“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.” (Gal. 5:18)
Remember, the Spirit and the flesh (law in this case) are oppositional and you have to choose one or the other. It’s works of the law or gift of grace. You can try to earn your salvation by doing works of a law code or you can accept the free gift of salvation that comes through grace. They are poles apart so you have to choose.
We understand that there is an operative law code under which we live. There has always been a law code. God has never, since the beginning of the world, let mankind live without a law code. There is a law code that regulates the universe, which we call natural law. It is God’s law. There is a moral law code that regulates the world of men. This is God’s law as well. Some of that law code was in the Ten Commandments but much of it was from the beginning. It has always been against God’s law to kill, lie, hate, etc.
In the New Testament period, there is also a law code. Certain behavior that God expects His followers to adhere to. It’s still wrong to kill, lie, hate, etc. This law code has instructions for Christians and how they are to live in the world. Much of this code has to do with the Christians’ interaction with the people of the world, especially the lost. But, and this is important to grasp, the law code is not to be obeyed for salvation. Salvation is not a result of obeying the law code but a result of obeying the gospel.
One must hear the gospel, believe the gospel, repent of a sinful life, confess that Jesus is their Lord and be buried in the waters of baptism. This is obeying the gospel and when that is done grace is applied, sins are forgiven and the Holy Spirit moves in that heart. Now, what does one do? There are two choices. One may try to stay saved by doing works of the law code or one may do works of the law code because they are saved. When a person tries the first method they become like the Galatians. They want to add something besides Jesus to their salvation quest. On the other hand, one may stay saved by walking the light and letting the Holy Spirit guide them. This method will entail following the law code. Being saved by grace does not excuse a person to kill, lie, hate, etc.
Task for Today: Stay away from law keeping for law keeping’s sake. Rely on the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. Do the works that God has created you for, not to be saved but because you are saved. Do everything in the name of Jesus and because you are His and He is yours. Don’t attend an assembly of the saints so that you will be saved. Attend because that’s where the saved are and where you want to be.