What did Paul mean? when he said that you are not under the law. I think to many this might be a very strong terminology which i’m believing God by His Spirit we will be able to bring an insight to this.
In Romans 6:14-15,Paul says “For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the Law, but under Grace. What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the Law, but under Grace? God forbid.”
Many people do not understand Paul’s terminology. Some say that “under the law” refers to an obligation to keep the Law. But if we are no longer obligated to keep the Law, then why does Paul forbid us to sin? Sin is always defined as violation of the Law in Paul’s writings, and indeed throughout the Holy Bible.
In 1 John 3:4 says, “Whosoever committed sin transgresses also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law.”
John’s statement is in full agreement with Paul’s view, where he says that “by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Rom. 7:7). The law defines sin. So how is it that Paul seems to contradict himself in Romans 6:14? Is he really telling us that we now have no responsibility to keep the law, i.e. to refrain from sinning?
The phrase “under the law” refers to the law’s attitude toward you, not your attitude toward the law. A sinner who is convicted of sin (crime) is “under the law”, and the law will stand over him to force him to pay restitution to his victims. A sinner who has been released from sentence- either by paying the debt in full, or working it off, or having a near kinsman redeem him from debt- is “under Grace”.
In such a case, the court closes his case, because it has no further work to do and has no further interest in him. The law has no jurisdiction over those who are under grace. It only gains jurisdiction when a person commits a crime (sin).
For example, if a thief has been convicted of stealing 2 tubers of yam, the law of God would sentence him to restore his double (Ex. 22:4). If he did not have the 4 tubers of yam to return to his victim, he would have to work off his debt for a length of time determined by the judge. If the thief were sentenced to work 60 days, this would mean that the thief is “under the law” for 60 days. When his sentence is complete, he is brought back to the court, where it is determined whether or not he did indeed work off his debt. The judge reviews the case and pronounces him “under Grace”. The man is no longer considered a thief, for his debt has been paid.
The law convicts all men of sin. But as Christians, we are not “under the law”. Why? Because Jesus paid the debt for us, and the law was satisfied. What then? Shall we continue in sin just because Jesus was good enough to pay off our debt? Of course not! Shall we continue in sin because we are no longer under the law but under grace? God forbid! Christians need to know that grace is not a license to sin. Grace is only the condition of someone whose sin-debt has been paid, so that the law no longer has occasion against him.
The definition of sin has not changed, nor has God ever given man the right to redefine sin. God has given us his law to give us the knowledge of sin, if we take the time to study it. Once we know and understand the law, the conscience can discern how to apply the law of God properly to one’s personal life and avoid all the appearances of evil (sin).
May the Lord Jesus Christ cause of conscience to be alive through His Spirit so that we might obey the law of the Spirit of God. Amen.