In the Province of Ontario, Canada we are in lockdown again due to Covid-19. My husband and I are one of four couples who meet regularly by Zoom to study God’s Word. We are presently studying the Book of James. The passage we are looking at presently is James 1: 19 – 27.
The verse that caught my attention in this section is James 1:25 AMPC: “But he who looks carefully into the faultless law, the [law] of liberty, and is faithful to it and perseveres in looking into it, being not a heedless listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he shall be blessed in his doing (his life of obedience).”
After reading the above verse, I said to myself, “What is the law of liberty?”
The first verse I looked at in trying to answer this question is John 8:31-32 MEV: “…if you remain in My word, then you are truly my disciples. You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”
What is truth? In John 17:17 Jesus says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” So, from these verses, we learn that God’s Word makes us free – it liberates us.
I then looked at Deuteronomy 6:4-5 MEV: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, The Lord is one! And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” This is the Jewish Shema. Shema means ‘listen’.
The Old Covenant was conditional between God and the people of Israel. In Deuteronomy 30: 9-10 MEV, it says, “The Lord your God will make you prosper in every work of your hand…if you obey the voice of the Lord your God, by keeping His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law…” The people of Israel would be blessed if they kept all of God’s commandments and statutes.
I then went to Matthew 22:37-40 MEV: “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Sound familiar? Jesus added the part about loving your neighbor as yourself.
The New Covenant is an unconditional covenant between God and His Son, written in the Blood of Jesus. We are to love God and to love our neighbor as ourself. The part that thrilled me is that in the New Covenant, the Law is not written on tablets of stone and conditional on us keeping it to the letter but the law Jesus spoke about is written on our hearts as born-again believers. Hebrews 8: 10 MEV says, “This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God and they will be My people.”
And Ezekiel 11:19 says, “And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone…and give them a heart of flesh.”
God’s law of liberty is written on our hearts today – to love Him and to love our neighbor as we do ourselves. Romans 5:5 MEV says, “And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” May we, may I, let God’s law of liberty, written on our hearts, flow out to a lost and hurting world.