I am free.
I have been freed from the chains of the law. When I try to uphold the law and live according to the law — for the purposes of accomplishing the law — it leads to death (Romans 6:23). The Apostle Paul spoke of this, and explained that it is through knowing the law that we are aware of our sin (Romans 7:7). But as it happened in the first century church, the moment that we attempt to live according to the law, we become bound to it. And once we are bound to the law, we are no longer free!
Jesus has saved me and freed me from the law. While this does not make me lawless, it has given me the freedom to live a new life apart from the law. This is the very nature of the things that Paul taught. Jesus says that only through following his teachings — by obeying his commands — can I know the truth (John 8:31-32). And only then can I truly be free from the very law that condemns me.
Psalms 119:32 says,
"I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding."
God revealed to me the plainness of the fact that, with God's commands, I have boundaries. But these boundaries mark off a very large path! And within those boundaries, the path is leading on without obstacle, and I can run freely in it. The laws are the boundaries, not chains; not burdens. Only because the boundaries are visible, am I given the freedom to live, to work, to love, and to play within that space.
Without these boundaries, I would have no idea what is safe and good and true, and I will eventually run to destruction — or wander aimlessly into the wilderness and the darkness where evil prevails. God's boundaries bring us peace, because if we believe His Word is true, then we know we can be safe when we abide in these boundaries.
I am free.
I am not bound by my past, and I am not stifled by the fear of the future. I can do anything with the help of Christ and guidance from God (Philippians 4:13), provided that I am “running in the path of his commands” and seeking his will (Matthew 7:21).
I cannot again bind myself to the law. This is the very thing that the early church struggled with, where they had new believers who had been instructed by other Jewish Christians to conform to the law and circumcise themselves according to the law. But Paul says that the moment we begin living according to the law, we become bound to it. And when we are bound to the law, we shall die. As he says the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:15-23)
We cannot live by the law; we can only live free in Christ according to the law. As Jesus says (Matthew 22:36-40),
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”
If I mistakenly attempt to have a better relationship with God by obeying his commands, then I fail, because the law condemns me and I remain separated from God. But if, instead, I first have a better relationship with God, then I can obey his commands with freedom and with faith.
For “without faith,” the writer of Hebrews says, “it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 11:6) Therefore I must first have faith. I must first grow in my relationship with God and my obedience to his commands will come naturally and faithfully.
Everything I know about God comes from his Word. His Word has taught me commands that I have obeyed because I love him. And as a result, He has confirmed His promises in my life. Because I have seen firsthand the truth of his commands, I can therefore know in confidence the truth of His promises that I have not yet seen!
If everything I know about God comes from His Word and my obedience to His Word, then if I want to know Him more what must I do? Isn't it obvious? I must read His Word more and follow His commands more. The more I know about God and the more I know about His love for me, the more I will be compelled to love and obey Him.
Only through his Word, which I am continually reminded is who Jesus was and is, will I understand and better comprehend the person of God and the very Nature of God. Because Jesus is the Word, I can know God better by knowing Jesus, the Word of God, better!
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” — John 1:1-3
I am free.
I am not bound by fear and I'm not bound by my failures. Jesus has lifted my shame and has given me new life in Him. When I abide in Him, I am free. And since Jesus is the Word of God, when I abide in the Word, I am free.
I love God because He first loved me!
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:1-4)
There is no failure that I can achieve and no victory I can attain that has not already been conquered or won by God!
Everything that I am, and everything that I hope to be, comes from God. Apart from him I have no good thing (Psalm 16:2, 5-6). Therefore I will “run free in the path of his commands,” I will meditate on them, I will study them, I will know them. I will walk with Jesus as His disciple and understand His truth. This will allow me to live as Jesus lived so that I may be raised to new life as He was.
Together, in my obedience to the Word, and living in the Word, I am co-heir with Christ to the throne of God. And through Him, as God's adopted son, I can now approach the throne without fear and allow God's grace and mercy to wash over me again and again.
For I know that God loves me. And I know God is always ready to pick me up and set me on his lap as He sits on his throne, and He will never raise His voice or push me away. He will always draw me near to Him because of His unconditional love. He is never embarrassed by me or ashamed of me, He never sees me as ugly or broken, but instead sees me as a loving child with open arms who just cries out,
"Daddy, will you hold me?"