Christian Universe ™
Freedom In Christ
November 22, 2009
Jesus gave His life and blood at Calvary for several reasons, according to the Holy Scriptures. One of these was to fulfill the Law of Moses, and finish it, taking it out of the way. That Law of ordinances, rules, commandments, and regulations was replaced with freedom in Jesus Christ. As free, we Christians have personal responsibility to see that we use that freedom for good, and not as an excuse to do evil.
Freedom In Christ
By Bernie Parsons
Presented to Load church of Christ on 11-22-2009
Many wonderful things were accomplished when God sent His son, Jesus, into the world. One of the greatest of these was the freedom that came to us as Christians.
Under the Law of Moses, there were many strict rules set down for the people, Israel. These were rules of worship, rules governing hygiene and health, and rules concerning relationships. When Jesus came, that Law was fulfilled and put aside in favor of the freedom in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 5:17 “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled”
Some say that the Law of Moses continues today and is still bound upon the children of God. However, note that Jesus said “till all be fulfilled”. In His very words, He had just declared that He had come to do that very thing!
The root of the word fulfill literally means to fill full. When something is filled full, there is no more room. The Old Law and the prophesies were all filled full in Jesus Christ. There was no more room for that Law of ordinances.
Ephesians 2:11 “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
17And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”
Colossians 2:13 “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
The above two writings are letters of the apostle Paul to two different gentile churches, in which he describes how that Jesus removed the wall that stood between Jews and Gentiles. That wall was the Law of Moses. It was a law of commandments and ordinances. That is, there were a lot of “dos and don’ts” contained in it, a lot of things that had to be done a particular way.
In Jesus Christ, that wall was torn down because the coming of Jesus to the earth, His teaching the people the will of God, and His death upon the cross fulfilled the law and the prophets. The law, having been fulfilled, was taken out of the way. Its purpose was fulfilled, and it was no longer needed. It had accomplished the intended purpose, and so was finished.
The Jewish leaders almost 2,000 years ago were shocked that someone would make that statement. Their very control of the people relied upon that law. Without the law, how could they force people to do as they said?
Matthew 23:1 “Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,
2 Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:
3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers”
Jesus died to take away those burdens and that system of rules, commandments, and laws. He came to set men free.
John 8:31 “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Truth makes us free. Jesus brought us the truth of God’s words and will.
John 8:28 “Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.
29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.”
John 8:45 “And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.
46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?
47 He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.”
John 17:17 “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth”
John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.”
John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
God’s word is true. Jesus brought the word to the world. The truth sets us free.
2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
When we have the truth of God’s word – the words of Jesus Christ – those words, and that truth, make us free. We are free from the Law of Moses, that law of ordinances.
James 2:12 “So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.
13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.”
Having done away with the law of ordinances, God will judge us now, not by a bunch of rules and regulations that man sets up, but by the law of liberty, or freedom, that we have in Jesus.
Galatians 2:4 “And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:
5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you”
If we go back to a law of ordinances -- touch not, taste not, handle not -- we yield our freedom to a new slavery to the flesh and its desires.
Galatians 5:1 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”
Once free, how will we use that freedom and that knowledge? Not for malice!
1 Peter 2:15 “For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”
Galatians 5:13 “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another”
Since we don’t have rules and regulations to follow, we have personal responsibility to safeguard our liberties and how we use them. Sometimes we have to take care around new Christians, who are still feeding on the milk of the word, and cannot yet eat the meat of the word.
1 Corinthians 8:4 “As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.
5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)
6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.
8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.
9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of your's become a stumblingblock to them that are weak”
Romans 14:1 “Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.”
Romans 14:13 “Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.”
Romans 14:19 “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.”
While being careful not to destroy the faith of weak brothers and
sisters, we have an obligation to teach them and help them to grow in the
knowledge and understanding of the freedom that we have in Christ Jesus.
Only by their spiritual edification, or growth, will the church be strong.
While being careful not to destroy the faith of weak brothers and sisters, we have an obligation to teach them and help them to grow in the knowledge and understanding of the freedom that we have in Christ Jesus. Only by their spiritual edification, or growth, will the church be strong.
I wish to review the main points of this talk.
(1) We don’t live under the Law of Moses, which has been fulfilled and replaced.
(2) Jesus brought us the words of God, and that truth sets us free.
(3) We are free from a law of rules and regulations, leaving us personally responsible.
(4) The responsibility of freedom means that we have to look out for the spiritually weak.
Christians are not fettered by a lot of rules. Men – and women! – who make up a lot of rules to follow take away our freedom. Let us not infringe upon one another’s freedom in Christ by doing this. Let us, instead, enjoy the wonderful freedom that we have in Christ Jesus! Let us show the world that Jesus did not die in vain!