by George Kirkpatrick
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give
Many times we hear the expression, "It's the Law", and "We are required to do this or that because `It's the Law'." From the beginning, man was given Law. Adam was given only one law.
"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Genesis 2:16-17
Man was not only given Law, but he was made aware of the penalty for breaking that Law. In Adam's case, the penalty was death. Adam broke God's Law and because of this, the course for all mankind was changed. The need for more laws was set into motion. God's whole relationship with man from the time of Adam has been based on the keeping of that one Law. As long as man kept that one Law, God would walk and talk with His creation man in the cool of the day. But man continued to disobey God's commandment and became rebellious to His voice. Because of this rebellion, God's anointing departed, and when man fell, God had to clothe him with the beast nature.
The second time God desired to speak to His people, Israel was at Mount Sinai where God commanded Moses to have the people sanctify themselves, and gather before the mountain on the third day, Exodus 19:11. There God would descend in a thick cloud and speak audibly to His chosen people. But when the people saw the thunderings and the lightnings and the noise of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, they removed themselves and stood afar off. They said unto Moses, "Speak thou with us and we will hear, but let not God speak with us, lest we die," Exodus 20:19.
God called Moses into the mount and gave him laws concerning every facet of His people's lives. God had only intended to give Israel His Ten Commandments as guidelines to follow His voice, but man chose to be ruled by an extensive list of laws that God would give to Moses. Because of Israel's choice, they were required to live by these laws for fourteen hundred years, until the coming of Christ Jesus who would set them free from the bondage of the keeping of those laws.
Through Jesus, God again attempted to reconcile a people unto Himself, that He might have a people who would desire to hear His voice. Jesus stated,
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." John 10:27
There are many who say they are His sheep, but they know not His voice. These demand to be put under Law. If they do not follow Moses' Law, they follow man's laws which have been set down by denominational orders or individuals whom they choose to follow. Again Jesus stated,
"I am come in My Father's name, and ye receive Me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive." John 5:43
Man is incurably religious and has chosen to follow the Law of man instead of the voice of God. Most who are called by His name (Christian) are following some set of Laws as to how to dress, how to act, how to comb and cut their hair, what day they should worship on, and if a man should have a beard or not have a beard. The list of bondages that have been placed on the worship of our Lord and Savior is endless. Yet, without these laws, which the Bible calls "doctrines and commandments of men," Matthew 15:9, most are lost as to where they stand with their God, what He expects of them, and how they can become pleasing in His sight.
God has given His perfect Law of Liberty. If we live by God's Law, then all things in our lives will come into His order, and we can rest in His blessings. But the question is, "What law do we abide by?" God's Word speaks of many laws. Which are we to keep? And, how do we deal with the others?
The Bible speaks of several laws:
1 The Law of God
2 Law of Moses Luke 2:22
3 Law of my mind Romans 8:7
4 Law of Spirit of Life Romans 8:2
5 Law of Righteousness Romans 9:31
6 Law of the Lord Luke 2:24
7 Law of the Jews Acts 25:8
8 Law of the Fathers Acts 22:3
9 Law of the Husband Romans 7:2
10 Law of Liberty James 2:12
11 The Royal Law James 2:8
12 Perfect Law of Liberty James 2:12
13 Law of Sin and Death Romans 8:2
14 The Law of Truth Malachi 2:6
These fourteen different areas of law are broken down into six categories:
1 Man's law
2 The Law of Moses
3 The Law of Grace
4 Law of Life
5 God's Laws written on our hearts
6 The Law of the Kingdom of Life
1 - Man's Law
Man's law encompasses all human behavior. Man's law has established the laws of the land we live in. Without these laws with court systems and proper jurisdiction there would be chaos, because the heart of man is continually evil. Solomon wrote,
"This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead." Ecclesiastes 9:3
Unregenerated men who have turned their backs on God need judicial law to keep them from destroying one another. Unfortunately, with all these laws, man still is on a self-destruct course with himself. These same man-made orders have been brought into the church and are used to keep God's sheep in line with an endless list of denominational doctrines.
The pastors have generally forgotten that it is not their job to tell the sheep how to be sheep. It is their job to lead God's sheep to the good pasture and fresh water. God's sheep have been brought from the bondage of sin into the bondage of their particular man-made system of laws. Jesus stated,
"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." John 8:36
God's people have not been set free from their denominational prison houses, Isaiah 42:22. Many have traded one bondage for another, following man's law for the worship of their God. Jesus quoted the words of Isaiah the prophet,
"This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me. But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Matthew 15:8-9
Man's laws have been established in the world and many assemblies operate the way their government operates, not the way God has ordained the assemblies to function. In this nation, we have a democratic form of government; a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. But this is not what God has ordained for the assembly of believers. God has given us the government of headship, and He is to be head above all. Many operate by man's law instead of the order that He has ordained. But God desires a knowledgeable people who will, once again, reestablish His Kingdom order and rule in the earth.
2 - Moses' Law
Moses' Law was given to Israel because they refused to hear God's voice. So God gave them laws in every area of their lives. The Law was a covenant God made with Israel. This covenant came with the blessings if the Law was kept, and with cursings if the Law was broken. There were three areas of this covenant:
1 The Ten Commandments
2 The Judgements
3 The Ordinances
The Ten Commandments were to be Israel's main Law. These Ten Commandments set in order:
1 Their relationship to their God
2 Their relationship to the family
3 Their relationship to each other
The Ten Commandments contained strict moral codes to operate one's life by to be pleasing in the sight of God.
The Judgments laid down Israel's social life and how they were to function in a community situation:
The Ordinances were given to direct Israel's worship toward God; how they were to worship and how many sacrifices were to be offered, and what feast and holidays to observe.
Many of the ordinances were directed to the priest and how they were to minister before God to the people. But as we read the Old Testament, we find that Israel broke the covenant. They broke the Ten Commandments. They violated all the judgments. The rules and ordinances became ritualistic and had little or no meaning in their lives. Finally, in the time of Eli, God had to remove the Ark of the Covenant which represents His presence, promise, protection, provision, and power totally from Israel. God allowed the Philistines to capture the Ark of the Covenant.
The one understanding that God's people must come to is, "Where do we stand in relation to Moses' Law?"
1 Moses' Law was never given to the Gentile
2 Jesus came to fulfill and eliminate the need for Moses' Law, because He would again speak to His people through the Spirit.
"For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." John 1:17
Many teach that Jesus came that we might be able to keep Moses' law perfectly. But Jesus came to reestablish the grace of God in the earth. The Spirit of Truth was given on the day of Pentecost. The Spirit of Truth will lead us into all truth so that God may reestablish His Kingdom in the earth. When the Holy Spirit, (Christ), the Spirit of Truth, begins to rule and reign in our lives we will come to the end of the need for law to govern our actions. We will then be directed by His voice and not by man-made doctrines and rules. This is when we are led by the Spirit as Paul wrote to the Romans in Romans 8:14. Paul went on to state,
"For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." Romans 10:4
When we come to Christ (the Holy Spirit) and allow Him to operate in our lives, by directing us with His voice, we have no need of law. Paul wrote to the Romans that the only purpose the law serves is...
"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight; for by the law is the knowledge of sin." Romans 3:20
It is by the law that we have knowledge of sin. By the law we come to the knowledge of what is pleasing and not pleasing in the sight of God; our relationship to Him and to each other.
Today many have decided to keep part of the law and ignore the rest. Paul stated, "No flesh will be justified in the sight of God by keeping the Law", Romans 3:20. Only a Christ-directed life is acceptable in God's sight. If we keep the whole law, including the Ten Commandments, we will miss His glory because we will not be justified in His sight.
3 - The Law of Grace
When we think of grace, we generally do not think of law. But the Law of Grace contains the rules that govern God's grace in our lives. Man treats the grace of God as if it were something new which Jesus brought to earth, but all man-kind has lived under God's grace. Man lived under grace before the giving of the Law. Even after the Law was given, many of the ancients lived by God's grace.
God spoke at the time of the flood,
"Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made He man." Genesis 9:6
This was the Law of God. Yet, both Moses and David were murderers. Moses slew the Egyptian and David had Uriah, Bathsheba's husband, killed. Yet God looked on the heart of these men and granted them grace and forgiveness. God spoke of Moses:
"Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth." Numbers 12:3
Of David, God said,
". . .the Lord hath sought Him a man after His own heart. . ." I Samuel 13:14
So both Moses and David lived their lives by the grace of God, because under the law given to Noah, Genesis 9:6, both were guilty of shedding a man's blood. They were granted God's grace because God knew their heart.
The word grace means "divine favor". Many times we witness in the Word that a person found grace in the eyes of another. This meant that person was granted forgiveness by the offended party. This is always displayed as "divine favor" for it is not in the heart of man to forgive unless God puts it there. The natural emotion is to "get even, to make the other hurt as you are hurt". But God has put "divine favor" in the heart of man. That is why we are capable of forgiving.
Today many accept God's grace and love as spoiled children; ever receiving, but never willing to return God's divine favor unto the giver or to others. God's grace is given to all mankind freely. Paul wrote to the Ephesians,
"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." Ephesians 2:8-9
God's grace is a free gift. There is nothing we can do to earn God's grace. But there is something we can do to deserve, or to be counted worthy, after we receive it. There is a "going on" into God's grace. There is a "growing" into God's grace.
The Bible proclaims, "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord," Genesis 6:8. The word found means "to obtain, or to be found in". The general, overall meaning of the word found is "to obtain or find as the result of diligently following after, a time of diligent search."
God's grace must begin to show forth in us. It is not enough to accept the free gift. We must begin to grow in God's grace. We must begin to hunger and thirst after, diligently pursuing God's grace, to obtain His favor and become pleasing in His sight.
Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. How did Noah become pleasing in God's sight? Noah sought God with his whole heart. We, too, are told to seek God with our whole heart. How did Noah find grace in the sight of God?
". . . Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God." Genesis 6:9
Noah not only sought God, he walked with God. Noah followed after God's ways. He was also "perfect" in his generation. The word perfect means "integrity, truth, without blemish or spot, and undefiled". Noah stood clean and undefiled before God. Noah was also a "just man" which means "lawful and righteous". Peter recorded,
"And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly." II Peter 2:5
Noah not only lived the life that Christ set forth, he proclaimed it to others. Noah obtained the gift of divine favor in God's sight and was spared the wrath of God because he sought God with his whole heart. He lived a life of integrity and truth, without spot or blemish. He was upright, righteous, and lawful in the sight of God.
Paul proclaimed that we can not work to obtain God's grace unto salvation, and this is true. The only way to be counted worthy to obtain God's grace is by living the life that Christ has set before us. Jesus' coming was to give us an example of the life that is acceptable in the eyes of God. Once we come into this understanding of the rules that govern God's grace in our lives, then we can come to the knowledge of the truth. God has written this knowledge of the truth on the fleshly tablets of our hearts. As the scriptures proclaim, "As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man," Luke 17:26. God will have a people who, as Noah, will come into the understanding of the Law of Grace. These will enter into their ark of protection, the very presence of God.
THE LAW OF LIFE
The Bible is viewed in many ways. Some see it as a book of "do's and don'ts; mostly don'ts." Some view the Bible as a historical book that reveals the life of the ancients, but has no validity in today's way of life. Some even view the Bible as a book full of violence, sex, and judgment, unfit for children to read. Some libraries have policies whereby Bibles cannot be checked out or read by children under eighteen years of age. The Bible is placed on the top shelf, away from the hands of small children. To others, the Bible is a book of religious beliefs. Few view it for what it actually is, and that is a book of the Law of Life. From the beginning, God has not changed His mind about what is good and acceptable in His sight.
As we look at God's Word, we cannot view it as does the intellectual, who accepts the Bible simply as a literary masterpiece. The writer of Hebrews proclaimed that we must:
"...enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh." Hebrews 10:19-20
God has opened the avenue by which we may return again into the Father's presence. It is by the knowledge of the Word as revealed by the Spirit that we can, again, come into our created position in God. Paul spoke much about the law. Paul was trained in the Law of Moses and in the Law of the Pharisees, but Paul understood a higher Law. He stated,
"For I delight in the Law of God after the inward man." Romans 7:22
Paul was not speaking of Moses' Law, but the Law that God had written on the fleshly tables of his heart; the Law of the inward man. Paul spoke of another law,
"But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members." Romans 7:23
Paul spoke of the law of sin that was in his member. The heart or soul was constantly warring against the law of his mind (conscience); that which was written in his heart in the inward mind. This warfare between the soul and the spirit can only be won by following the Law of God, or the Word of God. John recorded,
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14
The word made means "become". The living Word of God became flesh and the Word, or Law of God, dwelt among men and became our example to follow. This was the life that Jesus lived while in the flesh, and He left us an example that we should follow, I Peter 2:21. If we are going to return to our created position in God we must return to the Word of God, the Law of God. Jesus spoke,
"For I have not spoken of Myself; but the Father which sent Me, He gave Me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that His commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak there-fore, even as the Father said unto Me, so I speak." John 12:49-50
The words of Jesus are the words of the Father. God sent Jesus as the Living Law to speak His Father's Words unto His creation. Jesus came to show us the way back to the Father. He stated that He was the way and the only way. His life is the example we must live by if we are going to be with Him. Jesus stated,
"Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven." Matthew 7:21
There are many today who are crying, "Lord, Lord" who will not enter in because they have forsaken the Law of Life and are trying to follow the Law of Moses, or some man-made law set down by their denominational order. Many speak so casually about being in the family of God. In Jesus' Words,
"For whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother." Matthew 12:50
If we want to become part of His family, we must do the will of the Father; and that is to follow the Law of God, His living Word. We must become the Word as did Jesus, our example. In Paul's letter to the Romans, he stated,
"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." Romans 8:7
Many try to reach God by mental ascent. The only way we can come into the presence of God is through the Spirit. We can never enter in by following precepts and doctrines of men through a mental adherence to their rules. We must enter in by a new and living way through the living Word which is the Law of the Living God. We must rise above all man-made laws and hear the voice of the Father and become the living Word made flesh.
Those who cry, "Lord, Lord", and do not the will of the Father will not enter into His presence. The Word is the Law of Life. Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly, John 10:10. We cannot live that abundant life in Christ by following the law of man, or the law of Moses. We can only obtain that abundant life by following the whole Law of God which is the Word of Life.
GOD'S LAW IN OUR HEARTS
God made a covenant with His people, Israel, in the Old Testament,
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which My covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people." Jeremiah 31:31-33
This prophecy was fulfilled in the New Covenant that Jesus made with His creation, man, at the Last Supper.
"And He took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is My body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of Me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you." Luke 22:19-20
The word for testament is the Greek word DIATHEKE and is the same word translated covenant. There is no difference in the use of the word covenant and testament. Paul spoke of this New Covenant in His letter to the Corinthians,
"Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away." II Corinthians 3:6-7
Paul called the law engraven in stone the "ministration of death". Yet many today are still trying to keep Moses' law which cannot produce life, even if kept perfectly. Jesus came to bring us into the "Law of Life". The letter (Moses' law or any other man-made law) killeth. God desires His people to walk in the "Law of the Spirit and of Life". The writer of Hebrews quoted the scripture from Jeremiah 31,
". . .Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put My laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people." Hebrews 8:8 & 10
When Jeremiah wrote this prophecy he stated that this would be the New Covenant God would make with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. As we view this in the Spiritual realm, we can understand that He wrote this to Israel (the princes or rulers with God) and to Judah (those who will praise their God). The New Covenant was made with those who will praise their God, those who will rule and reign with Him. God did not make this promise of a New Covenant through the prophet Jeremiah only. Ezekiel spoke of this New Covenant also,
"And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh." Ezekiel 11:19
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26
God has promised His people a new heart, a heart of flesh. God's people will no longer have a heart of stone where the old law was inscribed, but a new heart that the Spirit can minister life through. God is desiring a people who will receive His Law in their hearts of flesh. When the heart changes, man changes. But without a change of mind, man will never change. Under the old law, man was not required to change. When he did something wrong, he offered an animal sacrifice to cover his sin. God desires a changed heart where we cease from sin. Solomon also wrote about the law written upon the heart,
"Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart." Proverbs 3:3
Israel was warned not to let truth and mercy forsake them. How could this have happened to God's chosen people? This happened because God's people forsook the Law of Life. Israel had been commanded to bind them about their neck and write them on the tablets of their heart. Binding them about their neck was a constant reminder, much the same idea as tying a string around your finger. When they were told to write them on the tablets of their heart, it meant to learn the Word. The mind is much like a computer. What goes in is stored, just as we program a computer. In today's language we would say, "Program your mind with the Word". Paul informed the Romans,
"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the Law of sin and death." Romans 8:2
When we come into the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, we are made free from the Law of Sin and Death. When we sin (HARMATRIA) "miss the mark of the high calling of God" in our lives, it is not necessary for us to die or cause death by killing an innocent sacrifice. We have forgiveness by the blood of Jesus and the ministration of the Spirit of Life working in this mortal flesh, Praise God! In Paul's letters to the Corinthians, Paul stated:
"Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart." II Corinthians 3:3
If we will allow Him, God will write His laws in our hearts. The only way He can do this is by our committing ourselves to His Word, and then by submitting ourselves to its contents. If we will do this God can accomplish His eternal purpose in our lives. This we must know. If we do not know, understand, and become obedient to His Kingdom law in our hearts, we will never rule and reign with Him. John the Beloved, wrote,
"But the anointing which ye have received abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him." I John 2:27
We do not need man to teach us God's laws. Our only teacher is the Spirit of the living God. The new wine spoken of by Jesus is the Spirit-anointed, logos written Word of God. Today many desire to be under law. We are admonished seven times in Revelation 2 and 3 to "Hear what the Spirit is saying unto the churches." We need the law, but it is the Law of God which He has written in our hearts, not God's Laws as men have interpreted them. The writer of Psalm 119 spoke much about God's Law of Life.
"Give me understanding, and I shall keep Thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart." Psalm 119:34
We need to pray for understanding that we may keep God's whole Spiritual law with our whole heart.
"Great peace have they which love Thy law: and nothing shall offend them." Psalm 119:165
If we love God's law, we will have great peace and nothing will offend us. We can walk in the liberty of Newness of Life. Then, we too, can say as the Psalmist,
"I have longed for thy salvation, O Lord; and Thy law is my delight." Psalm 119:174
The Law of the Kingdom of Life
"If ye fulfil the royal law according to the Scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well." James 2:8
The Royal Law is the Law of the King. Jesus did not come the first time as a king. He came as a servant.
"Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many." Matthew 20:28
The word ministered is the word DIAKONEO. It is the same word translated deacon or servant. It means "to serve". Jesus came as a servant to give His life as a ransom for many. When Jesus returns to establish His Kingdom in the earth, He will institute the Royal Law. The Royal Law is the Law of the Kingdom; "Kingdom Law". Kingdom Law is diametrically opposed to man's law. Man's law always brings bondage. Kingdom Law brings freedom. Kingdom Law is Spiritual. Jesus' Words are Spirit and they are life, John 6:63. Jesus spoke,
"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." John 8:36
The question is, "How can the Son set us free?" John, the beloved, wrote,
"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32
When we come to the knowledge of truth, it is then that we will be free. What is truth? This is the question that Pilate asked Jesus, John 18:38. Truth is revealed in the Holy Scriptures. Jesus' prayer to the Father was,
"Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth." John 17:17
God's Word, both rhema and logos, is Truth. Jesus only spoke the words He heard His Father speak. Jesus' words are truth. Jesus also revealed,
"Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come." John 16:13
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. The Spirit of Truth is come to be our guide into all truth. No one can come to any truth without the Holy Spirit's direction. As we come into truth, we come into liberty.
"Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." II Corinthians 3:17
We cannot come into liberty as long as we are under the bondage of law; Moses' law, man's law, or church law that has been set forth by man. Paul admonished the Galatians,
"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." Galatians 5:1
It is Christ the Holy Spirit that has set us free, and we are not to be entangled again in the yoke of bondage (law). James spoke of the perfect law of liberty:
"But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." James 1:25
As we come to an understanding of the perfect law of liberty, we are set totally free from the yoke of bondage of any law. It is only by obeying that which is spoken by the Father that we can come into a new understanding of Jesus' Words which reveal,
"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Matthew 7:13-14
The strait gate means "close" or intimate gate. If we are to enter into the presence of God, it will take a close walk and total obedience to His voice. The broad way leads to destruction. As we witness those who have gone the broad way, we find that their way goes ever deeper in their sinful, self-centered, self-destructive way of life. Their lives get narrower and narrower until they come into total bondage to the way they have chosen to walk. Those who choose this walk are dedicated to the works of the flesh: drugs, alcohol, money, power, sex and so forth. Whatever they have chosen as their way of life causes them to become total slaves to the broad way that leads to destruction.
But what of those who choose to enter in at the "strait gate"? Their walk to the strait gate is ever narrowing. These are desiring with their whole heart to walk in God's way by the Spirit of Truth. The question is, "What happens when we go through the strait gate?" It opens into all freedom and liberty which the Father has planned for His creation from the beginning.
God's first law was, "Do not partake of that which is good and evil." Only do that which is good and stay in the presence of God. Paul understood the perfect law of liberty. He wrote to the Corinthians,
"All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any." I Corinthians 6:12
"All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient; all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not." I Corinthians 10:23
All things were lawful to Paul, but all things were not expedient, nor did all things edify. The word expedient means "profitable or to bring a profit to". All things did not profit Paul's ever narrowing walk into God's Kingdom. All things did not edify, lift up or build up His Kingdom walk. Paul was led by the Spirit and He walked in the Spirit. Paul stated to the Galatians,
"But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law." Galatians 5:18
Those who come into the perfect law of liberty are led by the Spirit. Paul was not speaking of those who are rebellious and refuse to listen to anyone. These also refuse to listen to the Father's voice. Although they may claim to be led by the Spirit, can we see their fruit? Paul added,
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23
Those who display the fruit of the Spirit in their lives are led by the Spirit and have been set free from the law of man, the law of Moses, the law of grace, the will of carnal man in their lives. These desire to follow the ever narrowing law that God has written in their hearts, the Royal Law, which is the perfect law of liberty. When we are set free by the Son we can state, "We are free indeed!"
When we are told, "It's the Law", we have a right to ask which law, or whose law. If we are to be set free, we need to know the Law of the Spirit of Life that is working in our lives to bring us to the strait gate so that we may enter into the liberty and freedom that we have in Christ.
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give