their own destruction, and they have. Many have turned God’s grace into lewdness:
“For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~ Jude 1:4
Today, we’d like to explain this concept of under the law/under grace. We are told that when we come to Christ in repentance, he cleanses us and restores us to obedience to God, forgiving our sin and placing us in a condition no longer under the law, but under grace. To explain this concept, imagine that you had committed a murder and were sitting on death row. It is the day of your execution ‘under the law’ of the state, and you are sitting in the electric chair waiting for your sentence of death. You know that you deserve this sentence, you are sorry, scared, and in intense anguish. You think to yourself, I’m sorry please forgive me- I will never do this again. Two minutes prior to the exact time of your execution, a phone in the room rings. It is the governor of the state, who sends a message to stop the execution. Not only does he say to stop the execution, he gives news that he is granting a pardon for you, and that you are now free to go, with all of the freedoms of any other citizen of the state. Your heart cries and shouts for joy, because you have been given another chance. You have been now placed in the condition “under grace”. You are only free because of the pardon of the governor and it is purely by grace that you are free- it is nothing that you deserve. Now that you are free, you obey the law of the land with zeal and joy because you know that it is only by grace that you are free. This is why Paul declared:
“Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” ~ Romans 3:31
“What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” ~ Romans 6:15-18
You work your hardest to abide by the law of the land (commandments of God), because you never want to find yourself in that position again of receiving death for breaking the law. That being said, if you take for granted your freedom, and decide yet again to wilfully break the law, you place yourself back under the law- again with the penalty of death. This is a worse condition than the first, in that you were given grace once, yet you turned back to your old ways of disobedience. This is why Paul declared:
“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace.” ~ Hebrews 10:26-29
So you can see, that we are under grace, but this does not mean the law is void. On the contrary- the law is established just as Paul said! I hope that this example provides some more clarity on this subject, as it has been twisted and turned in many directions by today’s theologians. We invite you to come to Christ, and the condition of being under grace today!