No Longer Under the Law! Except When We Want to Be

One of the main points of modern Christianity, a part of the New Testament people actually get right, is that we are no longer under the law.

Unfortunately, when people start talking about the point any further than stating it, you realize they have no idea what they are talking about.

Not being under the law does not mean there are no commands in the New Covenant. Not being under the law does not mean sin is cool to do now. Not being under the law does not mean we don’t have to obey God.

When most people talk about not being under the law, it’s to excuse sin. The idea being that since we’re not under the law we don’t have to worry about being holy or righteous. It’s all grace. It’s all Christ. It’s all something or other that means my obedience has nothing to do with anything.

It’s a nice try, but it’s not at all close to what the Bible means by us not being under the law.

Not being under the law means just that: we’re not under the Old Covenant law. The Old Covenant was a covenant between God and Israel, not even just saved Israel, but all of racial Israel, saved or unsaved.

If they kept the commands of the Old Covenant, they would stay in the Promised Land that would bring forth bountifully. If they did not keep the commands, they would suffer and get booted out of the land.

We’re not under the law anymore. We’re in a New Covenant.

The majority of Christianity does not understand this. This is best illustrated by watching people who adamantly say they are not under the law, use physical prosperity to prove their faith.

See, now, that would be putting yourself under the law!

We chuck the obedience burden of the law, the commands, the curses, and yet for some very strange reason, we decide we’ll keep the physical blessing part.

(The cursings of the law do show up too though. It’s just that it only shows up in our judgments of other people!  “Ooo, look at all the bad stuff happening to them! Tsk, tsk. Guess we know they’re sinners.”)

Health and Wealth gospels are based on the law–your faith will get you physical rewards. That’s being under the law. And pretty much all gospel talk today is Health and Wealth Gospel.

If we’re not under the law, we’re seriously not under the law. We’re no longer under the physical blessings and cursings of the law.

We like to chuck the responsibility of the law for ourselves and yet keep the blessings. We’ll find some random good thing that happened to us and chalk it up to God liking our behavior. “I’m good to go, look at the new TV and car we got!”

Curiously enough, when the New Covenant talks about obedience, it never gives any guaranteed awesome external result.

If there is any result likely for obedience in the NT, it’s going to be externally bad!

Christ was crucified. Paul was beheaded. John was imprisoned. Paul wrote, “Any man who desires to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” “Will” is pretty close to a guarantee.

But we don’t suffer persecution, in fact, we get new TVs and cars. So, we use the TVs and cars as our proof of faith more than our persecution.

So, the law comes back, and people like it that way. And it’s weird.

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