By: Åge M. Åleskjær
From: November-December 2010
Found in: The Gospel of Grace
What are the enormous consequences of Calvary for us? Have we realized what happened when we died and resurrected together with Jesus?
The mystery of the cross is that Christ identified Himself with us, and we became one with Him. By Him becoming one with us, taking our place, carrying our sin, punishment, blame, and judgment, we could identify ourselves with Him, becoming one with His righteousness, victory, liberty, and holiness. Look at what the Word says:
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor. 5:21)
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor. 5:21)
He became one with our sin, so that we might become one with Him in righteousness.
“For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” (Rom. 6:5-6)
By His death and resurrection we are dead and resurrected. We are dead to sin, and alive to God. Everything happened because Jesus became one with us in such a way that we died with Him and rose with Him.
Jesus took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses, so that we could receive His health (Matt. 8:17).
Jesus became poor, that we through His poverty might become rich (2 Cor. 8:9).
By the cross of Christ the world was crucified to us, and we to the world (Gal. 6:14).
The consequences of Calvary are enormous!
The Effect of Redemption
Let us take some time and look into the redemption and what happens with us as we are identified with Jesus.
Dead to Sin, Alive to God
Jesus has taken away the sins of the world in such a way that the sins are gone, purged. But man would still be miserable if the sinner was not taken away as well. As a sinner one lives a life in sin and is constantly producing new sins. With Jesus as Lord and Savior this would be a frustrating existence. So God’s solution to this is fundamental in the Gospel. The message is that we “died to sin” when we “died with Christ.”
“Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” (Rom. 6:6)
This is good news! Jesus has not only dealt with sin, He has also killed the sinner. In Him we are new creations with the nature of God within us. We cannot sin, because we have been born of God (1 John 3:9).
This is the fundamental message concerning this issue. However, the Bible teaches that “babes in Christ” are still fleshly, and that Christians can still sin. John deals with this matter, and how it shall be handled, in the first chapter of his first letter. But this must not take the sting out of the message in Rom. 6:1-11, 1 John 3:9 and 5:18, and 1 Pet. 4:1-2.
Rom. 6:11 says that we should reckon ourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Peter says that we have ceased from sin (1 Pet. 4:1), and on this specific issue Jesus emphasizes that “if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:32-36).
Free From the Law
In Christ the Jews died to the Law, and Christ is the end of the Law. The purpose of the Law is fulfilled, and we are free, together with the born-again Jews.
This liberty from the Law is a must to be able to live in freedom from sin:
“For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” (Rom. 6:14)
“Only the one liberated from the law, is liberated from sin.”
Not Under Curse, But Under The Blessings of Abraham
Some people are concerned about the curse of the Law. But we have never been under the Law, and therefore not under the curse of it either. And the fantastic, liberating message is also that the Jews are free. “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us.” (Gal. 3:13)
The redemption breaks the yoke of poverty and sickness, and instead it leads us into the blessings of Abraham.
He Became Poor for Us to Be Made Rich
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” (2 Cor. 8:9)
The context of this verse is an offering exhortation. Paul is challenging them to give, and is reminding them of the fantastic thing, that Jesus – who was richer than any – became poor for our sakes. On the cross He was robbed from everything. He was poor, homeless, hungry, naked, and thirsty for our sakes, so that we might become rich.
God wanted us to always have all sufficiency in all things, and have abundance for every good work (2 Cor. 9:8).
He declares that “all things are ours!” This is a result of the redemption on the cross. These are side effects of us being declared righteous.
He Bore Our Sicknesses, for Us to Be Healthy
“He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.” (Matt. 8:17)
The prophecy that is quoted in Matt. 8:17 is from Isaiah 53:4-5:
“Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” (Is. 53:4-5)
This gospel about healing is more than intercession and the laying on of hands, even though this has its rightful place in the ministry of the saints. The redemption is the foundation for a life in health, a life of freedom from sickness and diseases.
This corresponds to the promise given in Ex. 23:25-26, which says: “And I will take sickness away from the midst of you” and ” I will fulfill the number of your days.”
Health and a long life are the results of Calvary!
Crucified To the World
“But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Gal. 6:14)
The world has been crucified to me. What does it mean?
Calvary was a judgment of this world and the ruler of this world (John 12:31). The world was judged and the ruler of this world was judged. The world was doomed to come to an end, and the ruler of this world was doomed to be damned forever.
This lets me relate to “the form of this world” in a totally new way. In reality the word “world” here can be translated “age.” The spirit who is at work in the children of unbelief is bankrupt. It still keeps its doors open, but we are free from its attraction and deception. The world is crucified to us.
But it gets even stronger knowing that we are crucified to the world! The world is still very active, even if it is declared bankrupt, and has no future. But when we at the same time are crucified to the world, it makes us free from its dominion. The ruler of this world is not a ruler in my world, because we have been delivered from the power of darkness and conveyed into the kingdom of the Son of His love. It is Jesus who is the Lord in our world. We are moving in His Kingdom, and the ruler of this world “has nothing in us.” This is why John is saying: “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one, and the wicked one does not touch him.” (1 John 5:18-19)
We are gloriously redeemed and we are free. We have moved out of Egypt and away from Pharaoh and his soldiers, and we have moved into the land of Canaan, a land flowing with milk and honey.
The World Belongs To Us
It might be confusing that the Bible at the same time is saying, “The world is ours.” But the point is that we have to understand the difference between “the world” in the sense of “the spirit of this age,” and “the world” as “the earth and all its fullness.” God has redeemed us from the spirit of this age, and delivered us from the power of darkness, and the ruler of this world.
On the other hand it was God who created this world and all its fullness for His children to enjoy and have dominion over it. He did not create the resources on the earth for the devil and his children.
According to Genesis 1 God wanted to give the gold, the diamonds, the fertile plants and the seed, the oil resources, and all the riches to His children.
Now, this blessing is redeemed back to us, so 1 Cor. 3:21-23 explains that everything belongs to us: the world, life and death, things present and things to come. We have been made rich in everything.
We are destined to reign in this life; we are kings and priests to our God. Christ is the head – we are the body. All things are put under His feet, meaning that the whole body is above all principality and power and might and dominion.
We In Him And He In Us
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5)
This is the very essence of the revelation the Apostle Paul received. His message about who we are in Christ, and who Christ is in us is the nerve center in New Testament Christianity. The mystery that now is revealed is: “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:27)
This identification with Christ was released in the redemption when Jesus became one with our sin, sickness and curse, and we became one with His death, burial, and resurrection.
Reality And Experience – Not Just Theory
After the Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, this became a living reality.
“At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” (John 14:20)
“And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.” (1 John 3:24)
The experience of this living reality comes through the Holy Spirit. Our identification with Christ is as total as this:
“For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” (Col. 3:3-4)
“Hidden with Christ in God.”
Then it is not easy for the enemy to get hold of you. He first has to get past God and Christ to find you.
Take a look at the expression: “Christ, our life.” We are so one with Christ that He is our life. He is our righteousness, sanctification and redemption.
We are crucified with Christ. It is no longer we who live, but Christ lives in us (Gal. 2:20).
This is Christianity. It is to be a Jesus person. It is to be one with Him – Him speaking through our mouth, touching with our hands, and looking through our eyes.
Reinhard Bonnke experienced that when a shopkeeper of a music store fell on his knees and asked for prayer when Bonnke and his team went to a store to buy an organ. He said, “I can see Jesus in your eyes.” When Bonnke later asked the Lord about the incident, He answered, “I live in you, and sometimes I look through the window!”
We Are Like Him
We are completely one with Christ. We are in Him, and He is in us. This unity came into being by Christ coming to us. He became one with us. This started with Him becoming a human being. The incarnation was the beginning of His identification with us.
“Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.” (Heb. 2:14)
For Him to be able to save us, He had to become like us. It was only a representative for man that could save man.
And it was only through death that He legally could enter Hades, that is the place of death, and the devil had to fight on home ground.
In this encounter between Jesus and the devil there is a lot that the wisdom of this age does not grasp, and that modern theologians do not comprehend, because this can only be spiritually discerned.
After He came down and became a man, He took the next step: He became one with our sin, sickness, and curse. This is why He had to die on a cross, because the wages of sin is death.
It was when that price was paid, that he could establish an eternal righteousness.
“For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.” (Heb. 10:14)
Dead With Him
This is where the incomprehensible thing happens: By Him becoming one with us, we became one with Him. Because He died our death, we are also reckoned as dead. We died with Him, and in that way we died to sin, and we died to the world.
Our union with Him makes Him our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. This is the message:
“For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him.” (Rom. 6:5-8)
The following verses show that we are dead with Him once for all, and now we live a life where we are dead to sin, and alive to God. The message in Romans 6 is crystal clear and unmistakable. Just read it without prejudice. I think you will understand that this message has not taken root in the Christianity of today. The tradition has put a veil over the truth, and this veil needs to be taken away.
Seated With Him in Heavenly Places
Paul’s focus is on who we are in Christ, and who Christ is in us. He says that what he is laboring for is to present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. The basis is the mystery about Christ in us.
“To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” (Col. 1:27:28)
Because this is what he focuses on in his teachings, we will come to see that Ephesians is full of it. He says in Ephesians 3:1-6 that the mystery that was made known to him is briefly written in chapters 1 and 2. Ephesians 2:4-6 is some of the most powerful writing about our identification with Christ:
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
Dead with Him, raised with Him, and seated together with Him in the heavenly places. We are where He is, and He is where we are.
“Because as He is, so are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17)
This is hard to receive for those who are used to the picture that tradition portrays us being poor and miserable sinners. But it is simple and glorious light for those who have started to gaze into the perfect law of liberty where the light of the gospel shines forth.
Walk In Him
“As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” (Col. 2:6-10)
It is not only the salvation, but also the “walking” that takes place in Him. Because Christ is our life, we do not need help from the law that belongs to the basic principles of the world.
“Christ is all and in all!” (Col. 3:11)
Christ is all! Then we need nothing else but Him!
Picked this from a comment by Rachel. You can see it here.
In our culture when we talk about the adoption of a son we are actually talking about taking a non biological child and including it as part of your family. That’s a wonderful practice but that’s not what the bible means when it talks about adoption and it’s important we understand this.
When the bible speaks about adoption it speaks about a father having his own biological son. What happened in those days was a father would take his son and would contract tutors and teachers to teach that child in certain areas to become effective in those areas. Once the Father was happy with the development of the Son he would then call a ceremony which was called the adoption ceremony. It was the acknowledgement of the young child now becoming mature, and in that moment the father identified the son as his heir. (The Jews still have a similar ceremony, BHAMITZVA where he becomes a son of the law, he has accomplished his learning).
The words then which the son is referred to changes, what he was always referred to was nepios meaning a little child, one that doesn’t have legal standing yet (Gal 4:1), but the reference then changes to a different word, Huios , meaning sonship, a mature son an Heir, one that can inherit. If we can understand this meaning of sonship then you know you have been included not that you have to try to become, and we can take hold of our full inheritance.
At this adoption ceremony two important things happened the first thing is that the father prepared a cloak or robe for his child. A cloak was a very important thing in biblical times because it referred to your identity. It revealed who you are, just like a uniform identifies your status in society today. For example if you were a king you had a king’s cloak, a priest; a priest’s cloak, a butcher; a butcher’s cloak and so on. The father prepared a robe for his son that would identify him as an inheritor, whenever he put on this robe everyone would know that he is now an heir.
The second important thing at the ceremony was that the father would shout out publicly “This is my Son” (still done at Bhamitzva’s). This information is helpful in understanding our identity as ‘adopted sons’ and our inheritance both of which the bible speaks a lot of.
In his book, “The Law”, Frederick Bastiat, a French writer outlined the basic principles of the right of governments. He begins with the individuals and concludes with the society:
- Everyone has the right to live, for life is granted to us by God.
- Since we have the right to live, we also have the right to labor for those things necessary for life: food, clothing, and shelter.
- Since the individual right to live comes from God, no other individual has the right to take our lives.
- Nor do other individuals have the right to deprive an individual the right of the personal property labored for survival.
- Therefore the right of self defense is a God given right of self preservation.
- Of course, if they do not have the right to take an individual’s life and property, neither do we as individuals have the right to take the life and property of another.
- If this right exists individually, then it is a logical extension that individuals have the right to band together collectively to form governments that protect the right to life collectively.
- However, just as an individual does not have the right to deprive life and property of another, neither do governments have the right to deprive the right of life and property from the individual or another collective government.
Bastiat does not say that governments exist because God creates government. Rather God gave the right to life to people, and people have the right to create governments to preserve that life. Governments are ordained by God, but God gives the responsibility of forming governments to man. In other words, God does not form the governments. And because all men are sinners we naturally corrupt what we do. Therefore, it is natural for men in governments to abuse their authority. Abuses by government are not sanctioned by God.
Natural Law is understanding that there are universal truths that are held by all people everywhere in some form or another. The Natural Law is the universal recognition of the laws of God inscribed in our hearts and conscience (Rom. 2:15). Common Law is a part of our English Heritage as a former colony. Common Laws are a body of laws that were understood by the Parliament. These rights were imported and understood as part of the government judicial system.
The individual sovereignty of man is the basis of Equity Law. As individual sovereigns we have the right to enter into contractual relations with other sovereign men. It is the right of mutual agreement between men. Statutory Law is based in the same root of sovereignty. If a people decide to create a government, as a people they also have the right, through mutual agreement, in the enactment of statutes to regulate their society.
So, where does the right of government exist? From God? No, not from God, although God oversees all the nations since the Earth belongs to the Lord twice fold. First by right of creation, and second by right of redemption. As such He does take down governments and exalts righteous governments. But He gave the right of government to men. We create governments. Either we are responsible with the government we have created and see that it remains a righteous government that God will exalt (Prov. 14:34), or we let our governments become corrupt and allow destruction to ensue (Prov. 10:29).
We are to influence the governments to righteousness, but not use the governments to create a theocracy. Our control of the Earth’s governments will be when Christ returns. Our influence upon our nation is only as much as Christ is an influence through us. God does call people in to politics and every sphere of life. If God is calling you into the political arena, then you have the ability to influence the political world through Jesus Christ. But if God is not directing you there, then your influence will be of your own strength and will accomplish very little. The Lord is still using people to manage His Earth. Wherever God leads you, that is where you will do the most good.
The command of God through Jesus Christ still stands: Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness (Matt. 6:33). Christ governing the individual lives of the nation is the only hope for a righteous government before His return. Christ will direct the right people to bring righteousness to the nation if they obey His lead. But we must understand that we are responsible for the creation of governments, not God, and just because the government makes a "law", that does not mean they are either genuine laws, or statutes that reflect the sovereign wills of the people.
Adapted from an article “By What Rights Do Governments Exist?”. You can read the full article here.
By: Åge M. Åleskjær
From: April 2010
Found in: The Gospel of Grace
A Study of the Law of the New Covenant – the Law of Christ.
In an earlier article (“Rightly Dividing the Word of God”), I mentioned the three different groups of people that the Bible speaks about, and the laws that govern each group. The Jews are under the Mosaic Law, the Gentiles are under the law of conscience, and we, the church of God, are under the law of Christ. What is this law of Christ? The Bible uses many names to describe it, and it contains only one commandment: to love. In this article we will use some time to study this law of Christ, which is the only law that brings liberty!
The love that has been poured out in our hearts obviously wants to live a life pleasing to God.
The love that has been poured out in our hearts obviously wants to live a life pleasing to God. This is why all the requirements that the Old Covenant announced will be fulfilled as we live by the New Covenant love.So when some people think that we are preaching lawlessness, it is a big misunderstanding. We are preaching a higher law: the law of the New Covenant, the law of love, the perfect law of liberty, the royal law according to the Scripture, which only works when Jesus is living in you!
This perfect law exceeds all the requirements of the Old Covenant, but it all happens in the newness of the Spirit, not in the oldness of the letter. The Pharisees’ business with the letter has been replaced by the wonderful fragrance of life that comes from the new life.
We have moved out from the narrow corridor of letter and into the glorious freedom of the Spirit. Hallelujah!
Of course the new life is flowing in harmony with the right and wrong standards of God. But this is more than the tree of knowledge dividing between good and evil – this is the tree of life, dividing life and death. Many Pharisees try to do and say the right things, but it is without life. There is no aroma of Christ, and it fills Christian churches with lifeless doctrines.
Oh, how happy I am that I have experienced the new life of the Spirit! In Norway the old Pentecostal believers used to sing, “Rejoice that I came over to the Hallelujah side!” To that my heart says, “Yes, and Amen.”
The New Commandment
We are new creations; we live in a New Covenant with a new commandment.
In the New Covenant we have one commandment instead of ten.
In the New Covenant we have one commandment instead of ten. This one commandment is not written “on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart” (2 Cor. 3:3).
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34).
“And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment” (1 John 3:23).
The key to live in this new commandment is that “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom. 5:5).
The Brilliant Solution of God
The new commandment is an impossible “requirement” if we are to produce this love on our own.
The new commandment is an impossible “requirement” if we are to produce this love on our own. Then we are back where we started. Then the new commandment is worse than the Ten Commandments from Mount Sinai.
But the solution of God is brilliant! He Himself fulfills the requirement in us by pouring out His love in our hearts; He gives us a new nature when we pass from death to life. The new nature loves the brethren, just like 1 John 3:17 says. And therefore the requirement is fulfilled in us.
If we should be required to make the first initiative—that love should start with our effort—this requirement would be impossible to fulfill. It would be “mission impossible” if we were the ones who were to produce the love to fulfill the commandment about loving the Lord with all our hearts and our neighbor as ourselves.
So without being born-again, this commandment cannot be put into practice. It is when we pass from death to life that we receive the love, and then it is written on fleshly tablets of the heart. Love comes from God. We love because He first loved us. We forgive because He already has forgiven. He died for us while we were still sinners.
We Love Because He First Loved Us
Listen to this:
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:7-11).
“We love, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19, RSV).
The whole miracle is founded on His work in us; our performance and our boasting are excluded!
This is the key to the new commandment. It is not us who loved God – it is He who loved us! We love, because He first loved us.
This kills the religion of works, and gives God all the glory. The result is wonderful. We love, we have that love poured out in our hearts, and we love the brethren because we are born of God. The whole miracle is founded on His work in us; our performance and our boasting are excluded! As we now live and do according to His good pleasure, and keep His commandment, it is the result of Him working in us both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Grace upon grace!
Jesus Introduced It, but the New Life Made It Possible
Even if Jesus introduced the new commandment in John 13:34, He knew that it was a prophecy of the time that was to come after Calvary. He knew
that this would not work before the Spirit was given, because it was by the Spirit that the love of God was poured out in our hearts
that this would not work before the Spirit was given, because it was by the Spirit that the love of God was poured out in our hearts.
In John 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17, Jesus is prophesying about the time after Pentecost. He is constantly referring to “when He, the Spirit of truth, has come,” and He uses expressions like “in that day,” etc. John explains it like this:
“Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him” (1 John 2:7-10).
When John says that they had this commandment from the beginning, it might be that he refers to the fact that they had this commandment from the time they were newly saved: “an old commandment which you have had from the beginning.” But it might also be that he refers to Jesus introducing this commandment. However, now it is true “in Him and in you,” because it is now that the light is shining.
In any case, the new commandment is that we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in darkness.
One Commandment Instead of Ten
The Word explains:
“Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Rom. 13:8-10).
“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Gal. 5:14).
So we have been given one commandment instead of ten. Are you able to see it?
If you at the same time have the revelation of how you can receive this love, as we just looked at in Rom. 5:5, 1 John 3:14, and 1 John 4:19, then you have found the answer of how you can live a life pleasing to God.
Some Things are an Individual Matter
This commandment is written in our hearts, and because of this, some things become an individual matter to us, e.g. that some keep one day holy and others don’t. But no part is allowed to despise the other. In connection to food it says that one believes he may only eat vegetables, whereas another believes he may have all things. Neither part is allowed to judge the other for all of us live to the Lord. You can find all this in Romans 14.
This chapter closes by saying that whatever is not from faith is sin. Consequently, the New Testament commandment is that we shall live in faith and love. The new commandment is love, and everything done apart from love is sin.
So you will find that God’s commandment in the New Testament is that you shall walk in love, because then you will fulfill the law. The one who loves does not steal. The one who loves does not commit adultery. The one who loves does not lie. The one who loves does not murder. He who loves has fulfilled the law (Rom. 13:8-10).
The Perfect Law – The Law of Liberty
“Therefore, lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
The Word of God is like a mirror telling us who we are.
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:21-25).
This is where the key is found!
The Word of God is like a mirror telling us who we are. Just think about all the verses in the Bible talking about “in Him,” “through Him,” “with Him,” etc. The Bible is explaining about who we are in Him because He lives in us and we in Him! When you look into this, like in a mirror observing who you really are, and after going away you do not forget what kind of man you are, but rather you continue to look into the mirror, then you will look into the perfect law of liberty and you will be blessed in your doing.
Do Not Forget Who You Are
Let us look at this sentence again: “immediately forgets what kind of man he was.”
This is a common problem for many Christians. They forget who they are in Christ, and what they can do because of Him living in us. This is why we have to continue observing ourselves in the mirror, so that we may know “what kind of man” we are. We must know that we are now new creations in Christ, that we are dead to sin and have been raised to a new life. We are blessed with every spiritual blessing, healed by the stripes of Jesus, seated with Him in Heaven, the devil is under our feet, and He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world.
We must know that we are now new creations in Christ, that we are dead to sin and have been raised to a new life.
That makes you victorious. You are above and not beneath; the head and not the tail.
Many Christians have forgotten who they are, and this is why they are not experiencing being blessed in what they do.
The Law of Liberty
This is a glorious name of the law that governs the believer’s life. There are many terms describing the laws that prevailed after Calvary. Here are some of them: the law of the Spirit of life, the law of faith, the law of liberty, and the law of Christ, which is the commandment of love.
The law of liberty is called the perfect law or “the perfect law of liberty.” This is the law that leads to complete freedom. It really is a name for the power that works in us when the Word gains control and we live in the fruit of the redemption. Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed!
Notice how the message of freedom runs as a thread through the Word. He says:
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).
“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).
Then he is talking about freedom from living under the bondage of sin. Paul is teaching about freedom from sin throughout the entire chapter of Romans 6 and in Romans 7 he is setting us free from the law. In Galatians he is very concerned about the liberty we have in Christ (Gal. 2 and 5:1). The epistle to the Colossians speaks about freedom from bondage, traditions, man-made commandments, philosophies, and religiosity.
You are free from the curse of the law, free from the power of darkness, free from everything you were a prisoner to! It is this perfect liberty that applies now. The law of liberty is the perfect law.
The Liberty of the Individual
Let us look at another side of this liberty. There is a great difference between the position of the individual in the Old and in the New Covenant. In the Old Covenant one had to ask “the seer” (the prophet) to know about the will of God and receive God’s guidance. It was the prophet who had the Spirit of God, and he could teach his neighbor and his brother and say, “know the Lord.”
But now in the New Covenant every believer has received the Holy Spirit, and “for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them” (Heb. 8:6-12).
The New Covenant, which is established on better promises, has the advantage in that the individual has the Spirit of God and can be led by the Spirit of God.
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Rom 8:14).
“But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teaches you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him” (1 John 2:27).
as an individual, you may “know the Lord” yourself
This does not mean that we do not need teachers, because God appointed teachers in the church. Rather it means that as an individual, you may “know the Lord” yourself. That is the privilege of the believer.
Unfortunately, the charismatic circles have sinned against this. The leaders have very often managed the life of the individual in a wrong way, and this leads to a control that binds the person. The worst thing is manipulating prophecies, where one prophesies people into ministries or asks them to do things or go places based on a prophecy. That is not the Spirit of the New Covenant at all!
As ministers, let us rather help people to grow in the knowledge of the privileges and ways of the New Covenant, so they can grow and live accordingly.