Are We Under God’s Laws?

The Apostle Paul said:
Romans 6:14
“For sin shall not have dominion over you:
for ye are not under the law,
but under grace.”

The Apostle Paul also said:
1 Corinthians 9:21
” being not without law to God,
but under the law to Christ…”

Which one is true?

Are they both true and then cancel themselves out? Or, is there a misunderstanding and both these statements are true because they are NOT talking about the same law?

Here’s An Example to Consider:


“Thou shalt not commit adultery”
“Do not commit fornication.”

1. A fellow believer in Christ was having a sexual relationship with his step-mother.

Did God’s laws apply to this Christian man?
Does God expect him to obey His laws?
Does Paul expect this brother to obey the law?

Is he held accountable for breaking God’s laws?

Is he exempt from the death penalty law while living in unrepentant sinning because he’s a believer?

(Is he still free from the law of sin and death?  He is walking after the the flesh not after the Spirit.  Is he still in Christ or has he departed from Him?)

Paraphrasing the Old English from 1Corinthians 5:9-13:

Paul wrote a letter to the church in Corinth warning them and instructing them not to visit with, hang out with, associate with or eat with unrepentant sinners including people having sexual relationships without being married (fornicators).

Paul then tells them what he meant when he said that. He said he wasn’t talking about unrepentant sinners who are out in the world who don’t know God, because that’s who they needed to go out into the world to witness to and to minister the gospel to.

Paul said he specifically meant that they were not to visit with or associate with brethren who are fellow believers and within the Body of Christ who are unrepentantly committing sins.

In the last two verses Paul is saying that God judges the unrepentant sinners that are out in the world; but as brethren they are required to judge the fellow believers living among them.

Paul instructed them to judge the unrepentant believer by their fruits.  He told them to judge (act according to what is lawful and good) by rebuking and if necessary separating themselves from the unrepentant brother or sister.  This wasn’t because there wasn’t hope for them to find grace and forgiveness from God again, but to help them turn back to repentance and salvation “that their spirit might be saved”.  The other purpose for this action is to also protect the Body of Christ from further corruption.  Paul isn’t saying that they should judge in the way God judges.  We aren’t allowed by God to declare or decree that an unrepentant person will never be saved again.  We can’t lawfully determine that they are certainly damned to hell.  God tells us NOT to judge in that way because only He is authorized to make that type of Judgment.  Just as there are different types of laws, their are different types of making judgments, we’re not God, it’s unlawful for us to say that of another person.

Paul ends with instructing the community of believers that if that unrepentant believer continues in that sin and refuses to repent, then the Body of Christ is required and responsible to remove him from the rest of the Body of Christ. Paul calls that unrepentant brother “that wicked person”.  Paul is judging the man’s fruit and calling sinful behavior by its name.  This action he commanded them to do wasn’t motivated out of meaness or hatred but out of mercy and love to encourage the one who has fallen from grace to return to God and salvation.

1Corinthians 5:9-13
“I wrote unto you in an epistle
not to company with fornicators:

Yet not altogether with the fornicators
or with the covetous,
or extortioners,
or with idolaters;
go out of the world.

But now I have written unto you not to keep company, IF ANY MAN THAT IS CALLED A BROTHER BE A FORNICATOR, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye JUDGE THEM that are WITHIN?

But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.”

a. This person was a fellow brother of Christ whom Paul makes it clear wasn’t “of the world” but who was a member “within” the Body of Christ.

b.The same Paul who said in Romans 6:14 that the Body of Christ wasn’t under the law but under grace just charged this man with being a fornicator, which means a sinner who has transgressed God’s law. Paul says that action makes that brother a wicked person. A wicked person isn’t righteous, cleansed or justified; a wicked person isn’t under grace. A wicked person is under the law of “the wages of sin is death” and doesn’t inherit eternal life.

1Corinthians 6:9-10
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

Paul by the Spirit of God the Father and Jesus Christ warns all believers in the Body of Christ not to sin BECAUSE IF THEY continue in unrepentant sinning and never turn back in true sincere confession and repentance, then they will not inherit eternal life but will suffer the wrath of God.

Ephesians 5:3-7
“But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

Let no man deceive you with vain words: FOR BECAUSE OF THESE THINGS cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

Be not ye therefore partakers with them.”

This proves that God does expect the Body of Christ to be under His laws and to obey Him.

1 Corinthians 9:21
” being not without law to God,
but under the law to Christ…”

It also proves that if the believer transgresses the moral laws that do apply to them, then the law of “the wages of sin is death” law reapplies to them.

Romans 6:15-16
“What then? shall we sin,
because we are not under the law,
but under grace? God forbid.

Know ye not, that to whom
ye yield yourselves servants to obey,
his servants ye are to whom ye obey;
or of obedience unto righteousness?”

The reason Romans 6:14 is true and applies to believers is because they are keeping God’s heavenly sanctuary laws that include our faith in God the Father, faith in Jesus Christ, we confess and repent of our sins while continuing to put sin away and obeying God’s laws. If we don’t do these things, then Romans 6:14 doesn’t apply to us.  If we don’t do those things we’re not abiding in Christ.

Romans 6:14
“For sin shall not have dominion over you:
for ye are not under the law,
but under grace.”

That’s what being in Christ is all about. If we depart from God by stepping outside of doing those things, and we go back into unrepentant sinning without returning to God in the way He has specifically instructed us to do, then we are separated from Christ, we have departed and aren’t abiding in Christ.

Romans 8:1-2
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”

This is a conditional term and condition of God’s covenant.

If a believer is walking after the Spirit in obedience to God’s laws living out a repentant life, then they are free from “the wages of sin is death” law.

But if the believer is walking after the flesh in disobedience to God’s laws, then they are under the condemnation of the law and the death penalty is reapplied again.

This is why Paul is misunderstood.

Romans 6:14
“For sin shall not have dominion over you:
for ye are not under the law,
but under grace.”

1 Corinthians 9:21
” being not without law to God,
but under the law to Christ…”

Which one is true?

They are both true because they are talking about two different types of laws.

These things also prove that if the believer refuses to submit to and come under God’s moral laws, then they are disinherited and will be removed from the Body of Christ if they continue in unrepentant sinning. This is why it’s important that we know, practice and teach God’s laws, because we are under those laws and we will be held accountable for keeping them and for breaking them.


John 15:2 “Every branch IN ME that beareth not fruit He taketh away…”; Romans 11:21  “For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He also spare not thee.”


After studying these scriptures and reasons, someone might reject that a believer can fall from grace and lose their salvation because they realize that they sin everyday.

It may seem impossible if you think justification and the forgiveness of sin occurs only once, at a one time profession of faith. They probably believe there’s only one shot, one chance for forgiveness. In that case it would be an impossibility. But that false belief and doctrine keeps people from discovering and understanding how sin is handled by Jesus Christ everyday in heaven. They may choose to reject the truth because they can’t figure out how this truth can be applied and anyone could be saved.

I hope they would consider that forgiveness (justification) and staying clean (sanctification) is a daily process that God calls us to continue in everyday until He calls us home. That’s what He means when He says to be diligent, watch, pray and be ready and looking for His return.

When we sin, we have hope IF we acknowledge that we have sinned (confessed breaking His law) and we believe that we are bound by His righteous laws to keep them under the penalty of death or by keeping them unto the reward of life (blessings or curses).

1John 2:1
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous”

1John 1:9-10
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful andjust to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

People who believe they aren’t bound under the moral laws of God are saying they’re not sinning. They are calling God a liar and they probably don’t realize it!

If you’re not under the law how can you be a sinner?

Sin is defined as being the breaking of the law. If the law didn’t exist, then it wouldn’t  be possible to be a sinner. If we refuse to acknowledge God’s laws as being binding or applying to us, how can we continue in confession and repentance like Jesus taught us to do in the Lord’s Prayer?  How can we be saved?



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