Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Not under law but under grace

"Sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace." Romans 6:14

Paul did not write, "Sin will have no dominion over you, since you are under grace." He made it clearer than that. He deliberately excluded ambiguity at the very point where I become confused.

Apart from continual re-saturation in the gospel, I see myself as under law when I've been bad, because I deserve it, and I see myself as under grace when I've been good, because I've earned it. Totally wrong.

Paul makes it clear where we stand now before God: "You are not under law but under grace." And then he looks us right in the eye and says to us, "I dare you to believe it and live by it."

Martin Luther: "It's the supreme art of the devil that he can make the law out of the gospel. If I can hold on to the distinction between law and gospel, I can say to him any and every time that should kiss my backside. . . . Once I debate about what I have done and left undone, I am finished. But if I reply on the basis of the gospel, 'The forgiveness of sins covers it all,' I have won."

Thanks to isaiah543 for the Luther quote.