Not under law?


Today’s reading from Gal says we are not under the law but the spirit. We are under plenty of law. The 10 commandments from which many laws come. Mass every week at least. Or a dispensation. There is a suggestion of freedom here. I don’t quite understand. :shrug:


My explanation will be haphazard at best but I have been recently reading Romans so I will give it a shot. The laws such as the 10 Commandments are obviously still applicable. However Paul states that when Moses received the law, we were more culpable for our sins because we had God’s explicit command not to engage in those activities while previously it was not concretely defined for the world. But the Laws (before Christ’s Sacrifice) do nothing to glorify or justify us because no one can follow the law perfectly in all cases. Therefore no one was considered upright. However, faith in Jesus Christ as our Redeemer grants “reckons” us uprightness where no amount of following the law could. The Holy Spirit which dwells within us makes our souls favorable to Jesus and therefore God the Father where they once were not.


Coincidentally, there is another thread on one of the Pope’s sermons on this topic (from Galatians 3). Ideally, a full reading of Galatians will give some insight, or as said above, Romans. The gist of it is that we cannot be saved through obedience of any set of rules. Through grace we are saved, through faith, as opposed to works. However, as you read in on in Galatians, you will find that we our freedom is not license to sin.

5:13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself"

Jesus explained that the whole of the law could be summed up in our love for God and love of neighbor.


Paul was responding to those who came to Galatia and taught the nascent Christian community there that it was necessary to obey Mosaic Law (circumcision, dietary law, etc, etc) in order to be saved. Paul had to remind them that they were no longer under the Law (of Moses) but under the freedom of the Holy Spirit.

This doesn’t mean that, under the New Covenant of Christ, it’s all chaos; just that the New Covenant is the only covenant under which gentile Christians were bound.


No, not exactly although we are FREE to always choose to sin or NOT to sin.

Ecclesiasticus 15:18
Before man is life and death, good and evil, that which he shall choose shall be given him

The “law” here references the 613 ADDED-ON to the 10 Commandments; NOT to the Commandments themselves.:slight_smile:

The moral LESSON though is that because of GRACE, we are now living under the NEW Covenant; which BTW, overrides, but does NOT delete the OT Covenants.And ALL of {the body of} teaching by Jesus throughout the NT now take precedence:thumbsup:.

God Bless you



So your saying then that that mentioning of spirit is the Holy Spirit. That helps. There were Noah’s laws. Maybe not a lot of laws but something. I believe we are told even now. “We sin daily” so the only thing I know of that can save that is the Eucharist.


As I say, “We sin daily”. Too bad I guess. Maybe not mortal sin. But venial I believe here.



OK It always helps to have insight to the situation.


I didn’t mean a license to sin. It is said the law is/was a taskmaster. All do’s and don’ts. The holy spirit tells us right and wrong? IS that’s what is meant? And is that through the church?


Paul also said it is through the law that we come to knowledge of sin. To see this another way, think in terms of what the Catechism teaches about the supremacy of the conscience. We are obligated both to obey our conscience and to form it. So we have the Church acting as teacher, where once there was the law, helping use to “know sin”.

On a practical note, I think we seldom need help to know right and wrong. Our biggest need is usually for courage to do what we know is right.


I do not trust conscious. If we have to form it then it must not have been before. Not before baptism or confirmation anyway. But then there’s the Word put into the heart of man whatever that means.


This is the best summary for it, as I understand the faith, by St Basil of Cesarea:

"If we turn away from evil out of fear of punishment, we are in the position of slaves. If we pursue the enticement of wages, . . . we resemble mercenaries. Finally if we obey for the sake of the good itself and out of love for him who commands . . . we are in the position of children."

Under the New Covenant man is still obliged to be righteous/ obey the law. Being “under the law” means that man must attempt to obey by his own efforts or power. Being “under grace” means that man now has God’s life in him, his obedience coming as a result of the virtue of love being infused. Anything done out of love is always right, which is why it’s said that **“love fulfills the law”. **Rom 13:8


There were many laws in the Old Testaments. The laws that were used by the government of the Jews were religious laws; they make no different to them. Perhaps a close resemblance would be the shariat laws of the Muslims.

Thus in Christianity, the New Covenant, therefore which laws do we retain and which ones we abolish?

Generally we keep the moral laws (as guided by the Ten Commandments) which do not change, but we abolish the government laws (ceremonial, penalties, religious, etc).

The latter have been fulfilled because the Savior has come.

The law of the spirit is the one written in our hearts – love. It is about the heart, what do our hearts say? It is about loving God and neighbors, the vertical and the horizontal. The new laws therefore are ones that lead us to attain the objective of the greatest Commandment – love.


moral law. Canon law too.


Here is the OP
“Today’s reading from Gal says we are not under the law but the spirit. We are under plenty of law. The 10 commandments from which many laws come. Mass every week at least. Or a dispensation. There is a suggestion of freedom here. I don’t quite understand.”

Lets take the term “under the Spirit”

Here’s what I had in mind:

Matthew 12:31
Therefore I say to you: Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but the blasphemy of the Spirit shall not be forgiven.

Definately a MORTAL and the only unforgiveable sin

Thanks God Bless you



Hi. That’s a good one. In a sense we have replaced Moses laws with our canon laws as Christian governance. There’s a parallel to them.


The meaning of the word “law” is different in these three usages, as it is if we speak of criminal law. Moral laws are not punishable with at ticket, for example. In this case, the English word “principle” is more refined. Likewise, “rules” are more suitable for canon law.


Hum. Well there is in law “legislative rules” Administrative law with the power of law. Moral law can be a violation of criminal law in our laws. IDK is that’s a good likeness. I am still not quite sure what your saying. Moral law is punished by sin in the Church? What is punishment of not following canon law. There’s a sin for getting remarried without an annulment isn’t there? That’s Canon law.


Of course there is a relationship between the moral and civil law, but they remain distinct. Greed, lust and hate are not punishable in court, and not providing for employees contraception is not immoral, though each may be a violation of another type of law. Canon law, which are simply the rules of governance of the Church, may address a moral issue, as you pointed out, but this is not all that canon law does.

I think we all agree that moral law is universal and not something one is ever “free” from. IN fact, I would say the opposite; that moral law is liberating.


Oh yes. Except those who want their sin. And of course they will pay for it. I am guilty. We all are. Yes moral law is universal. But civil law or law of countries, certainly isn’t.


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