“For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” Romans 6:14
I have an important question for you today. How do you see yourself before God? The way we live is determined by 1) What we think about God; and 2) What we think about ourselves in relation to God. In Romans 6:14 the Apostle Paul writes that sin is no longer the master of anyone who has been saved by faith in Christ. Why isn’t sin a Christian’s master? It is because our position has changed. God has moved us from under the law to under grace.
What does “under the law” mean, though? Being under the law means that lawkeeping, or obedience, is the way a person tries to achieve righteousness before God. When a person is under the law, he is seeking to earn favor with God by doing the right things. But this is a catastrophic position for any human being. It only takes about 15 minutes with a toddler to realize that the law cannot be perfectly kept. And the only way to be righteous under the law is to obey it completely. One broken law ruins everything. Being under the law only proves that we need some other way to be right with God.
Under grace, Christ Himself is all of our righteousness. We receive His righteousness as a gift by God’s grace through faith and not by works. This is the opposite of being under the law. Being under grace means that Christ’s righteousness has been credited to us. Under grace we know that the basis of our right standing with God is Christ’s work on our behalf. He was born, lived under the law, and fulfilled it completely. Then He took our punishment as lawbreakers on the cross so that God’s wrath could be satisfied. He took our place, so that through faith we could be united with Him in His death and resurrection. This faith union moves us from under law to under grace. We are dead to sin and alive to God.
If we try to achieve any of our righteousness before God in our own strength, Christ will be of no advantage to us. Christ will either be all of our righteousness, or none of it. Trying to provide some of our own perceived righteousness alongside Christ’s righteousness does nothing except to nullify His grace. My prayer is that we as Christians would grasp the fullness of the gift of being under grace.
Dear Lord, thank you for sending your Son to die for me so that I could be seen under grace rather than under the law. Help me to live in this reality and this truth, that your grace has covered my sins, and therefore I don't have to be perfect. In Jesus' name, amen.