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Deliverance From the Law
We’re dealing with the protection against witchcraft which is revealed in Galatians. I’ve said there’s a fivefold deliverance revealed in Galatians. We’ve been looking at the first deliverance stated in chapter 1, verse 4, deliverance from this present evil age. We looked at three statements of scripture. In Matthew 13, the present age is drawing to a close. I cannot overemphasize how important it is to realize that. I mean, if we don’t live in the Word, we won’t keep realizing it. The moment we get involved with the things of this world we lose that perspective.
Second, and perhaps the most important statement of all, Satan is the god of this age. That’s why we need to be delivered from it. You could say to the Lord, “Well Lord, why didn’t you remove Satan as god?” The Lord says, “That’s my business. My provision for you is I’ve delivered you from the age.”
And then in Hebrews we see that we have, through the Holy Spirit, tasted the powers of the next age. We’ve been given an appetite so that the things of this age no longer can really satisfy us.
There are three more statements, all of which are important. The first one is in Matthew 13:22. This is the interpretation of the parable of the sower and the seed and Jesus says about one of the types of persons who receive the seed:
“Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the Word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the Word, and he becomes unfruitful.”
It’s unfortunate really that this translation says “the cares of this world” because the Greek says “the cares of this age.” I think you’ll find the NASV, the NIV and all the others say “age.” The important fact to realize is that the cares of this age can choke the Word of God in us and make us unfruitful. So if there are thorns in our lives but we want to be fruitful, what have we got to do? Pull the thorns up, that’s right. One of the thorns that has to go is the cares of this age, concern for things of this age.
Ruth and I were speaking some time back about this problem. And you see, concerns don’t need to be sinful. They can be very practical like, you know, what are we to do about the stain on the carpet. We’re not talking about things that are evil. We said let’s adopt this as a kind of simple standard when we’re concerned about something:
How important will it be a year from now?
Second, how important will it be ten years from now?
Third, how important will it be in eternity?
That helps us to get a perspective so that we don’t let the cares of this age assume too great a part of our thinking. I mean, we all have to be practical. We have to have our hair cut, we have to have our clothes cleaned. Even I have to have my hair cut! You might not believe it, but it’s true! It’s a bother to me. It’s one of the things I like to get over. It’s been like that since I was a small boy, my parents had the biggest problem getting me to the hair cutter. I don’t know why, maybe it’s part of the old man!
But these things are legitimate, the problem is that they assume wrong proportions in our lives. It was Corrie Ten Boom who used to say she was so convicted when she realized that the worries of this world could keep her from being ready to meet Jesus. That’s always stayed with me.
Then in Romans 12:2 we have another statement which is also very important. Paul says:
“Do not be conformed to this world [but again, the Greek is `this age’], but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
So we are warned against being conformed to this age. What would that mean? Paul immediately goes on to talk about the way we think, “be transformed by the renewing of your mind”. So I think Paul is warning us not so much about the style of our dress, although that could have something to do with it, but he’s warning us about the way we think. Don’t think like the people of this age.
If you want to know whether you’re conformed to this age in your thinking, there are a lot of different tests you can apply. How do you react when you get bad news? Do you fall apart? Do you throw up your hands? Then you’ve not been renewed in your mind.
And Paul says in order to experience the will of God in your life you have to be renewed in your mind. Read that again.
“...that you may be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove [or find out in experience] what is that good, acceptable and perfect will of God.”
The unrenewed mind cannot discover God’s will. There has to be a radical change in our thinking before we can discover God’s will for our lives. As long as we are conformed to this present age in our thinking, God’s will is shut off from us. I’m afraid that’s true of many. They may end in heaven but they’ll have missed God’s purpose for them in this life.
Then another which is tremendously solemn is 2Timothy 4:10. This is Paul’s assessment of the people who had remained faithful to him in his imprisonment. He was in prison awaiting execution. One of his coworkers who had been with him a long while had left him. This is what he said:
“Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present age, and has departed for Thessalonica.”
So that’s a real challenge to all of us who are called into the Lord’s service. If we are to be faithful to the end we cannot afford to love this present age. If we love this present age, there will come a point at which its claims will negate the claims of Jesus Christ.
I always remember hearing a dear brother who is with the Lord now, probably not known by name to any of you, Brother Madsen ?Bosay?. A Swedish-American or an American-Swede, I never knew which. But he preached on this text, “Demas has forsaken me” and I just somehow have never forgotten it. He gave four reasons why Demas would have forsaken him. One was that Paul was a failure. He couldn’t even pray for his friend Trophemus to be healed. His friends in Asia had forsaken him.
Then he said about Demas, “I don’t think he went to the nightclubs. I think he just bought himself a condominium!”
You see what I’m saying? It doesn’t mean open sin, it just means misplaced affection. A failure to see that this present age is evil and transitory. It’s not going to last. And do you know when I say that, do you know what I say next? Thank God! Thank God it isn’t because the world is in a mess and getting more and more in a mess.
Now let’s consider some of the results of this deliverance from this present evil age. I’ve just listed three, you could probably think of more. The first is citizenship in heaven. We don’t really belong any longer to this present world order. Paul makes some remarkable statements in Philippians 3, a very searching passage. I want to read it as it were gently because I don’t want to be attacking anybody. But they’re powerful words. Philippians 3:17:
“Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk as you have asked for a pattern.”
That’s challenging, isn’t it? Can you say that to other believers? Walk the same way you see me walk.
I went years ago to be principal of a college for training African teachers in Kenya. When I was on the way there I asked the Lord for a word and he gave me one, I think it’s in Philippians, I don’t remember. But it was, “Those things which you have learned, and you have received, and heard and seen in me—do.” You see, I was going to teach Africans. It was easy for me to say “those things which you’ve learned and received—do.” Not so easy to say “the things you’ve heard and seen in me—do.” That’s a challenge.
When I went into the British Army, the first thing the sergeant told us was, “Don’t do as I do, do as I say.” That was plain. He lived up to it.
Here we are back at Philippians 3.
“Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk as you have asked for a pattern. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, whose glory is in their shame, who set their mind on earthly things.”
What was the problem with those people? They were the enemies of what? Not enemies of Christ, but of the cross. Do you think Paul was talking about professing Christians? It’s obvious he was. He said, “Many walk. I’ve told you about them weeping, I’ll tell you again.” They’re the enemies of the cross of Christ. Not of Christ. They profess allegiance to him but the thing they don’t like is his cross.
Paul says some very fearful things about these people in verse 19:
“Whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, [and he sums it up] who set their mind on earthly things.”
They are at home in this present age. That’s dangerous for a Christian. Then he goes on to say:
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Paul says, “I am here on earth, but this is not the place of my citizenship. I’m a citizen of heaven’s kingdom.”
We’ll move on. The very next what I would call the result of deliverance. Really, they merge into one another. But let’s look for a moment in Hebrews 13:14.
“For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.”
We’re not at home on this earth. We have a residence but it’s not our permanent dwelling place.
Side by side with that I would like to add a scripture which isn’t in your outline. 1Corinthians 15:19:
“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.”
I think a better translation says, “we are of all men the most to be pitied.” Can you accept that statement. If all we expect is in this life, we are the most pitiable of all.
The third result of this deliverance that’s stated there, the expectation of Christ’s return. Personally, I’m inclined to believe that people who have not been delivered from this present evil age do not really look forward to Christ’s return. There’s just two scriptures there. Hebrews 9:28:
“So Christ was offered [that means sacrificed] once to bear the sins of many, to those who eagerly wait for him he will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”
That’s his return. Do you believe he’s coming back? It’s important. Do you believe he is coming back in person? Do you believe he’s coming back visibly? Do you believe he’s coming back in power and glory? As a king to reign? Well, I do. You have to make your own decision.
Whom is he coming back for? Verse 28, don’t look at my face, it isn’t there. “For those who eagerly wait for him.” Now, are you one of those? You don’t have to answer me, I’m just challenging you. Are you really eagerly waiting for the return of Jesus?
Then a second scripture along this line in 2Timothy 4:8. I’ve come to appreciate 2Timothy not just as scripture but as a work of literature. I think it is a tremendous piece of writing. It’s entitled to a place right at the top of the list of masterpieces of writing. 2Timothy 4:8:
“There is laid up for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that day; and not to me only but also to all who have loved his appearing.”
To me, that marks out a special class of Christians. Not Pentecostals or Charismatics or Baptists, but people who are distinguished by the fact they have loved the appearing of the Lord. The Greek word used for love is agapao. It’s a strong word for love, an intense love. I think the NIV says “those who long for his appearing.” They’re going to wear a special, shall we say, badge in eternity. What is it? A crown of righteousness.
Now when you read the word crown, you need to bear in mind that there are two words that are normally translated crown. And they’re very, very different. One word means a diadem. It’s directly from the Greek word diadema. The other word means a wreath worn on the brow. The Greek word is stephanos, from which we get the English name Stephen, amongst others. This is the mark of royalty, diadem. When Jesus comes back it says on his head are many diadems. He’s coming back as the King of Kings. I don’t believe we are going to wear diadems. That’s for Jesus. But, we will wear—those of us who have qualified—the stephanos, the wreath on the brow which was the winner’s reward in the Olympic games. What corresponds to a gold medal today was a laurel wreath. Laurel was the mark of victory. Of course, it’s withered. And you’ll find several references in the New Testament to the fact that we have a crown that doesn’t wither. We have a crown, what kind of a crown, what does it say there? A crown of righteousness.
Are you going to be wearing that wreath? I don’t think it will be laurel, I don’t think it will be gold. I don’t know what it’ll be, it will be exciting to find out. But that marks out the Christians who have longed for his appearing.
I want to be one of them. I’m not claiming to be one of them but it’s my ambition to be one of them.
I think you’ll agree if you look at those results of the deliverance, they’re all consistent with loving this present age. Our citizenship in heaven, we won’t prize it if we’re still in love with this age. I’m an American citizen by naturalization. I’m very, very careful to keep my naturalization certificate which, incidentally, you are not allowed to duplicate. I have it in a safe deposit box because I prize my American citizenship.
But there’s another citizenship that’s even more valuable. Our citizenship in heaven. Do you have that in a safe deposit box? Is it in a safe place? Do you value it? Do you realize what you’ve got?
I tell you, most people born American citizens don’t realize what they’ve got. It’s the naturalized ones that realize what we’ve got. You are Americans by birth, brothers and sisters, I’m an American by choice.
However, what I’m saying is the results are inconsistent with loving this present age. We have to determine where our heart is.
Let me just mention because I spoke about “here we have no continuing city.” Ruth has given her personal testimony on a cassette somewhere which is entitled “In Search of a City.” Some of you might appreciate that because she came from a background of Judaism to meet Jesus as her Messiah. It’s a little different from most people’s testimony. But anyhow, I do know about Ruth, she has no continuing city here, I’ll tell you that. Her heart is in heaven.
Now, we’re going to deal with four more deliverances but each of them in a way is an aspect, or an application, of this primary deliverance. So the four deliverances we’re going to look at now are the outworking of being delivered from this present evil age. The next one is deliverance from the law. We’ve already spent some time on that so I don’t want to go into it in detail but let’s turn to Galatians 2:19. Paul says there:
“I, through the law, died to the law that I might live to Christ.”
Paul says, “I was under the law, I broke the law, I was a transgressor. I had to pay the penalty.” What was the penalty? Death. The good news is the penalty was paid when Jesus died. But he says, “That’s my deliverance from the law. The law put me to death. The law decreed that I had broken it and I must die. But by doing that it delivered me from the law.” Do you understand? That’s why he said, “I, through the law, died to the law.” Once you’re dead the law has no more to say to you. You’ve escaped. So Paul says, “Through the death of Jesus, for the sins of those who lived under the law, I have died to the law that I might live to Christ.” I think, again, they are exclusive alternatives. If you want to live to Christ you have to be dead to the law.
I tell you, this is a very crucial issue amongst Jewish believers at the present time. But Paul was as much a Jew as anybody will ever be a Jew. And he said, “If I’m to live to Christ, I have to be dead to the law.”
Now that’s not a crisis for most Gentiles. I think most of you have little concept of the agony and the struggle that Jewish people go through to get free. At any rate, that’s the second deliverance, it’s deliverance from the law as a means of achieving righteousness.
By way of comparison, keep your finger in Galatians and turn to Colossians 2 and we’ll read from verse 20. You’ll notice that in both these passages the emphasis is on the fact that we died, we died in Christ. When Christ died, we died. So Paul says to the Colossians:
“Therefore, if you died with Christ, from the basic principles of the world [which is the same language he’s been using in Galatians about being under the law], why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations [which all belong to this age. Do you understand? They’re all part of this present age. And then he specifies:] ...do not touch, do not taste, do not handle...”
Does that sound like some forms of Christianity? And Paul says why do you subject yourselves, you’re not under it. Don’t put yourself under it.
“Which all [these regulations] concern things which perish with the using.”
The food you eat, the drink you drink, the clothes you wear, etc.
“According to the commandments and doctrines of men?”
And then he comments, and it’s worth reading his comments:
“These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body; but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.”
How true that is. Isn’t that true? All the rules in the world won’t suppress your fleshly lusts. In fact, you know what they’ll do? They’ll stimulate them. That’s what Paul said in Romans 7, “If the law hadn’t said don’t covet, I wouldn’t have been so covetous. But the very commandment not to covet stirred up covetousness in me.”
Now what are the results of the deliverance from the law. I trust you’ll bear with me as we spent some time going through this before. First of all, freedom from condemnation. How glorious to be free from condemnation!
You may have noticed that every time I do a voice check I quote Romans 8. We’ll go back, Romans 8.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.”
And I pointed out to you, but it’s worth saying again, that’s the doorway into Romans 8. You cannot live in Romans 8 if you live under condemnation. And if you live under the law, you’re under condemnation. How do you know that you’ve done everything you needed to do? You did 55 things but maybe you should have done 56, you understand? You’ll never come to the end of the potential for guilt. “There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” Some of your versions add, “who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” I prefer to leave it out there because it comes just a little further on. There are different texts. Don’t let them worry you because there’s never really any significant doctrinal difference.
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh...”
Now Paul is very careful to point out again and again there’s nothing wrong with the law. The law is holy, perfect and good. Why couldn’t it do what was needed? Not because there was anything wrong with the law but because of my fleshly nature. That’s the problem. What the law does is pinpoint the problem. Paul says through the law is the knowledge of sin. That’s a blessing in itself. If you have a disease, it’s good to get the disease diagnosed. The law is God’s diagnostic. It diagnoses your problem, it’s sin. Maybe you didn’t realize that before. But it’s not sufficient to diagnose the problem, you’ve got to have a solution.
We’re going back to Romans 8:3:
“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and on account of sin.”
But that’s better translated “as a sin offering” because it’s the standard Greek phrase for a sin offering. Jesus was the last great sin offering. God condemned sin in the flesh. In whose flesh? The flesh of Jesus. He put Jesus to death. With what purpose? Now let’s read on, verse 4:
“That the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
Now this is extremely important. I’m reluctant to get into it but I know if I don’t I’ll leave you confused. So Paul says we’re no longer required to observe the law. But he says God’s purpose in releasing us from the law through the death of Jesus was that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us. There is something that we have to do. We have to fulfill the righteous requirement of the law.
Therefore, it’s extremely important to discover what is the righteous requirement of the law. I’ll give you a moment to think it over. What is the righteous requirement of the law? You can answer in one word of four letters. Love.
Keep your finger in Romans 8, and turn to Revelation 19:7–8. This is a description of the preliminaries to the marriage supper of the Lamb. Who is the Lamb going to marry? The church.
“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his wife has made herself ready.”
Notice it’s the responsibility of the church to make herself ready. That’s not done by the bridegroom. You’ve never been to a wedding where the bridegroom has prepared the bride, have you? The bride has to prepare herself. Verse 8, this is her preparation.
“To her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”
It’s the same Greek word that’s used in Romans 8:4, the righteous requirement of the law.
Now there are two forms of righteousness in the New Testament. There’s, first of all, what we call imputed righteousness. When we are saved and receive Jesus as we’ve explained at length, his righteousness is imputed to us. We are reckoned righteous with his righteousness. But we don’t just rest in that fact. There has to be a process by which the imputed righteousness become outworked righteousness. Paul says in Philippians, “it is God who worketh in you to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
Now the bride is not clothed just in imputed righteousness, she’s clothed in outworked righteousness. It’s the righteous acts of the saints. That’s terribly important. The question is: Are we going to have enough material to make a bridal gown of? See what I’m saying? As I think of it, each strand in that beautiful linen is one righteous act. So we’ve got to have enough righteous acts to be decently attired for the marriage supper of the Lamb. That’s a challenge, isn’t it? Could it be that some of you at the present time would find your dress rather skimpy?
I directed your attention there because I wanted to point out to you the significance of that word. The Greek word is dikaioma. It’s outworked righteousness. So Paul says that the outworked righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us. The practical outworking, what is it? One word. Love.
I’m going to give you a series of scriptures that are not in your outline because I just realized that if I went past this I would leave a lot of unanswered questions. Romans 13:8–10. We really are hit between the eyes with the first part of verse 8.
“Owe no one anything...”
How many of us here are in debt? Please don’t raise your hands, don’t put your hand up. Did you realize you’re disobeying the New Testament? If you were to calculate the personal debt of the Christian church in the United States, I’m sure it would run into billions of dollars. It’s wrong. I don’t want to go into that point but owe no one anything.
“...except to love one another...”
That’s the only debt we have to keep, to love one another.
“...for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.”
That’s very clear, isn’t it?
“For the commandments, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, you shall not covet; and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this same: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. Love does not harm to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law.”
I believe that’s very, very clear. In Romans 8 Paul says that the righteous requirement of the law may be fulfilled in us. In Romans 13 he says love is the fulfillment, the righteous requirement of the law.
But just to confirm it, let’s look at a number of other scriptures. We are on our way back to Galatians, I warned you. Galatians 5:6:
“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision, nor uncircumcision avails anything; but faith working through love.”
That’s a profound statement. In other words, it’s saying in the last resort, external regulations are not what matters. The only thing that matters is faith that works through love. Everything else is secondary to that one requirement.
It’s also important to see what kind of faith the New Testament requires. It’s not a passive faith, it’s not an intellectual faith, it’s not a theological faith; it’s an active faith, a faith that works by love. Where we don’t have that we’re missing the whole purpose of redemption. Then in Galatians 5:14 Paul says:
“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
How much of the law? All the law.
There’s one other scripture that I love to turn to, 1Timothy 1:5. Does anybody have an NASV here I could borrow? The reason why I want this is because it says it so well, thank you very much.
“But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart, and a good conscience, and a sincere faith.”
What are we aiming at? Love. And then Paul says:
“For some men straying from these things have turned aside to fruitless discussion...”
How much of the church’s activity is fruitless discussion? Anything that isn’t aimed at love is a waste of time. The goal of our instruction is love. And there he gives three conditions for love: a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith. That’s such a vivid translation.
I don’t know why, this is kind of mischievous of me. Whenever I read that version, 1Timothy 1:5, I think of a story told me by a Baptist. But anyhow, it’s a story about a mother and her son. The mother was arguing with her son that he ought to go to church and the son said, “I don’t want to go to church. I don’t like those people, they don’t like me. Why should I go to church? Give me two reasons.” The mother said, “First of all, you’re 40 years old. Second, you’re the pastor of the church!”
You see, if that situation exists, they’ve missed out the one thing that really matters. The goal of our instruction is love. I pause at times in my own ministry and say, “Am I producing love?” If not, I’m wasting my time. That is the righteous requirement of the law.
Now we need to say other things about love that I’m not going to go into now. Love has to be united with obedience. Love is obedience. Jesus said, “If you love me, you’ll keep my word.” You see, we’re so used to a motivation of fear. If you don’t do this you’ll get punished. We don’t realize that God’s motivation is love. Jesus doesn’t say, “You’ll obey me because I’ll deal with you if you don’t.” He says, “If you love me you’ll obey me.”
Now if you’re a parent and you had to choose between the two motivations of obedience in your child, which would you want? Fear or love? We who are parents know you can threaten and it works for awhile, but when that child reaches the age where it makes decisions for itself it says, “That’s the end of that.” But a child that obeys because it loves, you can rely on. God is very wise. He’s chosen the most powerful and effective motive for obedience which is love.
Now let’s consider one other passage about this issue of love. Some people say that was Paul, but he wasn’t a Judaiser. James was the leader of the church in Jerusalem and this is what he says. James 1:25:
“But who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hero but a doer of the word, this one should be blessed in what he does.”
Notice that phrase “the perfect law of liberty.” This is James speaking. Then in chapter 2, verse 8 he says:
“If you fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, [and he quotes it, what is the royal law?] you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
And then in verse 12 he says:
“So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty.”
So he uses two phrases. He says “the law of liberty” which he uses twice and “the royal law.” Are you with me? You look bothered. What did I say? I knew there was something wrong because your usually intelligent faces weren’t looking so intelligent! The references are James 1:25, James 2:8 and James 2:12.
Twice James speaks about the perfect law of liberty and then he speaks about the royal law and he’s talking about the same thing. He says it’s the law of love. The royal law is if you love your neighbor as yourself.
Why does he call it the royal law? What do we think of in terms when we use the word royal? We think of a king. So when you are motivated by that law you live like a king. You’re not under any other law. You’re free to do what you want, anytime. Isn’t that amazing! That’s why it’s also the law of liberty. Just ponder on this. If your heart is filled with and controlled by the love of God, anything you want to do is right. No other law is needed to control you. Is that right? Is that logical? It’s so high above our thinking that we’re almost afraid to contemplate it. But it actually is the purposes of the gospel.
Let’s not drag God down to our level. Let’s trust God to lift us up to his level. That’s the end of this gospel message. And praise God, ultimately it is so simple. You may have gathered by now I dislike complications. I’m 100% in favor of simplicity. In my own preaching I say to myself if I can’t say it simply it’s because I haven’t understood it clearly. And I work at it until I can. Sometimes it takes me years! I’m sorry for the people I practice on, but I’m doing my best!
We come to one further result of deliverance from the law and that will be as far as we can go in our session this morning. Freedom to be led by the Holy Spirit. I pointed out already that these are mutually exclusive alternatives. Romans 6:14:
“Sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law, but under grace.”
You cannot have it both ways. Look in Romans 8:14–15.
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage [let’s say slavery] again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, Abba, Father.”
Abba is the normal Hebrew word for daddy. If you walk in the streets of Jerusalem and see a little child with its father you’ll hear the child say Abba. That’s father, daddy. So because we’ve received the Spirit of adoption, we address God as Abba. Father. Daddy.
But you see, Paul says to have that relationship with God we have to be free from the spirit of slavery. And again he presents two alternatives. You can be led by the Spirit of God or you can be under the spirit of slavery. The spirit of slavery says if you don’t do this you’ll be punished. The Spirit of God leads us as God’s children.
Romans 8:14 is a very important verse.
“As many as are regularly led by the Spirit of God, they are sons of God.”
The Greek word there means a mature son. You see, when you are born again of God’s Spirit you become a child. But as you are led you become mature as a son or daughter of God. So the pathway to maturity is being led by the Holy Spirit. But being led by the Holy Spirit means that you are not under the spirit of slavery. You cannot have both.
So deliverance from the law puts us in that place where we are free to be led by the Spirit. Being led by the Spirit we come to maturity.
To just close this theme for this morning, let’s look at Galatians 5:18.
“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”
But in order to become a son of God, what do you have to do? You have to be led by the Spirit. So the only way to spiritual maturity is to be led by the Holy Spirit. But if you are led by the Holy Spirit, you are not under the law. You cannot be led by the Spirit and under the law at the same time. That’s our freedom. It’s not a freedom to do evil but a freedom to love. The motivation of our service for Jesus is love. The most powerful motivation in the world. It works when fear doesn’t work. That’s what God is bringing us into. That’s what makes us mature sons and daughters of God. That’s the result of deliverance from the law.
Now we’ve got three more deliverances to examine. Our time has gone for today and you’re going to have a little opportunity to relax and think things over, pray about things. Pray for me because God helping us, we’ll be back again with the next three aspects of deliverance.
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