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What Law Are Believers Under?

The Bible teaches that in order to be saved you must repent toward God which means to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ who shed his innocent blood for the forgiveness of all your sins. The Bible teaches that after you are saved you must stand in the true grace of God. (1) According to the Bible those who are saved are redeemed from the Law of Moses (Old Covenant) and are now under the New Covenant and a much higher law: The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.

The Bible says,

"For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. - John 1:17

If you are led of the Spirit you are not under the law of Moses:

"But if ye are led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law."-Gal. 5:18

Those who are led of the Spirit are under grace, but those who are not led of the Spirit-- who walk after the flesh and do not yield to the Holy Spirit as he seeks to produce his fruit in their lives—are under the letter of the law.

For the letter killeth, but the  Spirit giveth life. (See 2 Cor. 3:6)

Paul explained that believers are called to liberty but this liberty is not to be used to indulge one's selfish desires:

"...only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another."-Gal. 5:13

The law of Moses— as holy and righteous a standard as it is— does not give eternal life because no one is justified by keeping the law:

But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. Gal. 3:11

Paul explained that the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other (walking after the flesh is contrary to walking after the Spirit) so we "cannot do the things that we would":

For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. Gal. 5:17

The goals of the flesh (man's selfish desires) are contrary to the goals of the Holy Spirit in a Christian's life. The goals of the flesh and the goals of the Holy Spirit are in opposition to each other.

The Bible is clear that IF the Christian follows the leading of the Holy Spirit he is not under the law, but if he walks after the flesh without repentance, God considers him to be under the law, not under grace.

What was Paul referring to when he said "Against such there is no law"? Did Paul say that against a profession of faith in Christ there is no law? (No.) Did Paul say that against a Christian's continuing walk in sin that there is no law? (No.) Did Paul say that against a once-saved-always-saved sermon there no law? (No.)

Against WHAT does the Bible say there no law? Against the fruit of the Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Gal. 5:22,23)

"But if ye are led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law." (Gal. 5:18)

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness faith, meekness, and temperance. If you are led of the Spirit you will yield the fruit of the Spirit. Against being led of the Spirit is no law. (Gal. 5:22-23) This is the fruit of righteousness of those who walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. This fruit is evident in the lives of those who are under grace and not under the law.

Paul repeated his "If ye are led of the Spirit ye are not under the law" teaching in his letter to the Romans:

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."— Rom. 8:1

Those who walk not after the flesh are not under condemnation. Those who are in Christ Jesus—who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit—are not under the law.

Those who are in Christ Jesus have been made free from the law of sin and death. How have we been made free from the law of sin and death? By the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus:

"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." Romans 8:2

We need to understand as believers under the new and better covenant we are under another law: not the law of Moses, but the law of the Spirit of life which is in Christ Jesus. We are under this spiritual law as believers, whether it is being preached in these times of apostasy or not.

For what the law could not do in that our sinful flesh could not comply with its holy demands, "God, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh." (See Rom. 8:3) Wow! Sin in the flesh is condemned by God. Believers saved by grace must not be tricked by false teachers into believing that God no longer condemns sin in the flesh and that in this day of grace, God's view of sin has changed. God sent his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and condemned sin in the flesh sin so "That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

"But wait a minute!" modern Christians angrily protest. God does not require me to live in obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit, as confirmed by the scriptures. That is much too stifling and would cramp my lifestyle. To tell me that the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in those who walk after the Spirit (but not after the flesh) is to put me under a "works-based" salvation! I can do what I want as a Christian! All I have to do is believe (give mental assent to the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ at one point in time for the salvation of my soul) and after that I can do as I please! You can ask any well-known Christian leader of our day."

Paul addresses this worldly thinking:

"For to be carnally minded is death: but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be."-Rom 8:7,8

If the Spirit of God is within you, reader, you may not walk in the flesh; rather, you must be led of the Spirit. This requires a deliberate daily surrender on your part which necessitates reading the Holy King James Bible so that you will know which spirit is seeking to lead you--the Holy Spirit or an evil spirit. If you do not have the Spirit of Christ--and do not surrender to the leading of the Holy Spirit, who is God (and refuse to repent) you are none of his. (See Rom. 8:9)

Believers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the dictates of the flesh:

Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. Rom. 8:12

We are debtors to the [Holy] Spirit in the sense that we must yield to him as he leads us to mortify the sinful deeds of the body. Rom 8:13 says, "but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." IF we willingly obey the Holy Spirit, which is what it means to be "under grace" as a person who is already saved, we will reap life eternal. Eternal life does not end with believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. It begins there, but from that point on we have a new life to live...after the Spirit by the grace of God.

Does this mean that in order to become born again a person must through the Spirit mortify his flesh so that he will have everlasting life? No. An unregenerate person has not yet believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and received the free gift of eternal life. He has not yet called upon the name of the Lord to be saved, and thus, does not have the Spirit of Christ within and is not capable of behaving as a genuine Christian and mortifying the sinful deeds of the flesh. It is the Christian who has been given eternal life through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and therefore must be led by the Spirit of God because he is a son of God. (See Rom. 8:14)


Paul, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, instructed believers—those who have the Sprit of Christ Jesus within-- to put aside the sinful deeds of the flesh. He made it clear that following the leading of the Holy Spirit is required of the person who is already a Christian. The unsaved do not have God's enabling to mortify the deeds of the body, and thus they habitually serve sin unto death.

Does this mean that the minute a Christian sins and does not walk in the Spirit that he is considered by God to be under the law? No. "Sin not" is God's command to the Christian, but if we sin we have an advocate with the Father:

 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 1 John 2:1

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

NOTE: Many Christians have enormous difficulty putting aside the sinful deeds of the flesh because they have not yet obeyed the biblical command to cleanse themselves of all filthiness of flesh and spirit:

Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Cor. 7:1

It is necessary to heed God's command through the apostle Paul to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit because spiritual filth (evil spirits) hinders our ability to walk after the Holy Spirit.

Since the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us as we walk after the Spirit, it is imperative for you and I to humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord and cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit so that we can perfect holiness in the fear of God.

"That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us as we walk, not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

God saves us by grace and he sanctifies us by grace as well. It is up to us to choose to avail ourselves of his grace to sow to the Holy Spirit and reap life everlasting or to resist his grace and sow to the flesh . . . and reap spiritual corruption. The context of the verse below clearly shows that the Christian who sows to the flesh (and does not repent) will reap eternal spiritual corruption:

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. Gal. 6:8

The Bible clearly teaches that those who are led of the Holy Spirit are under grace and those who walk after the flesh (sin willfully--see Heb. 10) are under the law and its condemnation. No condemnation is for those who are in Christ Jesus--who walk, not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (See Rom. 8:1)

Are you walking in obedience to the Holy Spirit, who is God?

Notes: (1) 1 Peter 5:12: By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand.

related articles:

Law That Frees Us From Sin and Death

God is Not Mocked By a False Definition of Grace

The Gospel of Jesus Christ
True Gospel Vs False Gospel Articles

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Liberty To The Captives Established in June 2001