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Read Introduction to Romans


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


but under grace.

The two phrases “under law” and “under grace” are antithetical. If we are under the one, we are not under the other. They refer to two eras in God’s plan. One era is the Mosaic law and the other is the era of grace. Living under the Mosaic law is living under the power of sin. Living under grace has the additional power of the indwelling Holy Spirit (8:4) to enable Christians to live the Christian life.

Ga 5:18, But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Paul developed the connection between grace and the Spirit in chapter eight.

The word “under” in “under grace” indicates that grace will have the controlling sway in Christian living. It will have the decisive control over the believer to subject him to the plan of God. The grace way of life is a totally different system than the law way of life. God’s “grace” is a promise already enacted. He provides grace to live now just like we will live with Him in the future.


Grace is the counter-power to the power of sin.


Grace is so powerful that it breaks the dominion of sin. Grace goes beyond forgiveness of sin; it involves transfer of power. That power breaks the dominion of sin; the believer is no longer under the tyranny of sin.

Those who refuse to admit their spiritual bankruptcy hold animosity to the principle of grace. Christians cannot comply to God through law keeping. The law functions under precepts but grace operates under principles.

The law brings condemnation to those under the law in Adam. God gives grace to those in Christ; Christians no longer live under the condemnation of the law but in a new relationship to Christ. This affords the believer ability to offer himself or herself to God to freely fellowship with Him. God gives the power to live for Him by grace. As the old hymn says:

“He breaks the power of cancelled sin.”

The law cannot justify a sinner or sanctify a saint. It fails at both. The grace of God can do what the law cannot. It sets the believer free from both the penalty and power of sin. God is the one who supplies the necessary means through the grace concept.