This week I have been digging into the concept of the "perfect law of liberty" found in James 1:25 and 2:12. My first question was "what is the perfect law of liberty?" And my second question was "haven't we been set free from the law and following rules?"
So as always, the only way to find true answers is to dig into scripture to interpret scripture. Here is just the surface of what I am finding and what I am learning.
1) What is the "Perfect Law of Liberty?"
When looking at the original language it appears that the law of liberty is referring to the word of God as seen in its completeness from Genesis to Revelation (the law of Moses fulfilled in Christ Jesus) which brings us freedom.
This leads right into my second question and I think of John 8:31-32a (ESV)
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Jesus used "logos" when speaking of His word which means the Divine expression- Christ himself. So when we abide in him and are truly his disciples, we will know the truth and it will set us free. But wait...
2) Haven't we been set free from the law and following rules?
Simply the answer is yes and no! (Ha Ha Ha, simple right?) We have not been set free from any and all authority as the human heart desires. God made us so that we would always have a boss (or master as He put it). We can either have sin as master of have God as master but we are never our own master.
I have struggled with this concept because I think that the basis on the human condition is the desire to rebel and throw off all authority and be our own boss. So when you accept Christ as the new boss of your life, it contradicts this innate mar on the human heart. I don't want a boss so I have fought in my sin nature with my new spirit to find an out from this new "law of liberty". But what I find is that if I truly abide in Christ, get to know God and walk with Him in obedience, I am living in the law of liberty and it has set me free! Yes, I am choosing to do life God's way (which is really the only way that makes sense and makes it worth living) and that could be viewed as following rules but it is all about my heart. With Christ, I follow and obey because I want to and love him. Sometimes my love for him creates my want to and it is a choice rather than a feeling! This obedience from love is an act of freedom, I am not coerced or forced but actively choose of my own free will. What could be more free than that???
So perhaps we need to redefine freedom and come to a deeper understanding of the "law of liberty". I know that I have only scratched the surface and will continue to learn more!
Therefore, if the Son sets you free, you really will be free.
~ John 8:36 ESV