I remember a short, but powerful verse I read one day that
changed my life and helped me to understand what salvation by grace is all
"But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the
law." Gal. 5:18
"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." vs. 17
We cannot do whatever we
want as not-under-the-law Christians!
The next verses
list the works of the flesh.
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery,
fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred,
variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies. envyings, murders,
drunkenness, revelings, and such life: of the which I tell you before, as I have
also told you in time past, they which do such things shall not inherit the
kingdom of God." vs. 19-21
Whoever commits the works of the flesh is doing
what the Bible calls "walking after the flesh."
The following verses explain what being led of the
Spirit means, and it explains that against these things (against
being led of the Spirit) there is
no law! Notice that it does not teach that against the works of the flesh there is
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such
there is no law." vs. 22, 23
Being led of the Spirit means we are not under the law.
we are led of the Spirit we are not under the law. The following verse reaffirms
"There is therefore no
condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh,
but after the Spirit." Rom. 8:1
No condemnation is for those who walk after the Spirit!
Those who are led of the Spirit (or walk after the Spirit) are not under the
Notice that the promises in Romans 8:1 and Gal. 5:18 are of
not being under condemnation or not being under the law (they mean the same
thing because the law kills but the Spirit gives life.) These promises are
conditioned upon walking after the Spirit (being led of the Spirit.)
Every Christian who has the grace that brings salvation--this grace comes by
faith--also has the grace to walk after the Spirit. Since
we live in the Spirit (it is the Spirit which giveth life) the Bible says we
must walk in the Spirit:
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in
the Spirit. Gal. 5:25
This is what
working out our salvation with fear and trembling means. We do not pay for our
salvation (only the innocent blood of Jesus Christ pays for sin) but as sons of
God we must be led of the Spirit:
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of
God, they are the sons of God." Rom. 8:14
Paul wrote that because the flesh lusts against the Spirit,
and the Spirit against the flesh (they are contrary to one another) we cannot do
what we would. We must do what God commands us to do as Christians saved by
grace! God has made clear more than once in his Word the the lifestyle of the
one who is not under condemnation: There is therefore now no condemnation
to them that are in Christ Jesus, (Christians who walk after the flesh as a
sinning lifestyle? No!) who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Rom.
This is not working for your salvation. This is
working out your salvation with fear and trembling. Phil. 2:12
"Grace Replaces Obedience":
Not Taught in the Holy Bible
Does this mean that if you are not led of the Spirit
in a certain instance you are
immediately put back under the law and doomed to being judged under the law? No, 1 John 1:9 is clear
that if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and
to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
But we need to understand that being under grace equals being led of the Spirit,
and that today's teaching that being under grace guarantees that we can never
again be put back under the law and its condemnation because we
"believe" in Jesus--even if we walk after the flesh as a matter of
course and without repentance--is a cruel lie. Living a lifestyle of
walking after the flesh is not true repentance.
Remember, against the works of the flesh there is law, but against the fruit
of the Spirit there is no law. 1 John 1:9 takes care of our failings to be
led of the Spirit (sins) but the norm for the born again believer is that we be led
of the Spirit as a "saved by grace" Christian.
This message is the opposite of the the "grace replaces obedience"
(C. I. Scofield's false standing versus
state doctrine) kind of Christianity which is not found in
scripture. Paul made it abundantly clear that we cannot "do as we would" as
saved-by grace-Christians. Why may we not do "as we would" as
"the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit
against the flesh: and these things are contrary the one to the other. That is
why we cannot do the things that we "would" (want to). Gal. 5:17
Our flesh is our natural selfish inclinations,
and the Spirit is the Holy Spirit. He requires is that we be holy, just
like the Lord Jesus Christ.
Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord.
Holy living is the opposite of indulging sinful desires.
That is why the flesh (self) wars against the Spirit. We may not do the things
that we want to if they are against the holy leading of the Holy Spirit. We must
do as we are led of the Holy Spirit. He will not lead contrary to the word of
Are Believers Under?
(Answer: The law of the Spirit of
Life in Christ Jesus)
True Gospel Vs