Monday, June 23, 2008

Transmission repairs are expensive

James 1:25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

James speaks of the Word of God in two different ways in this verse- "the perfect law" and the "law of liberty".

The Word of God is the "perfect law" because it is both without error and perfectly suited to reveal God's glory and direct our lives and conduct. It's description of our Savior is sufficient for our salvation as the Holy Spirit enlivens us to understand. David speaks of Scripture's perfection also-

Psalm 19: 7 The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;

The Word of God is also called the "law of liberty" which confuses some. Contrary to common misconception, obedience to the Word of God brings freedom, not bondage. I have heard many people claim Christianity has too many rules, too many "do's" and "don't's". Others will say biblical Christianity takes away freedom or robs us of fun and excitement. Such perspectives evidence a total lack of understanding regarding the value of the Word of God for us. God is our creator and knows exactly what we need for our lives to be lived to the fullest. His Word gives the Christian exactly the guidance needed for optimum joy. Ignoring His Word will actually lead us to bondage and misery, not freedom.

Think of it this way- You buy a new car. Unlike your previous car it apparently has two different shifters. You recognize one, but the other has unusual labels on it like "4N, 4H and 4L". Doesn't it make sense to read owner's manual before starting the car and driving off? But that would be too restrictive. You want to be free to drive the car exactly how you want, after all, it's yours. Assuming the extra shifter should be adjusted, you slam it in to "4L" and drive off. You see all the other cars speeding along, but for some reason yours seems sluggish and the engine is racing pretty hard. You press harder on the gas to keep up with traffic and crank up the radio to drown out the whining engine. Soon enough your "check engine" light flashes on, you smell something burning, then you feel grinding. You just wrecked your transmission driving in four-wheel drive low at 65 MPH for a half an hour. How free are you now? You did it your way and it felt good for just a little while, since no one was placing some kind of restraint on you. But after things went awry, you found yourself with a huge repair and no way to get to the mechanic's shop. How free are you now? If you would have read the manual and followed the directions you'd be experiencing the full capabilities of your new car. The manual is not restrictive, it's protective and liberating. This is also true concerning God's Word and our obedience to it. J.A. Motyer said it well-

True freedom is the opportunity and the ability to give expression to who we truly are. We are truly free when we live the life appropriate to those who are created in the image of God. The Law of God safeguards that liberty for us. The Law of God is the law of liberty because it safeguards, expresses and enables the life of true freedom into which Christ has brought us. This is the blessing of which James speaks, the blessing of a full life, a true humanity. Obedience is the key factor in our enjoyment of it.

James says "the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing."

Blessing, not bondage, comes from obedience to God's Word.


Kampfgruppe-H said...

Good post Pastor T. Your commentary has added to my thinking about Sola Scriptura. I'm currently reading 'Scripture Alone' by James White, and really trying to increase my apologetic so as to provide a reasonable defense against the Roman Catholic view.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

Frontier Forest said...

I believe one of the most powerful verses on Freedom and Christian Liberty is one of the first verses I every memorized. John 8:32, “You shall know the truth and the TRUTH shall make you free!” The world says, “Christians have too many rules, do’s and don’ts! I want to be free to do what ever I feel like!” What a paradox! Christ’s proclamation in John 8:32 is simple and clear! True freedom only comes from knowing TRUTH and knowing TRUTH release the very essence of John 10:10. “I came that you may have life, and have it more abundantly!” Living and abiding in HIS kind of abundant life, sets us free! Therefore, since the world doesn’t know HIM, the world knows nothing of abundant life! Their freedom is living in sin’s total bondage.