Paul’s Footsteps #54

Footsteps #54.

The liberty that Justification by faith gives us means we are no longer under the law’s condemnation (Rom.8:3). As believers, we are in Christ and enjoying the privilege of being under grace (Rom.6:14-15). This gives us the liberty of serving Christ wholeheartedly, without fear of being condemned for mistakes we might make in the process. This is what true freedom in the gospel is. This freedom is something radically different from no longer having to obey the law at all—which is what some people claim is “freedom” in Christ. But disobedience to the law, instead, is sin—and sin is anything but freedom (John.8:34).  

As a result of being forgiven through Christ, our relationship to the law is now different. We are now called to live a life that is pleasing to Him (1Thess.4:1); Paul refers to this as being led by the Spirit (Gal.5:18). This does not mean that the moral law is no longer applicable—that was never the issue. How could it be, when we have seen so clearly that the law is what defines sin?  

Instead, because the law is a transcript of God’s character, by obeying the law we simply reflect His character. God is love (1John1:4). Paul says the whole law is fulfilled by that word (Gal.5:14). In fact, we are most like God when we love! But more than that, we follow not just a set of rules but the example of Jesus, who does for us what the law itself could never do: He writes the law on our hearts (Heb.8:10) and makes it possible for the righteous requirement of the law to be fulfilled in us (Rom.8:4). That is, through our relationship with Jesus, we have the power to obey the law as never before. Salvation must always be based on what Christ has done for us and nothing else. The robe of Christ’s righteousness that covers us has not one stitch of human devising.  

Some may find it confusing that Paul seems to switch between the ceremonial law and the moral law. The ceremonial law with sacrificial animals and 7annual Sabbaths was the shadow of the cross and ceased when Jesus fulfilled it. The Moral Law, or ten commandments, was always and still is, God’s standard of right and wrong.

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