Monday, July 9, 2018

For Freedom Christ Died

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40

Not all believers have the same level of spiritual growth. For many Christian at the time Paul wrote Romans, as well as now, there was little understanding of the Freedom that we have in Jesus Christ. (Galatians 2:4) Some did not understand freedom about what food they could eat. Others did not understand freedom about days of the week they could worship.

Unlike many other religions true Christianity does not require certain outward actions, nor does it demand a particular way to dress though we should dress modestly, nor does Christianity require mindless repetitious prayer facing any given direction to propitiate the wrath of a deist God. This is only one of many ways that Christianity is significantly different from any other religion. For the Christian, there is a Freedom that comes in Christ Jesus. This Freedom removes from us the condemation of the law,

Galatians 5:1 says “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” 

But what is this "Yoke of Slavery"that the Apostle Speaks of? This is the return back to the law when we have been set free. I have heard of Churches that would measure the length of women’s skirt in order to ensure that the women dressed in what they believed was modestly (1 Timothy 2:9) there are even churches  would not allow women to enter the church wearing pants. Or having their hair in braides or extensions.  I was told by my pastor that he knew of a church that would not allow any type of jewelry, even down to married people removing their wedding rings. Because of their failure to understand the scripture they have turned Grace in to law, even outwardly denying God’s ordination of the institute of marriage for the sake of the law. These churches miss the point that the scriptures are not speaking about clothes, or braides or jewerlry at all, but is speaking of bringing glory to yourself rather than God.
The Apostle Paul saw this very behavior happen too often so, therefore, warns the Church at Rome of the problems that could arise from this lack of understanding of this freedom that comes with the knowledge of Christ Jesus.  But rather than teach one action is wrong and the other action is correct,  which would have imprisoned the individual once again to a list of laws and regulations, of which they had received the freedom from through faith in Christ Jesus. Paul uses the second of the two great commandments which Jesus taught in Matthew 22:36-40
Love your Neighbor as you love yourself. In verse 40 of Matthew 22 Jesus says “On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” This is very important because many Christians teach the commandments (law) is dead and we no longer have to be obedient to it. But this is completely wrong. Because if we look at the first four (4) commandments we see that One (1) thru four (4) teaches us how to love the Lord with all our heart, and all our soul and all our mind. While commandments five (5) thru 10 teaches us how to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.  The only Pleasedifference is we do one out of the law ( according to the flesh)  which cannot justify us before God and the other out of faith in the Grace given to us through Christ Jesus,  which is according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1-5

Yet our freedom does not abolish the law it establishes it.Because we are free of the condemnation of the law we live a life in which we strive to fulfill the law. Not under the fear that we will die if we fail, or that we can be saved by our own righteousnes, but because as Paul says."
"The life we now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved us and gave Himself for us.. (Therefore) I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. Galatians 2:20-21

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