The most common attack made against teachers of the gospel of grace is that we are lawless, meaning against the Ten Commandments.
It is an attack that has been made against me since 1991 (26 years).
This attack is nothing new.
It is the same attack made against Paul when he proclaimed the good news of God’s grace.
Like Paul, we do teach that we are not under Law, but under grace (Romans 6:14).
But we do not teach, as we are and Paul in his time was accused, that since we are not under Law then people are free to sin as much as they want.
According to those who make such ridiculous accusations, we, teachers of grace, completely disregard the Law by actually encouraging people to disobey it.
In Romans 3:8, Paul says this about those who claimed he was against the Law and that he taught that people can sin as much as they want, since they were not under Law but under grace:
“Why not say, as some [those accusing Paul] slanderously claim that we say, “Let us do evil that good may result?” [break the law so we get more grace].Their [those accusing Paul] condemnation is deserved!”
Throughout Paul’s ministry, he was constantly harassed by those who accused him of being lawless and a promoter of sin.
Paul states in Romans 3:31:
“Do we, then, nullify the Law by this faith? By no means! Instead, we uphold the Law.”
What does Paul mean in this verse?
Again, Paul was accused of not upholding the Law.
He was accused of lawlessness.
He was accused of saying the Law was useless, of no value, and that people could sin all they wanted since they were not under Law.
In this verse, Paul is defending his beliefs by stating that he and those who teach the good news of grace are really the ones who uphold the Law, understanding it’s usefulness and value.
And his accusers were really the ones who did not uphold the Law because they did not understand its purpose, therefore they did not value it in accordance with Scripture, nor teach it in the context of Scripture.
So how did Paul and the other teachers of grace uphold the Law?
We find the answer to this in the book of Romans.
Paul, in Romans 1 and 2 teaches that both Gentiles (those not having the Law - the Ten Commandments, yet who had the requirements of the Law written on their hearts) and the Jews (those who had the Law written on stone) both failed to obey the Law.
In Romans 3, Paul teaches that no one is righteous before God (perfectly obeying the Law internally and externally) and that the Law makes both Gentile and Jew conscious of sin (aware that we are sinners), and condemns all men to death.
In regard to this, Paul says: “Therefore, no one will be justified by the works of the Law.” (Romans 3:20)
In Romans 1:17 and 3:21, Paul explains that the Law itself teaches that the righteous will live by faith, and not by the Law.
Furthermore, in Romans 3:21-24, Paul states clearly that it is by grace through faith in Jesus, apart from the Law, that a person is justified, meaning that God declares a person to be righteous in his sight, totally innocent of having ever broken the Ten Commandments.
“But now, apart from the Law, the righteousness of God has been revealed, as attested by the Law and the Prophets. And this righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no distinction, for all [Jew and Gentile] have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:21-24)
The Jews, those who had the Law, boasted in their ability to keep the Law (Romans 2:17-24; 3:27), while condemning the “Gentile sinners” (this is the phrase the religious Jewish leaders loved to call the Gentiles).
However, Paul, in Romans 2, blasts the religious Jewish leaders for boasting of having and keeping the Law, when they were worse off than the Gentiles in keeping the Law.
This leads us up to Romans 3:31.
According to Paul, those who upheld the Law were not those who bragged about having and keeping the Law, but those who allowed the Law to do exactly what it was designed to do: establish God’s righteous standard of behavior and desires, expose our inability to keep his standard both internally and externally, and then execute us for our sin, thus, leading us to Jesus!
Once the law leads a person to Jesus, the Law has done its job!
The purpose of the Law is to convince us we are all sinners and that we need a Savior (Romans 7:7-25).
When people place their faith in Jesus, they are no longer under Law, but under grace.
Now this is what scares the religious people who love to brag out their keeping of the law (as if they could and do).
They believe, since a person is no longer under Law, but under grace, that this person will use grace as a license to sin.
However, the person under grace now lives by the Spirit of Jesus in them, and through the Spirit calls God “Abba, Father” and is now empowered to put away the sins of the body (Romans 8; Galatians 4 and 5).
Those who are led by the Spirit are not under Law (Galatians 5).
The Spirit, in those who are led by the Spirit, produces in the life of a believer “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. And against such things, there is no Law!” (Galatians 5:22-23).
Or...love does need a law to control how it lives because love goes way beyond and produces more in the heart of a believer than what the law ever required.
Yet the person who lives by the Law will be dominated by the flesh and will sin all the more (Romans 5:20 and 7:7-25) because the purpose of the law is not for controlling our sinful behaviors but for exposing our sinful hearts so we will see our need for grace and place our faith in Jesus.
Therefore, as Paul so brilliantly explains in Romans, it is teachers of grace who actually uphold the Law, and it is those who accuse teachers of grace as being against the law who really fail to uphold the Law.
It is the accusers who are the lawless ones.
Quite the twist!
If you are one of those who claim that teachers of grace care very little about sin, and they teach people they can sin all they want by ignoring the Law, you couldn’t be further from the truth.
You totally misunderstand the gospel, and as Paul implied in Romans 1:16-17, you are ashamed of the gospel.
You are of the same group of modern day religious Pharisees and Judaizers who accused Paul of the same thing you accuse teachers of grace of.
If you are a teacher of grace, keep teaching the Biblical truths of the good news of grace, despite the religious persecution you face daily.
Their attacks are wrong.
Their accusations are wrong.
There is so much I would love to address concerning the attacks and accusations made by modern day Pharisees and Judaizers who proudly promote themselves as teachers of God’s word and obeyers of God’s Law, but who simply keep people in bondage to Law, or to their own religious systems, and who are really not teachers of the gospel at all.
I have addressed many of these issues in both my books: The Story of Grace and Addicted To Grace.
To purchase a copy of either of my books, click below.