The Law to Live By

December 30, 2018

 

The Law of Liberty is the Law of Love. The Law of Liberty is to be lived out by the disciples of Christ and all believers.

Liberty as defined by the Oxford dictionaries: the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views.

Love is much harder to define in all of its variations. Love as a way of life is generally to do no harm. A working definition for love that I like: seeing the need of another, doing whatever is possible on my part to satisfy that need without expectation of reward or repayment. Pages could be written on this alone.

The Ten Commandments are one portion of the law. Religions, including the Jewish faith, have their own laws. Some are laws set forth by God, and others are laws brought about by the religious leaders.

Some people, well meaning in most cases, would say we ought to go back to living out our Christian faith by the laws of Judaism. There is a letter from the Council at Jerusalem “to the brothers who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia” (Acts 15:22-29) in which the apostles and elders in Jerusalem said they ought not do such a thing by command. Previous verses reveal that men from Judea were teaching that new Gentile believers ought to follow Jewish tradition.

 

“For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourself from these, you do well. Farewell.”

Acts 15:28-29

 

Paul goes so far as to say, at a later time, that the law is the ministry of death.

 

Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone,

2 Corinthians 3:7a

 

Paul also called it the law of sin and death.

 

For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

Romans 8:2

 

To whom, after all, was the law given? It was given to the Israelites, through Moses, by God. The law was given to the people group that God called to be set apart from the world by worshiping Him and living according to His law.

The disciples of Christ are taught by James, in both chapters one and two of his letter to the church, to live by the law of liberty.

 

But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

James 1:25

So speak and act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty.

James 2:12

 

This law of liberty is basically the teaching of Christ that we ought to love God and love one another. This love, and this law of liberty, is based in compassion and mercy. The commandment is from Jesus given unto His disciples; to love one another.

 

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.”

John 13:34-35

 

One cannot be made to love another. If not given freely, it is not love. To love others is to live in the Law of Liberty. One cannot break the ten commandments and say it is love, for love would not murder or steal or cheat. Anything that harms another, or even oneself with such intent, is not love. To live in love is to be free from committing sin. There is no longer a need for the lists of “do nots” as there is only the “do” that one needs to be concerned with; to love God, others, and self. Live under the Law of Liberty.

Jesus used this as an answer to a Pharisee who asked Him what the greatest commandment in the law was.

 

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. This is the first and great commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and Prophets.”

Matthew 22:37-40

 

So, love trumps all. Study how Christ Jesus loved and do likewise. And let no man, or religion, add any other burden on you.