The Good News of the Judgment

The Law in the Judgement Hour
William Diehl


Loryn, here is my attempt to answer your second question:

Your question

#2) How, "Through the law" (through God's legal system), "I died to the law" (when? where?: answered in next sentence), "so that I could live for Christ." "I have been crucified with Christ...

My answer:

Galatians 2: 17 "But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. 18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. 20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain."

The meaning of this passage to the Galatians is NOT mysterious. It is simple and straight forward and it is this: Christians who are justified by faith should not be practicing sin (Christ is not a minister of sin). But the Law of God has shown me what a wretched sinner I am and that I am deserving of death. The Law has slain us with guilt and driven us to Christ to be justified by faith in His atoning death on the cross. So now we are to crucify the deeds of the old nature and live by faith alone in Christ who gave Himself for our sins. We can only be justified by faith in the Son of God and we cannot be justified by keeping the Ten Commandments. All that the Ten Commandments can do is to condemn us to death (slay us) and we cannot find eternal life by obeying the Law. Thus through (by) the Law we are dead to the Law as a way to be justified before God. We can only be accepted before God on the basis of the imputed righteousness of Christ. If we could be justified by keeping the Ten Commandments then Christ need not have died.


Loryn, here is my answer to your questions # 3 and 4.

Your question:

(3) Not "under law." Why? Because I have died to the law.
(4) "Under grace." Why? Because I have died to the law, and have received unmerited favor from God

My answer:

Romans 6:12 "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey the lusts thereof: 13 neither present your members unto sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves unto God, as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under law, but under grace. 15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under law, but under grace? God forbid. 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye present yourselves as servants unto obedience, his servants ye are whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that, whereas ye were servants of sin, ye became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching whereunto ye were delivered; 18 and being made free from sin, ye became servants of righteousness."

The meaning of the Pauline phrase "under grace" is very simple: God's people who are justified by His unmerited grace through faith in Christ are not to allow the old sinful nature dominate and have dominion over them because they are not under the Law of God as a way to be accepted with God. Rather since they are justified and accepted as His people solely by the unmerited grace of God through faith in Christ, they should present themselves as obedient servants of righteousness.

In other words God's people are to obey Him because they ARE justified, NOT in order to BE justified. They are to live righteously because the have already been justified. They are not to live righteously in order to be justified. They are saved to serve. They don't serve to be saved. It is just that simple. Nothing mysterious at all.


Loryn, here is my attempt to answer your question #5.

Your question:

(5) Paul's concentration in Romans 6 is on why this means we shouldn't sin, despite being "dead" to the law.

My answer:

Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. 16 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? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. 4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. 6 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. 7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law. For I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. 8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. 9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. 10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. 12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. 13 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. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 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: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 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. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father."

Paul is again stating a very simple message here and it is not mysterious at all. He is saying that since we have been delivered from the Law of God as a way to be justified, and that we are now accepted before God through faith in Christ's blood, we are to no longer serve our old sinful nature but rather live in the new nature that the Spirit places in all who believe. Thus it is through the indwelling Spirit that we are to live in harmony with the Law of God because we have been justified by faith. (The Jews were convinced that they were God's people because of their success in keeping the Ten Commandments but Paul in Romans 1 through 5 has clearly made his case that no one has ever kept the Law of God perfectly enough to be righteous in His sight.)

We have been set free from slavery to the old nature (law of sin) and should now be servants (slaves) to righteousness. We are now married to Christ and the new nature (law of the Spirit). The sins of the believer have been forgiven and the old sinful nature of the believer is to be put to death through the Spirit so that we may now be united in "marriage" to Christ by faith and live unto righteousness.

Read through the entire two chapters 6 through 8 with this in mind and you will see how simple these passages really are. The language is rather stiff due to rather poor translating from the Greek, but once one understands the three ways Paul uses the term "law", then the passage opens nicely. The three meanings of "law" in these verses are:

1.) The Ten Commandments.
2.) The Law of Sin - the carnal mind or the old sinful nature
3.) The Law of the Spirit - the new spiritual nature that is implanted by the Holy Spirit in all who are justified by faith in Christ's blood.



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