For over 30 years of my life I have been working in construction and that has meant that I have been driving some type of truck or van for almost all of that time. Usually these vehicles have been registered as commercial trucks and therefor are not allowed on certain roads or parkways. Even when driving on the roads trucks are permitted on, we are encouraged to stay out of the left lane of traffic.
Years of obeying these rules of the road create a certain mind set. I plan my trips to and from job sites around the roads and traffic patterns that I am allowed on. It becomes second nature.
Once in a great while I find myself behind the wheel of my wife’s nice SUV. It has all the bells and whistle. Remote control mirrors, GPS navigation, back up camera and heated seats. It rides so smooth and the seat is like an arm chair. The radio sounds like a concert hall and it even has air conditioning! It is a world apart from my dusty noisy old work truck and it can go on any road it wants.
Yet I still drive like I am in that van!
Sad to say that this second nature mind set is not always limited to driving.
Before coming to the Lord I was in a main stream religious organization that had it’s own rules and regulations and interpretation of God’s Word along with it’s own doctrines and dogma. Being good and following rules was emphasized more than being in right relationship with God or regular direct fellowship with Jesus.
Just like my truck diving mentality I was ingrained with certain religious beliefs that influenced my behavior. Likewise the early church had old beliefs, rules and regulations that had to be addressed.
Three times Jesus showed Peter in a vision that what had been considered unclean was now clean and fit for eating. Jesus was using this occasion to teach Peter that the old laws concerning food were to be abolished and that the spread of the Gospel of salvation was to be broadened to the Gentiles as well as the Jew. Acts 10 (emphases on vss 10-16 and 34-48)
But we are stubborn people and slow to change at times. Paul spoke out against the need for circumcision and following the old law.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Galatians 5
Later in the same chapter, as well as elsewhere, Paul speaks of how this new found liberty is no excuse to sin. Rather this freedom should be the catalyst for good in that we are not bound by countless laws (well, 613 to be exact). Instead we have all the of the law summed up into one – Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Gal 5:14b/Lev 19:18
Further on Paul elaborates by contrasting the Lawless Old Man with The Free New Man –
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Gal 5: 19-25 NKJV
AGAINST SUCH THERE IS NO LAW!
Ever get in to trouble for being polite? Ever get a ticket for doing the speed limit? Ever get fired for doing the best job ever? I hope not. That’s because there’s no law against doing the right thing. Paul is telling us that as long as we lean on and follow the Spirit of God in our hearts, mind and actions we are not under the bondage of the law.
Love is the only Law
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Gal 6:2 NKJV
Let us not forgot what Jesus answered when they tested Him about the Law –
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:34-40
Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
John 8:36 NKJV