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Romans 6:14


Darlene

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Heavenly Father,

 

I'm not quite sure what to say this morning in prayer...it's as if I just don't have any words. As I sit here though, I feel the desire to just be in Your presence without words.

 

"Be still and know that I am God", comes to mind.

 

May Your will, and not mine or ours, be done in each of our lives.

 

In Jesus Name,

 

 

14. For sin shall not have lordship over you. For you are not under law, but, on the contrary, under grace.

 

Watchman Nee comments on a few words within the 14th verse...

 

'lord (lordship)': "Sin, here personified, lords it over us through the lusts of our body (v. 12)."

 

'For you are': "That we are not under the law but under grace is the reason sin cannot lord it over us. This gives us the position to reject sin. Sin no longer has any right to make claims upon us, but we have thefull right to reject sin and its power. By rejecting sin and taking sides with the resurrected Christ, we present ourselves and our members as slaves to righteousness that the divine life may work within us to sanctify us, not only positionally but also dispositionally, with the holy nature of God."

 

'not under the law': "This does not make us lawless, as some were during the time of the church's degradation (Jude 4). The law referred to in this verse is the law given by Moses, which has been replaced by the inward laws in the new covenant (Heb. 10:16). Just as chs. 5 and 6 explain that we are now under grace, chs. 7 and 8 explain how it can be that we are not under the law."

 

The rvbv writes, "Note the two "fors." The first "for" announces the Divine decree that sin's lordship over us shall be ended. The second reveals the happy condition of things in which such a release is possible: we are not under the legal principle, - which first demanded duty, and then offered blessing; but we are under the grace principle, - which confers blessing first, and, behold, fruits follow!

 

It is deeply significant here that even to us, new creatures in Christ, and recipients of the Holy Spirit, it is definitely announced to us that we are not under law, - else bondage and helplessness would still be our lot. Note, God does not say we are not under the Law, - the Mosaic Law: (Gentiles never were!) But, God says we are not under law, - under the legal principle. In the opening part of Chapter Seve, Paul will show the Jewish believers, (who had been under law), that only death could release them from their legal obligation; and that they had been made dead to the Law, through being identified with Christ in His death.

 

Only when we believe that our history in Adam, with all its responsibilities and demands to produce righteousness, ended at the cross, shall we find ourselves completely free to enjoy these words of heavenly comfort - UNDER GRACE! (Many honest souls cannot believe that obedience to God can be secured in any other way than by law. They say, "Set a man completely at liberty, and you cannot control him." But consider:

 

1. No human being has ever been really controlled by the principle of law. Israel, whom God placed under law, and that "with marvelous and glorious manifestations of His own presence and authoirty," immediately renounced the obedience which they had promised.

 

2. Consider the relationship of a bride and a bridegroom: it is one of love, and delighted seeking of mutual benefit. It is not a relationship of enactments of law at all. The husband does not go about the house tacking up rules for the wife to "observe": and upon the observance of which the relationship shall continue! Such rules are for servants! Yet, you find the wife eagerly asking the husband what he would like for dinner, and how, in any other way, she can make him comfortable and pleased. And all this arises from the principle of love, not law!

 

3. Now God declares, and that repeatedly, that we have been removed from under the principle of law "in Christ's death." And now, being under grace, we bring forth "fruit to God." We serve in "newness of the spirit": which can only mean that, (like the wife thrilled with delight at the prospect of pleasing her husband), the very spirit of service, which is personal devotion, animates the believer.

 

4. But we really have no hope of any person's willingness or ability to see the power of this newness-of-spirit plan, this love-plan of God's, until such a one has seen and believed that he died with Christ, - that he was so bad that his entire "old man" was sent to the cross to be crucified; so that now he is married to Another, to Him that was raised from the dead, that he may bring forth fruit unto God.

 

That God can be a Savior-God and not be a Law-giver, is beyond the reach of the human mind to conceive, and is to be received by faith alone. That in those not under law is brought about all - and much more! than the Law demands, is foolishness to all but faith!)

 

Study carefully the contrast between Romans 6:14 and I Corinthians 9:21. Paul declares in the former passage, "We are not under law." The Greek here is, hupo nomon. This expression evidently indicates placing one under external enactments - under that principle. Now in I Corinthians 9:21, Paul, in describing his ministry to souls, says, "To those without law (anomois), I became as without law (anomos), not at all being without law Godward, but, on the contrary, en-lawed (ennomos) to Christ," - as the members of a body to the head, controlled naturally by the one spirit and will.

 

There is every possible difference between the two, - between being "under law," and "en-lawed." Israel under law, placed under the Law at Sinai, with a veil between them and God, had to think of their behavior, in all its details, as affecting their relationship to God. The Law was "written on tables," by the hand of Divine authority. It was external to them: there was no union between them and Jehovah; nor was the Holy Spirit within them (although He was upon certain of them, for certain service, at certain times).

 

But, with us, all is different. We are in Christ, members of Christ. The Spirit of God's Son, also has been sent forth into our hearts, crying, "Abba, Father!" We are "no longer bondservants but adult sons" (Gal. 4:4-7). Our relationship is settled. (Seven things believers enter into since the cross, and the coming of the Holy Spirit that were not true of believers before, may be stated here:

 

1. Sin has been put away on the cross. (It had been only "covered" year by year before that.)

2. Our old man has been crucified with Christ, - opening the way for complete deliverance from the power of sin, by the indwelling Spirit.

3. Christ has been glorified (Acts 1:3; John 7:39).

4. The Holy Spirit has been given, at Pentecost, dispensationally; and upon hearing and believing the gospel, individual believers are hereafter sealed by this "Holy Spirit of promise" (Eph. 1:13); who witnesses in them, as "the Spirit of God's Son," their adult sonship.

5. God began at Pentecost to create "new creatures in Christ Jesus" (II Cor. 5:17): "a kind of first-fruits of His creatures" (James 1:18). Christ, the First-born from among the dead, is the Head of this new creation.

6. Believers were, at Pentecost and thereafter, "baptized into one Body," the Body of Christ, - becoming members of Christ and members one of another, a marvelous thing and a new!

7. After Pentecost the "house of God" was not at Jerusalem, but "in the midst" with believers anywhere, - even of twos or threes gathered in Christ's Name: for there He Himself is (Matt. 8:19,20); and there the Holy Spirit is (I Cor. 3:16; Eph. 2:21,22).)

 

"Walking by the Spirit," who indwells us, takes for us today the place that observing the things written in the Law had with Israel. "Being dead to the Law, and discharged therefrom," says Paul, "we bring forth fruit unto God"; "We serve in newness of spirit and not in oldness of letter" (7:4,6).

 

When Paul says (as above) in I Corinthians that he was "en-lawed to Christ," the Greek word ennomos signifies that blessed control by the Holy Spirit proceeding from Christ as the Head, which corresponds to the control of our natural bodies by our physical heads. This, of course, is the very opposite of being "under law" in the sense of verse 14. To speak of a believer's being "under the Law to Christ," would be no more true, than to say that your hand has a set of external rules by which it obeys your head and seeks to render itself pleasing to you! No, your hand is en-lawed to your head, in that it is one with your head; your spirit dwells in every member of your body, and the head intelligently directs every member.

 

I am more and more inclined to the belief that in order to a consistent interpretation of the New Testament, we must scrupulously regard Israel only as having been placed under The Law, though doubtless all men have moral responsibility. See Paul regarding this below:

 

"We [Jewish Old Testament saints, contrasted with Gentile believers] were kept under the Law...The Law was our tutor to lead us unto Christ - to be justified by faith. But now that faith is come, we [Hebrew believers] are no longer under a tutor" (Gal.3:23,24).

"Ye are severed from Christ, ye who would be justified by the Law; ye are fallen away from grace" (Gal. 5:4).

"If ye are led by the Spirit, YE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW"! (Gal. 5:18).

"Christ abolished in His flesh the enmity [between Jew and Gentile], the Law of commandments contained in ordinances" (Eph. 2:15).

"...For there is a disannulling of a foregoing commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness, (for The Law MADE NOTHING PERFECT), AND A BRINGING IN THEREBY OF A better HOPE, through which we draw nigh unto God" (Heb. 7:12,14,18,19).

 

Whether then it be the Jew under the law, or the race of Adam under conscience, the freedom that is in Christ means deliverance from trying to "be good" to be accepted of God. Sinners are accepted freely on account of Christ's sacrifice, and placed in Him Risen. For such, therefore, as are in Christ, the walk is one of rejoicing faith, - appropriating Christ, - and nothing else. The Law of Moses has nothing to say to a believer! We know the legalists and the pretenders to human righteousness will cry out at this. But God says about the Law two things that cannot be escaped:

 

First, that the Gentiles were not under Moses' Law, that Law having never been given to them, but to Israel only.

 

And, second, that God, who gave to Israel the "foregoing commandment" - the Law - has "disannulled" the same, and brought in by another way, even simple faith in Christ, "a better hope," through which alone all believers, Jew or Gentile, "draw nigh to God" (Heb. 7:18,19).

 

Not behaving, but believing, is God's way: behaving follows believing!

 

I know that true faith is a living thing, and has two feet, and will walk; but it will be "walking in works" - not working in works! - "Good works that God afore prepared." Walking by faith in "prepared" works; discovering in this walk of faith, the beautiful will of God day by day; treading this fresh and living path, is the believer's great secret! The children of Abraham will follow their father in walking by faith!

 

The believer is not under law, not under external enactments, not under conditions; but he has already an eternal standing in grace, - that is, in already secured Divine favor, by a sovereign act of God; which has not only reckoned to him Christ's atoning work, but has placed him fully in the place of Christ's present acceptance with God!

 

The believer today is neither in the Old Testament with the Patriarchs, nor with Israel at Sinai; nor walking with the disciples during our Lord's earthly life and kingdom ministry! The believer lives now after the cross, and in the full right and power of all that Christ did there. God gave Israel at Sinai a Law, - a holy, just and good Law, but they kept it not. The Lord Jesus when on earth said to His disciples, "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me"; but they all failed and fled. Why? Man was still under testing. The cross ended that; revealing, as it did, utter wickedness in man; and, also, complete weakness in the disciples, - in God's saints!

 

Then what? Christ is raised from the dead through the glory of the Father: that we may walk in newness of life. Not only are our sins forever put away by His blood, but we ourselves find our history in Adam over, we being dead with Christ, crucified with Him.

 

Then the Holy Spirit is given at Pentecost as the power of this new, heavenly walk. Men were then, for the first time, transferred into the Risen Christ. They shared His risen life; for they had been identified with Him as an Adam, a federal man, in His death, at the cross; and were now placed by God in Christ Risen: yea, they were "created," now, in Him; and even made members of His Body, - which, of course, is an additional favor, based on their identification with Him, as an Adam, at the cross.

 

Now Paul could say, in triumph, "I through law died to law!" "I have not [desired not] the righteousness of law; yet I know nothing against myself." "Thanks be to God, who always leadeth us in triumph in Christ"; "For me to live is Christ"; "Thanks be to God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." And he could say this right in the teeth of sin, and of the Law which gave sin its power! (I Cor. 15:56-57). Both sin and the Law had passed away for Paul, at the cross, as victors over him!

 

Yet alas, most believers are not walking on the resurrection side of the cross, and by the "new creation rule" of Galatians 6:14,15: "Far be it from me to glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world hath been crucified unto me, and I unto the world. For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And as many as shall walk by this rule, peace be upon them, and mercy!"

 

If you had been in heaven fifty years, and were then sent down by God to earth to live and witness for fifty years, then to be taken back to Heaven: - how would you live? Would you fall under daily doubt as to whether you should count yourself as belonging to Heaven? Would you not, rather be a constant witness, both in walk and word, that you really belonged in and to Heaven?

 

Now God says He has "made us alive together with Christ and raised us up with Him, and made us to sit with Him in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:5,6). Are you going to try to add to that glorious heavenly calling the Law, - that was given to Israel down here on earth to make them know their sin? A Law under which God says you are NOT? May God forbid such folly in any of us! For we all tend toward it.

 

May Colossians 1:5 and 6 be fulfilled in us all: "The word of the truth of the good news which is come unto you; even as it is also in all the world bearing fruit and increasing, as it doth in you also, - since the day ye heard and knew THE GRACE OF GOD IN TRUTH"!

 

 

Heavenly Father,

 

Today's study, for me, was a very powerful study. There were several things said above that have hacked away at the "house of my understanding thus far", breaking holes that have let Your pure, clean, powerful, peaceful light, come into.

 

You are such a holy God, a merciful God, a compassionate God, a complete God.

 

Where there is continued confusion, I ask that You would release Your clarity over my mind and heart. You've brought me thus far, and I trust You will see me home.

 

And this morning Father, I take my 4 children and lift them up before You, placing them into Your hands, asking that Your perfect will, will be done in each of their lives. I'm only human, but You are God, so I just ask that You will open their spiritual eyes, that they might see in their mind and in their hearts and souls, Your truth.

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

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