Of all the phrases used by the Apostle Paul in the New Testament, “not under law” may be the most misunderstood. Most think it means God’s laws in the Old Testament are obsolete, but context implies something very different: Paul says, “sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” (Ro 6:12-14)
Not being under law is what causes us to overcome sin … yet sin is breaking God’s Law. (1Jn 3:4) Paul is not telling us we can sin all we want now, but how being in Christ causes us to sin less and less.
The key appears to be in the contrasting phrase – under grace: experiencing the power of God as He transforms us into the likeness of Christ. (Ep 2:8,10) As God works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Php 2:13), we are no longer under law, trying to obey in our own strength, feeling only the duty and command but no empowering life, with no inclination to obey, always failing, rebelling and feeling the terror of our condemnation. Rather, we have Christ in us, the hope of glory (Col 1:27), Who overcame the world (Jn 16:33) and is doing it all over again in every one of His children (1Jn 5:4), giving them grace unto glory. (Php 1:6)