|The Perfect Law of Liberty|
|Written by arkwriter|
|Monday, 22 June 2009 16:10|
The Perfect Law of Liberty
Those that teach Christians are not bound to keep the Ten Commandments should reconsider their position in the light of James’ epistle. Bible scholars attribute James, the Lord’s brother who was one of the “pillars” in the church in Jerusalem, as the author of the epistle. Throughout his epistle, James developed the theme of the characteristics of true faith is to do good works. “But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” (Jas. 1:25) He calls the Ten Commandments “the perfect law of liberty”. It seems paradoxical that the law could give us freedom, but God’s law points out sin in us and gives us the opportunity to ask for God’s forgiveness. (Rom. 7:7-8) With the proper application of the Ten Commandments to our lives it truly sets us free. This echoes our Lord’s teaching that the truth will set us free. (Jn. 8:32) As Christians, we are saved by God’s grace, and salvation frees us from sin’s control. As believers, we are freed to live as God created us to live. Of course, this does not mean that we are free to do as we please. (1 Pet. 2:16) We are now free to obey God’s Commandments.
The perfect law of liberty that James wrote about is not the law of ancient Israel but the standard of all Christian behavior. For the perfect law is both a gift and a demand. It is perfect in comparison with the Gentile codes of law; and better still, it is perfect because it comes from God. (Jas. 1:17) “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul. The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.” (Psm. 19:7) When we think of the law we think of something that keeps us from having fun. But here we see the opposite – the law that makes us free, makes us wise, gives joy to the heart, gives light to the eyes, warns us, and rewards us. That is because God’s laws are guidelines and lights to our path, rather than chains on our hands and feet. They point at danger and warn us, then point at success and guide us.
James wrote: “So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty.” (Jas. 2:12) The Ten Commandments are used for the judgment of our present lives and also at the Lord’s return. (Rom. 2:12; Ecc. 12:13-14) As Christians we are saved by God’s free gift (grace) through faith, not by keeping of the law. But as Christians, we are also required to obey the Lord Jesus Christ who will judge everyone. (Jn. 5:22; Acts 17:31)
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2 Cor. 5:10)
God’s grace does not cancel our duty to obey Him; it gives our obedience a new basis. The law is no longer an external set of rules, but it is a “law of liberty” – one we joyfully and willingly carry out, because we love God and because we have the power of the Holy Spirit to carry it out.
|Last Updated on Monday, 22 June 2009 16:22|