Aren’t you glad we don’t have to follow the Old-Testament Law? As part of our daily Bible reading program, we are currently working our way through the book of Leviticus. How can anyone keep all those various rules and different sacrifices straight?!? Every day, I am reminded how great a gift salvation really is! Jesus came to perfectly fulfill the Law (which is absolutely amazing in itself), and then gave Himself as a sacrifice so we don’t have to constantly go to the temple to sacrifice an animal, or grain, or whatever else was commanded.
What an awesome privilege we have, to be redeemed by Christ, having Him as our High Priest who intercedes for us and took all our sins on Himself as the perfect sacrificial lamb. We have access to the Father because of Jesus! We are no longer slaves to the Law, to sin, and to self! Our freedom has been bought!
However, the Bible is also clear that we can put ourselves back into slavery. The Apostle Paul reprimands the church in Galatia that by following after legalism and the Law, they had put themselves back into bondage, and had “fallen away from grace”. (Gal. 5:4) He also states: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Gal. 5:1)
We are also taught in various places that many other things can enslave us – in fact, any sin that we continue to indulge in, any activity or desire that captivates or rules our life, and anything that we become dependent on for inner fulfillment, becomes our master.
I have to think of our own history of slavery in the not-too-distant past. Slaves were forced to labour and live for someone else with no freedom of their own, and those who managed to run away and flee to the North were constantly worried about being found by slave-catchers. Even those who legally became “freemen” had to watch their backs.
In some ways, we are in the same boat. The slave-catchers are out there, looking to bring us back to our old masters. The slave-catchers of sin, legalism, self-righteousness, bitterness, hatred, selfishness, apathy, worry, money, power, unforgiveness, and many more. We must guard ourselves at all cost from the things that seek to hunt us down and bring us under the rule of anything or anyone else besides God!
How do we do that? How can we remain free? Paul has an answer for that as well:
“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh… if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” (Gal. 5:16, 18)
When we “walk by the Spirit,” He will transform our thoughts (Rom. 12:2), actions (James), and produce fruit (Gal. 5:22-23), which are unmistakeable signs of our freedom.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death… The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again”. (Rom. 8:1-2, 15)
May our freedom in Christ be so important to us that we refuse to let anything, or anyone drag us back into bondage and slavery again! May we walk by the Spirit and live our lives in full devotion to Him who set us free! We be free, Sister!! We don’t need to serve our old masters no more!