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How Do We Tend Towards Freedom?

Freedom is a word that is very densely packed with so many good things we all yearn for in our lives. People talk about financial freedom, oppressed people talk about freedom from injustice, and some want freedom from the past so that they may enjoy the future. What I wish to speak to you about is spiritual freedom. We all are on a journey tending towards freedom, which means that we are tending away from bondage. Like the Children of Israel liberated from Pharaoh, we’ve been delivered from the harsh taskmaster of sin. Liberation, however, is not enough.  We must like Israel also make a journey away from bondage. We must make a spiritual journey away from the bondage of sin into the true spiritual freedom that God has for each of us.

Let us consider for a moment our beginnings. We are all, literally, descendants of Adam and Adam was the Son of God. It is written,

“Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.”

Luke 3:38

The place where we all started

Adam is where we, the human race, began and enjoyed the purest form of freedom. The essence of Adam’s freedom was that he lived by every word that preceded out of the mouth of God. Adam’s Father told him what was right and wrong and Adam did not live according to his own understanding. This is why Adam and Eve did not know they were naked and is why God asked them who told them they were naked: because He never had. Mankind only knew they were naked after partaking of the forbidden fruit (contrary to God’s revelation). Living by revelation is the freedom that we lost through sin.  Living by revelation is also the freedom that God wishes to restore to each of us through the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ.

The Bible has not always been. Before the fall, Adam lived a perfect life without ever consulting the Old or New Testaments. In fact, no one had a Bible until after the children of Israel were delivered out of Egypt by the mighty hand of God through Moses and Aaron. Noah did not have a bible, Abraham did not have a bible, and Jacob did not have a bible. In fact, as far as we know, all the people who ever lived and served God before Moses came down from mount Horeb did not have any written form of the word of God. This means, to varying degrees, all the people before Moses lived like Adam did: through personal revelation from God.

Freedom is where we all began

Mankind began with total freedom in the Garden. I believe that the Law was a compromise given to man by God because we had lost our way. We could no longer live by direct and personal revelation from Him. Moreover, the Law of Moses was only a teacher to prepare them to receive the Christ. Consider these two scriptures:

“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”

Galatians 3:24


“But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.”

Galatians 3:25

The law is and intermediary step

The laws of the Old Testament were an intermediary measure. God meant to teach Israel that the price of sin is death and to point them towards Christ. The Law never justified anyone by works because it was impossible for fallen man to keep it. God’s law was only meant to prepare Israel to receive salvation by faith in Jesus Christ through type and shadow. Once Christ came, the schoolmaster (the Law) had finished its job. This also, by result, means we are no longer under the law either.

The law is bondage. God gave it so that all might be brought under the condemnation of sin in preparation for Christ. The law, being perfect, only showed us how sinful we were. The Children of Israel made a covenant to keep that law and thus they were hopelessly doomed until Christ came. Now being saved through faith by grace, it is no longer possible to become acceptable to God by keeping the law: that system has passed. In fact, to keep that law as a way to righteousness is an abomination in God’s eyes. Your are ineffect saying the sacrifice of His Son on Calvary is not enough.

God is restoring us to true freedom

We started in total freedom and gradually slipped from that freedom until we were all sold into sin and bound for death, according to the law. This was the state of every man until the time of Christ. This was also the state of the religious system of the Pharisees, who followed the law to the letter. The law, as kept by the Pharisees, was oppressive and the exact opposite of the heart of God.  Jesus demonstrated this when he came to His own and His own received Him not. In fact, the Scribes and Pharisees (who represented the very epitome of keeping the law) crucified God manifest in the flesh, the One that wrote the law they supposedly kept.

Since the time of Christ and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, we have been on a path away from the bondage of the law into the Glorious liberty of the Sons of God. As is it written in the book of Romans,

“Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.”

Romans 8:21

Returning to our pre-fallen state of being

Like Adam and Jesus (who was the last Adam) we are to become the sons of God and live in the pre-fallen liberty enjoyed in Eden. True freedom comes through living by every word that proceeds from our Father’s mouth and that is the restored freedom we are heading towards. Everything in our personal Christian lives should be tending towards freedom. Moreover, everything in the body of Christ, in general, should be tending towards freedom too.

True freedom, the type that Adam enjoyed in Eden, is living without the law. We learn in the book of Romans that the law could not save anyone because of the weakness of man’s fleshly desires.

“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.”

Romans 8:3-5

The Spirit of life makes us free

And from the apostle Paul we learn that through the law of the spirit of life we can be free from the condemnation of the law of sin and death, i.e. the Mosaic Law.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”

Romans 8:1,2

The Spirit of Life is simply the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is simply the Spirit of our Father which is Holy because He is Holy.

The law of the Spirit of life

If we are under any law in this New Testament age it is the Law of the Spirit and not the Old Testament Law of sin and death. The Law of the Spirit was the original law that God intended Adam to obey. Before the fall, Adam kept the law of the Spirit through living by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of his Father God. The Law of the Spirit was the first law and thus takes precedence over and is superior to the Mosaic Law. The law of the Spirit is the law that Christ (as the last Adam) restored to us through Calvary and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost!

What specifically is the Law of the Spirit?  It is simply to know God and obey his voice individually without going by what seems right to our natural minds. The Law of the Spirit of life is the very antithesis of the Mosaic Law, which is the law of sin and death. If we are being made into the image and likeness of Christ, we must follow the Law of the last Adam, which is the Law of the Spirit. This law did (and still does) consist of only one ordinance: Do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Tending towards freedom

When I see some people start to turn away from the freedom that Christ won for us and start to journey back towards the bondage that Israel suffered under the Old Testament law, I am concerned. In some groups, I see more and more emphasis placed on keeping the types and shadows of the Old Testament. Being messianic is proper if you are a believer who was formerly a practicing Jew. However, for a gentile to place great emphasis on any Old Testament practice is to turn back to the schoolmaster and to turn away from the freedom that Christ has granted us.

To learn Greek or Hebrew is fine if you do so to seek greater understanding of the scriptures. However, when study becomes a way to have greater spirituality because you emulate the Israelites, you come under their bondage. If you believe you’re more pleasing to God by keeping aspects of the law, they are not tending towards freedom.

We cannot go back to Egypt

The Israelites would have been very wrong to return to Egypt and make their home there after God had so mightily delivered them out of that bondage. It is very dishonoring for us to turn back to the types and shadows, new moons and Sabbaths of the Old Testament, when we have been delivered by grace through faith into the mighty salvation of Jesus.

Those who are delving into the Old Testament laws are not bad or evil, just misguided in their zeal to serve God.  Paul explains their misguided zeal in the following scriptures,

“For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth”.

Romans 10:2-4

Israels path to legalism is not one we want to repeat

Understand that Israel had more zeal to serve God than we Gentiles could ever hope to muster. Yet, even with that zeal, they crucified their Messiah. Therefore, the path they took tended towards bondage and not towards freedom.  It is not a path we want to repeat.

I know that when a person comes to you and says with assurance that Saturday is the true Sabbath and that keeping the literal feast of Passover is an eternal commandment, it makes you feel like you should too. After all, you want to do whatever is pleasing to God.  However, what they are speaking to you is bondage and is contrary to the direction our Father is leading us. Here is a truth: 

“True freedom lies not in keeping the types and shadows of the Old Testament. True freedom is living like Adam did in the Garden of Eden even before the law was given”

The direction that some people are moving is dangerous and counterproductive in this age of the Holy Spirit.  The over emphasis of the Old Testament types and shadows can potentially lead to abject legalism.

In conclusion,

The Apostle Paul uncovers the root causes of legalism within us:

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” 

Ephesians 6:12

The Devil desires to bring the most vocal proponents of the Hebrew roots theology into bondage. Through bringing leaders into bondage, these same principalities seek to bring those that follow them into that same bondage too. It is just like the Devil to use their very zeal against them… because in their rush to serve God they are not serving God according to the knowledge of Christ but are unwittingly falling into error. We as Gentiles cannot hope to succeed where they have failed.

Serve a Christ of grace

These modern-day Judaizers may say that they serve a Christ, but do not be deceived like they are. Perhaps they will say that “we are just keeping the laws for the blessings”. This is a subtle lie though because many believe they are more righteous by keeping certain aspects of the law . If you keep law to have blessings, then you are bound to the law and have left Christ.

Recognize that if a movement or a teaching is not tending towards more freedom (less law), then it is suspect.  Examine such groups very closely to see if the end thereof is death and should be avoided. We are on a journey that will culminate in total freedom and liberty. We must be mindful of the direction that we are going.

The spirit of legalism is difficult to break, cut yourself some slack

Lastly, legalism is a very difficult spirit to break. It requires building trust in the grace and goodness of our heavenly Father. If you meet someone who has a great zeal for the Lord but not according to knowledge, treat them gently. Love them, keep your own freedom clear, and pray that God reveals His grace.

Go And Sin No More