“So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” (Galatians 5:1 NLT).
One of the greatest privileges of being a New Testament believer is living under grace and not under the law.
The Lord Jesus Christ by His sinless life and sacrificial death on the cross has fulfilled the law, thereby bringing to a complete end the dispensation of the law. Therefore, believers in Christ are no longer under the law but under grace (Matt. 5:17).
The Scripture states: “Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.” (Rom. 6:14 NLT).
“For Christ is the end of the Law [the limit at which it ceases to be, for the Law leads up to Him Who is the fulfillment of its types, and in Him the purpose which it was designed to accomplish is fulfilled. That is, the purpose of the Law is fulfilled in Him] as the means of righteousness (right relationship to God) for everyone who trusts in and adheres to and relies on Him.” (Rom. 10:4 AMP).
Having considered what it means to live under the law in the last piece, let us now examine what the Scripture teaches about living under grace.
Living under grace implies having a personal, intimate and loving relationship with God, not on the basis of your self-righteousness, performance or good works, but purely on the basis of faith in the person of Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross.
Living under grace speaks of receiving God’s righteousness as a gift by faith in Christ Jesus and continuing to live and walk in the consciousness of the same righteousness.
Apostle Paul puts it this way: It is to “be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.” (Philip. 3:9 NKJV).
Living under grace is standing firm in the liberty by which Christ has made you free from the yoke of the law. It is serving God in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. It is walking in the Spirit or living by the Spirit of God.
The Scripture states: “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” (Gal. 5:1 NLT).
“But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.” (Rom. 7:6 NLT).
“But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.” (Gal. 5:18 NLT).
Living under grace is letting Christ live in you, work in you and manifest Himself through you. It is living by faith in Christ alone (Gal. 2:20).
The believers who are living under grace are those who are living the Christian life only by faith in Christ. We came into grace by faith in Christ alone and can only continue in grace by faith in Christ alone (Col. 2:6).
The Scripture states: “Through Him we also have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice on the hope of the glory of God.” (Rom. 5:2 MKJV).
The New Testament believers are complete in Christ and are eternally acceptable to God in Christ (Eph. 1:6, Col. 2:10). Therefore, as a believer in Christ you need not to strive to keep the whole or part of the Mosaic Law as a means of earning or gaining God’s love, acceptance, favour or blessing.
You can never please God nor earn God’s love, acceptance, favour or blessing by the works of the law. You are already well pleasing to God in Christ. God loves you perfectly, completely, infinitely or eternally just as He loves Jesus Christ!
The Lord Jesus reveals this truth is His prayer for His disciples when He prayed thus: “I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” (John 17:23 NKJV).
As a new creation in Christ, you are holy, blameless and above reproach in God’s sight. You are now “the righteousness of God in Christ.”
The Scripture testifies: “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.” (Col. 1:21-22 NKJV).
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor. 5:21 NKJV).
The believers in Christ don’t need to strive to earn, merit or deserve God’s love, acceptance, approval, favour or blessing. Why?
Because they have already got it in and through Christ Jesus!
The Scripture states: “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.” (Eph. 1:3 NLT).
“Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours: whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come–all are yours. And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” (1 Cor. 3:21-23 NKJV).
“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.” (2 Pet. 1:2-3 NKJV).
However, living under grace does not imply freedom to sin, or to violate God’s commandments. Although Jesus Christ has completely fulfilled the Mosaic Law and set us free from the demands and the curses of violating God’s law, yet He has given us a new commandment to follow.
Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34 NKJV).
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12 NKJV).
Love is the fulfillment of the law!
The Scripture commands:: “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.” (Rom. 13:8 NKJV).
“Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” (Rom. 13:10 NKJV).
Unlike the Mosaic Law, Jesus’ commandments are not burdensome and the believers have been divinely empowered to obey them.
The Scripture testifies: “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3 NKJV).
The born-again believers have the same life, nature and Spirit with Christ, who fulfilled the law and pleased God in all things.
The Scripture states: “No one born of God commits sin; for God’s nature abides in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of God.” (1 John 3:9 RSV).
“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvellous glory and excellence.” (2 Peter 1:3 NLT). Hallelujah!
The same Jesus Christ who lived a sinless life and fulfilled all the demands of the law now lives in every true believer by the Holy Spirit. Christ lives in the believers by His Spirit to lead, teach, and strengthen us to obey His commandments.
The Scripture affirms: “By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.” (1 John 4:13 NKJV).
And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” (Gal. 4:6 NKJV).
“But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.” (Rom. 8:9 NKJV).
Therefore, believers can obey God’s Word and live a godly life by acknowledging, appropriating and depending upon the power of the Spirit of Christ living in them.
Beloved, living under grace starts with you coming to God through faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross.
It is only by faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work that any man can have a loving and intimate relationship with God and thus have unlimited access into the inexhaustible riches of grace (Rom. 5:1-2, John 14:6).
Friend, having become born again, you now have in you the Spirit of grace, the Holy Spirit, to establish you in grace. When you let the Holy Spirit rule, control, lead, guide and direct you, you will be established in grace and will never slide back to live in bondage, under the law.
The Scripture admonishes: “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” (Gal. 5:1 NLT).
“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.” (Gal. 5:13 NLT).
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for giving me the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of grace, to establish me in grace. Help and teach me daily to hear, listen to, obey and follow Your Spirit so that I will not slide back to live under the law and its bondage, in Jesus’ name. Amen.