Free Thyself from the Yoke of Bondage

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

“Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?” (Acts 15:10 KJV).

The “yoke” of today’s Scripture, according to Acts 15:1-5 and Galatians 5:1-4, is the Mosaic Law (physical circumcision and Judaism). In the Old Testament, God commanded the nation Israel to keep His covenant with them and obey the Law of Moses (the “Mitzvot,” the 613 laws of Judaism). What a burden! (They failed, by the way!)

The Mosaic Law was perfect because it was God’s laws: “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good” (Romans 7:12). If the Law is “good,” how can it be “a yoke of bondage?” Because we sinners are not good. The Law is “weak through [our] flesh” (Romans 8:3). Whether saved or lost, we cannot keep the Law in our own strength.

Throughout Romans chapter 7, Paul, even as a saved man, admits he cannot obey the Mosaic Law. Paul concludes the chapter in defeat (verse 24), “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”

God’s purpose in giving Israel the Mosaic Law was to show every human was a sinner, Jew and Gentile (Romans 3:9-20). God has already proven that we cannot measure up to His standard of perfection. Consequently, our performance and our righteousness are not the issue today.

Romans 3:21,22 says, “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifest… Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon them that believe….” Through Calvary’s cross, God did away with Israel’s performance-based system, and replaced it with our grace system (Romans 6:14,15; Colossians 2:13,14). As long as we Christians are submissive to the Holy Spirit working in us, and not giving heed to our sinful Adamic nature, God will work in us to generate the righteousness that the Law demanded (Romans 8:1-15; Galatians 5:16-26).

The only way to enjoy the grace life is to cast off works-religion and legalism. Cast off the “yoke of bondage!”

Published by

Christian ambassador (Shawn Brasseaux)

Grace and peace! What a privilege to be an ambassador for the risen Christ here on WordPress! I am a Pauline dispensationalist Christian saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus plus nothing! My goal is to "have all men saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:3,4). I seek to preach Jesus Christ crucified for our sins, buried, and raised again for our justification as the only way to salvation. Also, I seek to edify and perfect the saints using dispensational Bible study and the Authorized Version King James Bible!

3 thoughts on “Free Thyself from the Yoke of Bondage”

  1. “… and not giving heed to our sinful Adamic nature…”

    Isn’t that the same as “performance”? What’s the difference? Sin is sin whether it’s through our inability to keep the “Law”, or our failure at times to “not give heed” as a Christian.

    Clarification?

    God Bless,
    Tim

    1. Hello, Tim. While devotional studies are useful in providing daily snippets of Bible truths, they’re disadvantageous in that topics cannot always be delved into as they could be (due to brevity and space). I’m glad you wanted clarification; I would be happy to provide it here, where I have more space.

      When I referred to “performance,” I was talking about how denominations stress that we must keep various rules and regulations in a church setting, that we make an effort to curb/control sin in our lives and/or make up for those sins by doing “good works.” For example, water baptism, confession of sins, walking an aisle and bawling at a church altar, reciting prayers, giving sacrifices, fasting, almsgiving, church attendance and holy-day observance, et cetera are all used in some form or another in religious settings. These actions emphasize OUR performance, what WE can do in our own capacity to manage our sins or to make up for our sins, to make God happy with us, to receive His blessings, and so on. Essentially, that was the Mosaic Law (referenced in the study)–“do good and God will bless you.” Whenever a Jew sinned, God wanted him to bring an animal sacrifice to the Tabernacle/Temple. Every year, on the Day of Atonement, God commanded Israel’s high priest to enter into the Holy of Holies and sprinkle animal blood on the Mercy Seat (Ark of the Covenant’s lid) for his sins and then for the sins of Israel. That’s all found in the book of Leviticus, and people use a similar system today in religion (they use James 2 for example, about faith and works, but they ignore the context of the chapter; that’s an in-depth topic, and maybe we can get to it later). That’s what I meant by “performance.”

      When I wrote, “not giving heed to our sinful Adamic nature,” let’s look at it in its context to get the thought-flow, and perhaps you will understand it. The paragraph I wrote was:

      “Romans 3:21,22 says, “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifest… Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon them that believe….” Through Calvary’s cross, God did away with Israel’s performance-based system, and replaced it with our grace system (Romans 6:14,15; Colossians 2:13,14). As long as we Christians are submissive to the Holy Spirit working in us, and not giving heed to our sinful Adamic nature, God will work in us to generate the righteousness that the Law demanded (Romans 8:1-15; Galatians 5:16-26).”

      Notice, I delineated who is REALLY working. Is it us? No, it is GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT working in us; faith is simply us believing that HE will do the work in us when we believe the verses He wrote to us (see 1 Thessalonians 2:13). “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Romans 4:5). While this verse is talking about salvation unto justification and eternal life, our practical day-to-day victory over sin is accomplished the same way (Colossians 2:6-7). Whether being saved from hellfire or saved from daily failure in sin, the answer is still Christ’s working in us–NOT our struggling to manage sin but us walking by faith in verses written to us. Through the power of the Holy Spirit (see Romans 8), we can walk in our new identity in Christ. According to Romans chapters 1-5, righteousness (right standing before God) does NOT come by our works (the Mosaic Law), but by Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork; that’s salvation from hell unto heaven. By simple faith in that death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as sufficient payment for our sins, the Adamic sin nature can be put to death, crucified, that it not have dominion over us (see Romans 6-8, but especially chapter 6, how that reality should affect our daily living). Sin is not who we are anymore, we are new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), and it makes no sense for Christians to walk in sin. We have God’s power to overcome sin. We can “reckon ourselves dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:11). We have been resurrected with Christ’s life, and as long as it is Christ’s life (sound verses we believe) in ours, there is no room for sin. We sin when WE attempt to live the Christian life (see Romans 7).

      “Sin is sin whether it’s through our inability to keep the “Law”, or our failure at times to “not give heed” as a Christian.” I fully agree with you, but the Law doesn’t give us power to conquer sin; faith in Christ does, and we need not lapse into a performance-based acceptance system of “do good and God will bless you” (the Mosaic Law). God accepts us in Christ (Ephesians 1:6) because of what JESUS CHRIST did, not because of what we did or do in our efforts (us meriting favor with God would be impossible anyway). The reason why we fail in the Christian life (commit sins), the reason why we trip up in our daily living, the reason why we do “not give heed” to our identity in Christ is that we are walking in UNBELIEF. We didn’t really BELIEVE the verses that said we are dead unto sin, we didn’t really BELIEVE that our performance and efforts didn’t matter. We believed OUR efforts did matter, and that’s why WE tried to live the Christian life, and thus failed (sinned). Paul wound up in the dilemma of Romans chapter 7 because he didn’t believe chapter 6, and realized that chapter 8 was the answer to having victory over sin on a daily basis.

      Here’s a conclusion: Us relying on Jesus Christ’s life operating in and through us (by the Holy Spirit in us), is how we have victory over sin; it’s not by us performing various religious works. We don’t have to live the Christian life; frankly, we can’t live it (Romans chapter 7). Only Jesus Christ can live His life (Romans chapter 8). Anytime it isn’t us operating on the basis of verses we believe, it’s our flesh, it’s not God’s power, it’s not Christ’s life, and it’s bound to end in failure.

      Okay, Tim, hopefully I answered your question, so I’ll stop here. If I didn’t clarify enough, please indicate it, and I’d be happy to continue if need be. Thanks for the question.

      in Christ, Shawn

      1. Shawn,

        Thank you so much for your amplified response to my request for “clarification”! You did indeed “clarify” your position, but there’s still something “bugging” me … so please allow me to continue a bit further down this path.

        Extreme case (which doesn’t apply to me, btw): I heard a testimony yesterday about a converted homosexual who was coming under severe condemnation because “Christ in him” had not, on the outward appearance anyway, delivered him from his former desires and inclinations … even to the point of contemplating suicide. He would “beg” God to “give him victory” during times of severe temptation, and believed the scriptures about “being dead to sin”, but couldn’t seem to “walk” in them at the moment of the trial.

        Now, we could go all sorts of directions with this scenario, but I want to see if we can zero in on the “heart” of the matter. As a Christian, we know we have power over sin through Christ; but, there’s still elements within our mortal flesh that “plague” us. At the “point” of temptation, this young man IS going to struggle/work/strive with all that’s within him to not sin (including trying to have faith in the Word of God and walk in the Spirit as he knows he should). He doesn’t want to sin … he wants victory

        At this “point”, there is no church with its’ regulations, gimmicks and spiritual protocol to help “set him free”. It’s just him and whatever faith in God he has at the time fighting against his flesh (Adamic nature). It’s VERY personal!

        I’m sure by this time in his walk that he’s tried all the formulas: quoting scriptures, fasting, prayer … until finally, in desperation and discouragement, he’s contemplating suicide.

        It would be easy for us to say to him at that critical point, “Brother, just have faith in the Word of God. It declares that you’re “dead to sin”.

        Now, just for the record, I DO believe that statement; but, what does he DO at that moment?

        Just ignore his passions based on that Word?
        Go into intense prayer?
        Take a cold shower?
        Call the 700 Club?
        Rebuke the devil?
        Claim victory regardless of his feelings?
        Go jogging?
        Do nothing at all?

        I know the correct answer is: “Walk in the Spirit and you’ll not fulfill the lust of the flesh”! But what is the “essence” of that Word at the moment of extreme temptation? One can literally run from a Tavern if your flesh desires alcohol. You can avoid a porn shop while driving down the freeway. But how does someone like our friend above run from his flesh … he carries it with him 24/7 whether he’s at work, shopping, or visiting a friend? It’s inescapable.

        I didn’t mean to go into such length, but I hope you can perceive what I’m asking here and would appreciate any response you could offer.

        Your Brother in Christ,
        Tim

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