Slave or Free?

The law – how easy it is to slip into a legalistic mindset as Christians.  We proclaim liberty to all and then, before we know it, bind ourselves in the bonds of the law.  This has always been a problem of mankind.  Instead of listening to God and His way of how to approach Him, we think we know better.  We think that if we do this or don’t do that, it brings us closer to God.

The religious leaders of Jesus’ time taught 5 categories of Halachah or the Law:

1.       A law that is one of the 613 commandments given at Mt. Sinai.

2.       A law derived from #1

3.       An oral law traditionally dated back to the time of Moses

4.       A Rabbinic decree

5.       A custom

All but the first category were intended to set a fence or boundary of human made laws to keep themselves from sinning.  The problem with this system is that this is a misuse of the law.  Romans  7:6-14 tells us that the purpose of the law is to bring us to God.  It doesn’t do this by inspiring us to holy living but by exposing our shortcomings.  Through the law, we are able to discern how wicked we truly are and where we ought to be.  It also shows how impossible it is to live a perfect life. 

Yet, many of us have tried our best – which is never good enough- and that has led us to intense guilt over our own sinfulness and judgmentalism against others who do not keep all of our rules and so are not as “holy” as we are.   We fail to recognize the magnitude of Gods grace, refusing to believe the he is trustworthy, generous, and forgiving.  The antidote to this is recognition of God’s love.  We are delivered from sin, not by our own works, but by His unmerited favor.

Hat tip to Richard at By His Grace- For His Glory for the thoughts his post inspired.; http://richgelina.blogspot.com/2008/04/liberty-or-license-little-balance.html

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2 thoughts on “Slave or Free?

  1. RichardD says:

    Sandy – as I read through this post I thought about how well you have summed up the issues. You are eloquent and precise. And then at the bottom I see the link to my post. I am deeply honored.

    I especially appreciate your comment that: We fail to recognize the magnitude of Gods grace, refusing to believe the he is trustworthy, generous, and forgiving. The antidote to this is recognition of God’s love. We are delivered from sin, not by our own works, but by His unmerited favor.

    This is the root of it all. God is the one who is to get the glory for everything … our sanctification, our salvation, even our faith. It is all from him, “not of work, lest any man should boast.”

    Thanks for an outstanding post. And thanks for the link.

    Oh yeah … and I see from another post here that you are a grandmother. This does not go along with the photo I see next to your comments, which shows a very young woman. So … what’s the deal? Did you begin your family when you were 10? 🙂

    My wife looks very young too. I was gratified about a year ago when we went to a New Year’s Eve party at a friend’s house and a guy barely out of his teens kept hitting on my wife until he was told that she was married and she told him that she got married before he was born. He looked heartbroken. I loved it! (not that he was heartbroken, but the fact that my wife is a babe!)

  2. Sandy says:

    Richard,

    Thanks for the kind words about the photo. The photo was taken a few months ago and, if you’ll closely, you’ll see it’s slightly out of focus. 🙂 I was almost 19 when I gave birth to our older son though I’ve been known to tell people I was 5. 🙂

    I’ve seen pictures of your wife as well and I agree with you. She is a babe!

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