It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Galations 5:1
This is a more positive way to say what I was trying to get at in yesterday’s post and perhaps a verse you would rather meditate on. The reason I went with the other verse was the impression it made on me regarding the sin of rebuilding a law-based system. Christians often think ongoing sins they struggle with are things like lust, anger, pride (or the classic no-nos of smoking, drinking, and cussing), but we less often recognize the sinfulness inherent in our self-constructed pieties.
Please understand, I am not claiming that we have been set free to sin. That would make no sense. All sin is bondage. Being set free to be a slave to sin is self-contradictory.
But I am saying that sometimes in our efforts to rid ourselves of sin, we set up law-based systems to make this so, and thereby sin in the very act of trying to rid ourselves of sin.
Because the fact remains that we cannot rid ourselves of sin. We cannot save ourselves from our sins and we cannot improve ourselves either. Holiness only comes through the work of the Holy Spirit in us. The Spirit’s work sets us free from sin, without using a law-based system to do so. Only the Spirit can do such work. And only in this way can such work be done. Trying to live by laws (whether the Mosaic law or laws we invent) impedes the work of the Spirit.
Paul calls that sin. It’s one of the sins Christians are most prone to.
The Spirit sets us free. Holiness can’t name anything else and still be related to the good news of Jesus.