Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Amazing Grace

Romans 6:14  For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
Amazing Grace is one of my favorite hymns. I love the lyrics, and can hear it over and over again, and never grow tired of it. In the above passage from Romans, Paul says, that sin will not have dominion over us… Why? The simple answer is that we are not under law but under grace. The reason that sin has no dominion over us, is directly related, to the fact, that we are not under law, but under grace. Here again, we see Grace driving the train. Grace is the prime mover. That is the way it is in the new covenant.

The mixture of law and grace present in current evangelical orthodox doctrine flies in the face of this truth. It is not stated that by understanding the law, and following its edicts, that one will overcome sin. Further, it is not stated that after understanding the law the Holy Spirit will enable one to overcome sin, but merely by the fact that we are not under law but under grace. It comes down to the word dominion. What does dominion mean? The first definition of dominion is as follows: the power or right of governing and controlling; sovereign authority. So then, one could say that sin does not have the power or right of governing and controlling; sovereign authority because of grace.

Again, this is most important in the proper flow of the transformation process. Grace, unmerited favor from one above our stature, creates within us a natural love for, and peace with the one granting the unmerited favor. I know that over the course of this blog, I have become redundant in stating this idea over and over again. However, this is necessary if we are ever to allow Grace to take its proper place in transformation. It is graces transforming power that makes it truly amazing grace.

Notice that Paul does not say that that sin loses its dominion over us because we no longer sin. But rather, sin loses its dominion over us because we are under grace and no longer under law. He does say however, since we are not under law but under grace, that this provides a good reason to not continually sin. In other words, it is reasonable to look out at our behavior and try to rid ourselves of sin. It is not reasonable and proper however to try to rid ourselves of sin from fear. In so doing, this is the place where the law becomes the law of sin and death. Rather, we should try to rid ourselves of sin because of love for God brought about by grace. This would be possible if we did not have such an unhealthy view of sin brought about by fear from understanding the law. Yes, in my view evangelical orthodoxy has an erroneous and unhealthy view of sin, the law, and proper obedience. This erroneous view, makes grace much less amazing than it really is. It saddens me deeply to see Saints in such bondage to sin by the fear of the law when Paul has made it so abundantly clear that we are not under law but rather under grace.

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