Tuesday: Not Under the Law but Under Grace

Read Romans 6:14. How are we to understand this text? Does it mean that the Ten Commandments are no longer binding on us? If not, why not?

Romans 6:14 is one of the key statements in the book of Romans. And it’s one we often hear quoted in the context of someone telling us Adventists that the Seventh-day Sabbath has been abrogated.

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Yet, that’s obviously not what the text means. As we asked before, how could the moral law be done away with and sin still be a reality? Because the moral law is what defines sin! If you were to read all that came before in Romans, even in just chapter 6, it would be hard to see how, in the midst of all this discussion about the reality of sin, Paul would suddenly say, “The moral law-the Ten Commandments, which defines sin-has been abolished.” That makes no sense.

Paul is saying to the Romans that the person living “under the law”-that is, under the Jewish economy as it was practiced in his day with all its manmade rules and regulations-will be ruled by sin. In contrast, a person living under grace will have victory over sin, because the law is written in his or her heart and God’s spirit is allowed to guide his or her steps. Accepting Jesus Christ as the Messiah, being justified by Him, being baptized into His death, having the “old man” destroyed, rising to walk in newness of life-these are the things that will dethrone sin from our lives. Remember, that is the whole context in which Romans 6:14 appears-the context of the promise of victory over sin.

We should not define “under the law” too restrictively. The person who supposedly lives “under grace” but disobeys God’s law will not find grace but condemnation. “Under grace” means that through the grace of God as revealed in Jesus, the condemnation that the law inevitably brings to sinners has been removed. Thus, now free from this condemnation of death brought by the law, we live in “newness of life,” a life characterized and made manifest through the fact that, being dead to self, we are no longer slaves to sin.

How have you experienced the reality of a new life in Christ? What tangible evidence can you point to that reveals that which Christ has done in you? What areas are you refusing to let go, and why must you let them go?

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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons