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What it Means to be Free From the Law*by Dr. Bill Gillham

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What it Means to be Free From the Law*by Dr. Bill Gillham Empty What it Means to be Free From the Law*by Dr. Bill Gillham

Post  Admin on Thu 17 Feb 2011, 12:45 pm

What it Means to be Free From the Law*
*by Dr. Bill Gillham *
*
When I was a kid, "Mr. Stone" owned two, new dream cars: a black Packard
with white walls (like the bad guys drove in the 30s and a Lincoln
Zephyr, the prototype of the Lincoln Town Car. Those babies could lay
their ears back and fly. There were no highway speed limits. If we'd
driven our old Chevy wide open it might have reached 40 mph for a few
miles, and then it would have sounded like the pistons were swapping
holes. Mr. Stone would blow by us doing 70! He might even strike his
match on our car to light his cigar. Nah.
Was Mr. Stone a speeder? No, because there was no speed law, no baseline
by which to differentiate between Mr. Stone and the rest of us
oil-stained wretches. In God's time, the legislature passed a new law:
Speed Limit 50 mph. After this, when Mr. Stone aired out his wheels at
70 mph, was he a speeder? Yes. Why? Law made the difference. "What shall
we say then? Is the speed Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, Mr.
Stone would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for he
would not have known about speeding if the Law had not said, 'You shall
not speed'" (Rom. 7:7, with minor changes). God's Law is a wakeup call
for sinners to convince them that they desperately need a Savior—Jesus
(Gal. 3:23-26). Law was never designed to keep Christians in line (Rom.
6:14).
My friend Lee LeFebre grew up reciting the Ten Commandments in church
every Sunday. You'd think this would be a deterrent against sinning.
But, it will produce the opposite results. What if you began each day by
repeating, "Keep off the grass" ten times? This would tempt you to walk
on grass that you'd hardly noticed before! Hammering away with "you
oughts" and "you ought nots" is not God's plan for stimulating
Christians to good works. Grace is to accomplish this desirable goal
(Rom. 6:14).
Have you ever seen a bird dog that tucks its tail and cowers at your
approach? Law likely produced that. Its master crushed its "spirit" by
intimidating or perhaps beating it into submission. This animal has no
joy. Its purpose for experiencing its created role (hunting) has been
quenched by a hard taskmaster's abusive law. Were it possible to give it
a personality inventory test this dog would register very low on
self-worth. It may even feel unworthy to eat its master's food or feel
guilty for breathing "his" air!
Consider, on the other hand, a bird dog that is owned by an agape master
who has its best interest at heart. It was first taught the master's
will through rules (law), reward and discipline, then trained how to
best experience the role for which it was created (hunting). It "lives
in vital union with its master" as they work and play together (Col.
2:6, LB). Its greatest delight becomes to simply please its master who's
been careful not to crush its "spirit" like that of the first dog, but
to bring its will into line with his own for the dog's best good as well
as for his own pleasure.
This dog manifests a zest for living. He has a sparkle in his eye as he
ranges out in a grid-like pattern according to his master's will. He is
not restrained by a leash (law), but by the law of love for his master.
He yearns to submit to his master's will. Obedience has become the joy
of his life. This demonstrates "the law of love" which controls
Christians (Rom. 8:2). This animal does not perceive himself as being
controlled by a burdensome taskmaster, but as cooperating with his
life-companion, the love of his life. Sure, at times he needs correction
and because it's administered to him properly, he is the better for it.
He delights all the more to please his master. Our relationship with our
Spiritual Dad is very similar to this. Such obedience and love bring
much joy to us and to Him as well. We were recreated in Christ to
experience this on earth.
Can you identify with one of these dogs? Is the evil one beating you
down with law, deceiving you into believing that an angry God, not
Satan, is behind this? Or are you constrained by the invisible leash of
Christ's boundless grace and love for you? The later is what you were
recreated in Christ to experience. "For the love of Christ controls us…"
(2 Cor. 5:14). Understanding this will be a fresh breeze to your spirit.
Christians are motivated to live up to (or down to!) what they believe
to be God's opinion of them. Believe the lie that you are a sorry,
no-good, worthless sinner saved by grace and you'll act like it. Believe
the truth that through Jesus you are the holy, pure, righteous,
accepted, BODY OF CHRIST and you'll be highly motivated to live like it.
As I grew in Christ, I saw teaching about the Law that confused me. "God
made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter (Law),
but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life" (2
Cor. 3:6). Does that say that Law "kills"? Yes. Look at the next verse:
"But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones…" (2 Cor.
3:8). "Ministry of death?" Yes! Just to be sure we get it, God says it a
third time, "For if the ministry of condemnation has glory…" (2 Cor.
3:9). God says the Law kills, and has the "ministries" of death and
condemnation! How do we explain this?
"For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized
through Jesus Christ" (Jn. 1:17). Notice, grace and truth were not
imparted to man via Law—and it will never be so. Condemnation and death
were imparted to man via Law—and it will always be so (Rom. 3:20-21).
Many well-meaning mentors teach that keeping God's law is our means of
attaining or retaining His acceptance. In fact, if you removed law from
their sermon barrel, it might be a big step toward solving our paper
shortage. Using law to motivate Christians not only fails to inhibit
sin, it actually fuels sin's engine, and makes it stronger! Remember the
"Keep off the grass" illustration. I realize that it may be difficult to
accept this if it's is a new concept to you. This new concept, however,
is as old as the New Testament. God wishes that mentors understood that
grace, not law, motivates Christians to obedience. God designed it this
way. Have you not noticed that the preacher who rails the loudest
against sexual sin is often the one who runs off with his secretary?
Now, I'm not teaching that since we are "not under Law" (Rom. 6:14), we
can violate God's Law with abandon while He smiles at our antics like an
indulgent Grandpa—Boys will be boys. Absolutely not! We're like a
sparrow in the prison exercise yard that is governed by a higher law
(aerodynamics) than the inmates (gravity). The new creature in Christ is
governed by "the law of love (agape)," which is written on his heart
(Heb. 10:16)—and this includes a passion to do the will of God.
Christians wish they could overcome their sin (Rom. 7:15). That's a ten!
Paul verbalizes our desire, "For I joyfully concur with the law of God
in the inner man" (Rom. 7:22). Does that sound like we crave sin?
Ridiculous! The reason that God can trust us by taking us out from under
the Law is because He has "written [the desire to obey Him] on our heart
and mind" (Heb. 10:16). You might say we're on a love tether. Love
motivates us to obey.
Our Purpose and Mission
The ministry of "Grace and The Truth" has the purpose of encouraging
Christians to believe what God says.
We read in in Ephesians. 1:18 "The eyes of your understanding being
enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what
the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints," and in
Colossians 2:2 " That their hearts might be comforted, being knit
together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of
understanding, to the acknowledgment (epignosis) true knowledge of the
mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ".
We are dedicated to helping Christians to a fuller knowledge of Him, and
the Grace of God. Until we all come into the Unity, Ephesians 4:13 "Till
we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son
of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the
fullness of Christ:"
We are wiling o help you on this journey just give us a call, 1 623 546
8866, Paris
www.graceandthetruth.com
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