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The Liberty that is in Christ

There has been a struggle with Christians, and even myself, to grasp the whole concept of grace and how it is separate from the law. Many of us can get the wrong conception. We either think we receive salvation through Christ but seek righteousness from following the law, or we think that since we are saved, we can do whatever we want.

Jesus Christ fulfilled the law, and it was fulfilled once and for all (Matthew 5:17 and Luke 24:44). The law of sacrifices, sanctuary, tithes, mainly ceremonial laws focused on forgiveness of sins and that was fulfilled by Christ. Hebrews 9 is a great glance at that, with the old way and the new way. He became our high priest, created a sanctuary within us, shed his blood to cease the animal sacrifices. In fulfilling the law, he took it’s place instead of canceling it. When we receive him, we are also receiving the fulfillment of the law in Christ,without works of ourselves.

The commandments are the standards of right and wrong, and they are not void. They are separate from the ceremonial laws, because Christ became our salvation. He was born under the law and walked in the law until the time came for his death to bring the fulfillment. He couldn't change the law until AFTER he died. He completed the law in perfection, and became the law. When we choose to live under the law, we will become bound by them. We have liberty in Christ, otherwise his death would have been in vain.

"I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." Galatians 2:21


If you're still trying to be righteous through the law:

Remember, our righteousness are as filthy rags. There is nothing we can even present before God to be worth anything. Absolutely nothing. Our highest level of self- righteousness still puts a gulf between us and the righteousness in Christ.

The Bible says that if we seek justification through the law, then we are fallen from grace (Galatians 5:4)

The Bible warns us to be entangled under the yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:2 shows that if we follow the law, then Christ will profit us nothing.

And we are justified by the faith of Jesus Christ, and by the works of the law, no flesh shall be justified. (Galatians 2:16)

The Bible warns us about the trappings of the enemy who tries to get us to believe we must follow the law to be righteous, and it is not from God. read Galatians 5:8.

Beware of legalism in seeking justification in the law. Even though many of us believe in salvation through the blood of Jesus, we may live otherwise.

Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legalism_(theology)


Yet, do not abuse the liberty we have in Christ.

We are not called unto liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but to love and serve one another and all the law is fulfilled in this. Read Galatians 5:13,14.


*Big thanks to Mike for helping me with this!!! His blog is HERE.

13 Comments:

  1. Tranquillity said...
    Excellent entry Charlene! It's a topic we all need a steady reminder of, especially when we get zealous for the Lord. I know in my experience I've caught myself getting hung up on obeying to a point where I was kind of sweating it, and I had to step back and relax. The devil tries to take advantage of our passion for the Lord to turn it against us into stress and guilt.

    Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    We can remind each other to walk in the Spirit, to look toward Christ and obey Him out of voluntary love, and everything falls into place.

    Thanks for the shout out! :P
    Sisterlisa said...
    Thank you both for this. I don't understand why we would hold to ordinances that were meant for salvation and righteousness if we have received the Son, the ultimate sacrifice. Otherwise we say Christ is not enough.:o(
    Martha said...
    I am still hazy on the details, is it also 'legalism' when we: investigate on the correct sabbath day, wear appropriate clothing (head shawls, long skirts, etc), eat only 'clean' foods (no pork), avoid saying 'gosh', avoid a sip of alcohol, wear little to none makeup, and say nay to piercings/tattoos?

    Or is it just tithing, gathering at a sanctuary, and making sacrifices?

    Help a clueless sissy out... again :P
    Miss Charlene said...
    Hmm, hard to explain Martha. It's like focusing on works too much, and seeking self-righteousness. It's the grace of Christ, and not of ourselves or anything we do. We can get caught up in the rules, and lose sight of the liberty we have in Jesus. Legalism can range from not being allowed to highlight your hair all the way up to circumcision. Maybe someone can explain this better than I can!
    Anonymous said...
    Basically, I believe if we are obeying the things God asks us to obey, using the principles He provides in the Bible, we are doing what is right. If we believe that the verses about modesty in the New Testament mean that we should we long skirts, then we should do so because it pleases the Lord (ie. nothing to do with legalism). If we are following the New Testament example regarding meeting/church, then we will please the Lord. If it becomes a thing of following the Old Testament then it is a matter of legalism. Regarding "clean" foods, in the New Testament God did away with all the legalism surrounding food -"And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common"(Acts 10:15). God cleansed the foods and did away with the legalism at the cross. Regarding other things like saying certain words or drinking alcohol or having piercings... mostly that is between each individual and God. BUT remember that these things are a "stumblingblock" to some people because the world sees Christians as being clean from so many different things. Each holds a responsibility to God for their own actions and decisions.
    Miss Charlene said...
    Here Martha, this is a good link too!

    http://www.thepropheticyears.com/comments/The%20dark%20side%20of%20Christanity.htm
    Miss Charlene said...
    The law brought condemnation and Jesus fulfilled the law so in HIM we shall have no condemnation.

    The commandments are God's standards, and we keep them because we love him. Sin has consequences and God is protecting us from them. God created the commandments as an act of love. He is our Abba.

    "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love." John 15:10

    "For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous." 1 John 5:3
    Sisterlisa said...
    I think a simple way of understanding legalism is when a leader teaches that if you 'do this or that' you are right with God. Yet even our righteousness is as filthy rags. So we are to die daily and allow Christ to live through us. When we love Him we desire to please him this way.

    When we live by the flesh there is no room for Christ to live in us. We need to obey because we WANT to, not because we are forced or coerced to. If we only live by 'religion' because we HAVE to, then there is no heart involved. That is legalism.

    To use a check off list such as 'go to church
    attend extra meetings and seminars
    go soulwinning
    wear nylons(ladies)
    wear a suit and tie(men)
    give ten percent
    read 1 chapter of OT and 1 chapter of NT daily
    teach Sunday School
    Sit up straight
    etc etc etc'

    It's easy to do all that with no heart, but then we become robots. Robots are not capable of enjoying a fulfilling relationship with the Father. We need to disciple people by showing them the Love of Christ and HOW to learn Christ. All the 'to do and don't lists' get worked out through the Love.

    Our focus should be on Christ, not the rules and regulations. Otherwise then people think following rules and regulations IS the relationship with Christ, but it's not. Keep our eyes on Jesus and right living happens. Because they will WANT to read the Bible and the Holy Spirit will show them what to change about themselves.

    When we usurp the position of the Holy Ghost by telling people do's and don'ts then we become our own 'counselor' The Holy Spirit is the counselor. He shall teach us ALL things.

    A true leader is one who serves in the least position. Not the one with the suit and tie who tells everyone else what he thinks is best. Not the one who demands that he is the authority in the church. Christ is the Head, not the people.
    Alexandra said...
    Excellent post!!! It really, really saddens me to see more and more people coming under the bondage of the law that Christ fulfilled at his death!

    Thank you for the wonderful reminder! I have been burdened myself about this issue lately. Thanks again!!!
    Alexandra said...
    I also want to add that I am very glad that you also point out that "liberty in Christ" doesn't mean throwing all principles out the window. We don't have our liberty to abuse it. Thanks again!
    Krystal said...
    This was a wonderful post, Charlene, and this is exactly what I was talking about in a previous comment when I said that the Lord has been dealing with me about not making a Law out of everything: gotta pray 5 hours a day, gotta fast until I'm about dead, can't wear this, don't do that, only do this...

    The scripture that He's been dealing with me about is 2 Cor 3:6. To me, I feel that the Lord has been impressing upon me that the Bible was not designed to work independently of the Holy Spirit. Or, in other words, don't just take a scripture and run with it, and condemn everybody else who doesn't seek to be a doer of the Word in EXACTLY the same way that you do. Get with the Holy Spirit and find out just how the Lord would have you to walk out His commands in your own life.

    It's like when you wrote about the Home Church thing. Years ago, I would have said, I've never heard of anything like that. But today I say, well, if that's what the Lord has put on someone's heart, Praise the Lord! Obedience is what matters!

    I think that we violate others' liberty in Christ when we presume to elevate personal convictions to the level of Biblical command for every single individual in the Body of Christ.

    This can be such a difficult topic to tackle and I hope I didn't leave any wrong impressions with my comment, but some of the things that I see Christians trying to put off on other Christians is just ridiculous. And I certainly don't mean to imply that our liberty in Christ is a free pass to live like idiots. Pleasing God is extremely, extremely important to me, and I'll be the first to admit that I have a long way to go. But I do think that we should at least give the Holy Spirit a chance to minister His convictions, both ourselves and to others.

    I'm in the same boat as Martha sometimes because I often sense a little haziness on the details of it all. I don't have any tattoos but my ears are pierced. I don't eat pork, but I do wear jeans (gasp!).

    So, I dunno... ;)

    I'd love to see you further explore this topic in the future.

    It's so awesome to have you back!... even if I can't trust you with my ice cream sandwiches.

    :O
    Joye @ The Joyeful Journey said...
    Great post, Charlene! This is something that is so heavy on my heart lately b/c I have seen people I love go in both of these different directions--observing the old testament laws and it's opposite of trampling on the grace of Christ by treating liberty as an excuse to sin. Thank you for sharing what the Bible says about this! Yes, we are free, but we are not to use our freedom in such a way that it causes someone to stumble.

    Ultimately, Jesus told us that the entire law was summed up in these commands: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your strength and Love your neighbor as yourself. When we're busy doing those things we won't have time to worry about anything else!

    Oh and thanks for the prayers, dear sister!! I felt so silly even asking for them, but I was concerned and I knew I needed prayer and God is mending it!!
    Sisterlisa said...
    I am enjoying the comment sections on your blog Charlene. These ladies are so sweet and supportive.

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