Sunday, March 26, 2017

I want to break free

Port Arthur, Tasmania, convict era prison complex.
The music group Queen had a very popular song “I want to break free.” It expresses what many desire and few attain. To break free, as some have found, can cause more frustration, uncertainty and tears than their previous state. According to Jesus, to be free demands a special realm, a deliberate commitment and constant attention. He said that Truth will set you free! He claimed to be that realm when saying “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” in John 14:6. Therefore, it’s only in a committed faith relationship to and with Jesus that a person begins to understand what freedom is.

Why then the need for giving your faith relationship with Jesus constant attention? Because there are moral and spiritual forces opposed to Christ Jesus and His lifestyle for His followers. It is also necessary because something within our human nature has a sneaky way of abusing the grace of God and spoiling freedom’s realm. The wonder of our Lord’s mercy to us is the risk He takes for us to learn to live, learn and love in Freedom’s domain. By the ministry of the Holy Spirit we are led into a deeper and refining relationship with the Saviour. In walking in Truth according to His word we discover things about ourselves which needs forgiving, cleansing, refining, restoring, undertaking and achieving.

If only each of us was given the leisure and the peace to come to grips with all of the above. Each area is challenged by people and events, some good, some not good at all, meaning we need to know the Truth, apply the Truth, be guarded by the Truth. For this to be an ongoing reality requires the individual to take seriously Jesus’ direction as to where Truth resides. “Your word is Truth” Jesus declared in His prayer to God the Father (John 17:17). It is God’s Word which informs us of our need and points us to where that need is answered. However, we are required to correctly apply the Truth and not to dilute it or add our ‘ingredients and prejudices’ to it. Within the letters of the New Testament the writers, Paul, John, Peter, Jude, confront the ‘merchants of prejudice, poison and perversity.’

In the next couple of weeks we will endeavour to check out those who seek to rob a man or woman of his and her freedom in Christ. Some are well meaning. Some have evil intent. Some are simply na├»ve or ignorant of God word, grace and patience. Just briefly for today I would like to point out those who, in Paul’s words, want to put you back into bondage (Galatians 2:4). What he was furious about was the insidious way in which those who believed all should live under the Mosaic Law led people into error. They were trying to make Gentile believers in Christ surrender their freedom and to take upon themselves the yoke of the Law. That wasn’t merely the 10 Commandments but included the ceremonies, the judgements and statutes set out in Leviticus, Exodus and Deuteronomy.

The Law isn’t dead. But when we commit our lives to Christ Jesus we share in His death.
According to Romans 7:4 -7 we are dead to the Law and delivered from it. Does that mean we can do what we please? Hardly! For we have placed ourselves under the authority of Christ and receive His power to know and do His will. Another important passage has to deal with Christ as our High Priest. Those who place themselves under the bondage of the Law unconsciously (I believe) place themselves under the Aaronic Priesthood. In Hebrews 7:12 when Christ is our High Priest we experience a change of the Law. It is the realm of Grace and Truth, a much more liberating and at the same time very demanding realm. For in it we must ever be vigilant and assessing our inner and outer life under the searchlight of the Truth! Peter sums up the challenge in 2 Peter 3:18. We are to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ Jesus. The Law may have led us to Christ (Galatians 4) but having done its work we enter a new realm of knowing Christ as the Truth and thereby being set free!

More next week.

©Ray Hawkins March 26th2017.

1 comment:

  1. Another great read. Aaronic priesthood vs the High Priesthood of Christ, an interesting thought!