No Longer Under A Schoolmaster

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

Under the Law or Under Grace you cannot be both

  1. Under the Law
  2. Under Grace

You cannot be both under the law and under grace.

Paul’s Writings Hard to Understand

2Pe 3:15-16 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; (16) As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Paul says plainly “ye are not under the law” (Romans 6:14). There are many today who believe that to be “Under the law” means to be “Under a system of law” or in other words “Subject to keeping the law”.

The Law is a Schoolmaster

Paul tells us that “the law was our schoolmaster” and that before faith came he was kept “under the schoolmaster”(the law).

Gal 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Gal 3:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

The word “schoolmaster” in this verse could be better translated “jail master”.  We have an advocate in the courts of heaven, Jesus Christ.  Because of breaking the law, we are held by a jail master until trial.  What God is willing to do is give us grace through His Son Jesus Christ.  If we do not accept His grace for breaking His law, we will receive the curse of the law, or the punishment for transgressing the law.

But until the time that we accept the grace of Christ, we are shut up in the jail cell, the jail master guarding our cage, held in bondage, a slave, guilty for breaking the law.  We are “Under the law”.  The concept of being under the law is not limited to any dispensation of time, or a certain people such as Israel before the cross.  This principle applies to all people throughout all time.

So before faith came Paul says that he was under the law(schoolmaster). Therefore, before faith came he was not under grace. But in verse 25 we are told that “after faith came”  he was no longer “under the law”, since he was set free from the bondage and now “under grace.”

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith;

Many teachers today believe that all the people before the cross, in particular the Jews were “under a system of law” and they misuse these verses to prove this.  But as will see in a moment, many before the cross were not “under the law” as Paul used the term. “Ye are not under the law”(Rom 6:14)

What does it mean to be “Under the Law”?

Paul said after grace came which he was saved by through faith that he did not make void the law.

Rom 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

In fact, Paul said he did not break the law after not being under the law.

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

Sin is transgression of the law(Rom 7:7, 1 John 3:4). So what Paul is saying here is basically “Shall we sin (break the law), because we are not under the law? God forbid”. God forbid, how shall we that are dead to sin and no longer under the condemnation of the law continue to break the law.  We are no longer under tutors and governors,(Gak 4:2) because we do not break the law of the government of heaven any more.

Breaking the law brings condemnation. This is what “under the law” means. It means “Under the condemnation of the law”. When the law is broken, it condemns you. Then you are brought under the curse, under sin, under the power of sin.

Under the Curse=Under the Law

Under the law=Under the schoolmaster=Under the condemnation=Under the curse.Gal 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.


The curse comes not for being a doer of the law, but for breaking the law.

Gal 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

We’ve all broken the law, therefore all are guilty before God.

Gal 3:12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

The law of itself only condemns the sinner.

Gal 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

To be redeemed from under the law, we must accept the grace of God, and that grace was manifest in what Christ did on the cross.  He was made sin for us, made a man in order to suffer the curse for breaking the law,  made under condemnation of the law, to redeem us from under the law, or from under the curse, or under sin.(2 Cor 5:21, Gal 4:4-6)

Gal 3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Those who are born of the Spirit are not “not under the law” (Gal 5:18).   A man can at any time in history pass from being under the condemnation of the law, to under grace.  This has been a truth, not only since the time of the cross or the apostles, but since the time of Adam and Eve.

Of the works of the law?

The law cannot work. Now, this says that man cannot overcome by the works of the law. The law cannot work in us, we are justified by faith. And after faith is come, it is not our works or the works of the law, it is Christ who works, not the law. “We are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus”(Eph 2:10) “He worketh in me mightily”(Col 1:29). The bible says “Exceeding abundantly, above all that we ask or think”(Eph 3:20).

This is all by faith. This is not the law that does the works, this is Christ. The law merely points out that we sinned. The law condemns us, it beats us, and tells us “You need Christ” when we are breaking it.

This law if we are breaking it, brings us under the curse as it reads “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them”(Gal 3:10, Deu 27). After accepting the grace of God however, we should ask as did Paul who said do we break the law because we are not under the law, or under its curse or condemnation? God forbid. (Rom 6:14, 15)

Now, Christ was made under that curse, Christ took that curse, Christ died our death being nailed to the cross taking our penalty for breaking the law. “Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree”(Gal 3:13).

Christ Made Under the Curse and Condemnation of the Law

Gal 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Gal 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Christ was made under the condemnation of the law, made under the curse, made to take our penalty, to suffer our death, to redeem us from under tutors and governors, under the elements of the world.  To redeem us that were under the curse of the law. To redeem us that were under the condemnation of the law. To redeem us that were under sin. To redeem us that were under the schoolmaster. To redeem us that were under the law.

Just because the law is good, holy and just (Rom 7:12) does not mean it can save us. It can only condemn us, it can point out our sins. The law will put a yoke on you, fasten the chains and hold us in the prison cell like any good jail master. A good law cannot make a guilty man innocent. The law is not at fault. We are. Therefore the law points us to a need of Christ, a need of his power, spirit, mind and the faith of Jesus to do all things contained in the law.

Is Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. Do we make void the law through faith? God forbid. Do we sin and break the law because we are not under the law? God forbid? We establish the law and make it honorable as it is Christ who worketh in us.

If a law condemns us to a life sentence(death) and we are awaiting the trial. We at this point are “under the law”. We have to get out of the clutches of that law, out from under the law. Christ our saviour looked at man as man stood guilty of death and he said “I will take his place, man shall get another chance”. “I will take the condemnation of the law, I will be made under the condemnation, I will be made under the curse, I will be made under the law which is a schoolmaster to point them back to me”.  That is the gospel.  That is the good news.  And to misunderstand this is to misunderstand the everlasting gospel.(Rev 14:7)

And when pointed back to him they are justified by faith. Not by the works of the law, not by their works, but by faith understanding that  Christ takes my penalty comes down to me and is crucified in me and I am crucified with him, and therefore it is no longer I that live since I am dead and crucified, but Christ that liveth in me, and that faith which I am justified by is not even my faith, but the faith of the son of God.(Gal 2:20)

Moses Was Not Under the Law

Gal 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

Was Moses the man who was given the law, under the law or was he under grace? The bible says “before faith came, we were under the law”(Gal 3:23)  And “after that  faith is come, we are no longer under the schoolmaster.”

Heb 11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;

Moses was justified by faith, but before faith came Moses was kept under the law, under the condemnation of the law. Moses a man who lived in the time before the cross was not “Under the law” but rather Moses was “Under Grace”.

Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Rom 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

Moses was not under the law because he was dead to sin and did not continue any longer therein.(Romans 6:1). God forbid. Should Moses break the law because he was not under the law? God forbid.  He was born again, no longer called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, but by adoption, receiving the new birth of the spirit, he was now called a “son of God.”

Heb 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
Heb 11:26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
Heb 11:27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

By faith he forsook Egypt. But before faith came he was kept under the law. (Gal 3:23).

Heb 11:28 Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

By faith he kept the Passover and the ceremony of sprinkling of blood. But before faith came he was kept “under the law”. (Gal 3:23).  What should be interesting to note is that the ceremonies were kept by faith.  Many when reading Galatians 3:23-25 interpret it to mean the ceremonial law, and that when performing the ceremonies, this would bring you “under the law”.  But this is not the case since it is only “before faith came, we were kept under the law”.  To perform a ceremony by faith therefore would not bring one “under the law”.   Again to misunderstand this is to misunderstand the everlasting gospel.

The Israelites who passed through the Red Sea were not Under the Law

Heb 11:29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.

But before faith came they were kept under the law.

Joshua was not under the Law even past Mount Sinai after the law was given

Heb 11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.

But before faith came they were kept under the law.

Abel Kept the Ceremonial Law by Faith

I understand I am re-emphasizing this point, but this seems hard for people to recognize sometimes, and I believe it is important to drive this point home.  Some have come to believe that it was the ceremonial law that Galatians is talking about and that is the law that they are “under”. But as we already have read Moses “kept the Passover” through faith. Therefore it was not sin. And therefore he had not transgressed the law, and therefore he was not “Under the law”. But before faith came he was kept under the law. You can only be condemned by the “Moral Law”. The ceremony is a ritual performed by faith in the son of God.

Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

Abel was righteous by faith. Was it by performing a sacrifice? No. But yet he gave a more excellent sacrifice. Was he justified by the works of the law? No. He trusted the promise, and by faith Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice. By faith he performed the ritual which pointed him to Christ. By faith he listened to the schoolmaster which pointed him to Christ. And after faith was come was he under the schoolmaster? No. He saw Christ crucified in him, and he lived by the faith of the son of God. But before faith came Abel was kept under the law. After faith, Abel was no longer under the law, but under grace, set free from the bondage of sin by accepting that Christ redeemed him from the curse of the law.

Galatians Thought They were Justified by Circumcision

The issue in Galatians has to do with circumcision. They thought the ritual justified them. And Paul explains that Abraham was justified before he was circumcised. Circumcision was a sign of righteousness by faith. The cutting off of a piece of flesh was a sign that our dependence was not on the flesh but rather on the spirit.

Rom 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

So circumcision was a sign, and circumcision is nothing but a sign.

1Co 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

Now, obviously keeping the commandments of God is important as Paul said. But “circumcision is nothing”. So Christ took the curse we deserve, that we might receive the blessing of the spirit which we don’t deserve. Christ was made under the law and condemnation taking the penalty we deserve, so that we could be redeemed from under the law which we don’t deserve.

He hath redeemed us from the “Curse” so that we could have the “Blessing”

Gal 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
Gal 3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Since we have the blessing of the spirit, do we then fulfill the lusts of the flesh?

Gal 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

And what happened to the flesh? We are circumcised in the heart. The flesh was cut off.

Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

The Covenant of Grace is only with Israel and Judah

Some today are saying “we are not Jews”, we are under the New Covenant.  The fact of the matter is, God has no covenant with gentiles.  His covenant is only with Israel and Judah.

Heb 8:8  For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

So therefore, unless you are a Jew, his covenant is not with you.  This is not just a spiritual Jew, this is a literal Jew by the Spirit, the only way in which you can be a Jew. Otherwise you are a Jew in name and profession only, but not really a Jew in the eyes of God. (Rev 3:9)

Rom 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

And therefore you fulfill the law by faith. Yet you are not under the law.

Rom 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

See Also

Under the Law

The Law of Liberty

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