Tuesday, January 3, 2012

God Gave Us Freedom by Grace Alone

[To listen to the podcast, go to this link: Podcast: God Gave Us Freedom by Grace Alone]
[To download a pdf copy of this post, go to this link: God Gave Us Freedom by Grace Alone pdf

"I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery." (Exodus 20:2)

It is of particular note that God begins His publication of the Moral Law, the Ten Commandments with a reminder to the people of Israel that it was by grace alone that they were brought out of the clutches of slavery in Egypt. This is declared to be none other than the gracious act of God upon them.

It was not by their power, their intellect, their ingenuity or their will that they left Egypt. Rather, it was by the divine power of the Lord their God that they exited Pharoah's gate. The Great IAM brought them out.

And it is upon this same ground of glorious grace that He now publishes His Ten Commandments among them. Having demonstrated His deity and His grace, they now should have been bound to obey Him. K & D, in their commentary on this passage, make this relevant remark,

"This glorious act, to which Israel owed its existence as an independent nation, was peculiarly fitted, as a distinct and practical manifestation of unmerited divine love, to kindle in the hearts of the people the warmest love in return, and to incite them to keep the commandments."  K D

This, of course is a historical event, which points to the work of Christ in us. We too were once bound in sin, being slaves to the nature in which we were born. Peter addresses this condition in his second epistle, "They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved." (2 Peter 2:19)

We were indeed slaves to our natural state, which had overcome us at our birth. And our slavery to sin would have been our undoing. It would have led to our judgment.

But God, who is rich in mercy and grace, by His power alone, brought us out of spiritual Egypt, freeing us from our bonds. Paul declares as much in Romans, "But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed..." (Romans 6:17)

And just as Israel came out of Egypt by no act on their part, so too we who are in Christ. It was not by our will, our desire, our strength that we became free. Rather, it was the powerful work of free grace that released us.

And just as God had freed Israel that they might walk in His ways and obey His commandments, not only because He is God and was worthy of their loyalty, but also because He had loved them and had demonstrated His love by rescuing them from their condition in Egypt, we too, now in Christ, ought to have the same devotion to Him.

As the Psalmist writes in Psalm 116:16, "O LORD, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant. You have loosed my bonds."

We are His servants now, not just because He is God, but because He is our God, the one who love us and loosed our bonds in sin and freed us to walk in His ways.

Let us then in loyalty to Him, out of love for Him, walk in His laws today. Let us agree with them in our hearts. (Romans 7:16) Let us, by that same power and grace which freed us from sin, obey our Lord in sincerity and energy.

For He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the people who now may safely graze in the freedom of His grace. Amen

[To listen to the podcast, go to this link: Podcast: God Gave Us Freedom by Grace Alone]
[To download a pdf copy of this post, go to this link: God Gave Us Freedom by Grace Alone pdf

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