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The Reformation Herald Online Edition

God’s Law: The Grand Charter of Freedom

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The Law of Liberty
The Law of Liberty

Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So, speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty” (James 2:10–12).

The Law of God is the reflection of His lovely, just, and perfect character. Since God is love, His moral law of Ten Commandments is based on perfect love. This is its fundamental principle. Consequently, no one can be happy while at enmity against this law. There is no happiness, justice, or freedom outside of its principles. It protects us.

The harmony of the entire universe depends on perfect obedience to God’s commandments. They are as deep and broad as their divine Author—and all the principles enshrined therein can be summarized in one simple word: Love.

The apostle James calls the Law of God “the law of liberty.” How could it be that a law that forbids people to do whatsoever they want be called a law of liberty?

In Romans 13, Paul declares that those who love their neighbors fulfil the Law, and he explains by quoting several commandments related to love for our neighbors.

Do not commit adultery. Why not? Because we love our neighbors as ourselves and adultery hurts people. Do not kill. Why not? Because we love people, so we would not want to destroy them. Do not steal. Why not? Because of love. Do not covet. Why not? Again because of love. “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10).

In 1 Corinthians 13:1–8, the apostle gives a beautiful explanation of love–the fulfillment of the law, explaining how can we love our neighbor indeed.

The Spirit of Prophecy expounds on this:

“No matter how high the profession, he whose heart is not filled with love for God and his fellow men is not a true disciple of Christ. . . .

“Christlike love places the most favorable construction on the motives and acts of others. It does not needlessly expose their faults; it does not listen eagerly to unfavorable reports, but seeks rather to bring to mind the good qualities of others.”1

In Romans 7, Paul says that the law is holy, just and good. However, at the same time, he confesses that he was slave of sin, which is “transgression of the law.” If sin is a terrible slavery, then obedience to the Law of God is freedom.

But the Law cannot deliver us from slavery. The main purpose of the Law regarding the sinner is to reveal to him his real condition before the Lord. Freedom from sin is possible only by becoming one with Jesus Christ. He said: “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).

“Sin can triumph only by enfeebling the mind, and destroying the liberty of the soul. Subjection to God is restoration to one’s self—to the true glory and dignity of man. The divine law, to which we are brought into subjection, is ‘the law of liberty.’ James 2:12.”2

Every commandment of God is a promise. For instance, when God says: Do not kill, do not give false testimony, do not covet, He is saying: I will give you power to not kill, to not give false testimony, to not covet.

“In every command or injunction that God gives there is a promise, the most positive, underlying the command. God has made provision that we may become like unto Him, and He will accomplish this for all who do not interpose a perverse will and thus frustrate His grace.”3

In this issue of The Reformation Herald, we are examining some practical considerations with regard to six of the Ten Commandments through the power of Christ. The remaining four will follow in the next issue.

“We are called into the freedom of the gospel but not into the service of sin. We are called to wear Christ’s yoke, which is true liberty, not liberty to sin and disregard the plainest injunction of the Word of God, ‘If ye love Me, keep My commandments’ (John 14:15).”4

1 The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 318, 319.
2 The Desire of Ages, p. 466.
3 Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 76. [Emphasis added.]
4 Manuscript Releases, vol. 19, p. 318.