We talked in our last post about the privilege we have as adopted children of God. We are in a new family and adoption means we are no longer part of our old family. We no longer belong to the family of sin into which we were born. We are free from that trap, bondage, and enslavement.
The Bible compares the role of a slave and the role of a son or daughter. Slaves have duties to perform to please their masters and, if they don’t do them, punishment or even banishment might result. Children, on the other hand please their Father by relating to Him, by becoming all He desires for them to be, by doing His bidding out of love, not from servitude or fear.
John Owen says of the children of God, “Love is the bottom of all their duties; hence our Saviour resolves all obedience into the love of God and our neighbour; and Paul, upon the same ground, tells us ‘that love is the fulfilling of the law’ (Romans 13:10).”
Before Christ, we could never know that love was the fulfilling of the law. He showed us how and taught us the difference between the law and love, particularly in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, 6, and 7. He introduced the new way of living from the heart by saying, multiple times, “You have heard it said . . ., but I say . . .”. He brought us a better way – obedience, not through compulsion, but through love.
In addition, He brought us into the family of God and invites to grow up there, not by hopelessly trying to keep all the rules, but, instead, by trusting our Father’s transforming love and by walking in the path He has set before us, “By faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.” (Galatians 5:5).
We are free from the law, from slavery to sin, from trying harder, and from measuring ourselves against others to see how we are doing. We are free! Free to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Free to love our neighbors as ourselves. Free to fail and be forgiven. Free to change to resemble, more each day, our older Brother.
“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.” (Galatians 5:1)
*John Owen, Communion with God (Fearn, Ross-shire, Scotland: Christian Focus Publications), p. 327.