If Christians are not under the Ten Commandments, are we free to do whatever we want?
Do not confuse “lawlessness” with “without law;” these terms are not synonyms, but antonyms. Because Christ has set us free (without law), it does not necessarily follow that we can do whatever we want (lawless). In fact, believing that I can do whatever I want is bondage and not freedom at all. Freedom simply from law is the definition of “lawless.” But freedom from enslavement to sin that keeps me bound to the law is being “without law.”
The confusion comes when we do not understand from what Christ has set us free.
The Cross of Christ is for the forgiveness of sins, but also for the killing of the sin nature.
In his death on the cross, Christ died for the sins of humanity. Now understand that this death he died was not for only those who would believe, but for all humanity. From Adam to the last man or woman according to God’s plan and purpose, Christ’s death is sufficient for all.
In his death on the cross, Christ died to kill the sin nature of humanity as well. Just because he died for the sins of all humanity it does not necessarily follow that all are, therefore, saved. We must individually accept the death he died as our own in order to make his death efficient.
His death was sufficient (good enough) for all, but efficient (only takes effect) for those who believe.
Thus, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free: Freedom from sin and, with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, freedom from the sin nature.
By definition, as Christians, if we are free from sin and the sin nature, then it would necessarily follow that we are also free from the law which governs sin and death.
Christ died for our sins and took the penalty for sin upon himself at his death. Therefore, where he took our sin and death, he gave us his righteousness and life.
Incidentally, this is “salvation” by definition.
As such, that which makes us want to do whatever it is we want to do has been crucified with Christ. In other words, when a Christian says that, “I can do whatever I want,” that Christian becomes self-contradicting because it is the sin nature that assumes it can do whatever it wants. And the sin nature suffered the killing power of the cross if we have believed.
The law rules over only those who are alive. If one claims Christ, then that one has died to the law when Christ was crucified for that one’s sins (and sin nature).
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”