Yoke of Slavery (1)

  • Legalism. A word filled with bondage and despair. This is going to be another 4 part teaching as we continue to destroy the false religious teachings of works oriented, performance based, religion.

    Isaiah 10:27 is a good place to start. Although it is talking about removing the attacks of the Assyrians, it makes a point that is a springboard for us today. That being getting free from the yoke of slavery to the law, religion, performance and legalism.

    Here’s the scripture in the King James Version. “And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.”

    Here it is once again in the New Living Translation. “In that day the Lord will end the bondage of his people. He will break the yoke of slavery and lift it from their shoulders.”

    Galatians 5:1 reads “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” The anointing breaks the yoke. It is the burden removing, yoke destroying, power of God.

    We have been blessed with all spiritual blessings. The only reason the law was given was to drive us to faith in Christ. Grace provides all that we need. All we do is receive. Grace changes the have to into get to, and want to.

    Whenever the pure message of God’s love and acceptance in Jesus is shared with people, you will always hear the same thing. “But you’re giving people a license to sin”. Actually, you’re doing a good job without the license. Besides, I don’t have the power to give you that right.

    Understand that grace is the answer to the law. Just as light is the answer to darkness. Rain is the answer to drought. Grace is the answer to the law. Grace is not justice, because it’s above fair.

    Grace is the provision that grants the ability to walk according to the fullness of the law. Just as light gives one the ability to walk in dark places. Just as water brings growth in the desert where it couldn’t bring forth fruit previously.

    Get ready. I’m about to really ruffle some religious feathers. I do not have the authority or right to give anyone a license to sin, but God does, and He did. He gave everyone the right to choose. Grace is not freedom unless you have the right to choose, even when it may be the wrong choice. It is not a new situation. Paul raised it many times in Romans 6:1 and 15.

    Romans 6:1 reads “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound”? Romans 6:15 “What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid”.

    What was his answer? By no means. What an absurd question to ask. When you understand the love of God, and know about Christ living in you it’s an absurd question.

    Here’s an illustration that might help. Let’s say you own a fine restaurant. One day you hear a tremendous commotion outside. It sounds like a bunch of cats fighting for scraps. When you go out back by the dumpster you see a virtual skeleton of a man. He’s living on the edge of starvation. He's rummaging through the dumpster looking for leftover food.

    There is nothing about him to love, yet you have this sense of compassion for him. So you yell at him saying “Get out of there. Come in here and eat”. “But I don’t have any money”. “Doesn’t matter, I have many restaurants. I have done very well, I can afford it”.

    So you bring him inside. He can’t believe his eyes. He has never seen a cafeteria line like this before. You tell him he can eat anything he wants. Vegetables, salads, fruits, beef, fish, chicken, cakes, pies. He looks at you and says “You really mean I can eat anything I want”? “YES, anything”. So he responds and says “Can I go back outside and eat the garbage”?

    Do you really think that’s what he would ask? Yet that’s exactly what the question “Can I go back to begging now that I’m under grace?” is asking. “Can I just sin up a storm”? Well, you can if you want to, but why would you want to. It’s absurd.

    Jesus gave His life FOR us to take away, ONCE AND FOR ALL, our sin and guilt. Then Jesus gave His life TO us to raise us from the dead spiritually. The life He has given us is His Life. Jesus living in and through us each and every day.

    Actually Jesus is being used. He is being used by God to express His life and His love to people around us, and in the face of all that Jesus has provided all that we need. The cafeteria line of His provision is filled with abundance as John 10:10 says. It just baffles me how people can even think to ask “Does that mean we can just go out and sin?” That’s the garbage.

    The problem here is the Christian world is obsessed with sin. We are so sin conscious we can’t even entertain the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus that was provided, actually imputed to us. Sin, its all we talk about.

    Most of the preaching and teaching is directed toward sin. Preachers keep trying to get people to quit sinning. Well, let me shock you. The goal of the Christian life is not to stop sinning! The goal of the Christian life is to know Christ and understand His great love for you. When you do, you won’t want to sin, because love has a way of ordering your life that the law never could.

    Go back to the starving man. Most religious teachings would say we need to follow that man around and tell him to stay out of the garbage. Do you hear me? Stay out of the garbage!!! The problem is, when you’re really hungry you’ll eat anything.

    The answer is getting the man to the cafeteria line. If we will do that and he begins to experience the realness, and goodness of the food, he won’t be nostalgic about going back to the garbage. So, what every human needs is the life of Christ. Not just our initial receiving of Him, but experiencing daily the reality of knowing Christ and walking with Him.

    John 17:3 reads this way: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” If you truly begin to know Christ, sin begins to lose its appeal. Just like the garbage does. When you taste of the good food you won’t go back to the bondage of the garbage.

    We are not quite through with the garbage analogy, or metaphor, or parable if you prefer. It is a good example to get the point across, but as we'll see in part 2, it is still a sin preaching tactic that dominates many pulpits in the world today. Pulpit is an interesting word. One day I was pondering why the word is used and where it came from. I heard the Lord tell me, look at it this way, it's not so much where it came from, but more what happens from it. Religious legalistic preaching "pulls" people into a "pit" of bondage. Hence the word pulpit. Now that's what I experienced. It's not a revelation or a scriptural truth, just a discussion between me and the Lord. Grace and Peace.