So, a preacher of a popular international Christian Assembly was on TV saying “don’t listen to those who tell you that you are not under the law but under grace. I have come to announce to every believer today that we are under the law… There are still things you need to do to go to heaven other than just believing in Jesus”
He said further “the only thing that changed in the new testament is that the law Changed…” He even went further to quote Romans 8:2 which says “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”
I saw him struggling so hard with this verse because it was already at odds with his teachings and he switched to the dictionary definition of law, hinging on that definition to conclude that believers are indeed under certain laws that can subject a believer to hell.
In explaining the Bible to mean what it’s writers meant, you don’t necessarily need the dictionary. We can understand the intent of the Biblical writers when we read their letters in context. Let’s read that verse from the New Living Translation to see what Paul was saying
“And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.”
Before this statement, Paul had already made his intent bare, he wasn’t trying to prove we are under any law, he was rather trying to prove beyond every reasonable doubt that we are not under the law and therefore not subject to condemnation. Let’s read the initial verse 1
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…”
You can see that for yourself! There is no condemnation for those who have taken refuge in Christ Jesus. The law brought about death because it pronounces the penalty of sin to be death but Christ brings life. He is life himself as he announced: “I am the way, the truth and the life”. He is the life-giving spirit by whose power we have been set free from the law of sin death.
So, the law of the Spirit of life is not dos and donts, it is a principle that has been established to bring about salvation. It sets free, it is not one that brings about death and condemnation. The law of the Spirit of life says “whosoever believes shall not perish but have eternal life…” – John 3:16
Let’s read Romans 8:2 in another translation
“And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” – NLT
Jesus said, “I have come to fulfil the law…” The Bible says in Romans 10:4 “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” Let’s look at it from other translations
“But Christ makes the Law no longer necessary for those who become acceptable to God by faith.” – CEV
“For Christ is the end of the law, with the result that there is righteousness for everyone who believes.” – NET Bible
“For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God.” – NLT
All of these translations are pointing to the same truth using different words. Christ is the end of the law, Christ brings the law to a point of irrelevance, Christ has accomplished the purpose of the law and we are therefore made right with God only on the basis of our belief and trust in Jesus and the efficacy of his sacrifice.
Previously, Paul wrote in Romans 6:14 “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.”
The believer does not live under the requirements of the law which brought about death, the believer lives under the freedom of God’s grace. Notice something here, Paul didn’t say “…the requirements of God’s grace” but “…the freedom of God’s grace”.
We have not been transferred from one law to another, we have been set free from the law! Christ is the end of the law and in him we found freedom! It is the freedom to live for God and become what God’s word talks about.