The Perfect Law of Liberty
A letter from the Book of James introduces us to a statement given in chapter 1:25. He refers us to God and His perfect law of liberty.
James 1:25, “But whoso looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”
Who was James, and what were his qualifications? He was the Lords brother, Gal.1-19, he was one of the “pillars” of the church, 2–9, and he gave the “judgment” of the Apostles and elders of the church at Jerusalem, Act’s 15:13-19. His letter is addressed to the 12 tribes, which are scattered abroad, James 1:1. We need to notice that his message was to all twelve tribes, including the the tribe of Judah
The tribes were the physical descendants of Jacob, who eventually had his name changed to Israel, Genesis 32:28.
James statement, the perfect law of liberty, what does it mean to us? We live at a time where there is always someone trying to eliminate the knowledge of God from society. It could be the removal of prayer in a public place, or the removal of God’s divine law, “The Ten Commandments”, from public buildings. Some are in error of the fact that Christianity is not a religion but a reality. It is not ceremony but it is how one lives and motivates his thinking.
In the book of Hosea 4:6 we read, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”. Many know of Jesus and realize the sacrifice that was made for all humanity, but to them, that is the extent of the very purpose of that sacrifice. Would they consider that at the time of the Exodus and under a chosen leader like Moses and his brother Aaron, that only two other individuals out of two and a half million people were pleasing to our Heavenly Father?
Numbers 14:30, “Doubtless, ye shall not come into the land, which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun”.
Why? The answer is found in:
Numbers.14:24, “But my servant Caleb, because He had another spirit with him and hath followed me fully, Him will I bring into the land where into he went; and his seed shall possess it”. And Joshua was ordained by God to lead the Israelites into the land after the death of Moses.
The record shows that the people that were rebellious were not pleasing to God and they died in the wilderness. Why was this event written for us and what can we learn from the story of the Exodus? The answer to that question is that we need to understand, man needs a Savior, someone who would never break God’s law and would be a perfect example to others. Those of the Exodus were of the flesh, and at that time, they were never promised the gift of the Holy Spirit. The disposition of law had to give way to the next disposition, the disposition of grace.
In the Garden of Eden, after the fall of Adam and his wife Eve, a promised Seed of a virgin was proclaimed by God so as to provide a way to continue His work and bring blessings to His children, Genesis 3:15. The promised Seed was born and named Jesus, the Son of God as well as the Son of man. Because of His willing sacrifice, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension as man’s redeemer, He became God’s anointed, the Christ.
Romans 8:8 we read, “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God”.
One could ask, but aren’t we all in the flesh? Yes, we are, and now, because of God’s ultimate sacrifice, His only be-gotten Son, Jesus Who became the Christ, even while we are in a flesh body, there is a way of being pleasing to Him.
Hebrews 2:10, “For it became Him, for whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect ( mature ) through sufferings”.
How? By using the Spirit of Christ and overcoming our natural desires, and a willing heart to the elimination of the deeds of the flesh, Galatians 5:19–20. In addition we read in Isaiah 53, that the entire chapter is a prophesy of the sacrifice that would be accomplished by Jesus Christ. The point is, men and women need a savior. We as individuals can try as hard as we may to keep God’s law and we will eventually fall short. Man needs the spirit of Christ.
Act’s 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there s no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”.
Jesus Christ is our savior and He set the example on how to achieve success for ourselves and for others. Mankind needs God’s instruction which leads to a new way, Hebrews 10:20.
When Jesus voluntary gave His life as the ultimate sacrifice, He earned the right to sit on the Mercy Seat that was placed above the Ark containing the law, Exodus 25:17–22. There was a time when Lucifer, before his name was changed to Satan, had the job of protecting that Mercy Seat, compare Ezekiel 28:14 with Hebrews 9:5. Now only Jesus is worthy to qualify and replace Satan to sit on the Mercy Seat which was placed above the Ark. That is His job today, to extend mercy and forgiveness to those who would transgress God’s law and reconsider their ways.
In the story of the Exodus, the law was given to the people. When one transgressed a law, there was no way of forgiveness except through the shed blood of animals that were offered as sin sacrifices.
Hebrews. 9:14, “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered Himself, without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God”.
Jesus, because of the Mercy Seat, can now forgive sin when our errors are repented of. As long as we are in the flesh, we will always fall short of perfection. God’s creation is perfect. He has given His children a common sense approach to Him. Placing the Mercy Seat above the law, and Jesus as our High Priest, we will at times fall short of the law. Upon repentance and a truthful change of heart, He will judge us with mercy and compassion and we will be forgiven every time. That’s the reason James calls it, the perfect law of liberty.
The nation of Israel had God’s law, but when they, try as they did to obey that law, they, one way or another made mistakes as we do. They did not have a way to repent as it is today. There was a time in the dealings of Israel that God required sin to be atoned for by the sacrifice of animals. Those rituals were a type or a shadow of better things to come, 1st Col. 2:14-17 and Heb. 10:8-12.
Today because of the sacrifice of Jesus, we can receive mercy and forgiveness when we realize the error of our ways. Jesus, because of His willing sacrifice, defeated death, Satan, therefore qualified to sit on the Mercy Seat providing the love of God toward us. When we study and realize where we fall short, and repent, we will be forgiven every time, and it is our “Perfect Law of Liberty” that James describes in his book. Gods mercy towards our shortcomings is a perfect law.
The title given Jesus as God’s savior means exactly that. He does His job and we should do ours. We need to study, repent, be forgiven, and enjoy our freedom as we grow in grace as new born babes unto maturity, awaiting the return of Jesus.