Jul. 3, 2022

Oh, Freedom Over Me!

 

James 2:12 (NASB) “So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty.”

Yes, it’s that time of year again - when everyone seems obsessed over the idea of “liberty.” Politically speaking that is. Yet, for most, whether on the conservative “right” or the libertine “left”, the shared idea of liberty means, “I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it.”

Sadly this “model” of liberty - admitted or not - finds its roots in the likes of servants of the occult such as Aleister Crowley, a Satanist whose byword was, “Do as thou wilt.” 

As one considers that, it opens the door to the idea that doing as much evil as possible, without restraint or ramifications of the harm evildoing will cause others - body, soul, or spirit - is not a problem. Some think they should be able to do this. Nor are its consequences considered for the evildoer dishing it out. Let us be mindful, however, that what goes around comes around, so to speak. 

This is the inherent flaw in the idea of the “right” to the “pursuit of happiness.” It is simply not a compatible way to do things in a society which has the “ideal” to bring together that “inclusion” of the darkness that some consider as liberty and happiness, with the light that folk of good will strive for as their liberty and happiness. Humanistically, there is no compatible way for opposing philosophies to actually “just get along.” Sooner or later clash and conflict will arise, because what’s being discussed here comes from two diametrically opposed domains. 

Light, in truth, has no fellowship with darkness. In fact the very first act of Creation was the separation of light from darkness. Ponder that for awhile. 

This should be pretty obvious as we watch the rollout of current events. It’s my “dark" happiness clashing, conflicting, and bringing chaos against your “light” happiness. It’s all just shades of gray. Oh, nay! Oh, that you Christians would be more open minded, they say. And they consider themselves entitled to it - that the Creator should allow the “happiness” that is in evil deeds. What? 

Both sides of that desire come from the heart (which according to Scripture is not a reliable life director, to say the least! For there’s always the way that seems right to a man, but its ends are the ways of death.) 

(“Dark” and “light” in this context have nothing to do with racial matters, by the way. Let’s get that straight. This addresses spiritual and metaphysical terms only of what works and what does not work to support life.)

The “Law of Liberty” addressed in the Epistle of James is of a far higher and entirely different order. It is, as a matter of fact, an entirely different reality. It goes beyond the clash of “my good” and "your bad,” so to speak, where both sides see themselves as “right” and as having the “right” to “do as thou wilt.” 

It is another reality which the Christian life is to embody: Namely there is an understanding that - through the incarnation, life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ - I have been set free from the powers of darkness, so that I can live entirely free from that authority, no longer under the dominion of evil. For in Jesus Christ I have died and been made alive again, as a new creature, living in newness of life, filled with and led by His Holy Spirit. What has been is now dead to me and I am dead to it! The former powers have no power, as they were defeated once and for all in Jesus Christ, Who cried out at the last, “It is finished.” It - the old dominion of wickedness - really IS finished.

This new state of being, this new reality, was created for and is offered to every human being through and in our Lord Jesus. The question is, will we receive this Gift and live in what it implies?

We have been given the ultimate freedom by our Lord Jesus. It means we have freedom from sin and its wages death, self, and the power (authority) of Satan. This is Liberty, the Liberty in which we are called to “speak and act” by the Holy Trinity yet one God - our Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier. We are to live as people who have been set free from the aforementioned prison chains of evil and eternal death. We are a people who, in our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, must put on the mindset that we have already passed out of death into everlasting life. 

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” John 5:24. 

This changes the picture quite significantly… 

We find ourselves with our Lord in a Kingdom that is not of this world, living by the faith of the Son of God!

We will be judged by this Law of Liberty. It’s as if Christ is saying, “I have set you completely free. You have been given your ‘get out of jail free’ card. Are you using it to live as if you have passed out of sin and death into eternal life and freedom? Or do you prefer to still perceive of yourself in chains of darkness? As long as you do, you will never let them drop from you, so as to walk away from your prison cell and into newness of life! I have called you into this by My Holy Spirit. Will you follow Me in this new life of freedom, or remain in chains?”

There are no excuses for staying in the jail of sin, lies, and darkness, and not partaking of this freedom once you’ve been granted a pardon from spiritual death row.  Sin brings the eternal death penalty at some point if it is not relinquished. Christ died the death penalty - the wages of sin - for you and me! There is a new reality for which we’ve been purchased and won. He pours out His Spirit upon all flesh - all people - calling us to receive Him. And whoever receives Him He gives the right to become a son of God. (See John 1:12,13) This is not part of the “natural” order of things.

Yes, this Gospel “Law of Liberty” has its implications for this life. It is not simply a pass for a piece of pie in the sky by and by. If we are new in Jesus Christ, it is imperative - according to Hebrews 12:14 - that we are to “pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification (holiness) without which no one will see the Lord.” 

When was the last time most of us heard a fiery, Holy Ghost anointed sermon that called listeners to the pursuit of holiness? Yet, there it is, in Scripture. And the reality is found in Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God! We pursue the holiness provided by and in Him! And thus we pursue HIM!!!

That should be a show stopper and a wakeup call to the hyper grace crowd, embracing “cheap grace”, who perceive that we may sin that grace may abound. Or the sad, weak message that we cannot become holy! Not on our own, true! But we have been provided with everything possible to make it so! Rather we are saved to be as those free in Christ, no longer chained by the evil one in wickedness.

Soli Deo Gloria! Amen.

Only A Messenger

 

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