Dear Pastor:

If, as you say, the Ten commandments are not abolished, does that mean that we are obligated to keep them? Does not the Bible say that we are not under law but under grace (Romans 6:14, 15), thus freeing us from law-keeping?

Dear Reader,

Yes. Since the Ten Commandments are not abolished we are obliged to keep them. You are also correct in saying that we are not under law but under grace; however, you are wrong in creating a tension between law and grace, implying that the one abrogates the other. What does Ďunder graceí mean with respect to obedience? And what does 'not under the law' mean as regards law-keeping? To answer these questions let us answer another question, namely, does the Bible tell us that we are to keep the law? Yes, it does.

Letís go to Romans, the same book that tells us that we are not under law, but under grace. Read, Romans 6:15, 16. (Rom 6:15 KJV) What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. (Rom 6:16 KJV) Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

These texts tell us that we are not to sin since we are under grace and not law. Verse 16 also tells us that we are not to sin because we are not servants of disobedience, but servants of obedience to righteousness. When one refuses to sin one lives in harmony with the law, and the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in that individual. Letís read this in Romans 8; (Rom 8:3 KJV) For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: (Rom 8:4 KJV) That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Paul elaborates in these verses that, when we walk in Christ we live in harmony with the law by not breaking its precepts; in fact He says that "the righteous of the law is fulfilled in us" when we walk in Christ and not in sinfulness. He makes clear that the law could not, and is never able to, save us from sin; therefore because the law was weak here, God sent His son in the likeness of sinful flesh not to condemn the law, but to condemn sin, and bring us back into harmony with the righteousness of the law.

You see, friends, law-keeping can never save anyone; only Christ can do so. The law can only point out sin, like a schoolmaster. But now that Christ is come, we now through the Spirit live in Christ, and are guided by Him. Before Christ came men and women looked to the law for right doing, but now that Christ has come we look to Him for power to overcome sin through his Spirit. The law points out sin when we fall into sin, but Jesus takes away the sin, and gives us power to live the righteousness of the law in our lives. It is the righteousness of Christ that covers us and keeps us free from the condemnation of the law because we walk not in the flesh (sinfulness) but in the Spirit.

Here is Paul again, (Rom 7:12 KJV) Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.  (Rom 7:13 KJV) Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

In these verses Paul says that the law is holy, just, and good, but sin made the law look bad because the law pointed to the sin in our lives and we therefore came under its condemnation. But when Jesus came, He removed the condemnation (Rom. 8:1) by overcoming not the law, but sin, that the righteous of the law might be seen in us as we abide in Christ. Again Paul exhorts us not to break the law, but to uphold it. Read this in Romans, (Rom 3:31 KJV) Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

Paul tells us that even now that we are the children of Christ, we are not to think that we are to reject the law, we must, on the other hand, establish the law in our lives. Finally, the Lord Jesus admonished all his disciples, and that includes us, to keep the law, thus showing that we love Him. Letís read this in John 14:15. (John 14:15 KJV) If ye love me, keep my commandments.

If Christ admonishes us to keep the law, then no other human authority can and should counsel us to do otherwise. Neither should we follow any other authority to do other than what Jesus commands us to do.  Only, let us always remember that law-keeping is not a means of going to heaven, but a demonstration that we love and obey Jesus, just as not committing adultery against our wives is not a sign that we want them to love us, but a sign that we love them. God bless you my dear readers.

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