A few days back the liberty minded blog “Western Rifle Shooters Association” posed the question…
“What is your mechanism for enabling, that is making functional or operational, your concept of Rightful Liberty?”
…when considering what the “victors” of a possible “civil” war 2.0 scenario can offer in restructuring American government in order to secure liberty, finally, for all. There were many thoughtful ideas bantered about including; honest enforcement of the constitution and bill of rights as written, instituting the Southern articles of confederation, no central government whatsoever and many things in between offered as solutions. My mind went to more fundamental issues than man centered principals of governance.
A man first must learn what “rightful liberty” is; and the rather awesome responsibilities attending such knowledge. Liberty is OF God, to we, His creation. It is a fact that humans are created with absolutely free will (just ask Adam in the garden) but free will, in and of itself, is not liberty; as Adam’s exercise of his own free will led to death itself entering into Gods creation (Rom 5:12). Biblically, rightful liberty is freedom from ALL law, which, to the chagrin of most professing Christians, includes Gods Law; guided only by the mind of Christ made available to him (1 Cor 2:12, Gal 3:2, 2 Cor 1:22, Eph 1:13) upon salvation from; sins curse, the curse of the law, and thus Gods eventual wrath.
Yes, I said the “curse” of the law.
Galatians 3:13… “Christ hath redeemed us from the CURSE of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:”
Consider (stand, let and know) these things…
Galatians 5:1… “STAND fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”
Philippians 2:5-8… “LET this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
Romans 6:6-7… “KNOWING this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.”
Paul further exhorts…
1 Corinthians 10:23… “ALL things are lawful for me, but ALL things are not expedient: ALL things are lawful for me, but ALL things edify not.” Nor will he be brought under the power of any (1 Cor 6:12). He is clear however that ALL things are lawful for him; meaning, he is no longer under the law. Let’s put the pieces together…
We know that salvation today IS personal identification with Christ’s death. Christ died for our (my) sins and was raised again for our (my) justification (1 Cor 15:1-4).
The saved man, by way of Christ’s death (as Christ was made to BE sin for us – 2 Cor 5:21), is judicially (in Gods eyes) dead to sin; as sin was forsaken (cursed) by God the Father (Mat 27:46); received its just punishment (Rom 6:23); and was killed in/with Christ on the cross. If Christ was made to BE our sin, and was then cursed and killed on the cross; our sin is therefore dead as well; and therefore no longer man’s issue in this dispensation of grace (personal application of Paul’s gospel of Christ is).
Romans 6:7… “For he that is dead is freed from sin.”
If a man is dead to sin, he is therefore naturally dead to the law; for by the law (the reason God gave it) was to demonstrate mans sin to himself. The law has served its intended purpose in the saved man.
Romans 7:4(a)… “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ;”
Romans 3:20… “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
The “strength” of sin IS the law; as sin is manifest in man BY the law.
1 Corinthians 15:56… “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.”
Without the law man would not know sin in himself.
Romans 4:15… “Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.”
The law effectively does one single thing… it demonstrates clearly to man that he can not keep it; for he would need to be Perfect (as Christ) in order to do so. Thus the law demonstrates sin (imperfection) in man, to man.
1 Timothy 1:8… “But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;”
What then is the lawful use of the law in this dispensation of grace? It is simply to show a man his sinful condition.
Not many realize this. Most people who profess to know Christ simply believe that God gave the law so men would know how to “behave”. Nothing could be farther from true, as God gave the law to demonstrate the issue of sin in man, to man. Paul explains that even the Gentiles who had NOT the law, did “by nature” the things contained therein. They “knew” right from wrong as this was “put into” we humans during the dispensation of conscience, implemented immediately following the fall of man (we ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil – we “knew” we were naked and “became” ashamed when once we were not – Gen 2:25). The age of inherent human innocence (Gods original and pure intent for man) had come to an end by Adam’s choice. Man has now an inherently guilty conscience as we now know things we were not meant to know (things satan wanted us to know). satan exploits this abundantly to his own benefit within all “law-keeping” (and humanistic, new age) religions.
Romans 2:14-15… “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;”
Man thus creates his own laws (perhaps “based” on the 10 commandments, perhaps not…) without the knowledge of inherent sin within himself; but based on his own personal (self serving) beliefs, which stem from his naturally guilty conscience. He either “accuses” or “excuses” himself and others based on his current desired situational goals. (Most often he feels that the “ends justify the means” when in reality, they never do. Ends and means are either just or they are not.) How has this worked out governmentally for the world? Poorly indeed as a quick but honest glance at worldly conditions will plainly show. satan exploits this abundantly to his own benefit in state capitals the world over.
For those who attempt to keep the law (the vast majority of professing “Christians” today) they are only demonstrating the power of sin in their own lives to themselves even if they do not realize such. They even become proud of and boast in their own sinful condition… “at least I’m not as bad as that guy!”. (How awful is that really? Yes, in fact you are!) Their complete lack of ability to do anything about that sin (and the inherent guilt thereof) then becomes clouded by pride (as if by “keeping” even some small part of the law they believe they are somehow pleasing God) and therefore successfully maintain themselves under the horrible bondage of sins curse which Christ went to the cross to obliterate forever for us.
Galatians 3:10… “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.”
The personally implemented cross-work of Christ (personal salvation) returns a man to his intended pre-fallen nature in complete accordance and in total harmony with God the Father. No religious activity on earth can do this. Only mans Creator can. Can these same “law-keepers” actually “be” Christian? Answer: not if they do not realize that they are sinners in need of Christ the Savior who died to end forever their sin problem.
How is something so simple so difficult? satan… he is the master deceiver and communicates with people in churches, synagogues, mosques and temples; in religions the world over.
When Paul tries to do right by “keeping the commandments” he realizes that, in his flesh, he cannot.
Romans 7:9-13… “For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.”
The law, the commandment (law commands, grace compels) demonstrates to Paul clearly, sin (death) in his flesh. The law demonstrates perfectly (for it is holy, just and good) mans desperate need of his Savior.
Romans 7:24… “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Christ, of course!
We thus arrive back at arguments beginning in this terrible viscous circle of sin and law keeping to those who believe they are to “try as best as they can” to keep the law for salvation (I’m speaking to you catholics and protestants). God is Perfectly Just; He can not and will not “excuse” imperfection in law keeping. Christ died for our sin. He took the curse of sin away and naturally with it, the curse of the “un-keepable” law. Christ fulfilled the law completely on our behalf (Mat 5:18)! Believe that and ye shall be saved, AND freed from guilt and fear! The saved man is to reckon himself DEAD indeed unto sin (Rom 6:11) and therefore the law as well. That is how he learns to “walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh” (Gal 5:16).
Walking in the “law” then, IS walking in the flesh. And you baptists thought carrying on in honky tonks and bars was walking in the flesh… nope. Attempting to keep the law is. (Please note, I am not recommending carrying on in honky tonks and bars, thank you very much…)
Consider even further…
Galatians 2:16… “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith OF Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith OF Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”
Romans 5:1… “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”
Romans 8:1… “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
Faith OF Christ. Peace with God. NO condemnation. Meditate upon those words very carefully. Here is where True freedom and rightful liberty are found!
How does a man walk after the Spirit? By understanding what Christ has done on his behalf; by reckoning himself dead to sin and free from law. This is the very essence of Gods absolutely free gift of free grace to mankind. He did it ALL! Abundant fruit falls naturally from such a tree in time. A peach tree does not “try” to produce peaches… they just form naturally!
Romans 7:4(b)… “that ye should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”
Romans 5:18… “Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the FREE GIFT came upon all men unto justification of life.”
We don’t deserve the free gift, but simply by believing what God says to us today through Paul, we get it. Christ died for our (my) sin. God wants us to be returned to the pre-fallen nature He originally intended and has paved the way Himself. He is Just and the Justifier of him that believes on Jesus (Rom 3:26). The saved man is returned to Perfect Harmony with his Creator by identifying himself with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ! What better news can there be? Once was the law, BUT NOW the righteousness of God by grace is manifested without the law (Rom 3:21)!
Ephesians 2:8-10… “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus UNTO good works, which God hath before ordained that we SHOULD walk in them.”
Romans 6:1-2… “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”
Rightful liberty then can only belong to a saved man, as the unsaved man remains deceived and convinced that he can account for his sinful condition himself; either by trying to keep the law which can’t be kept, or not trying at all. He remains at his core responsible only to himself and his own naturally ignorant needs and desires (the flesh); no matter the “nobility” of them, as they can never be noble enough. The unsaved remains a servant of sin, self, and thus satan. This will end poorly for him and very likely those around him if he is in any position of human authority.
A father is in a position of human authority.
Romans 6:16… “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”
All men yield themselves servants to one or the other as only one or the other exist.
What then is this free man to do with his ultimate freedom? He is to “let this mind be in him which was also in Christ”. Where then did Christ’s mind lead Him? It led Him to be a servant of His Righteous Father (Phil 2:5-8). The man that is free from the curse of sin and death (the law) is therefore freed to become a servant to his Creator which is in heaven. The law commands while grace compels. That is an awesome, far reaching and massively humbling responsibility. This is the kind of man I want in a governmental position of authority over other men.
Biblical rightful liberty. Freedom to serve righteousness and not sin and self. Every man, free will intact, serves one or the other. Period. Whom do you serve?
1 Corinthians 6:19-20… “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
Romans 6:18… “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”
Lets look again, before I close, at what Paul says about rightful liberty to the Galatian believers who were attempting to keep the law after they heard Paul’s gospel.
Galatians 5:1-4…”Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you NOTHING. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the WHOLE law. Christ is become of NO effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”
The man that attempts to follow the law is fallen away from the gift of Gods free grace. Partial law keeping is no law keeping at all. That man has fallen from the liberty Christ bought him with His own very precious blood. Gods own righteous blood. A man is at liberty to either serve sin (flesh/law/death) or righteousness (Spirit/grace/life).
Rightful liberty in action then, is salvation by grace through faith without works in the service of righteousness.
Galatians 2:21… “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Boom…
As to political solutions… I leave it to wiser men than me in the art of state-craft to list the key elements of the new political structure; be they as few as necessary. I recommend highly the blog of Publius-Huldah for students of the constitution and federalist papers. She is a true scholar, logician and gentlewoman.
Romans 13 states that rulers are NOT a terror to good works and that those “under” good rulers are subject to them. When a ruler becomes a terror to good works the Christian therefore has no business subjecting himself to the same and the responsibility to replace said evil rulers as peaceably as possible that he might live a quiet and peaceable life in this inherently evil world (Gal 1:4).
1 Timothy 2:1-2… “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”
Is this not our ultimate desire… to live quiet and peaceable lives? If a government/ruler does not begin with Christ at its/his core, it will eventually lead to the same place we find ourselves today. Similarly, if a population does not have Christ at its core, we will find ourselves in the same place we are today. Unchecked and unbridled tyranny… the human/satanic lust for power; combined with willfully ignorant “subjects” unable to discern the mess they are in from what should actually be. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss… unsaved sinful man, a slave to his own flesh. Not yet freed to serve others (in or out of government) as Christ’s appointed ambassadors on earth (2 Cor 5:20). The most awesome responsibility on earth.
Whatever the outcome of potential war for control inside the USA (and tensions sure are hot), the country’s next leaders must always have Christ at their center if they are to lead rightfully. Those leaders must come from a population of Biblically centered people and America is NOT Biblically centered, as most “Christians” try to follow some form of the law. America’s education therefore must begin with the King James Bible rightly divided between the law (Peter) and grace (Paul). And quickly at that…
Next Post: “Standing versus State“