Summary: What is it that motivates us to live the Christian life? It is the Law of Liberty.
So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. (James 2:12)
Once when Alabama was playing Auburn, Coach Bear Bryant sent in his 2nd string quarterback with instructions to run on every play and he had better not pass the ball. Alabama led by three points and only had to run the clock out to win. Three downs in a row Alabama was crushed. On the fourth down with a few seconds left and Alabama ahead the quarterback took the snap. Looking into the end zone he saw his receiver so open the temptation was too great. He threw the ball only to see it intercepted. Though he was the slowest player on the field the 2nd string quarterback ran down the interceptor and Alabama won the game. After the game coach Dye of Auburn said to Bear Bryant, “How could that boy run down my boy who was so much faster?” “Simple,” answered Bear, “Your boy was running to score a touchdown – my boy was running to keep me from killing him!”
Motivation is often everything. James seeks to show us what our real motivation ought to be for living for Christ – He calls it the Law of Liberty.
I. REDEMPTION - Our freedom was made possible by Christ alone.
We should never forget that we can live in liberty because of Jesus Christ! Jesus said, “if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). Galatians 2:4 reminds that our liberty is in the person of Jesus Christ.
So we know Who set us free but what is it that He set us free from? “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2).
A. Christians have been set at liberty from the law of sin.
Animals are ruled by a law of instinct. Our Shih-tzu is a 3000 year old breed of dog. They have been bred all of that time to be well-mannered, quiet, close companions of man. Ours is as good a dog as can be. But give her a piece of meat and she will always swallow it whole. The law of instinct is too strong. Her instinct says swallow this before something can take it away from you. Sin is an instinct for the lost person. God set us free from the instinct to sin. Our desire has turned to seeking to obey God. Yes we still sin but our instinct has become to seek God rather than run from Him.
B. Christians have also been set free from the Law of the Old Testament.
That is why Galatians 3:13 says “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law.” That doesn’t means that the Law has no place in our lives. Romans seven shows us that the Law serves a number of much needed purposes in our lives.
The Law reveals:
Ø The Presence of Sin (Rom 7:7)
Ø The Power of Sin (Rom 7:9-11)
Ø The Persuasiveness of Sin (Rom 7:11)
Ø The Pervasiveness of Sin (Rom 7:12-13)
With all that the Law reveals, it was never intended to be our spiritual life but rather to lead us to spiritual life in Christ!
II. RELATIONSHIP - Our freedom is nurtured by our walk with God.
Hear the words of Romans 8:14-17:
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”
A. We have liberty because of Who is living in us.
It is that Person Who is living in believers that changes how we live. That union changes our motivation and desires. Sometimes people tell me that if they believed in eternal security they would live like the devil. That is like saying if I believed my wife would never leave me I would commit adultery every day. Or, if I believed my children will always love me regardless, I could beat them every morning. Those statements are no more ridiculous that saying that a person’s desires and motivations are not changed when they come to know Christ personally.
We have been liberated to have a relationship with God. Adam and Eve lost that in the Garden of Eden and it is restored in our union with Christ as our Savior and Lord.
B. We have also been liberated by a new view on life.