Some Thoughts on Freedom…

The “ordinance of the law” is to be “fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit”  (Rom. 8:4).  Therefore the Bible makes it quite clear that our Spiritual freedom is not liberty from God’s law, but liberty in God’s law.  James calls the commandments of God “the perfect law of liberty (2:25) thereby combining two descriptions of the law given by the Psalmist:  “The law of the Lord is perfect” (Ps. 19:7) and “I will walk at liberty, for I seek Thy precepts” (Ps. 119:45).  Genuine freedom is not found in flight from God’s commands but in the power to keep them.  God’s Spirit frees us from the condemnation and death which the law brings to sinners, and the Spirit breaks the hold of sin in our lives.

However, the freedom produced by the Spirit never leads us away from fulfilling God’s law: “13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”” (Gal. 5:13-14).  When Paul teaches taht “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17), it is taught in the context of the Spirit’s New Covenant ministry of writing God’s law upon the believer’s heart and thereby enabling obedience to that law (2 Con 3:3-11; cf. Jen 31:33; Ezk. 11:20).  Consequently, the ethical concept of Spiritual freedom in the New Testament is anything but indifferent to the law of God.  The Spirit frees us from law-breaking for the purpose of law-keeping.

Dr. Greg Bahnsen, from By This Standard, The Authority of God’s Law Today, page 82-83

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