Today's Foundations Devotional: Christians are not under the Law

Christians are not under the Law

Memory verse

For the (...) was given through Moses,
but (...) and truth came through Jesus Christ.

(John 1:17)


The system of law given by Moses was ordained by God solely for one small section of the human race, and that was the people of Israel after their deliverance from the bondage of Egypt. Nowhere in the Bible is there any suggestion that God ever intended that the Gentiles, either nationally or individually, should observe the law of Moses, either wholly or in part.

Having established this fact as a basis, let us examine what the New Testament teaches about the relation between the Christian believer and the law. This question is referred to in many different passages of the New Testament, and in every passage, the same clear, definite truth is taught. The righteousness of the Christian believer does not depend upon observing any part of the law.

Let us look at a number of passages in the New Testament which make this plain. First of all, Romans 6:14 is addressed to Christian believers:

For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

This verse reveals two important truths.

First, Christian believers are not under law but under grace. These are two alternatives which mutually exclude each other: A person who is under grace is not under the law. No person can be under both the law and grace at the same time.

Second, the very reason why sin shall not have dominion over Christian believers is that they are not under the law. So long as a person is under the law he is also under the dominion of sin. To escape from the dominion of sin a person must come out from under the law.

The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law (1 Cor. 15:56).

The law actually strengthens the dominion of sin over those who are under the law. The harder they strive to keep the law, the more conscious they become of the power of sin within themselves, exercising dominion over them, even against their own will, and frustrating every attempt to live by the law. The only escape from this dominion of sin is to come out from under the law and to come under grace.

For when we were in the flesh, the passions of sin which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter (Rom. 7:5-6).

Here Paul says that those who are under the law are subject to the passions of sin in their fleshly nature, which cause them to bring forth fruit to death; but that, as Christian believers, “we have been delivered from the law ...” that we should serve God, not according to the letter of the law, but in the newness of spiritual life which we receive through faith in Christ.

Again, in Romans 10:4 Paul says:

For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

As soon as a person puts his faith in Christ for salvation, that is the end of the law for that person as a means of achieving righteousness. Here Paul is very precise in what he says. He does not say that there is an end of the law as a part of God’s Word. On the contrary, God’s Word “endures forever.” There is an end of the law for the believer as a means of achieving righteousness.

The believer’s righteousness is no longer derived from the keeping of the law, either wholly or in part, but solely from faith in Christ.

Prayer response

Thank You Father, that my righteousness does not depend on keeping the law, but that You have allowed the Lord Jesus, the perfect Fulfiller of the law, through Your Holy Spirit to dwell in my heart, so that He is my teacher to righteousness. Amen.


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