For many, the term curse of the law seems strange. Shouldn’t the Bible say the curse of sin? But it does not. It talks about the curse of the law and how Jesus redeemed us from it.
The Old Covenant law of Moses offered blessings and curses. Keep the law and receive the blessings, break just one la, and you are under the curse of the law. See Deuteronomy 28.
'Cursed is he who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them.' And all the people shall say, 'Amen.' Deut 27:26 NAS
The law is holy, just and good. But the law brought a curse upon man because of the weakness of the sinful nature we inherited from Adam as described in Rom 5:12-19.
The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. Rom 8:3 NLT
The curse that the law brought upon man was based on the fact that a person living under the law had to abide by and perform all things written in the book of the law, or they came under the curse. They could not fail one time, in thought, word, or deed.
For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Gal 3:10 ESV
The definition for curse that stands out to me is the doomed one or doomed to destruction. A person who is under the dominion of the law is doomed for destruction. That is the curse of the law.
Strong’s Greek #2671 defines curse: Definition: a curse Usage: cursing; a curse; meton: a doomed one.
Strong’s Greek #1944 defines cursed: Definition: accursed Usage: on whom a curse has been invoked, accursed, doomed to destruction.
Jesus tells those who are under the curse, refusing to be set free by His offering to depart from Him.
"Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; Matt 25:41 NAS
Thankfully, Jesus Came to Set All Who Will Believe, Free from the Curse of the Law
Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, “HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”— in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Gal 3:11-14 NAS
When Jesus says the Son makes us free, He is talking about being free from the curse of the law.
“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36 NAS
The absolute truth is that we have been set free from the curse of the law by Jesus. This is exactly how God sees us. But sadly, many believers live like they are still under the law and its curse.
Can the Curse of the Law Still Affect Christians? Yes, in Several Ways.
Most Christians do not read the Bible, understand what has happened or realize they need to renew their minds to the truth of the New Covenant that began after the cross and the New Creation God has made us in Christ. Therefore, they live like God sees them still in the flesh, the Old Creation. This lack of understanding leads them to still be affected by the curse of the law that God has set us free from. Because of this, they lack victory in this life and struggle much more than they need to.
We are called to renew our minds to the truth of who we are in the New Creation right now at this moment. We put on the new self, created in the likeness of God by faith when we believe who God tells us we are in the New Creation. God sees us as a New Creation walking by faith; He sees the Old Creation, the flesh, never redeemed, crucified and dead. We need to agree with God to walk together with God. Once we renew our minds to the truth that is God’s reality, we walk in the Spirit where God dwells. Then change happens supernaturally from the inside out as the fruits of the Spirit prevail in our life. This study is designed to help renew your mind to the New Covenant Jesus brought – Luke 22:20 and the New Creation you are in Christ. The battle is totally in our thoughts and minds.
And that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Eph 4:23-24 NAS
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 2 Cor 10:5 NAS
The Warning to the Galatians
The book of Galatians is a clear warning from Paul that cannot be ignored; believers do not want to mentally place themselves back under the dominion of the law and its curse. The Galatians were saved believers under grace and not under the law.
Even though God has freed all believers from the curse of the law, Paul strongly rebuked and warned the Galatians not to add the law to grace in their minds and thoughts as a requirement for salvation. The whole book of Galatians tells us that adding law to grace creates a false gospel. Paul warns that if we are deceived into adding the law to our faith for salvation, we fall from grace, making grace of no effect.
You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. Gal 5:4 NAS
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. Gal 5:4 KJV
So, think about what making Jesus and His grace of no effect means or to fall from grace. These both mean grace can no longer protect us from the curse of the law. Is that something you really want? Paul unites separation from Christ with the curse of the law in the following verse too. He states he would rather have the curse be still be on him, "wish that I myself were accursed" if it would save his Jewish brethren and kinsmen from the curse of the law. It is only the law that brought the curse.
For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, Rom 9:3 NAS
Just a leaven of the law contradicts and cancels out grace.
But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. Rom 11:6 NAS
God who knows best, removed us from being under the law and we need to leave it that way – Gal 3:23-26, Rom 10:4, Gal 2:16.
Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law? Gal 4:21 NAS
The law says if you break one law you have broken them all. If you judge others under the law, you show yourself to be under the law and judge yourself at the same time.
Paul told the Galatians, only a fool would want to place themselves back under the law and its curse. In anger, two times, Paul essentially said “let him be accursed” who is preaching this false gospel of grace, plus law. Paul was saying, if they want to be under the curse of the law that brings death themselves, let it be so, but you Galatians should know better. Any message that differs from the grace of Christ Paul preached is not the true gospel.
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Gal 1:6-10 ESV
Loss of Salvation?
I do not believe, as some do, that Galatians 5:4 is saying that adding the law to grace means a born-again person will lose their salvation. I say that because this would place the burden of God’s promised salvation on us, and most Christians have embraced the law out of a sincere heart, to some degree, in addition to grace. I believe we place ourselves back under the curse of the law in our minds and thoughts when we embrace the law in addition to grace. The best advice is to seek God by faith and trust in Christ alone as the Bible tells us.
But there is a huge difference between embracing the law somewhat ourselves and those who teach and preach the law must be kept in addition to grace to be saved. Many believers who hold onto the law to some degree, do it more subconsciously than consciously. As I stated, I do not believe they lose their salvation. But those who preach it, and teach It, with certainty that it must be kept for salvation, are relying on the law. This places them under the curse and I have doubts and questions if they are saved. Their preaching brings doubt into the minds of believers who have learned the truth, that salvation is by grace through faith alone. The Bible calls us to foster faith in God’s promises, not bring doubt. Preaching the law must be kept for salvation, is preaching the curse, bringing doubt in God’s promised salvation and thus doing the enemies work. One thing is certain, those who preach the law will be held to a much higher standard, and according to scripture, we will be judged by how we judge.
But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions. 1 Tim 1:5-7 NAS
Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. James 3:1 NAS
Those who preach the law need to be abiding by and doing all things in the law themselves. Since this is impossible, they are acting in hypocrisy and placing themselves back under the curse of the law.
For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Gal 3:10 NAS
Embracing the law to any degree for our salvation leads to fear, worry, guilt and feelings of condemnation, exactly what the enemy wants. It also makes us a bad witness, leading the world to think salvation is all about keeping rules to appease and angry God, which we know it is not. When we give this false impression of God, we appear to the world like Pharisee’s and scatter people away from Jesus, when we are called to gather. Adding the law leads to boasting in self, self-righteousness and the judgment of others. Adding the law as a requirement for salvation to any degree leaves the believer ineffective for God, tied up doing the dead work of trying to be right with God when they are already right with God in Christ.
You can determine if you have embraced grace plus the law by asking yourself this question. What will happen to me if I break God’s law? If you at all fear judgment, condemnation and punishment, you believe the law still has dominion over you and must be kept for your salvation. This is where the Galatians found themselves when they embraced the false gospel that was preached to them.
Do not misunderstand what I am saying, as many did with Paul. I am not saying we should sin because we are now under grace and no longer under the law. As believers, it is the love of Christ that constrains us, not the law of Moses. The love of Christ is the reality that cast the shadow called the law - Heb 10:1. We now have the reality in Jesus; we no longer need the shadow.
"But this crowd which does not know the Law is accursed." John 7:49 NAS
As You Believe be it Unto You
In several verses, Jesus told us about the power of belief: "…Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed…." Matt 8:13 NAS. For example, if a person has accepted Jesus as their Savior, but does not believe that Jesus paid their sin debt in full, they will live with an imagined sin debt and a defiled conscious, as though they are not totally cleansed. When Hebrews 10:2 says our conscience should be clear from any sin debt, specifically because Jesus sacrifice worked. If a person incorrectly believes they still owe God for their sins, it will lead them to continually try to clean themselves through the dead work of law keeping and works. These are called dead works by God because a person who has been cleansed does not need to clean themselves. Jesus shed blood cleansed us, sanctified us and made us holy.
Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified (made holy), but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. 1 Cor 6:11 NAS
What God has cleansed can never be considered unholy.
"But a voice from heaven answered a second time, 'What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.' Acts 11:9 NAS
The point is if we do not believe we have been cleansed of our sins completely, we will believe we are under the dominion of the law, even though scripture is clear, we are not. Therefore, we will live as though we are under the law. To a large degree, this false belief strips the gospel of grace of its power in our lives.
Those Who Believe They Are Still Under the Law, Cannot Receive God's Blessings
In Deuteronomy 28, we see a listing of the blessings and curses. Prior to the law being given by Moses, people were under grace. The curse of the law started when the law was given. The law was given to protect us from each others fallen nature and to show us our need for Christ. If a person broke just one law, they were under the curse of the law and subject to the long list of negative effects the curse would bring. The only way a person could come under the blessings was to keep the law perfectly in thought, word and deed. No one did and no one can.
In Christ, we have fulfilled the law of Moses. We have been set free from the curse of the law as scripture clearly states. This means that we are back under grace and have access to God's blessings. But, if we believe we are still under the law, we will not see ourselves as deserving of God's blessings. Satan is the one telling us we still need the law. If we believe his lie, we continue to allow him to steal the blessings God wants us to accept.
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10 NAS
"…Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed…." Matt 8:13 NAS
If we believe we are under the law, we know we can never keep the law perfectly. We will not be willing to accept God's abudant blessings no matter how much we say we want them, due to having an unrenewed mind when it comes to this topic and our righteousness in Christ. God wants to bless us abudantly so we can be of great use in this world to advance the Kingdom of God.
Beloved, I pray you to prosper concerning all things and to be in good health, just as your soul prospers. 3 John 1:3 BLB
For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. Rom 6:14 NAS
Embracing the Law was the Only Thing that Led to a Charge of Hypocrisy
There is only one time in the New Testament when a believer was charged with hypocrisy. It is not when the Corinthians were caught up is sexual sin, when Peter denied Jesus three times after saying he would not, or any one of the numerous outward acts of sin, we read about in the early church The charge of hypocrisy against a believer was only leveled a single time against a believer. It is in Gal 2:11-21, against born-again, filled with the Holy Spirit, miracle-working, Peter. Paul brought the charge when he learned that Peter, who had been living with and like a Gentile, pulled away from the Gentiles, embraced the law and acted like a law keeping Jew when the more legalistic Jews showed up. Peters actions led other believers into his hypocrisy and confused the saved Gentiles, quite possibly making some stumble. Paul’s charge against Peter is that he was not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, which is based on grace alone. Paul’s last remark in chapter two when talking to saved believers is this:
“I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.” Gal 2:21 NAS
The Law Places a Veil that Can Affect Believers
I recommend you read 2 Corinthians 3. In it, Paul is comparing the Old Covenant Law of Moses to the New Covenant of Grace and Truth, the new and better hope we have in Jesus. He calls the Old, the ministry of condemnation and death engraved on stones and the New, the ministry of the Spirit of life that has totally replaced the old. Paul tells us we have been made servants of the New Covenant, not of the letter of the law that brings death, but of the Spirit, that brings life, just as Jesus did. It is only because of this change, from the old way to the new, that we can have confidence toward God in Christ.
Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Cor 3:4-6 NAS
If a believer does not know how to correctly divide the word of God, they often mix the Old Covenant law of Moses with the New Covenant of Grace and truth. This is mixing grace with law. We just read in Gal 5:4 how mixing law with grace, makes the grace of no effect.
In these next verses, Paul tells us that even today, when the Old Covenant of Moses is read, it places a veil over the heart. It keeps a person’s heart and mind hard to the love of God. When the only way we can love others as Christ loved us is to be firmly established in His love. The Old Covenant includes all Ten Commandments and all other laws and teachings Moses gave as the way for the Jews to be right with God.
Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech, and are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading away. But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. 2 Cor 3:12-18 NAS
Paul knew that the only way a believer can reign in this life is to embrace the New Covenant that replaced the Old, with an unveiled face, fully embracing God’s abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness. The true gospel.
For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Rom 5:17 NAS
The Power of the Gospel is Found in God’s Pure Grace.
"But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 20:24 NAS
If we make grace of no effect, Gal 5:4, by adding the law, we remove God’s grace, and grace is where the power of God comes from for our lives. We cannot earn our way with God, we inherit it in Christ.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, Eph 1:18-19 NIV
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Rom 1:16 NAS
Do you see why the enemy wants you to embrace the law in addition to grace?
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 1 Cor 15:56 NAS
But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died; and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me; for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.Rom 7:8-11 NAS
for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation. Rom 4:15 NAS
God’s View of Those Who Have Been Given Mercy and Grace but Hold Others to the Law.
Christians Have Been Judge by the Law of Liberty and Should Judge Likewise
So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:12-13 NAS.
In a similar manner to James, Jesus warned the self-righteous that they would be judged by the same standard they use to judge others. If we judge others by grace, we will be judged by grace, if by the law, we will be judged by the law.
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Matt 7:1-2 NAS
There Was a Bad End Result for The Unforgiving Servant
In the story of the unforgiving servant, we see a person who has been forgiven by the King as Christians have been. Jesus tells us how unfavorably God views those who have sought and received mercy, grace and forgiveness from the King and then hold others to the letter of the law: Matt 18:23-35
If We Feel Judged by the Law, We will Judge by the Law
One of the biggest errors that come with embracing the law in addition to grace is that a person who believes they are under the burden of the law will want everyone else to embrace that burden too. Therefore, anyone who incorrectly thinks they are under the law will judge others by the law. Anyone who is preaching and teaching the law must be kept to be saved, believes contrary to scripture that they are under the law themselves. Adding the law to grace always leads to self-righteousness, boasting, partiality, justification of self with grace and the judgment of others by the law.
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. James 2:10 NAS
In conveying the truth of why God removed believers from under the dominion of the letter of the law, the verses surrounding James 2:10 compare the sins of partiality and favoritism with the sins of murderand adultery. James points out if you stumble at one point, you are guilty of all. James was talking to self-righteous Jews who pointed out what they thought were bigger sins in others and regularly committed the sins of partiality and favoritism. He tells them that the sin of partiality that they see as small in comparison is no different when it comes to invoking the curse of the law upon oneself, than the sins of murder and adultery.
Speaking from experience, the natural tendency of Christians who add the law to grace is to judge other believers by the letter of the law and justify our own sins we view as smaller. In other words, we are partial, showing ourselves favoritism and grace while placing others under the letter of the law. This is exactly what James was speaking against in the second chapter of James when he compared adultery and murder with favoritism and partiality. One sin makes you guilty of all and brings the curse upon anyone under the law. Do you remember the woman caught in adultery? Jesus did not say, he who has not committed adultery can cast the first stone. Jesus said, he who is without sin, can cast the first stone.
We Have a Choice
We can choose to set our hope on being right with God by grace plus the law and come under the curse of the law, or by faith in Christ alone where no one can judge those God has justified. The option to choose both is not an option offered in scripture.
"Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope” John 5:45 NAS
Law and grace do not mix; we must choose one or the other because even a leaven of the law nullifies grace. Grace and works are a contradiction and truth never contradicts itself.
Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Gal 3:24-26 NAS
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. Rom 6:14 KJV
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Eph 2:8-9 NAS
For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith. Rom 4:13 NAS
A Christians Foundational Teaching – Repentance from the Dead Work of Law Keeping for Our Righteousness before God
Did you know that the Bible never tells us to repent of our sins to be saved? Just Google it and you will see. But Hebrews clearly states that it is a foundational teaching to repent of the dead work, the old way, of trying to be right with God through the law. In New Testament Greek, repentance means to change your mind. When Jesus said, repent and believe, He was saying change your mind from unbelief to belief in Me. Repentance, changing our mind, from the dead work of law keeping for our righteousness before God is tied together with Jesus setting us free from the curse of the law.
Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, Heb 6:1 NAS
In Hebrews 6:1, God is saying, repent - change your mind about trying to be right with Me by works, salvation is solely by grace through faith alone. It is not by works, or a combination of works and grace or man could boast.
If we add the law to grace to be right with God, we are telling God we do not believe salvation is a free gift. See all the verse here that tell us salvation is a free gift.
The Law of Faith
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. Rom 10:4 NAS
But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.
Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law. Rom 3:21-31 NAS
And whatever is not from faith is sin. Rom 14:23s NAS
However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, "HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM." Gal 3:12 NAS
What does Paul mean, we establish the law by faith?
Unbelievers who know nothing about salvation by grace, and believers who have added the law to grace, have something in common. They think they can keep God’s law, but they always water it down to a level where they claim to be obeying God. They may even claim they keep all of God’s laws, thus honoring God and His law. But just like the Pharisee who stood at the altar with the tax collector, they show themselves favoritism and partiality by justifying the sins they have compared to the sins of others.
What the unbeliever is ignorant too and the believer forgets is how James compares murder and adultery as being no different than the favoritism and partiality they are showing themselves. They also forget how Jesus elevated the law, saying hate was murder and lust was adultery. They ignore the fact that if a person is under the law, breaking one law puts them under the curse just as much as breaking a million laws. The wage of sin is death, and since we can only die one time, just one sin will do it.
Believers who think the law still applies for salvation, always compare their sins to others and justify themselves. This never works in God’s system and leaves them without understanding.
For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding. 2 Cor 10:12 NAS
On the other hand, the person who responds to God as the tax collector did at the altar, Luke 18:9-14, comes to God in complete faith, like a follower of Christ for His righteousness is called to do. We do not water down the law but recognize it at its highest standard in thought, word, and deed. We see we cannot make it over the high bar of the law and thus cry out to God for help. In doing so, we honor God and His law just as it is, as holy, just and good. It is God Himself who justifies us and lifts us in Christ over the high bar of His law.
God Sees us as Dead, Freed and Released from the Law’s Dominion
The following verses tell us when we were crucified on the cross with Christ; the Old Creation passed away, it’s dead, freed and released from the law and the curse. This is talking about the entire Old Covenant law that brings condemnation and death, including the Ten Commandments and two are mentioned in these verses. We now serve in newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. The flesh was under the dominion of the letter of the law. The New Creation is under the dominion of the Spirit.
Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man. Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter. Rom 7:1-6 NAS
Apart from the Law, Under Grace and in Christ, there is No Curse, No Condemnation
The law of the Spirit of life in Christ has set us free from the curse that the law of sin and death brought upon us. In Christ, we are no longer under the Old Covenant law of Moses. We are under the law of Spirit and life in Christ. God sees us in the New Creation He has made. He tells us the Old Creation, the flesh, has passed away, crucified on the cross with Christ. God does not see us in the Old Creation that is dead. He sees us in the Spirit, in Christ and He calls us to renew our minds to this truth so we can walk in the Spirit, in the New Creation and not in the flesh.
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Rom 8:1-4 ESV
Don’t Believe Satan’s Lie; We Do Not Need the Law of Moses to Stop Sin
If you have placed your faith in Christ, do you really think you need the law of Moses to keep you in line? Don’t you think you can do that apart from the law? I guarantee you that you can. God would not set you apart from the law under grace if He thought otherwise.
Satan tries to deceive us into thinking that grace alone will lead us to fall from grace and deep into sin. He wants us to think we are still under the law and under the curse like he deceived the Galatians. He does not tell us to abandon faith in Christ because we would reject that obvious lie. Instead, he just tells us to add the law to grace. We have reviewed how this makes grace of no effect. This is why Satan wants us to add the law. It is adding the law leads us to fall from grace, not sin.
It is obvious why the enemy would want us to believe his lie, to believe our sin debt was not paid in full. But when Jesus knew all things had been “accomplished” and said “It is Finished” on the cross. He used the same Greek word for both, accomplished and finished and Jesus words defeat Satan’s lie. These two times are the only times this word is used in the New Testament. The word is an accounting term that means the debt is paid in full. Jesus was talking about our sin debt. See the Greek here.
After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, "I am thirsty." John 19:28 NAS
Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. John 19:30 NAS
Let me ask you something, Christian. Is diving into sin what you want to do? I am sure it is not. When I look around the many churches I have attended, I do not see people who are looking for a way into sin, I see people looking for a way out of sin but may be trapped in sin. Almost always, these people have incorrectly turned to the law, fallen from grace like we just read and placed themselves back under the curse. They have tried to perfect the flesh by the flesh, which Paul states is impossible, read Gal 3. But God knows, they did turn to the law with a sincere heart, wanting out of sin. The issue here is that the enemy has deceived them.
Have You Repented from the Dead Work of Law Keeping for Righteousness?
As discussed, it is a foundational teaching for believers to repent, change our mind about trying to be right with God through the dead work of the law. This applies before we come to Christ and does not change after we come to Christ. Salvation is by grace through faith in Christ alone.
Have you repented of the dead work of trying to be right with God through law-keeping? From that point forward, we walk totally by faith in God’s promises. When we do, we experience the love of God that constrains us from sin and compels us to do the right thing.
For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 2 Cor 5:14 NAS
Perfect Love Has Cast Out All Fear
We never read where Paul pulled out a copy of the Ten Commandments and said keep these or God will punish you and take away your salvation. Ninety-five percent of the time, Paul would say, “Don’t you know…..” He would finish it with; you will judge angels, you are an heir with Christ, you are God’s child, you have inherited eternal life and so on. He was helping the early church renew their mind to the truth of who they were in Christ, the new creation God has made. He never pulled out the law and said we need to review the commandments because you are screwing up.
Does God want us to sin because we are no longer under the dominion of the law? NO. But we do not need the law to stop sin. Jesus is our Master now, not Moses and the law. Did Paul ever put a person who was living in outrageous sin out of the fellowship for a period of time? Yes, sin will enliven the flesh of others and spread, and as I said, God does not want us to be tangled up in sin. We are called to love one another over and over again in scripture. Love is the only thing that fulfills the law and it does so by default. When we are firmly established in God’s love for us, we can love others as He loves us and we do not need to even think about the letter of the law.
Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Rom 13:8-10 NAS
We Walk in the Spirit, Not by the Letter
Just think of an apartment in a very tall building. We walk out on the patio and the railing is there to prevent us from falling off. The railing protects us. Now, think of the railing as the Ten Commandments. Before we come to Christ, we are in the flesh and we need the railing. But after we come to Christ, we are in the Spirit and the railing has been removed. The veil that separated us from God, torn in two. Close your eyes and picture yourself on that patio one hundred stories up with no railing. Do you feel that energy, your flesh calls the fear of death? In Christ, you have been set free from the fear of death.
Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. Hebrews 2:14-15 NAS
That energy is the life-giving power of God Himself, who dwells within the Holy of Holies. Before Christ, we were afraid of death because we intuitively knew we were guilty and would need to stand before God. Now we are free from that fear. Can you imagine how your life would change if you could harness that energy you used to see as fear? In the flesh, we could not go past the veil and approach God. But in the Spirit, the veil created by the law has been removed, in Christ, as Jesus is, so are we. Perfect love has cast out all fear. We can safely approach God now and walk in His power, grace and peace.
Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. 1 John 4:15-19 NAS
Close your eyes and imagine yourself walking into the Holy of Holies, do you see Jesus and the Father? Do you sense the immense power he has for our life? Embrace the power of the gospel by removing the law and its curse from your minds and thoughts and walking totally in the Spirit by faith. He is a rewarder of those who seek Him by faith. I encourage you to watch this powerful six-minute video of walking into the Holy of Holies.
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Heb 11:6 NAS
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH." Rom 1:17 NAS
We have overcome the evil one by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.
"And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.” Rev 12:11 NAS
God will never erase our name from the book of life.
'He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” Rev 3:5 NAS
Go upholds us with His righteous right hand. We have God’s very own righteousness in Christ. No weapon formed against us shall prosper, God is for us, who can be against us.
'Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.' Isa 41:10 NAS
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD. Isa 54:17 KJV
When we Fail, His Abundant Grace is Sufficient
We have read in this study that it was the weakness of man’s ability to keep the law in thought, word and deed that brought the curse of the law upon man after just one sin. Under grace, in the New Covenant, it says that we can go boldly to the throne of grace in our time of weakness, sin. Keeping in that context, I believe the weakness Satan tried to exploit in Paul, was some form of sin in thought, word or deed. Like Paul, when you do see yourself fail due to the weakness of your flesh, I know that your initial wish is as Paul’s was, God, take this desire away from me. But as God said to Paul when he was weak, He says to us:
And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 2 Cor 12:9 NAS
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? Rom 8:31 NAS
The New Covenant - God made us a new creation in Christ and Jesus shed His blood and died to inaugurate the New Covenant of grace and truth – Luke 22:20, for God’s new creation. The New Covenant completely replaced the Old Covenant law of Moses – read the entire book of Hebrews to learn about the New Covenant.
Stop seeing and thinking that you are still a caterpillar and see yourself as a butterfly. There is no way that the caterpillar can make itself into a butterfly by its own efforts. God transforms the caterpillar through a process called metamorphosis and it is born-again a butterfly. Like the caterpillar transforms into a butterfly, without effort, through metamorphosis. The Bible explains our transformation process into the image of Christ using the same word, metamorphosis.
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed/metamorphosisinto the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. 2 Cor 3:18 NAS
The word transformed is defined as metamorphosis in 2 Cor 3:18. Greek translation here.
Before we come to Christ, we look into God's word, the mirror, and we see the law and how far we fall short. After we come to Christ we see Jesus perfection in that mirror as our reflection in the Spirit. Renew your mind to the truth. See yourself as Jesus is, so are you in this world.
By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. 1 John 4:17 NAS
Many more New Covenant Bible Studies HERE. Jesus poured out His blood for the New Covenant of grace and truth, replacing the Old Covenant law of Moses. Believers are exclusively under the New Covenant, the last will and testament of Jesus that began after the cross.
And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. Luke 22:20