In my quiet time this morning, I began reading and studying the book of James…one of my favorites. When I read verse 25 of the first chapter, I felt in my spirit that there was something there and I needed to study it further. What a great verse this is!
But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does.
Personally, this verse is awesome because it speaks of two topics that have been spoken to us lately….
First, liberty (freedom) and second, being effectual (functional).
If I study at the perfect law, the Law of Christ, the Law which brings FREEDOM, and if I abide by it, I will FUNCTION the way God made me and doing so will bring blessing.
See, the mosaic law was not perfect (Hebrews 7:19) and did not accomplish perfection to those who were under it (Hebrews 10:1). It cannot, as each sacrifice is made, ever perfect those who draw near. It atoned for the sins but did not give liberty or freedom. The Perfect Law referred to in James 1:25, is the Law of Christ and under this law we have freedom! The perfect law frees us from the Mosaic Law and from our sin. (Romans 8:2, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.”)
Christ came to fulfill the law and perfect it. The Mosaic Law did not offer the abundant grace that we have now.
I like this quote from John Piper,
Moses gave us a law but it could not change our hearts so that we could freely obey….He offers to slay the dragons of our pride, change our hearts, empower us by His Spirit and fulfill His law.
This is kind of a side note but it’s good, I think 🙂
THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME,
BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR.
HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES,
AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND,
TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED
I like how the NASB uses the word RELEASE, some use liberty, but personally, release is a great way to put it. When you read Luke 4:18, you see that Jesus came to preach the gospel, proclaim that we are free, heal physically & spiritually and then to set us free. When we seek forgiveness from God, through Jesus, we are not just forgiven for the sin, but our SIN is forgiven, which means that He will free us from the sin, the guilt and its power over us! When we forgive others, we forgive the person, but we are not capable of forgiving their SIN as Jesus can. THAT is deliverance! and THAT is amazing! 🙂
Back to James…
In order to be effectual, functioning as God desires me to, I need to “look intently at the Perfect Law” and abide in it! So what do I need to do first? Study the Law of Christ, in order that I know what to abide in! That is what I am doing for this season, and probably my whole journey through life!