I received an email question today. A person wrote, “Galatians 2:19 and Rom 7:14 seem to be saying that believers are no longer under the Law of Moses, or any law. When we become believers, we are set free from law. Have I missed the boat?”
I think the questioner has one leg in the boat and one leg in the water. Let’s see if we can get him fully back in the boat.
He is correct that believers are no longer under the Law of Moses (Rom 6:14; 7:4-6; 8:2; 10:4; Gal 2:19; etc.).
However, believers in the Church Age are under law. The Greek word is nomos. If we do a concordance study, we will find that the law which we are under is variously called “the law of liberty” (Jas 2:12), “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:2), “the law of Christ” (Gal 6:2), and “the royal law” (Jas 2:8).
What is this law we are under? It is the commands of the NT. Nine of the Ten Commandments are part of both the Law of Moses and the Law of Christ. Only the fourth commandment, to remember the Sabbath (the seventh day, Saturday), is not part of the Law of Christ. The commands we find in the teachings of the Lord Jesus and His Apostles are our law today.
Of course, we are not born again by keeping the Law of Christ, or any law. But the Law of Christ is part of our sanctification.
Though the questioner did not ask, I think Romans 7 makes it clear that a fixation on the commandments, even the commandments for us today, will not result in godliness, but in defeat. Our focus must be on the Commander, not the commands. As we focus on Jesus, we fall more in love with Him and we long to please Him and we are transformed (2 Cor 3:18). Of course, we are to study the commands we are under and to pray for the Spirit of God to empower us to keep them. When we confess our sins (1 John 1:9), we are admitting that we broke one of the commands and that we desire to keep it.
It is going too far to say that believers today are not under law at all.