Puritan Belief

The Puritans are the men of God who started in the 16th century building on the purity of the gospel message that Salvation is by Grace alone.

Not Under Law, but Under Grace

Under Grace"For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace." Romans 6:14

The Curse
Most people when they read this verse think: "oh but if this be the case then what is there to stop us from sinning. Surely there is but some law?"

The first law ever to be presented to man was what the lord said to Adam:
"for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die"

Therefore if a man sins he must die conversely if a man is free from sin so shall he be free from death. When Adam sinned he first died spiritually and 930 years later he died physically. Showing us from its instigation the law has never stopped anyone from sinning. In actual fact the law entered that the offence might abound and even before the law of moses death reigned.

The Promise
As the old fleshly saying goes "there are 2 things we can be sure of 1 is death and the 2nd is taxes" or for those who enjoy the accuracy of scripture "1st is death and 2nd is judgement" no matter who you are in this world you are well acquainted with the punishment of the law namely death just turn on your T.V.

Servants of Righteousness
To those who are under grace it is so because sin has no dominion over you and you have obeyed from the heart the form of doctrine that was delivered to you namely that you are free from sin and have become the servants of righteousness.

Surely some may ask: "How be it then that we are servants of righteousness even though we are still in these sinful bodies?"
Our sins are paid for in full by the blood of Christ and hence can be taken away. Being reconciled to God we have been made dead to sin and are made alive to righteousness. "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;" Therefore we are not under any law be it the 10 commandments or any ordinance. (Perhaps I will be accused of Antinomianism)

Accusations
Our Lord never brings us back under the law for his yoke is easy and his burden is light. Our Lord Jesus is not the accuser of the brethren and if this be so why do we want to conform our brothers and sisters to the law? For the accuser of the brethren will surely be cast down. Revelation 12:10

The Warning
Some may say "I am born again and free to sin so that the Lords grace may abound this post proves it so". God forbid so let this message not pass without the warning.

"How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" Romans 6:2

Add Your Comment(23)

Not Under Law, but Under Grace
Posted by Correy Edmed Saturday, March 04, 2006

23 Comments:

Blogger Modern Day Magi said...

good post PB.
Im surprised you didnt use
Romans 5:19-21
"For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
"

Let me clarify one point.
You are not suggesting that once born again a Christian becomes actually sinless are you?
But rather that since no righteousness of our own is sufficient for salvation, therfore we are judged according to Christ's righteousness. Just as it is His righteousness and not our own, which grants our salvation, it was His death and not our own, which paid the price of our sinfulness.

PS. dissapointed there was no "Fridays top posts" this week, i look forward to that one.

March 04, 2006 6:58 PM   Edit
Blogger Michael Pendleton said...

I'm so glad that sin does not have dominion over me! I would be serious toast! I stand with Paul in that I am chief among sinners.

One of the best things I have ever heard in my walk with God came from Steve Brown (He's calvinist isn't he?). "GODS NOT ANGRY WITH YOU!". I love it!

I'm a sinner! I'm going to be a sinner! I sin all the time without even thinking about it. I was sinning along time before Jesus saved me. When Jesus died for my sins He knew every sin I was ever going to commit and covered them all with His Blood anyways. I'm told if it was just me in the world He would have still came and died for just me!

That's some serious love providing some serious grace. I'm so glad God's Not Angry With Me! Now if I could just convince some of my brothers in Christ to stop throwing the book of James around.......but I digress.

March 05, 2006 4:56 AM   Edit
Blogger Modern Day Magi said...

michael,
While when Paul calls himself the chief of sinners it is scripture and not simply his humility, while Im sure your claim is a humble one. If not a display of humility, why then include it in scripture?
I believe it is to encourage us, as God has already forgiven someone much worse that us. We were sinners but Paul was the chief of sinners. God still forgave him, so we need not feel like we can lose our salvation or God's forgivness and grace when we inevitably slip up.

March 05, 2006 8:06 AM   Edit
Blogger Puritan Belief said...

Magi:
1. Yes I am saying that Christians are sinless.
A Christian is sinless in that the debt owing for their sin has been paid for and their sin is taken away by the blood of Jesus. If you put all your bills you ever had and would receive in your life into one bill and someone else paid this bill for you then could say you are bill-less. As Christ died once and for all or for every sin of those who believe in Him we are hence sinless.

2. Yes the Christian is righteous.

This proceeds from the above answer. The one thing that stopped us from being righteous was our sin. Now that it is taken away we are declared servants of righteousness. Namely servants to Christ. Also we are given the deposit of the Holy Spirit, New heart, New nature

3. Are we judged according to Christs righteousness?

It is not that we have our own righteousness for this is only obtainable through the law of which no on has done save Jesus. It is rather a righteousness through faith in Christ. Phil 3:9 We are never judged for sin: By this I mean that when Jesus died he took our judgement which resulted in His death for the punishment we deserved is death. How then can we be judged again for our sin? This is an impossibility according to scripture. So it was the righteous life and death of Christ that took our judgement already. "He that believeth on him is not condemned:" John 3:18 Yes we are chastised here on earth now unless we are bastards.

So in summary yes Christians are made righteous. We are righteous right now. Can anyone bring one charge of unrighteousness against God's elect?

March 05, 2006 8:13 AM   Edit
Blogger Mike Garner said...

Michael Pendleton,

First, your post may be correct or maybe not. It probably depends on what you mean when you say somethings. However, I think that it is important to stress that just because we are cleansed does not mean that we are then free to sin (and I'm not saying that you necessarily said as much). After the great chapters on Justification by Faith Alone (Rom 4 and 5) Paul makes clear to ask whether we are to continue in our sin? His answer is "May it never Be! (the strongest negation in Greek). It is important that we emphasize this chapter every bit as much as the preceeding chapters.

Also, James is Scripture just as Romans is and it is wise that we remember this. What kind of faith saves us? Not a kind of faith that produces no fruit.


Second, you stated the following:
I'm told if it was just me in the world He would have still came and died for just me!

I'm really not sure that this is true and am quite convinced that not one verse in Scripture teaches this point. While it could be theoretically true, it is best to only make statements about God that are Scripturally based. Otherwise, we run the grave risk of stating falsehoods about God and in turn may even be creating idols of the mind.


Just my thoughts.


In Christ alone,
mike

March 05, 2006 10:04 AM   Edit
Blogger Modern Day Magi said...

PB, you answered
"A Christian is sinless in that the debt owing for their sin has been paid for and their sin is taken away by the blood of Jesus."
I may not have been eloquent enough but I was actually asking if you believed that once saved a Christian commits no more sin ie. becomes sinless?

March 05, 2006 4:31 PM   Edit
Blogger elessi said...

My understanding from having discussed this a number of times (it's still somewhat shaky) is that while the saved are certain to commit more sins, these sins are "covered" - forgiven in advance if you will.

March 05, 2006 9:12 PM   Edit
Blogger Modern Day Magi said...

Jesus died once for ALL. all sins of those who will be saved no matter if they lived before or after Him. I was mainly asking so PB cold clarify his position. I am hopeing he didnt mean to imply that a christian would not commit any more sins once converted.

March 05, 2006 9:30 PM   Edit
Blogger Michael Pendleton said...

Goodness! Here I thought I was praising God for His love beyond understanding!

His totaly underserved grace He has given me!

His ability to look past ALL my inperfections and save me!

Lord knows I'm not bragging when I placed myself with Paul. I'm saying I was a terrible person. Read My Testimony
I still can be a terrible person, if in only in thought. God's still working on me!

I wasn't implying I can sin freely now. I was saying I'm not going to beat myself down when I make a mistake. Jesus paid the price so I wouldn't have to do that. At least that is how I understand being free.

March 06, 2006 12:11 AM   Edit
Blogger Michael Pendleton said...

Mike,

I probably shouldn't have put the James comment in my post.

What I meant or would have meant by it if I completed the statement is that people use it to produce endless amounts of guilt if in their view you don't produce the correct amount or right kind of fruit.

I'm not going to feel guilty because I don't measure up to somebody elses opinion of what a christian should be like.

March 06, 2006 12:34 AM   Edit
Blogger Mike Garner said...

What I meant or would have meant by it if I completed the statement is that people use it to produce endless amounts of guilt if in their view you don't produce the correct amount or right kind of fruit.

Well my job is not to be a fruit inspector and certainly not of your fruit. However, I would say that the Bible provides quite a bit in the line of addressing what "kind of fruit" we ought to expect.

Also:
I'm not going to feel guilty because I don't measure up to somebody elses opinion of what a christian should be like.

While I think that this is a wrong attitude to take, I do agree with the overall point. That is, we don't or should not feel guilty because we don't meet another person's standard. However, we do have a standard and someone's opinion does matter. That standard is clearly laid out in Scripture and that person is our Lord. We need to make sure that we don't excuse our proper guilt; similarly, we need to make sure we don't discard Jesus' opinion in the name of it being "another person's".
All that I am saying is that Christians have a tendency to try to rid themselves from the guilt that they ought to feel from breaking God's commands and possibly not walking with him. They do so in the name of not letting "others" place the guilt on them. Similarly, some people are ignoring the opinion of Jesus laid forth in Scripture because they do not want to be "judged" by another person. I'm not saying that you are - but I'm saying that line of reasoning is popular. Just something to watch out for.


In Christ alone,
mike

March 06, 2006 6:59 AM   Edit
Blogger Daniel said...

I would say that there's a difference between the Christian's position and practice. The Christian is positionally completely righteous. However, at times, his practice doesn't always meet up to that position.

Over time, the Christian's practice becomes more and more like his position in Christ.

March 06, 2006 9:32 AM   Edit
Blogger Puritan Belief said...

elessi
Spot on. You have come a long way.
Michael:
In the theme of this post "Not Under Law, But Under Grace" I will stand with you namely that "The one who has sinned much is forgiven much and also loves much" To place yourself with the chief of sinners is fine for where much grace abounds so does righteousness. As we seek more of Christ and look to him we are transformed from glory to glory just as from the Lord the Spirit. Looking to the Law and demanding fruit from people as proof places a veil over their face and their heart. For when you lift Grace up Sin diminishes. Notice how this is the opposite to the world.

Michael is right in that he is free in that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. The book of James does not cancel out or make less any of the verses on grace nor is it an excuse to place the christian under works/law. When we read legalism into James we read legalism into every other scripture in the whole bible for we are not under law but under Grace.

March 06, 2006 11:48 AM   Edit
Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

This is a great post and discussion. I actually preached on this topic tonight, and then I come here and find it being discussed.

I summarize the point of this text thusly: Grace does not give me liberty to sin, it gives me liberty from having to sin.

March 06, 2006 12:26 PM   Edit
Blogger Rob Somers said...

"I summarize the point of this text thusly: Grace does not give me liberty to sin, it gives me liberty from having to sin."

Well put Gordon, well put.

March 06, 2006 12:46 PM   Edit
Blogger Puritan Belief said...

Gordan & Rob
Before I start let me quote this scripture: "If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us" 1 John 1:10

No where in any explanation now or previously has this scripture been contradicted.

I agree with the saying on a certain level as it is both true for law and also for grace. Is the law saying that we have liberty to sin? I think not. Grace doesn't tell us to sin either just like the law.

However I think this saying could be changed to make it better in the spirit of Grace:

"Grace does not give me liberty to sin, it gives me liberty from having sin."

Grace means we are free from sin. The veil which the law had over our faces in that we were living with sin is taken away and now we with unveiled faces (without sin) can now behold like a mirror the glory of the Lord. Not in times to come but right now are we being transformed into the same image as Jesus from glory to glory.

See how there is more liberty, glory and grace this way.

Grace says that our sin is no more. Law says that we have no excuse to sin and holds it against us.

March 06, 2006 1:05 PM   Edit
Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

PB--I do not mean to imply that the law gave an excuse to sin. We know by its very nature that the law identifies and prohibits sin.

Am I understanding you correctly to say that a Christian does not have the ability to sin? I agree that once we are saved, our soul is sealed and we are not able to commit sin on that level, but we do still combat the presence of sinful flesh. Much of the New Testament was written to convince believers to not sin.

March 06, 2006 1:20 PM   Edit
Blogger Puritan Belief said...

Gordon:
Am I understanding you correctly to say that a Christian does not have the ability to sin?

I have been very careful with my words and have never said this. Anyone who says this would be guilty of this verse.

"If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us" 1 John 1:10

What I am saying is that Grace takes away sin and this is where the whole glory and the revelation of all scripture comes from.

Much of the new testament was writen to build the christian up in graces. A christian hates sin and when they do sin it troubles them greatly. This is not so for someone who is not a christian and they need to be convinced not to do what they love namely sinning and hence they have the law. Moses has already been preached to them and they are without excuse and a veil lies over their heart.

March 06, 2006 1:26 PM   Edit
Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

I see where you are coming from. I think it is important to distinguish between two spheres of interaction between the believer and God.

There is the sphere of relationship in which case I would wholeheartedly agree with you that there is no sin. This deals with a believers standing before God which is entirely by grace and in the imputed righteousness of Christ.

The second sphere is fellowship and this deals with our daily walk with God. I do believe that the sins we commit in this flesh have an impact upon our fellowship with God. Sin in the life of a Christian can grieve the Spirit of God bringing us to I John 1:9 where we must confess our sins and be cleansed, so that fellowship can be renewed.

Thanks for your clarification.

March 06, 2006 1:35 PM   Edit
Blogger Puritan Belief said...

Gordon:
Yes you are right Gordon.

The Christian is under grace both when they sin and when they walk by the light/spirit. Their relationship with Jesus is not deminished because of sin.

"For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth" Hebrews 12:6

How perfectly does the Lord deal with each Son he receives. How perfectly is he changing each of us from glory to glory according to his good purpose. According to the fullness of grace which is in Christ Jesus.

March 06, 2006 1:51 PM   Edit
Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

I think we are in agreement.

March 06, 2006 2:00 PM   Edit
Blogger Michael Pendleton said...

So does that mean I can now praise the Lord for the totaly underserved grace He gives me everyday despite what "fruit inspectors" (I love that term!) might judge of me?

March 06, 2006 9:16 PM   Edit
Blogger Puritan Belief said...

Michael:
For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

March 06, 2006 9:25 PM   Edit

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