What does it mean to be, "Not under the law"?

Before we can understand what it means to be, not be under the law, we must first understand what sin is.

Sin is simply missing the mark and the mark is God's image. God is holy, righteous and just. God is perfect love and we were all created in His image.

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

When we sin, we miss that mark and fall from the glory of God's image.

Romans 3:23 all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

God has given each one of us a conscience that acts as a voice within us to help us to maintain God's image. When we sin, it affects our conscience and everything around us to where it produces sickness, death and destroys relationships. Sin is like a growing cancer that eats away at the conscience and causes it to become hard to the point that missing the mark no longer causes us guilt or shame. With a hardened conscience, our thoughts become evil continually. This is what happens over time when sin goes unchecked.

Genesis 6:5-7 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.

Since the first time man sinned in the garden, sin grew and got so bad that by the time Noah came in history, God had to destroy everything with the flood. This is what sin does in God's creation, it grows worse and worse as each generation passes. Our job is to keep our conscience clear and alive to God's voice.

Acts 24:15-16 I believe, just as these men do, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and ungodly. Because of this, I try with all my strength to always maintain a clear conscience before God and man.

Sin has been causing havoc in the world since Adam sinned, but keep in mind, God has a plan to fix the sin problem in the world but His plan must run its course to where Messiah can be born, live and die for the sins of the entire world, this will open the door to God's Kingdom. God's plan, to remove sin from His people, was put in motion from before the foundation of the world, but the plan wouldn't be completed until Messiah came and finished the plan.

1 Peter 1:18-20 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.

From Adam to Noah life continued in the world and sin progressively grew worse and then from Noah to Moses sin was still growing so God enacted the law at Mt. Sinai to help to deterred sin and protect His plan until Messiah could come.

Galatians 3:24-25 In other words, the law was our guardian leading us to Christ so that we could be made right with God through faith. Now the way of faith has come, and we no longer live under a guardian.

The law, that was given at Mt. Sinai, came 430 years after God promised Abraham a future Son who would be a blessing to the whole world.

Galatians 3:16-17 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ. And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect.

Why was the law added?

The law was added because people were sinning and sin destroys people. The law, with it's punishment, only slowed sin down so that the promised Seed could be born.

Galatians 3:19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.

With the law given at Mt. Sinai came God's imposed punishment for sin i.e. stoning to death. The fear of being stoned to death for sin was to act as a deterrent to keep God's people form self destructing before the promised Seed could be born. Once Messiah was born, we are no longer under the threat of being stoned to death for sin, even though sin is still present in the world.

Romans 6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!

No one can out sin the grace of God. In other words, since Messiah came, God will never call for a sinner to be stoned to death for their sin

Romans 5:20 The law was given so that sin would increase. But where sin increased, God’s grace increased even more.

If there is no stoning for sin, then we are free to obey God through faith working through love, not because of fear of punishment.

1 John 4:18-19 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first.

Grace is a tool in the hand of God because it teaches us to live a godly and righteous life. Grace gives us time to grow and learn for our mistakes and turn form them, this was not so under the law. Under the law, you sin, you die, game over. Grace gives people time to be conformed to the image of God's Son.

Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

Here is what many people don't understand about sin and the law. When we sin, WE ALSO break God’s law, which was given at Mt. Sinai.

1 John 3:4 Everyone who commits sin also breaks the law; sin is the breaking of law.

Sin and death was in the world before the law was given at Mt. Sinai, people just didn't get stoned to death for their sin, yet they still suffered the consequence of sin itself.

Romans 5:12-14 When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break. Still, everyone died—from the time of Adam to the time of Moses—even those who did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did.

Whether we have the law on stone or not, people will still be destroyed because of sin, that's what sin does.

Romans 2:12-13 When the Gentiles sin, they will be destroyed, even though they never had God’s written law. And the Jews, who do have God’s law, will be judged by that law when they fail to obey it. For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in his sight.

Sickness, death and broken relationships are build into sin itself, without any help from God.

Numbers 32:23 But if you fail to keep your word, then you will have sinned against the LORD, and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.

Proverbs 8:36 he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; all those who hate me love death.

Isaiah 59:2 your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.

The law didn’t invent sin or death, it only pointed out sin and then required a quick sentence, i.e. stoning to death. But remember, sin has its own death sentence, even without the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments, which declared the sinner guilty, wasn't added until 430 years after God made the promise to Abraham, but people still died because of sin, the death just didn't come from God, it came from sin itself.

Let me give you an example using the Sabbath. The seventh day of creation was created by God as a holy and blessed day as part of creation itself.

Genesis 2:3 Then God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

The Sabbath was holy long before Sinai, before there was sin and even before there was a Jew. This means the law given at Sinai didn't make the Sabbath holy, it protected it. The punishment for not keeping the Sabbath holy was to be put to death.

Exodus 31:15 Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

To be put to death for profaning the Sabbath came from the law at Mt. Sinai, prior to Mt. Sinai people weren't stoned to death for profaning the Sabbath, even though the Sabbath was still holy. The whole reason for the law was because people were sinning, i.e. breaking the Sabbath, that's why the fourth commandment is part of the Ten Commandments.

Exodus 20:8-10 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.

When the Bible says, we are no longer under the law but under grace, it doesn't mean the Sabbath is no longer holy or that we can now go out and lie, steal, murder and commit adultery. What it does mean is that God will no longer have you stoned to death for sin. But remember, sin still has its own death and destruction built within sin itself. Sin still causes sickness, death and destruction, even without the law.

Romans 5:12-14 When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break. Still, everyone died—from the time of Adam to the time of Moses—even those who did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did.

Sin destroys relationships both in the natural realm and in the spiritual realm. This is very important to understand because salvation and eternal life is based on a living relationship with Messiah.

1 John 5:11-12 this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Eternal life is connected to following Messiah.

John 10:27-28 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.

Hebrews 5:8-9 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.

The danger of sin today is not the fear of being stoned to death, but rather, the danger of sin is that it hardens the heart towards God's saving work in us.

Hebrews 3:12-14 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end.

Messiah's shed blood cleanses us of our past sin and declares us righteous, which allows us into God's presence.

Hebrews 9:15 For Christ died to set them free from the penalty of the sins they had committed under that first covenant.

2 Peter 1:9 But whoever does not have them is short-sighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

Messiah's blood cleanses of all our past unrighteousness and is forever sufficient to cleanses us of our future unrighteousness, if we confess them.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

If we don't confess our sin, sin will grow and cause spiritual death and a spiritually dead person is no longer following Messiah.

James 1:14-16 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

To not be under the law, but under grace, is to no longer fear being stoned to death for sin, but sin is still unrighteous and no unrighteousness will be part of God's Kingdom.

1 Corinthians 6:8-10 No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren! Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

Today, we obey God's Torah through the teachings of Messiah, we don't do away with it.

Revelation 12:17 This dragon was very angry with the woman. He went off to fight with the rest of her children. They are the ones who obey the Torah of God and are faithful to the teachings of Jesus.

2 John 9 Anyone who goes too far and does not live by the teachings of Christ does not have God. If you live by what Christ taught, you have both the Father and the Son.

Today, we obey God through the teachings of Messiah because we love God, not because we're afraid of being stoned to death. This is what the New Covenant is all about, God fills us with His love and changes our lives from the inside out and that changed life loves God and values what God values.

Romans 5:5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Ezekiel 36:25-28 Then I will put clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will make you clean from all your unclean ways and from all your false gods. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you. I will take away your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to follow My Laws and be careful to do what I tell you. And you will live in the land that I gave to your fathers. You will be My people, and I will be your God.

Jeremiah 31:33 this is the new covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

Hebrews 8:10 For this is the new covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

1 John 2:29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.

1 John 3:7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.

Romans 2:12-13 When Gentiles sin without having the Torah will perish without the Torah being used. Those who have the Torah and have sinned will be judged by the Torah. Just to hear the Torah does not make a man right with God. The man right with God is the one who obeys the Torah.

In conclusion:

Sin is still in the world and sin still kills and separates people from God and obeying God still brings life. So, does grace mean we can sin because we are not under the law?...No way.

If you love God and love your neighbor, show it by obeying God because His law teaches us how to love God and love our neighbor the way God defines love. As a matter of fact, it will be hard for the changed person not to obey God's law because of our new nature.

Matthew 22:37-34 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.

Romans 13:8-10 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

If someone invites us to a Sabbath fellowship our response should not be, "I'm not under the law". In the same way, if your neighbor's spouse invites you over to have an intimate relationship you shouldn't say, "I'm not under the law, I'll be right over". Why? Because no one who commits adultery will inherit the Kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

Email: MessiahofIsrael@aol.com