Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Entire Law

The Entire Law

Galatians 5:13-14  You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.  For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Freedom.  It is something we all long for from the time we are born. You don't believe me? Just watch a toddler. I have had a lot of opportunity to do this not so much with my kids, because let's face it, when you are young and have kids, you are so busy just being a parent, you seldom have time to observe.  I have had more of an opportunity to observe children as my grandchildren.  I see them when they struggle to do things by themselves, but they will not ask for help. They prefer to exercise the freedom they think they have.  We do the same thing.

Paul says that we "were called to be free." The freedom that he is talking about is true freedom. The freedom to say no.  Paul has previously stated that the reason of the Law was to bring sin to light and to hold us accountable.  In that state we had no opportunity to say no to sin.  It was there consuming us like some disease eating away from the inside out.  Jesus has removed the disease; he has cured us.  Now we have a choice.  Will we use that choice for good or evil?

Just like in the Old Testament when the Lord told the Israelites,  "This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live."  Deuteronomy 30:19. Read the whole chapter, it will be good. Pauls tells the Galatians to choose life. Do not use this opportunity that we have to say no to sin, to say yes to the flesh.

This is a hard thing to do isn't it? I know in my own life, this has been one of the toughest things to not only grasp but also to keep and hold.  I still mix up my version of freedom with the Lord's definition of freedom. But if we look further in the passage, Paul also gives us the key to remembering this truth.

"... serve one another humbly in love.  For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself."   This freedom we have, if we ever get confused, is to be exercised by serving one another in love.  The whole Law, he says, can be summed up with just keeping one command. Love your neighbor as yourself.

Love is funny that way.  At least Biblical love.  The love that Jesus had.  The love that Paul had and was advocating.  Love in that manner wipes out all the issues in your life that you think are insurmountable.  That is the love we need to exercise.  That is the love we need to find.  That is the love that brings true freedom from sin and guilt and the need to indulge the flesh.  It is what we need, and not us only...no...it is the love that the whole world needs.

This year put aside all else and see if you can exercise this type of love everyday.  The more you do it, the easier it will become.

Blessings All!

--El