Barry Newman's Blog

August 14, 2009

Freedom (part III)

Filed under: Freedom,Gospel,Law — barrynewman @ 9:28 am

See part II here

Freedom from the Law

The Law is no longer in charge. The Law is good and right (Rom 7: 12) but no one is good and right by the Law (Rom. 3: 20). The Law condemns but Christ saves and that salvation comes through faith in him.  “Before faith came”, Paul wrote, “we were held prisoners by the Law, locked up until faith should be revealed.  So the Law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come we are no longer under the supervision of the Law”(Gal. 3: 23 – 25). The Mosaic Law, part of the Law and the Prophets, had a role to play for the people of God, but upon the coming of the Christ, its role came to an end. And through Christ, but not through the Law, the floodgates were opened for Gentiles to become sons of the living God (Gal. 3: 26), with no distinction to be made between them and the Jew.  No Gentile and now no Jew is obligated to live under the Law. It is time to put the training wheels aside and to learn to ride the real thing without them.

Why however, do we so often and to such a great extent live as though we were under a type of Mosaic Law – feeling obligated to submit ourselves to certain ceremonies or what some may call rites, as though they were essential?

There are a number of reasons but the root of our problem is our failure to understand the nature of the gospel of God and the significance of the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit on his people.

The Gospel

The gospel has many facets, but at its heart it concerns Christ, the Son of God.  The letter of Paul to the churches in Galatia focuses on the matter of circumcision.  It begins and ends however, with statements about the Lord Jesus Christ.  In the opening verses Paul writes, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ who gave himself for our sins” (Gal. 1: 3, 4).  In the concluding verses he exclaims, “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world” (Gal. 6: 14).  Paul wrote in another place, “I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). The gospel speaks of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ for our sins, by which we are saved.  The Law has never saved. The Law has never rescued anyone from death and judgment. We are justified before God – by faith alone (Rom. 5: 1), taking hold of the Lord Jesus Christ, who became sin for us that we might partake of the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5: 21).  Our forgiveness and our sonship are God’s undeserved gifts, freely given to all those who hope in Christ and not in themselves.  The death of Christ has become the defining moment in the universe and should be such in our lives.  Some years ago, one Saturday, I was informed that a member of my family might die that very day. Thanks to God she didn’t but it became a defining moment in her life.  She did not and does not look on life the same way since.  How much more should the death of Christ drastically change our view of life?  By his death a new way of living has been made possible for us.  We are no longer under the Law (Gal.5: 18).  We are no longer prisoners of the Law (Gal. 3: 23 – 25). Christ has set us free (Gal. 5: 1). We have been released from the law so that we can serve God in a new and vibrant way (Rom. 7: 6).

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