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