“But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith” (Galatians 3:22-26 ESV).
These days we understand a tiny bit better what it means to be imprisoned. We are limited on when and where we can go. We are limited in who we are allowed to see and with whom we may converse. We are limited in our physical contact with others. It’s largely “house arrest.”
If you’ve read even the Ten Commandments, let alone Leviticus, you understand that the Law was impossible to keep. In fact, you don’t even have to read past the First Commandment to recognize that you will never be able to live up to the high standard that God set. “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3 ESV).
According to the law, anything we prioritize above the One True God is our god. How we choose to spend our time and resources is indicative of where we prioritize Him. From my perspective, even if one were to live as a monk, the mind will still find a way to prioritize self.
But the good news is that, while the Law is impossibly burdensome, grace is not. We who believe in the Son of God, Jesus, and all that He accomplished for us, are no longer imprisoned by the law!
This, however, does not eliminate the Law. Jesus said, “”Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17 ESV). The Law has not ceased to be, rather it has ceased to be the standard by which we are judged–“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8 ESV)!
‘There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1-4 ESV).
So what does this all mean for us then?
It means that, while we once lived imprisoned under the law, unable to live without sin, we now walk free from the condemnation of the Law. That means that we are free to not sin. We are free to love God without the fear of condemnation. We are free to respond to evil and hatred with love. We are free to be sons and daughters of God!
Not only has the Judge issued us a full pardon, but He has taken us in and adopted us! He showers us with the love and acceptance we once longed for when we had no hope. And now we have the opportunity, through our joy and our behavior to show the world that they too can exchange imprisonment for freedom, and adoption as sons and daughters.
As always, these are the musings of a mindful disciple! Blessings on your day!
Image by Ichigo121212 on Pixabay.