Grace vs. Law: Why Understanding the Difference Changes Everything

9 May, 2023

Grace vs. Law: Why Understanding the Difference Changes Everything

Every believer should be an expert in the new covenant of grace and what it entails. This is because we are no longer under the old covenant of the law but under the new covenant of grace, which many believers fail to understand fully.

Knowing Jesus and understanding His grace is vital to a believer’s victorious life. Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ, and the two are forever linked together.

In Romans 5, the apostle Paul talks about how sin entered the world through one man’s disobedience, but many will be made righteous through one man’s obedience (Jesus). We have been given the free gift of righteousness, which means we have right standing with God, and our sins have been taken away. The law of Moses was given to show us that we needed a savior because we could not keep God’s righteous standard on our own. It was our tutor to teach us.

Understanding the new covenant of grace and its operation is crucial to living a victorious life. We need to know Jesus and His grace, which are forever linked together. So, let’s dive deep into Romans 6 and learn what living under the new covenant of grace means.

The Bible says if the old covenant were perfect, there’d be no need for a new one. The new covenant is different. The new covenant is the covenant of grace.

You no longer endeavor to be approved unto God based on your behavior. You are already approved unto God forever based on what Jesus has done.

That’s like the fundamentals of grace. We must carry this in our spirit daily and remind ourselves of it every day.

As sin reigned in death, even so, grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The apostle Paul was the great apostle of grace, and he brought a revelation of grace that the world had never seen before. This canopy of grace, bought and ratified with Jesus’ blood, is something no global religion, philosophy, or school of thought has ever had.

However, it’s important to note that grace is not a license to sin. When sin abounds, grace superabounds, but we should not continue in sin just to get more grace.

Paul begins Romans 6 by asking a question that every believer has had: “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” The answer is certainly not, which means perish the thought or God forbid. We died to sin when Jesus died on the cross, and our sinful nature died with Him. When we got saved, we appropriated this past tense fact by faith.

One of the foundations of the gospel of grace is that we died with Jesus. Our old nature, our sin nature, died with Him on the cross, and we were united together with Him in the likeness of His death and resurrection.

We’re not trying to accomplish this; it has already happened. Our old man was crucified with Him, and the body of sin might be eliminated, so we should no longer be slaves of sin.

God has called us to holiness, and our freedom and life in Jesus can only be fully experienced when we understand grace’s depth and what it means for us.

Sin is an addiction

It can make you sick and kill you. It can crush your dreams and rob you of ambition. Fortunately, Jesus offers freedom from this kind of bondage. The problem is that we are usually taught the wrong way to achieve this freedom.

We are often told to get our act together and use our willpower and self-discipline to overcome addiction. But this is the old covenant of God’s law. Under the new covenant of God’s grace, we yield to the truth that we have already been crucified with Christ. This means He lives His life through us, producing genuine holiness from the inside out. It’s not about following a set of rules and trying to modify our behavior through sheer effort.

Walking in the Spirit means living under the new covenant of His grace. It’s not about religious bondage and constantly trying to repent for our sins. Instead, it’s about yielding to the Holy Spirit and considering our old nature as crucified with Christ by faith. From the inside out, Jesus gives us heart transformation instead of behavior modification. This produces true holiness and freedom, not the religious garbage and pride from trying to do it ourselves.

It’s incredible how humans are born legalists at heart, trying to follow the law to earn approval and avoid punishment. Even young children will think this way if they are not saturated in the gospel of grace. But the truth is that God disciplines us as a loving Father, using His Word and gentle nudges from the Holy Spirit to guide us toward holiness.

We don’t need to fear punishment or see God as an abusive authority figure. Instead, we can trust His love and compassion as we yield to His grace and walk in the Spirit.

In Romans 8:6-7 we read, “knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin.”

Christians sometimes find themselves in bondage to sin or in a pattern of sin. It’s why some forsake the Lord or they stop coming to church. They don’t know how to break free from sin and are constantly under shame and guilt.

They just feel like, “Lord, I keep disappointing you. What’s the point of even trying so they quit following Jesus?” That’s not God’s will. So, how does one break the cycle of sin? How does one progress in holiness?

Again, it’s not through sweating. It’s not through laboring. It’s not from trying hard. It’s not from coming up to the altar, beating it, and wailing.

So what is the answer?

The answer is in believing that your sinful nature was crucified with Jesus.

When you feel the world’s pull, you stop and say, “Father, I thank you that in Jesus, my sinful nature has been crucified. I put it down that it’s so. I reckon myself dead indeed to sin.”

And you say that again and again. Even if you fall, repeat it, and you will believe it all the more. You won’t give in to that satanic voice that says you’re a failure, you’re a loser,
and God doesn’t love you anymore.

You appropriate the word of God and believe in your heart that even if you fail, the Lord is working out holiness in you.

Justification and Sanctification

What’s the difference between justification and sanctification?

When you believe in Jesus and trust in the righteousness of Christ, you’re pronounced justified.
That means the gavel has dropped, and you are declared not guilty. And that happens by faith.

You don’t have to work for it. You don’t have to earn it.

But then there’s this other process called sanctification.

That’s the process of you being made holy and changing your behavior. And that’s often presented as really, really dependent on you.
We’ve heard that salvation is free, but discipleship will cost you everything you have.

That’s a half-truth. The gospel truth is that sanctification is just as much as justification is by faith. You don’t have to keep beating your head against the wall.

If you’ve been struggling in sin, your most significant problem is nobody told you you died. You need to put it down. You need to celebrate that. Picture Jesus walking this earth, never sinning.

Picture the beauty that even before you were born, God knew you. God, outside of time, knew.
And he saw you in Jesus. And when Jesus went to the cross, he saw you. And your old nature, your sin nature, died there with him.

Responding To Temptation

You might say, that sounds wonderful, but why do I still get tempted? Why do I still want to do what’s wrong if my sin nature was crucified with him? Why do I think the things I think?

Great question. Because the Bible says that your mind hasn’t been saved yet.

Your mind is in the process of being saved. And that’s why we’re called to renew our minds.
Paul said the renewing of your mind transforms you. He also said to be transformed in the spirit of your mind. If your mind has been in the world and your mind has feasted on the lies of this world, it will want to do wrong.

And don’t you feel condemned about that? But that’s when you need to recite the gospel truths.
So don’t be embarrassed or condemned by thoughts you may have, but go back to the reality of the gospel. I have been crucified with Christ. My sin nature died there.

And allow the word of God to renew your mind.

Christianity is not a giant battlefield where you’re waging war against sin.
That’s how religion presents it, and nothing is appetizing about that.
It’s just not the gospel.

Christianity is about a vibrant, living relationship with Jesus. And because of what he’s done, you get to be free from death. You get to be free from sin. You get to not have that.

Sin will bring destruction to your life. And you get to be free from that.

Yield and let God be God, the Lord be the Lord, and let the Holy Spirit come and live through you.

Will you fall? Yeah. Will you stumble sometimes? Yes.

But grace will empower you more and more against sin and failure over time. It will have an
outworking as long as you keep clinging to Jesus and do not lose the mental fight of disgust with yourself.

God’s love is amazing and wonderful. We are called to be dead to sin and alive in Jesus. We have been given new life through Him, and it’s essential to understand what that means. We must avoid letting sin reign in our bodies, which means not giving our members access to sinful things.

Sin should not have dominion over us because we are under grace, not under the law. When we understand grace and His blood, sin loses its power over us. We are no longer slaves to sin but rather slaves of righteousness.

It’s important to understand that different sins have different strengths and consequences. Some sins may dissipate quickly through grace, while others may take time to overcome. However, we must remember that our sin nature is dead, and we are loved and accepted no matter what. God is not disappointed in us; we should not be disappointed in ourselves. When tempted, we can remind ourselves that we are slaves of righteousness.

It’s important to note that grace is often misunderstood. It’s not just a free pass to continue sinning, but rather a new system where sin loses its power over us. It’s about understanding His grace and allowing it to transform us from the inside out. We must be mindful of our spiritual posture and present ourselves as slaves of obedience leading to righteousness.

When we live in this way, sin loses its power, and we can live in the freedom and grace of Jesus.

The War Has Already Been Won

The only battle that remains is in the arena of faith. As believers, we should walk with God and not be discouraged when we fall, but instead, get back up and press forward in our journey with the Lord. God will have His way in believers’ lives, taking them from glory to glory and improving them. Even though they may not be where they need to be, they should be thankful that they are not where they used to be.

God’s word says that people will be a slave to something, either sin or righteousness.

Believers should choose to be a servant of God and walk in His grace. Sin will not have dominion over them because they are under grace and have been set free from sin. It is important to confess this truth out loud, even in the midst of temptation or struggle. Believers can proclaim that their sin nature has been crucified with Christ and set free from sin. They can repeatedly believe and say this truth, even when it’s ugly or difficult.

In conclusion, believers should present their members as slaves of righteousness for holiness and walk in faith. They should ask themselves what fruit they had in their old ways of sin and remember that death is the end of those things. The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, and Christians should be thankful for that. Believers can confess based on the truth of God’s word and trust that God is working in their lives.

Gospel of Grace Confession

Say this out loud. In the name of Jesus, I have been delivered from sin. My old sin nature was crucified with Jesus. I am under grace. The Bible says sin shall not have dominion over me.
Because I’m not under the law, I’m under grace. Jesus loves me, he accepts me, and he calls me approved. He’s changing me. I’m no longer a slave of sin but a slave of righteousness. Amen.

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