The Grace Life: The Lost Doctrine of the Church

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The Grace Life:

The Lost Doctrine of the Church

The life of grace is something that very few Christians, in my opinion, know very little about because so many of the churches today teach the law as the rule of the Christians life.

The teachers that put Christians under the law as a rule of life believe that this is the means to produce godliness and to keep Christians from sinning.

Their motives may be good however, their methods are un-Scriptural and we are given ample warning against these kinds of teachers in the New Testament.

1Ti 1:5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,
1Ti 1:6 from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk,
1Ti 1:7 desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.

Gal 6:12 As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
Gal 6:13 For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.

Purpose: To learn from Scripture alone that the entire Law of Moses was done away in Christ death and that we are under a new means to produce godliness which is by the filling of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God alone by grace alone through faith alone.

Text: Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

1. Anyone who teaches that grace is the rule of life and not law will be accused of encouraging Christians to sin.

The law teachers accused Paul of being lawless.

Rom 3:8 And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”?—as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.

Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?
Rom 6:2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

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

Gal 2:16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus,
that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
Gal 2:17 “But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not!

Gal 5:13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

2. What was the purpose of the Law?

a. To define sin and to reveal sin as sin.

Rom 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law.
For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “YOU SHALL NOT COVET.”

b. To provoke us to sin.

Rom 5:20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,

Rom 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death.
Rom 7:8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead.

Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

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

c. To be our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ.

Gal 3:22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
Gal 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.
Gal 3:24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Gal 3:25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

3. What the Law cannot do!

Produce salvation

Gal 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life,
truly righteousness would have been by the law.

Gal 3:11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”
Gal 3:12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “THE MAN WHO DOES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM.”
Gal 3:13 Christ has 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”),
Gal 3:14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise
of the Spirit through faith.

Produce the Christian life

Gal 3:3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?

Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son
in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,
Rom 8:4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh
but according to the Spirit.

Heb 7:18 For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness,
Heb 7:19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw
near to God.
Gal 5:16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
Gal 5:17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you
do not do the things that you wish.
Gal 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

4. How can a Christian who wants to obey God and live godly be released from the Law?

Rom 7:1 Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives?
Rom 7:2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies,
she is released from the law of her husband.
Rom 7:3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies,
she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.
Rom 7:4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to
another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.
Rom 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death.
Rom 7:6 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.

Col 2:14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us.
And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

Col 2:17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.


Paul states a principle in 1 Corinthians 9 (noted by Ironside), that starts us on a road of understanding the life under grace.

Under grace we are not lawless or without law.

Verse 21 states, “to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ).”

The words “under law toward Christ” are literally enlawed to Christ.

Christ established a New Covenant in His blood.

He is the new Moses and certainly has established enough commands and guidelines in the New Covenant to help us live and grow.

Jesus is our law and lawgiver.

The New Covenant is our Declaration of Independence and that covenant comes with motivating and enabling power of grace.

Former professor of Greek at Dallas Theological Seminary, Charles Ryrie, elaborates on being enlawed to Christ:

“This does not mean that there is no law in this age of grace. Quite the contrary is true, for the New Testament Epistles

speak of the ‘perfect law of liberty’ (Jas. 1:25), the ‘royal law’ (Jas. 2:8), the ‘law of Christ’ (Gal. 6:2),

nd the ‘law of the spirit of life’ (Rom. 8:2). It is the commands contained in these Epistles which compose the law of Christ,

and it will be recognized immediately that there are hundreds of such commands covering every area of Christian living.

Not only are these teachings extensive but they are so definite that they may be termed a law.”18

As believers we are enlawed to Christ.

We are given grace and the Holy Spirit to empower and motivate us to respond lovingly and willingly to His New Covenant laws.

This incredible provision of grace “teaches us that denying ungodliness and world lusts we should live soberly, righteously

and godly in this present world” (Titus 2:12).

We are disciplined by grace if we are responding correctly to the New Covenant and to the Holy Spirit.

Grace is our teacher (Greek: paideuo), our trainer and our instructor. We now obey our new instructor because we want to.

In interpreting Titus 2:12, author John Strombeck writes:

“The truth that the grace of God, the very same grace which brings salvation, also teaches those who are saved how to live pleasing unto God,

seems to have been entirely overlooked by many. …

Even among those who accept grace as the only means of salvation, exclusive of any works or merit on the part of man,

there is regrettable neglect of emphasis on the fact that the spiritual life can be sustained, developed,

and brought to perfection only by the operation of the same grace. Growth in spiritual life comes only by the grace of God.

Peter admonished, ‘Grow in grace’ (2 Pet. 3:18). … All impartation of spiritual truth, all instruction, all reproof, all admonition,

all exhortation, and all chastening are elements of the discipline by grace. ….

To reject the law as a teacher is not to say that there are no standards set for Christian conduct.

Grace also sets standards but these are on a much higher plane. T

hose of the law are on a high human plane; those of grace on a divine plane.

Furthermore, grace supplies that which is needed to live according to these ideals.”19

Consider these other verses that tell us about life under grace:

• 1 Corinthians 15:10 — “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain;

but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”

• 2 Corinthians 9:8 — “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things,

may abound to every good work.”

• 2 Timothy 2:1 — “Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”

• Hebrews 12:28 — “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace,

whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.”

• Hebrews 13:9 — “Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines.

For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace.”


There are many positive and negative precepts all over the pages of the New Testament.

Paul calls his teachings, “the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37).

With precepts and principles, filled and motivated with empowerment and grace, the Christian is not lawless and not slavishly legalistic.

Grace and the indwelling Spirit give us the “want to” and the New Testament gives us the “how to!” We now have the means and the directions.

John Reisinger in his book, But I Say Unto You, …, explains it this way:

“This whole subject is as clear as crystal the moment we see that Christ established a New Covenant that replaces the Old Covenant,

and that the New Covenant brings with it new and higher laws of conduct that are based entirely on grace.

These new laws are just as objective as any law under the Old Covenant. These objective commands can demand a kind of behavior

that Moses could never demand simply because these new laws are based on the truth and power of grace.”28

In Romans 6:14, Paul states that as believers we are “no longer under law but under grace.”

This clearly teaches that law, as either a saving principle or a sanctifying principle, is not our reference point.

Some wrongly misinterpret this and have us believe that it says “you are not under the law for salvation but are under the law for sanctification.”

This is to misuse Scripture and ignore the context.

Paul is addressing Christians and the topic is their continuing growth right up to glorification in Chapter 8.

Scottish scholar F.F. Bruce, in his The Epistle of Paul To The Romans, comments on Romans 8 and the “new heart” given to believers in the New Covenant:

“Christian holiness is not a matter of painstaking conformity to the individual precepts of an external law-code;

it is rather a question of the Holy Spirit’s producing His fruit in the life, reproducing those graces which were seen in perfection in the life of Christ.”30

Then on the superiority of grace, Chafer says:

“These teachings surpass the standards of the Law of Moses in the measure in which infinity surpasses the finite.”33

Chafer shows that nine of the Ten Commandments are repeated numerous times in the New Testament.

The Sabbath day commandment is not. Whatever God puts into the new house order, simply becomes the new issues of life

and service for the Christian. God becomes the final word on what is included or excluded in the new house order.

Chafer further shows:

“The Ten Commandments require no life of prayer, no Christian service, no evangelism, no missionary effort, no gospel preaching,

no life and walk in the Spirit, no Fatherhood of God, no union with Christ, no fellowship of saints, no hope of salvation, and no hope of heaven.

If it is asserted that we have all these because we have both the law and grace, it is replied that the law adds nothing to grace

but confusion and contradiction, and that there is the most faithful warning in the Scriptures against this admixture.

A few times the teachings of the law are referred to by the writers of the Epistles by way of illustration.

Having stated the obligation under grace, they cite the fact that this same principle obtained under the law.

There is, however, no basis here for a commingling of these two governing systems.

The law of Moses presents a covenant of works to be wrought in the energy of the flesh; the teachings of grace present

a covenant of faith to be wrought in the energy of the Spirit.”34

Acclaimed Greek scholar and former professor at Moody Bible Institute, Kenneth Wuest, elevates grace as the believer’s way of life:

“But grace is never lenient. It is far stricter than law ever could be. It is a far greater deterrent of evil than law ever was.

A half dozen motorcycle policemen with their motors tuned up, are a far greater deterrent to speeding,

than any number of placards along the road indicating the speed limit. The Holy Spirit, indwelling the believer,

takes notice of the slightest sin and convicts him of it, whereas the law could act only generally and then only when the conscience

of the individual cooperated with it. Grace not only forgives, but teaches (Titus 2:11-14).”35

Wuest concludes:

“Just because the believer now is scot free from the law, does not mean that he can sin with impunity.

There is a new propelling and compelling deterrent to sin, divine love, produced in the believer’s being which causes him to hate sin

and obey the Word of God (Gal. 5:13, John 14:21-24).”36


by G. Richard Fisher

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