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You Are Not Under the Law – Explained

If you lived during the transition while the fading away Levitical Priesthood (Heb 8:13Heb 8:13
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.  

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) and the New Priesthood of the Messiah, after the order of Melchizedek (Heb 7:11-17Heb 7:11-17
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? 12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. 13 For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. 15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, 16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. 17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.  

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), was phasing out the former you could be faced with the following dilemma:

1) Should you go up to Jerusalem and offer an animal sacrifice for sin offering or put your trust in the annual Yom Kippur?
2) Should you trust that Messiah’s perfect atonement sacrifice, once and for all, was the ultimate sacrifice for your sins?

This is what Paul is saying in answer to the questions above:

Rom 6:14Rom 6:14
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

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

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For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Gal 2:21Gal 2:21
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.  

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I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Gal 3:19Gal 3:19
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.  

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Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
Gal 3:23Gal 3:23
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.  

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But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
Gal 3:24Gal 3:24
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  

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Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Gal 3:25Gal 3:25
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.  

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But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
Gal 4:4Gal 4:4
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,  

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But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Gal 4:5Gal 4:5
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.  

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To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Gal 4:21Gal 4:21
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?  

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Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
Gal 5:18Gal 5:18
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.  

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But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

The “under the law” is strictly speaking of the sacrificial law of the Temple which could only provide temporary covering for sin but could not change the sinful heart of men.

The sacrificial law of the Temple (also known as the works of the law) was only a tutor (a schoolmaster) until the Messiah fulfilled it as the High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek royal priesthood and becoming the sacrifice, altar and temple.

If the disciples didn’t think they were still to observe the Mosaic Law, how come Paul participated in the Nazarite vow (Num 6:2-21Num 6:2-21
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD: to separate...: or, to make themselves Nazarites 3 He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried. 4 All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk. separation: or, Nazariteship vine...: Heb. vine of the wine 5 All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow. 6 All the days that he separateth himself unto the LORD he shall come at no dead body. 7 He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die: because the consecration of his God is upon his head. consecration: Heb. separation 8 All the days of his separation he is holy unto the LORD. 9 And if any man die very suddenly by him, and he hath defiled the head of his consecration; then he shall shave his head in the day of his cleansing, on the seventh day shall he shave it. 10 And on the eighth day he shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons, to the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: 11 And the priest shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, and make an atonement for him, for that he sinned by the dead, and shall hallow his head that same day. 12 And he shall consecrate unto the LORD the days of his separation, and shall bring a lamb of the first year for a trespass offering: but the days that were before shall be lost, because his separation was defiled. be lost: Heb. fall 13 And this is the law of the Nazarite, when the days of his separation are fulfilled: he shall be brought unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: 14 And he shall offer his offering unto the LORD, one he lamb of the first year without blemish for a burnt offering, and one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish for a sin offering, and one ram without blemish for peace offerings, 15 And a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, and wafers of unleavened bread anointed with oil, and their meat offering, and their drink offerings. 16 And the priest shall bring them before the LORD, and shall offer his sin offering, and his burnt offering: 17 And he shall offer the ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD, with the basket of unleavened bread: the priest shall offer also his meat offering, and his drink offering. 18 And the Nazarite shall shave the head of his separation at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall take the hair of the head of his separation, and put it in the fire which is under the sacrifice of the peace offerings. 19 And the priest shall take the sodden shoulder of the ram, and one unleavened cake out of the basket, and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them upon the hands of the Nazarite, after the hair of his separation is shaven: 20 And the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD: this is holy for the priest, with the wave breast and heave shoulder: and after that the Nazarite may drink wine. 21 This is the law of the Nazarite who hath vowed, and of his offering unto the LORD for his separation, beside that that his hand shall get: according to the vow which he vowed, so he must do after the law of his separation.  

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) at the Temple before his capture by Temple guards? Act 21:21Act 21:21
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

21 And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.  

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And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake (1) Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.

Act 21:22Act 21:22
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

22 What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come.  

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What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come.
Act 21:23Act 21:23
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

23 Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them;  

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Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them;
Act 21:24Act 21:24
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

24 Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.  

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Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.

Note (1) the Greek word used translated “forsake” in Acts 21:21Acts 21:21
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

21 And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.  

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is Strong’s # G646 apostasia. It is used once more in the NT in 2 Thess 2:32 Thess 2:3
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;  

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for the widespread “falling away”

Note in Act 21:24Act 21:24
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

24 Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.  

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that Paul, and other Jewish believers in our Saviour (Acts 21:20Acts 21:20
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:  

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), kept the Law but not the Levitical Sacrificial Law as this was fulfilled once and for all with the Saviour’s atonement sacrifice.

This is a voluntary Nazarite vow (Num 6:2-21Num 6:2-21
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD: to separate...: or, to make themselves Nazarites 3 He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried. 4 All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk. separation: or, Nazariteship vine...: Heb. vine of the wine 5 All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the LORD, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow. 6 All the days that he separateth himself unto the LORD he shall come at no dead body. 7 He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die: because the consecration of his God is upon his head. consecration: Heb. separation 8 All the days of his separation he is holy unto the LORD. 9 And if any man die very suddenly by him, and he hath defiled the head of his consecration; then he shall shave his head in the day of his cleansing, on the seventh day shall he shave it. 10 And on the eighth day he shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons, to the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: 11 And the priest shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, and make an atonement for him, for that he sinned by the dead, and shall hallow his head that same day. 12 And he shall consecrate unto the LORD the days of his separation, and shall bring a lamb of the first year for a trespass offering: but the days that were before shall be lost, because his separation was defiled. be lost: Heb. fall 13 And this is the law of the Nazarite, when the days of his separation are fulfilled: he shall be brought unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: 14 And he shall offer his offering unto the LORD, one he lamb of the first year without blemish for a burnt offering, and one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish for a sin offering, and one ram without blemish for peace offerings, 15 And a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, and wafers of unleavened bread anointed with oil, and their meat offering, and their drink offerings. 16 And the priest shall bring them before the LORD, and shall offer his sin offering, and his burnt offering: 17 And he shall offer the ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD, with the basket of unleavened bread: the priest shall offer also his meat offering, and his drink offering. 18 And the Nazarite shall shave the head of his separation at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall take the hair of the head of his separation, and put it in the fire which is under the sacrifice of the peace offerings. 19 And the priest shall take the sodden shoulder of the ram, and one unleavened cake out of the basket, and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them upon the hands of the Nazarite, after the hair of his separation is shaven: 20 And the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD: this is holy for the priest, with the wave breast and heave shoulder: and after that the Nazarite may drink wine. 21 This is the law of the Nazarite who hath vowed, and of his offering unto the LORD for his separation, beside that that his hand shall get: according to the vow which he vowed, so he must do after the law of his separation.  

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) that Paul was committing to after his conversation with James (Jacob).

Like David, who was anointed to be king, respected the anointing in Saul and didn’t kill him, the disciples waited patiently until the Levitical (Aaronic ) priesthood passed away with the Temple.

Act 25:8Act 25:8
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

8 While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all.  

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While he answered for himself, Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all.

Act 21:20Act 21:20
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:  

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And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:

As you can see, “under the Law” means the Levitical sacrificial law aka works of the law as Paul, James and many thousands of Jews who believed in our Messiah, were still zealous of the Mosaic law. Rom_3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

The Law observance for gentiles is not a pre requisite for salvation but fruit of salvation & proof the Holy Spirit dwells in them and moves them to obedience for sanctification (1Co 1:30; 1Th 4:3-4).

2Th 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

1Pe 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

by Ricardo Rodríguez

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