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Walking After Flesh = Under Law; Walking After Spirit = Under Grace

Antimonianism is the so-called grace concept that some Christians were misled into believing back in Paul's day and this dangerous belief undergirds the apostasy in these latter days. The false belief of antinomians can be summed up as follows:

Christians "should" obey the Lord, but we don't have to. Since we are saved by grace through faith, obedience is strictly optional, and in fact grace replaces obedience.

Is this what Paul the "apostle of grace" taught? No. Paul was not an antinomian (antinomian means against law) and never taught that grace replaces obedience. Rather, he taught that grace empowers the saint for obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ.

The following are some notes concerning law and grace I posted to a message board:

Paul wrote, "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid; yes, we establish the law." Was he saying he was establishing the law as a vehicle through which to be saved? Definitely not. The law is a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. The law also gives knowledge of sin. (Rom. 7:7) But he did not say the law of God was done away with in the life of the believer saved by grace. He wrote, "Do we then make the law void through faith? Yea, we establish the law."-Rom. 3:31

What does this mean, "we establish the law" when one is saved by grace and not by the works of the law? The righteousness of the law is fulfilled in one's life when one walks not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (See Rom. 8:4) So the beautiful, practical righteousness of the (spirit of the) law is not done away with after grace has come, but instead, "the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." (Rom 8:4)

Paul wrote, "But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." That is correct. Those who are saved by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are no longer under a schoolmaster. The law of Moses was a schoolmaster that did not save. Its purpose was to show the knowledge of sin and thus bring people to Christ. The letter of the law was the schoolmaster, and the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in those who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit (we serve in newness of Spirit). (See Rom. 8:1-5)

The letter of the law is no longer in effect for those who are in Christ Jesus, but the spirit of the law is lived out through those who "walk after the Spirit." "But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter".-Rom. 7:6

So it is the spirit of the law that is established; and is fulfilled in those who walk after the Spirit-by those who are free from the letter of the law (law of sin and death) because they have the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.

Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans (chapter 7) that "with the mind I myself the serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."-The "law of God" was his purposeful pattern or way of life. The law of sin that operated in his flesh (fallen nature) was something that was warring against his mind, seeking to bring him into captivity to the law of sin. (Rom. 7)

Because believers still have the flesh to contend with that wants to serve the law of sin even though with their mind they serve the law of God, Paul spent much time exhorting believers to "walk after the Spirit", "be led of the Spirit", "Put on" (bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, etc.),"prove his own work"," press toward the mark", "walk in love", etc. This is the Christian life -- to walk after the Spirit and not the flesh.

There is a law in the believer that makes him free from the law of sin and death: The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. The righteousness of the law must be fulfilled in the believer's life by the imputation of Christ Jesus. When the righteousness of Christ is imputed by faith, one receives the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. Those who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit (by the power of the indwelling Spirit) have the righteousness of the law fulfilled in them. (Rom 8:4)

Paul wrote that to be carnally minded is death. Why? Because the carnal mind is enmity towards God! The carnal mind is not subject to the law of God. Paul did not give in to the law of sin and death, but warred against it and delighted himself in the law of God after the inward man. (Rom. 7:22, 23)

Paul taught that if the Spirit of God dwells in a person they are not in the flesh, (he also termed it "after the flesh"-see Rom. 8:5) but in the Spirit. Those in the flesh cannot please God. Those who are truly sons of God please God! "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."

Getting back to the law: those who become "dead to the law by the body of Christ (those saved by grace are indeed dead to the law) that ye should be married to another, even to him that is raised from the dead that we should bring forth fruit unto God."-Rom. 7:4

Those saved by grace are delivered from the law (it cannot save and we were dead wherein we were held) and married to Christ. What kind of fruit do those who are married to Jesus Christ bring forth? Fruit unto God! (Rom. 7:4-6)


What fruit is brought forth by those in the flesh and by the motions of sins which were by the law? Fruit unto death! (Rom. 7:5)

The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just and good, but sin slays the one under the law because it is a perfect standard of righteousness and one cannot keep it by the power of the flesh, it must be imputed to us by the Lord Jesus Christ.

"But 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; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

Jesus Christ condemned sin in the flesh! Those who are under the law practice sin in the flesh. They do not have the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus to make them free from the law of sin and death. They are still under the power of sin and serve unrighteousness and do not have the ability, through the power of the Spirit of Christ within them, to reckon themselves dead to sin, and not let sin reign in their mortal body. Sin has dominion over them because they are under the law and NOT grace. (See Rom. 6:14, 15)

There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Rom. 8:1) ("For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God") Those who are in Christ Jesus are free from the law of sin and death because they are under the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. (Rom. 8:2) We already saw what being under the law of sin and death does to a person: it slays them.

Paul taught in the letter to the Galatians that "Christ is of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace."-Gal. 5:4 The law does not justify. Those who lean on any part of the law of Moses in order to justify them are fallen from grace. (This is the main reason the Hebrew Roots Movement, Seventh Day Adventism and Gothardismamong othersare so dangerous.) Then he wrote: "For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith."

The righteousness that comes through the Spirit is by faith in Christ Jesus and brings liberty . . . but not to sin (Jesus Christ condemned sin in the flesh and those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God, for if ye live after the flesh ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.- Rom. 8). Those who are in Christ Jesus are not to use liberty for an occasion to the flesh", but to "by love serve one another" which fulfills the law of Christ (Gal. 5:13,14)

That is why Paul wrote, "But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law."

We must choose whether to be under the law or led of the Spirit. Those saved by grace are not under the law (and its condemnation) and are led of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Those under the law are not led of the Spirit and are not free from the law of sin and death.

Those "under the law" work hard in the power of the flesh but do not have the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (which comes by grace through faith) and therefore are not free from the law of sin and death and do practice sin as a lifestyle.

Those saved by grace have the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus and are "led of the Spirit" and are NOT under the law. These people are sons of God and as such are led by the Spirit of God. These people mortify the deeds of the body, reckon themselves dead to sin, yield themselves servants of righteousness unto holiness and are servants to God having fruit unto holiness and the end everlasting life. They have the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus with which they are able to walk in the Spirit and NOT fulfill the lusts of the flesh.

 

related article: What Law Are Believers Under?  (It is not the Mosaic Law.)

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Liberty To The Captives Established in June 2001