THE LAW OF FREEDOM
Matthew 5:17 (NIV) “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish [to do away with, deprive of force, annul, or discard] them but to fulfill them.”
“Fulfill,” comes from the Greek root “plḗrēs” meaning, “being full of the presence of the Lord (and His provisions), to take possession of one’s heart, and to make complete in every particular.”
- Jesus didn’t come to remove God’s standard.
- Jesus came to reproduce God’s standard in you.
Galatians 5:22-23 (AMP) The fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Matthew 5:18-19 (NIV) “Truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law [God’s Law] until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
- The law is not the standard for salvation.
- The law is the standard for personal freedom.
There are laws that enslave men [Jewish Law], but there are also laws that set men free [God’s Law].
James 1:22-25 (NIV) Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
We’re not to remove the standard, we’re to become the standard.
2 Corinthians 3:3-6 (NIV) You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts . . . . He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter [of the law] kills, but the Spirit [of the law] gives life.
When God put His laws on stone, men twisted His law to justify murder. The Law’s purpose was to condemn sin, but we used it to condemn people.
Romans 7:13 (AMP) Sin, in order that it might be revealed as sin, was producing death in me by [using] this good thing—God’s Law—[as a weapon], so that through the commandment sin would become exceedingly sinful.
John 1:14-17 (NIV) The Word [Logos—the written word of God] became flesh [Jesus] and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth . . . . The law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
The law became a weapon, with no grace, because our sin blinded us to its truth. You love God’s law when you understand its intended purpose.
Proverbs 29:18 (ERV) If a nation is not guided by God, the people will lose self-control [avenge—hate], but the nation that obeys God’s law [love] will be happy.
God’s law is love. Love frees us from hate. Freedom from hate produces joy.
Psalm 119:2-167 (NLT) Joyful are those who obey his laws . . . . 14 I have rejoiced in your laws as much as in riches . . . . 24 Your laws please me; they give me wise advice . . . . 59 I pondered the direction of my life, and I turned to follow your laws . . . . 99 I have more insight than my teachers, for I am always thinking of your laws . . . . 111 Your laws are my treasure; they are my heart’s delight . . . . 129 Your laws are wonderful. No wonder I obey them . . . . 138 Your laws are perfect and completely trustworthy . . . . 152 I have known from my earliest days that your laws will last forever . . . . 167 I have obeyed your laws, for I love them very much.
Romans 7:22 (NLT) [Apostle Paul] I love God’s law with all my heart.
1 Corinthians 9:20-21 (NLT) When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ.
Romans 3:31 (VOICE) Are we trying to use faith to abolish the law? Absolutely not! In fact, we now are free to uphold the law as God intended.
Romans 13:8-10 (MSG) When you love others, you complete what the law has been after all along . . . . When you add up everything in the law code, the sum total is love.