Three things of paramount importance to understand what is meant by the statement that we are not under the law, we are under grace. These three things are works, law and grace. What are works? Biblically, works means moral or immoral acts, deeds, output, or accomplishments. The apostle Paul relates to us the immoral works of the flesh in Galatians 5: 19-21 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like. That is a very clear definition of immoral works. But God says that there are good works also in Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. However, salvation only comes through the grace of Christ, not our works.
Keeping of the law is next! There is a definition and explanation by God concerning the law. What is its purpose? Why did God give the law in the first place? Galatians 3: 19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.
21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law.
23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.
24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Matthew 5:18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
Both the works and the law point toward grace. As a matter of fact it literally paves the way for grace. John 1: 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. As God begins to open up His truth about law and grace we see that without grace all is of no effect because we have no means of ourselves to be justified to God. Jesus loved us so much He willingly gave His life so that we could live. Jesus died while we were still sinners and took upon Himself the sins of the world and became sin for us. He took our sins and died in our place. There is no greater grace than that. He freely gave Himself.
So now we ask the question, what are the spiritual laws? The answers are always found in God’s Word! Jesus revealed and the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. Jesus teaches us in the” Sermon on the Mount” the difference between the old law and the new spiritual law. Under the old law you had to physically break the law to be guilty but under the new spiritual law, if you so much as harbored evil in your heart and mind, you are guilty of breaking the law. Matthew 5: 27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Romans 7: 25 I thank God — through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. Galatians 6: 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
The old law given by Moses was etched in stone and written in ink but the new law under the new covenant is written in the fleshy heart of man. 2 Corinthians 3:3 clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.
The change of the old to the new took place the night Jesus kept the last Passover and then instituted the communion with bread and fruit of the vine. 1 Corinthians 11:25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. Hebrews 12:24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant.
Hebrews 7: 12 For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law.
13 For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar.( of the Levites)
14 For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood.
15 And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest
16 who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life.
17 For He testifies: ” You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.”
18 For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness,
19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.
The priesthood changed from the Levitical Priesthood to the Judean Priesthood, Jesus becoming the high priest forever. Any and all laws under Christ are spiritual. Romans 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual.
Jesus says over and over in the new covenant that we need to obey Him. Hebrews 5: 8-9 He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.