Thursday: The Law and the Believer

TogetherMany have interpreted Paul’s comment in Galatians 3:25 as a complete dismissal of the law. This makes little sense, however, in light of Paul’s positive comments about the law elsewhere in the Bible. 1

What does he, then, mean?

First, we are no longer under the law’s condemnation (Rom. 8:3). As believers, we are in Christ and enjoying the privilege of being under grace (Rom. 6:14, 15). That gives us the liberty of serving Christ wholeheartedly, without fear of being condemned for mistakes we might make in the process. This is what true liberty and freedom in the gospel is, which is something radically different from no longer having to obey the law—which is what some people claim is “freedom” in Christ. But disobedience to the law, instead, is sin—and sin is anything but freedom (John 8:34).

Read Romans 8:1–3. What does it mean to be no longer condemned by the law? How should this wonderful truth impact how we live? 

As a result of being forgiven through Christ, our relationship to the law is now different. We are now called to live a life that is pleasing to Him (1 Thess. 4:1); Paul refers to this as walking in the Spirit (Gal. 5:18). This does not mean that the moral law is no longer applicable—that was never the issue. How could it be when we have seen so clearly that the law is what defines sin?

Instead, because the law is a transcript of God’s character, by obeying the law we simply reflect His character. But more than that, we follow not just a set of rules but the example of Jesus, who does for us what the law itself could never do: He writes the law on our hearts (Heb. 8:10) and makes it possible for the righteous requirement of the law to be fulfilled in us (Rom. 8:4). That is, through our relationship with Jesus, we have the power to obey the law as never before.

Read Romans 8:4. What is Paul saying here? How have you seen this promise manifested in your own life? At the same time, despite whatever positive changes you have experienced, why must salvation always be based on what Christ has done for us and nothing else?



Thursday: The Law and the Believer — 1 Comment

  1. Romans 8:4 – “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

    1. What is Paul saying here?

    Paul begins his explanation about this same topic in Romans 7. I.e., the difference between walking after the flesh and after the Spirit.

    Romans 7:14 – “For we know that the law is Spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin.” Implying that, since the law is Spiritual, we all need a Spiritual intervention to be able to keep it.

    2. How have you seen this promise manifested in your own life?

    Whenever I attempt to keep the law on my own, it turns out to be what Paul is talking about in the following verses.

    Romans 7:15-21 – “…for the good that I would do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do…”

    However, when I surrender and ask God to take full control of my life, He leads me to walk after the Spirit. Then, naturally the fruits of the Spirit [Love, Joy, Peace, Long-suffering, Gentleness… (Galatians 5:22-23)] are manifested in my life.

    3. At the same time, despite whatever positive changes you have experienced, why must salvation always be based on what Christ has done for us and nothing else?

    If Jesus knew that some small % of people were capable of keeping the law on their own, He would not have bothered to die for anyone else. The rest of the world would have been held accountable by the same standard of self righteousness. However, as it is written, “There is no one righteous…” We have all sinned and fallen short of His glory. Even our best efforts are filthy rugs. This is why Jesus had to pitch in and bail us out. His death covers 100% of the debt we owed. So, since we are all 100% covered under His righteousness and we are 100% His.

    The good news does not end there though. Jesus wants to go on and make our yoke easier, and our burdens lighter. He knows that like Paul, we struggle to do good but everything comes out the opposite way. So, He reminds us that we cannot bear the fruits of the Spirit on our own. We need to connect with the Spirit in order to be successful. Once connected with the Spirit, He is helps us to will to do that which is good; hence, to keep the law.


Please leave a comment long enough to say something significant and considerably shorter than the original post. First and last name required.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *