Not under law but under grace – What did Paul teach?
Unfortunately, like no one else, Paul is repeatedly misunderstood and misinterpreted. His texts and teachings were literally taken apart by the people and misused for their own purposes. People have created their own gospel that twisted everything Jesus taught to a point that ruined Christianity in its entirety. A good example of such practice is this Bible verse:
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. (Romans 6:14)
On it’s own this sentence can be easily misunderstood, but if it wouldn’t be quoted completely out of context, you would read the following just one sentence later:
What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. (Romans 6:15)
And this is just one of many examples of how Paul’s statements are being twisted over and over. Paul certainly did not teach that we must continue to sin forever, because we are in the flesh. Nor did he say that we no longer need to obey God’s commandments.
Likewise, a statement by John is also often used to distort the truth and to justify that one could continue to sin. Here is the verse from the Bible:
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8)
But if we read the whole chapter, it becomes clear that John is obviously speaking to people who have NOT YET been born again. He teaches people the teaching of Jesus so that they may likewise fellowship with him. Those who have not yet been reborn are still living in sin and would lie if they said they were sinless. It’s all very easy to understand if you read things in the entire context.
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3)
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. (Hebrews 10:26-27)
It is a serious problem that most Christians do not even know the Bible. They have never read it. Most of the time, all they know are just a few verses, taken out of context, that support a falsified teaching, as you can see from the examples above. But if you were to read everything that Paul wrote, you would really have to fight with yourself in order not to become skeptical as to whether what is being taught in the churches is really true. Let alone if you read the whole Bible.
Paul says that when we are born again we NO LONGER sin
The chapter in Romans 6 of the Bible is a good example of how Paul does not teach us that we can remain quietly in sin.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. (Romans 6:1-7)
There shouldn’t be much that could be misunderstood. One should at least think. Paul says we no longer live in sin because we died of sin (when we were born again). Because we should be like Jesus afterwards.
Paul teaches that we are no longer under the law because we anyway live ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. (Romans 6:14)
Everyone who is born again and has received the Spirit of God behaves accordingly. For the Spirit of God guides him in every respect and keeps him from evil in the world. Such a person automatically does whatever pleases God. When Paul says that we are no longer under the law but under grace, he means that those who have been born again no longer need the law because the Spirit of God always leads and guides them on the right path. Paul says:
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. (Galatians 5:16-18)
Those who are guided by the Spirit of God are no longer under the law because they automatically obey to the will God. And that is exactly what the new covenant consists of. In the Bible it is written:
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. (Ezekiel 36:26-27)
Laws are ONLY for criminals and violators
Laws are only there to prevent people from doing evil. If all people were to be truly holy, there would be no need for laws. What for? If no one ever did anything bad anyway. But precisely because people have fallen into sin, God had to give them commandments in order to guide them on the right path. Paul says:
But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine. (1 Timothy 1:8-10)
For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. (Romans 2:12-16)
But through Jesus God gave us his Holy Spirit, who guides us in all truth. Everyone who has received this spirit is completely repugnant to sin. The Bible even says that such a person CANNOT sin anymore:
And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. (1 John 3:3-10)
And that is exactly what God’s grace consists of. That He gives us his holy spirit, which helps us to live a holy life without sin. This is the only reason why Paul says that we are no longer under the law, but under grace. Grace is and has never been a license to sin. The Bible says this very clearly in innumerable scriptures.
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:11-14)
Paul says we are carnal and subject to sin BEFORE we are born again
In Romans 7 Paul says:
For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. (Romans 7:14-15)
In this chapter Paul talks about how we are slaves to sin and sin without wanting to. But this only applies to those who have not yet been born again. Those who are not born of God are carnal and subject to evil. The Bible says:
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:5-8)
But he who was born of God is no longer carnal but spiritually minded. Such a person is NO LONGER subject to sin. Paul says:
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (Romans 8:9)
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (Romans 8:12-14)
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:3-4)
Paul warns against people who pervert true doctrine and walk according to their OWN DESIRES
In fact, Paul himself warned on several occasions that many will come to pervert biblical doctrine in order to live according to their own corrupt desires. And that the People will no longer be able to bear the truth and prefer to believe the lies. The Bible says:
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
This is how those who love injustice are to be revealed. Everyone who loves sin will gladly believe the common Christian doctrine in order to continue to sin peacefully. But whoever loves God and his justice will not be deceived by the many lies, but will accept the true teaching of Jesus. I think everyone can guess for themselves what kind of person they are.
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12)
Peter warned that Paul’s teachings would be twisted
Peter also warned that the wicked would corrupt Paul’s words. This is not a new phenomenon. Even in the days of the apostles, Paul’s teachings were twisted and used for their own purposes. The Bible says:
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. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. (2. Peter 3:15-17)
God is holy and wants his children to be HOLY as well
If you tried to understand who God is and how He is with the help of the Old Testament, you would quickly find that God is holy and that He detests everything that’s sinful. Most people can actually guess it without reading the Bible.
Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy. (Leviticus 19:2)
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.(Matthew 5:48)
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)
What God wants is simply that his children shall be holy and not succumb to the evil that rules the world. He wants his children to prove just and good before the devil. Because the devil is the accuser who claims that Mankind is truly evil and not worth saving. He seduces people to sin and with the intention to prove their bad nature.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (James 4:7-8)
So it remains: God is holy and therefore his children are also holy. Otherwise they wouldn’t be his children.
Basically, the Bible is not difficult to understand. The message is actually quite simple: the earth is ruled by evil and people are addicted to sin. But God wants his children to be holy again.
Whoever believes in Jesus and gives up his old life receives the Spirit of God, which helps us to be holy and overcome our sins. In this way we become God’s children and thus Jesus’ brothers and sisters, as it is written in the Bible.
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29)
He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. (1 John 2:6)
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. (Matthew 12:50)
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. (John 14:12)
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