What did Paul mean when he said "We're not under the Law" Rom 6:14-15
Rom 6:14-15; "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace?"
In an attempt to belittle the heavenly Father's Law, Often times we’ll hear the argument, "Well since we are not under the law but under grace, we do not have to obey the Law any longer." Is this the way Paul meant for this to be understood? Is Paul, after just telling us that "we establish the Law through faith" (Rom 3:31) now saying that since we are under grace and not under the Law, that we are free from the obligation of obeying the Law?
Immediately after stating that we are not under the law but under grace, Paul asks the question, "What then?" (vs. 15) This simply means, "How are we to understand this?"
Rom 6:15 What then? Shall we sin (break the law - 1Jn 3:3-4), because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid!
In the strongest possible language Paul states that being under grace does not give us a license to break the God's Law. Yet this is exactly what millions today are being taught by their ministers, and they totally ignore Paul's specific warning, of "God Forbid!"
If being under grace does not exempt us from having to obey the Law, then what did Paul mean by saying that believers are 'not under the law?' He gives the answer in
Rom 3:19, "Now we know that what things so ever the law says, it says to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God."
Here Paul equates being 'under the law' with "being guilty before God." In other words, those who are "under the law" are guilty of breaking it and are under the condemnation of it. This is why Believers are not under it. They are not, or at least should not be, breaking it - and are no longer guilty or condemned by it. Therefore, they are not under it, but are under the power of grace instead. A grace that is sufficient .
Later in his argument, Paul points out that that power of grace is greater than the power of sin. This is why he states so emphatically, "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace." (Rom 6:14) Grace overrules the authority of sin, giving us the power to obey the Father's Law. This is the effective reason that we are not under the laws guilt and condemnation (Gal 3:13) and also why Paul states that we will not continue to sin (Rom 6:1-2).
To better understand the principle here let's take the example of a murderer that has been sentenced to death in the electric chair. Waiting for the execution the man would truly be 'under the law' in every sense of the word - under the guilt, under the condemnation, under the sentence of death, etc. Just before the execution date the governor reviews the condemned man's case and decides to pardon him. In the light of extenuating circumstances the governor exercises his prerogative and sends a full pardon to the prisoner. Now he is no longer 'under the law' but under grace. The law no longer condemns him. He is considered totally justified as far as the charges of the law are concerned. He is free to walk out of the prison and there's not a policeman in the country that can lay their hands upon him. But now that he is under grace and no longer under the law, can we say that he is free to break the law? Definitely Not ! In fact that pardoned man will be doubly obligated to obey the law because he has found grace from the governor. In gratitude and love he will be very careful to honor the laws of the state which granted him grace. And according to Paul this is exactly how True Worshipers today should esteem the Law.
Rom 3:31 "Do we then make void the law through faith? God Forbid: yea, we establish the law."
In the same way you and I were that prisoner, we were "under the Law," under the guilt, under the condemnation, under the sentence of death. And then on Judgment Day when our lives will be reviewed (Act 17:30-31) there will be an "extenuating circumstance" and his name is Yahoshua. Because we've surrendered our lives to the Messiah and allowed him to live his life through us. His sacrifice, that is his death, will satisfy the requirement of the Law. And we will be given a full pardon. (Rom 8:4).
This is the answer to the entire problem. When Paul asks the question as to whether the law is nullified for us just because of our faith, his answer is that not only has the law NOT been done away with, it is ESTABLISHED in the life of the grace - saved believer
And just as the prisoner who was so close to death and found 'grace' in the eyes of the governor will be extra cautions in obeying the Laws of the land, so we also in realizing the price that was paid to redeem us back to the Father, will be extra cautious in obeying His Law. Which is why the apostle John can so emphatically say, "By this we know that we have come to know Him, “if ” we keep His commandments” The one who says, “I have come to know Him,:” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; (1John 2:3-4)
Paul's reasoning here should be so obvious to all that are willing to hear, but because of Satan's hold on some who have been so conditioned to avoid obedience to the Heavenly Father's Law, let's press the point a little further.
Have you ever been stopped by a policeman for exceeding the speed limit? It's an embarrassing experience, especially if you know you're guilty. But suppose you really were hurrying to meet a valid emergency, and you put forth your convincing explanation to the officer as he's writing you out a ticket. Slowly he folds the ticket and tears it up. Then he says, "All right, I'm going to pardon you this time, but..." Now what do you suppose he means by the word "but"? Surely he means , "but I don't want to ever catch you speeding again." Does this pardon (grace) open the way for you to disobey the Law? On the contrary, it adds compelling urgency to your decision not to disobey the law again. Why, then, should any true believer try to rationalize his way out of obeying the Father's Law ? "If you love me, keep my commandments" Jn 14:15.
When the Savior said “go and sin no more” (John 5:14; 8:11 ) he was talking to you and I.
John 8:34 Yahoshua answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.
Joh 8:35 "The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever.
Joh 8:36 "So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.(Mat 1:21; 1Joh 2:3-6; 3:3-8)
Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?
Rom 6:2 God Forbid! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
Rom 6:6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;
Rom 6:7 for he who has died is freed from sin.
Rom 6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,
Rom 6:13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
Rom 6:14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
For a complete list of passages that are often misunderstood concerning the Law see "The Hard Sayings of Paul" - Part 2