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Under The Law?

Recently, I viewed a poll among a small group of Ministers claiming to be members of the Church of Christ. The poll was about when the Law of Christ took effect. One answer seemed immaturely proposed, "We are not under law, but grace." It is true that Paul does make reference to Christians being "under grace" and not "under [the] law." (Brackets given to reflect various translations, KJV included) (Rom 6:14). However, if we read this verse with the understanding that the New Testament holds no law, then we make several mistakes.

The first mistake is that we need to view the full scope of the New Testament. Take Paul's writings as an example: are we under law or not? Romans 6:14 and Galatians 6:1-2 would seem to be butting heads on this topic. The truth is, they only butt heads when we do not consider the full context. Romans 6:15-23 describes our relationship to Christ as slaves, yet free, and bound to a standard of teaching. It depicts us as owned and ruled by God. Would this not rule infer law? Paul seems to believe so, referring to himself as bound to God under the law of Christ (1 Cor 9:21).

The second mistake is a failure to understand what a covenant is. Christ brought about the New Covenant (Heb 8:6, 9:15) with His death (Heb 9:16-17). Previously, the ruling covenants were the patriarchal and mosaic covenants. These covenants had "laws" which ruled them. Is the covenant of Christ any different? Are we not bound in this, as some suppose "testament of love," to render obedience as love? (1 John 5:3) If it is true that a covenant, expressly as seen in the Scriptures, is a relationship hinged on promises and fulfillment, is it not then true that the same relationship is hinged on rules and obedience?

More could be said about the topic, but here are the facts. Yes, as Christians, we are "under grace." Yes, as Christians, we are "under the law of Christ." No, those two things do not negate one another. They work together to make the most effective covenant.
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