Posted by: forfreedomalone | 31/07/2017

Exempt from moral liability.

“And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
How wonderful to know that all our bonds will be broken, we will be set free, nothing will ever again enslave us, once we know the truth. We just need to know how much God loves us, who we are in Christ, how The Law has been done away with, that all that matters now is love, we live from our hearts, not rules and we will be free. Well, much of that’s true, but it’s not what this verse says.
Rarely can we pick a verse out of the ethers and make true sense out of it, we normally need to look at it in context.
Jesus started this train of though in the verse before, in verse 31, when he said “to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings…”
Remaining faithful to his teachings was a prerequisite to being his disciple and, as verse 32 follows on from that, being his disciples which requires remaining faithful to his teachings, will lead to knowing the truth. ‘Knowing’ in this context does not mean understanding in an intellectual way, it means “having intimate, relationship knowledge of something”.
So we remain faithful to what Jesus taught, this causes us to be his disciple, which lead to us having a deep and intimate relationship with truth, which…….well, if every other part of the verse doesn’t mean what it is traditionally said to mean, does ‘set you free’ not mean that either?
The word, translated as, ‘set you free’ means, “to exempt from moral liability”. “Moral liability” is an interesting term. What does that mean?
It means that, under the ceremonial law, that is the law of sacrifices and offerings, people were ‘liable’ for their morality. God set the standards of morality and if the people did not keep his standard, a sacrifice was required to atone for their liability. They broke his rules, they had to pay for it. This payment was in the form of animal sacrifice.
When God renewed the covenant, after Israel went off after other gods, he took it upon himself to pay the cost of our ‘loose morals’, the many, many times when man redefines morality according to his own standards. His own son was the price he paid, perfect blood, never tainted by sin, eternally living on the Altar in heaven. It is this sacrifice which sets us free from moral liability. We are no longer liable, because our debt has been paid. We are not free to live as we please, but we are free from having to pay for the times we sin.
It is a fact that our debt has been paid, but it is not a fact that we live in that freedom. Many deeply desire to know that freedom, but do not and so lie to themselves. They are not remaining faithful to Jesus teachings,they are choosing to redefine morality and set their own rules and so live with condemnation. They quote Romans 8:1 and declare that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” yet are condemned in their hearts all the while.
Jesus will not condemn them, but they condemn themselves due to their lack of relationship with the truth, brought about by their faithlessness to Jesus teachings and not being his disciples.
There has been, for far too long, an acceptance of the words of the Bible as some sort of magic formula. Jesus did everything and I am a new person, miraculously living a different life, with no effort, thought, or even intention of my own. The Holy Spirit has possessed me and I now just can’t help loving everyone and being a wonderful person in every way. We are lying to ourselves if we believe this and we are lying because we are afraid that if we are required to ‘do’ anything we will suddenly find ourselves in a legalistic situation where our salvation is dependant upon us.
Jesus blood paid the price required of us. His blood is eternally living, it is eternally on the Altar in heaven and it is enough to purchase our freedom from moral liability.
We ARE free, but unless we develop a relationship, which is deep and intimate, with the one who set us free, by being faithful to his teachings and becoming his disciples, we will not experience that freedom.
We ARE new creations, but unless we daily consider the old creation to be dead and live from the new life we have been given we will just be dead men walking. In every area of our lives we have been given new power, new vitality, new perspectives, new live itself, but unless and until we live it, it is all theory. It is an eternal certainty, but it is not a current reality.
If we want the truth to set us free, we have to develop a deep and intimate relationship with him, being faithful to his teachings and becoming his disciples. None of this is automatic…
As Phil 12 tells us “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, ………. work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”
If we are to know, deeply and intimately, the power of freedom, we need to act on what has been given to us, powered by grace, faithful to his teachings and free from legalistic requirements. This is freedom indeed.

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