Our Freedom in Christ Jesus

This edition of our newsletter briefly details Paul’s conception of believers’ freedom from the requirements of the Old Testament. The law puts people in bondage but does not them free. Jesus is the only person who sets sinners completely free (Rom 8:36). As believers, we have been given liberty through Christ.

Christians are, therefore, being encouraged to stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made them free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage (Gal 5:1). Peter also calls the Mosaic law a yoke in Acts 15:9-11, 23-29.

Liberty and freedom have been or are usually used interchangeably. Webster defines freedom as a state of exemption from the power or control of another, and liberty as exemption from slavery, servitude or confinement. It is seen as freedom from restraint and it is applicable to the will or mind of persons. A person enjoys liberty or freedom when s/he is not under coercion to act or not to act (Webster). Liberty or freedom as a concept encompasses freedom of the press or media, natural, political, civil or religious liberties. But in this Newsletter, the focus is on our freedom from the practice of Mosaic law, as a result of the sacrifice of our Lord, Christ Jesus.

As Christians, we have been set free from the following laws:

  • The demands to be circumcised (Gal 5:2, 3, 6, 11, Acts 15:5, )
  • Sabbath and observance of days (Col 2:15-18, Mat 12:1-12, Lk 13:15, Jn 7:22-23)
  • Burnt or animal sacrifices for sin (Heb 10:1-11)
  • Levitical Priesthood (Heb 7:5-24)
  • Forbidden meat, food and drink (Rom 14:1-23)
  • Diverse washings of the body (Heb 9:9-11)

The observance of the above practices does not bring us true salvation and neither does it contribute to it. Our salvation is purely the work of grace but not the work of flesh (law) as it is written:
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Eph 2:8-10)

From Acts chapter 15, what needs to be retained in the Old Testament laws include abstaining from;

  • Meats or foods offered to idols. This implies idol worshipping itself is sin (Rom 1:22-23)
  • From blood and from things strangled
  • Fornication (Acts 15: 29) and sexual immorality in general (Gal 5:19-21)
  • Homosexual relationships (Rom 1:21-28)

One law that was instituted by Moses which was repealed by Jesus Christ was that of divorce (Mat 19:6-12). This is also repeated by Paul, the Apostle (1Co 7:10-17). In as much as it depends on us as believers, we should resolve our differences peacefully in the light of scriptures. Divorce is not the best option for us. Seek proper counseling and be ready to come to a compromise.

Concerning the law, Paul strongly contends that now we are delivered from the law, that being dead in that in which we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter (Rom 7:6). If any person persuades you to obey Moses, do understand that such persuasion cometh not of God that calls you (Gal 5:8). Yielding to the law of Moses would only trouble your souls. Paul wishes that they that persuade believers to follow mosaic laws bear God´s judgment, whosoever they might be (Gal 5:10).

It should be emphasized that the moral laws of Moses in the Old Testament have not been Abolished. The New Testament authors reinforce them several times in their writings. It is the ceremonial laws that have been done away with in Christ Jesus.

Caution: The necessity of righteous living

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another” (Gal 5:13). Though we have received our liberty from the mosaic law, we have been warned to avoid sinning. Thus, our freedom in Christ does not immunize us against anything unwholesome. We are not under the law but we are being encouraged to abstain from such vices as recorded below:

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness,
Lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal 5:19-21).

Our freedom in Christ demands that we live by righteousness because, it is written, nevertheless, the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, The Lord God knows them that are His. So, let everyone that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2Ti 2:19). As believers, we must be guided by the Spirit of God and our consciences in the choices that we make.

Prayer: Dear Lord, as we celebrate our freedom in you, may you guide us through the path of righteousness, so that we might live to please your holy name. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

God`s Promises to Abraham is Immutable (Gen 22:15-18)

Many a time, people promise others and even support it with an oath, but not all of those promises come true. However, if the promise is supported by a proper or written legal oath, then, it is bound to be established. In this thesis, the promises God made to Abraham and its transferability to believers, is discussed.

God´s Covenant to Abraham. That;

    1. God would give Abraham offspring as numerous as the stars or the sands of the sea (Gen 22:17)
    2. God would provide those offspring with a land of their own, a good land flowing with milk and honey (Jer 11:5, Jer 32:22)
    3. God would bless all the nations of the earth through this offspring (Gen 12:1-3).

After Abraham had been obedient to God by offering his lone son to God, God added an oath to His promises to him so as to secure it in Abraham’s mind and in the minds of his heirs (Gen 22:15-18)

Of thy Seed (Romans 9:7, Gal 3:16-17, Heb 11:8)

“Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise” (Gal 3:16:18).

Abraham was promised a seed but not seeds. As indicated by Paul, the seed promised pointed to Jesus Christ. The promises cannot change, regardless of the circumstances. The promise is forever established. This seed is neither replaceable nor replicable. It must be understood that neither the Law, the Prophets nor any other human (Acts 4:12) replaces the promise of the seed of Abraham. Jesus is made a surety of a better covenant (Heb 7:21-22) and that God´s oath makes Jesus eternal high priest (Heb 7:28)

God´s Oath to the Seed of Abraham

In Heb 7:17-22 cultural setting of an oath is perused. The basis of an oath’s validity was the unchangeableness of the things by which one swore. If one were to swear by some unchangeable object, then it would be blaspheming that object, if the oath were not carried through.

Two sureties why God swore

God promises to bless Abraham under an oath, and
God promised to fulfill the promises.

An Oath is intended to settle all disputes

For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all
Strife (Heb 6:16).

God´s purpose for swearing an oath (6:18)
The promises of God to His children are to be trusted and believed in because:

  1. By two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie (Num 23: 19, Tit 1:2, Heb 6:18). God cannot tell lie and all his promises are yea and Amen (2Co 1:20).
  2. He swore that we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us (Heb 6:18), which hope we have as an anchor (ankura) of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters into that within the veil (Heb 6:19).

In Christ, the promises of God to Abraham and his heir is fulfilled. Accept Christ Jesus today and the full package of God´s blessings would be yours. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all other things would be added unto you (Matt 6:33).

Prayer: May the Almighty God and Father increase our faith and help us to believe in His Son, Jesus Christ, as the only seed given for the redemption of the world. So be it!