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14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

 

This verse has two “for” clauses. The first “for” declares that the lordship of sin over Christians has ended. The second “for” shows the reason why the lordship of sin is over. We are not under the legal principle of the law, which demands duty, but under grace that confers God’s unconditional blessing.

14 For

Verse 14 is the ground for all the statements in verses 11 to 13. Sin’s domination is broken through the death and resurrection of Christ. This is the reason for the previous exhortation to “present” or yield ourselves to God. Because sin no longer has dominion over Christians, we are free to live under God’s blessings.

sin shall not have dominion [lordship] over you,

The future tense here is logical progression—this is a promise of victory over sin arising out of an epoch dominated by grace, the epoch of grace. Jesus fulfilled the epoch of the law in every respect. Sin is an alien power to the epoch of grace.

for

This “for” shows the reason sin’s domination over the believer is broken. Christians are no longer under the era dominated by Adam or the Mosaic law but under the epoch of grace.

This flies in the face of those who say grace is the basis for licentiousness (6:1). On the contrary, grace is the basis for triumph over sin. Paul raised this question again in the next verse (v.15).

you are not under [the authority of] law

Those under the epoch of grace no longer owe allegiance to the epoch of the law. The “law” here is the Mosaic law. That law no longer has the right to exercise authority over the believer under grace. The epoch of the law was dominated by being “in Adam.” The Mosaic law pertained to the nation Israel, not the church. Freedom in Christ means deliverance, whether for the Jew under the law or for the race under Adam. God delivers us from the attempt to measure up to His standards. The issue is not behaving but believing. Behaving will follow believing because of the effect of God’s grace on the life of the believer.

PRINCIPLE:

There is no probation for a believer before God.

APPLICATION:

The nature of grace is that God acts freely, according to His nature. He has no obligation to fulfill; grace is therefore uncaused in the recipient and the cause is wholly in the giver. The believer’s place is “in Christ,” which gives us an eternal standing before God. The Christian, therefore, is not under probation. God never withdraws His grace.

God never accepts us conditionally. God does what He does eternally. Even He cannot undo it. God never leaves eternal issues to feeble man. God never leaves His accomplishment to man. Grace is man’s only hope because God never withdraws His grace. The believer is never under the law as a condition of acceptance with God. Grace enables the believer to be fully acceptable to God.

The grace concept originates in God’s own nature and is uncaused in the recipient. The cause lies in God, not in the recipient. Therefore, any system of human work dishonors God. Grace alone inclines the believer toward God. Grace does not owe anything; there is no obligation it has yet to pay. That is why grace does not act where it rests on man’s desert. There is no cause in man that causes God to give His grace. It is humbling to find that our acceptance to God rests on something other than who or what we are. This is the reason men hate grace; they have to humble themselves before God to receive it.

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