The Perfect Law of Liberty
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Summary: Scriptures say that the law brings freedom rather than bondage. Is this possible?
 
This article is part of a series. We recommend that you first read: What is the Judgment?, The Standard of Judgment.
 

When you look in the mirror in the morning and see that something must be done with yourself before you dare step outside, do you feel angry at the mirror for revealing this information to you? Do you feel that the mirror is the enemy?

Ironically, this is exactly the approach that many take with God’s moral law; the law that James describes as a mirror, and as “the perfect law of liberty” (see James 1:23-25).

We have seen in other articles
that we must distinguish which law the Bible is referring to when it talks about the law. We know that the sacrificial system and ceremonial law were done away with at the cross because Jesus fulfilled them. James here is speaking about the Ten Commandment law. And there are many reasons this law brings freedom.
 

What is it that we are set free from?


We have all broken God’s law.

 

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
For the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

According to the law, we are all under obligation to pay the penalty. But Jesus took our place and paid the penalty for us, as long as we accept His sacrifice. That is what the Bible means in Romans 6:14 when it says we are not under law but under grace. So we are set free from our death sentence, but it goes much deeper than that. By keeping the law, we are actually set free. How can keeping a law bring freedom?
 
A young girl looking in a mirror. Source: edenpictures on Flickr.
James 1:23-25 describes God’s law as a mirror. When we look into it, we see our own unrighteousness. We see the chains of sin that Satan has wrapped around us. Perhaps the chains represent addictions that we have never been able to break or tendencies that we constantly struggle with. We see that we need to be cleansed and brought back into alignment with God’s holy standard.

But the law can do nothing more to remedy this problem than a mirror can wash our dirty face. No, we need the cleansing blood of Jesus to wash away our sins. But once we accept this remedy something else happens. When we have allowed Christ’s blood to cleanse us, He gives us a new heart.

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you…and I will put my spirit within you…and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them (Ezekiel 36:26).

Christ sets us free from our carnal nature, which is a nature bent toward sin, and gives us a new nature and the power of His Holy Spirit. The Spirit enables us to see the beauty of Jesus’ character and gives us a desire to emanate it. God’s law reveals His character and if we subject ourselves to this law by our obedience to it, we will truly be made free and like Him in character. We are set free from the bonds of sin. We then have the power to overcome our addictions and tendencies that we never had the power to do before. Jesus said He came to set the captives free (see Luke 4:18).
 
The Bible says that those who have this freedom have overcome. The promises God gives to those who overcome are beyond comprehension. Just look at some of the promises in Revelation chapters 2 and 3:

To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God…

He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death…

To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written…

And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations…

And I will give him the morning star…

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels…

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne (Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26, 28; 3:5, 21).

By obeying this perfect law of liberty, we are free to receive all the gifts God has promised to those who love Him and keep His commandments. As a flower turns to the sun and allows its rays to beautify it, so when we turn to Jesus, we allow His character to beautify our character.

Thank God for His beautiful law of liberty that sets us free from the chains of sin and death and offers promises that last for eternity!

Ahead to The Judgment and the Old Testament
Back to The Standard of Judgment

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