Legislating Human Behavior
The order of things and the want of man: Order is either imposed from within by an inner desire (willingness) to do good, or from laws without that are legislated to enforce orderly behavior with no regard for the willingness of man. Discipline from within is a positive motivation to do good, while laws enforcing order from without are exerted to restrict and restrain from doing evil.
Governed From Within Is Self-Imposed and Positive.
Governed From Without Is Legally Enforced and Negative.
We must have a definition of freedom before we can properly relate to it. Freedom simply means being able to do what you want to do. To be free means to be able to do what I want to do. But man has two natures, the lower nature, or flesh nature which is depraved and not subject to the law of God (Romans 8:6-7) and the Spirit nature which man receives when he is born again of the Spirit (2 Corinthians 5:17-18). Freedom is one thing to the flesh nature and another thing altogether different to the Spirit nature.
When I receive the new nature God gives me at new birth, I have affinity (an attraction or feeling of strong agreement between two persons) with the moral values contained in God’s Word.
I want to be holy.
I want to please God.
I want to keep His commandments.
Freedom is doing what you want to do but what I want to do is determined by the nature in charge of my life. Sinners don’t want to regard God’s commandments. They are doing what they want. The thing that constitutes freedom or bondage is not the existence of a law but whether my nature is in harmony with that law and that I want to walk within that law. I follow after holiness because I want to, not because I am required to do something I do not want to do. That is freedom!
Freedom happens when I am twice as willing to obey than the moral law requires.
ALWAYS CALLING FOR FREEDOM. Charismatic teaching muddles the doctrine of freedom making no distinction between the two kinds of freedom, i.e., freedom of the flesh nature, or freedom of the spirit nature. The modern gospel claims that Calvary and the work of the cross brings us freedom which they never qualify. Of course, as is the habit of false teachers they do not explain or give a definitive idea of freedom. They make no difference between doing what the flesh nature wants to do (flesh freedom) and what the spirit of Christ in me wants to do (Spirit freedom). These two natures are diametric and they have opposite pursuits. (Galatians 5:17)
They do not define the difference between freedom and bondage.
They do not define the difference between ceremonial law and moral law.
They do not define the difference between freedom of the flesh and freedom of the spirit
IS GRACE CONDITIONLESS? Grace produces godliness and a disciplined moral life. (Titus 2:11-12) Following are some observations regarding freedom and government the apostate church lacks understanding of:
1. There is a difference between flesh and spirit.
2. There is a difference between freedom of the flesh and freedom of the spirit.
3. Freedom of the spirit is freedom from sin. (Romans 6)
4. Freedom of the flesh is freedom from divine government. (Romans 8:7)
5. When a minister speaks of freedom he must explain whether he is speaking of freedom of the flesh or freedom of the spirit.
6. These two natures (flesh and spirit) are non-reconcilable. This is called dualism.
7. To not understand these two natures (dualism) would make the whole Christian experience frustrating.
8. Sin is to rebel against divine government, law. John 3:2.
9. When we are born again we are born back into the kingdom through the indwelling Christ. WE BECOME FREE FROM SIN AND CARNAL THE NATURE!
10. Now I am free in the spirit from sin. This necessitates the discipline and the God-control of my flesh nature Galatians 5:17.
11. I receive a new spirit to agree in obedience to that Word. With joyful and loving desire I ask the Holy Spirit to help me (this is grace). And I obey that thing which is written! Compliance with the moral message of the Word – the moral commandments of the Word is called obedience.
As I live in the spirit and the flesh is now the servant of the spirit (where before under sin and before the cross, the spirit was the servant and the slave of the flesh), it means the flesh now cannot do the things that it wants to – it loses its freedom! (Galatians. 5:17).
So as I live in obedience to the word, I am free in the spirit but my flesh is in bondage to my spirit nature! When we are free in the spirit, we are inhibited in the flesh. What is freedom to the flesh is bondage to the spiritual man.
12. For the Christian life to be controlled by the Word presence of God and the spirit presence of God is a surrendering of self to the moral principles and commandments of God’s Word.
13. Surrender is a decision I make within myself. It is a self-surrender. It is the choice to be governed by the love and goodness of God. God provides the moral law and gives us the spirit of truth to love Him, to have regard for and execute obedience to the written moral precepts of the kingdom. As self surrenders to God, I become a self-governed person. That is, I am governed by the moral laws of God within. I REPEAT, WHEN I CHOOSE TO BE GOVERNED BY THE LAWS OF A LOVING GOD FROM WITHIN, I AM NO LONGER IN NEED OF THE GOVERNING LAWS OF MAN.
14. When the conscience of the nation was based on the Christian principle of being governed by the moral laws of God from within (self-government) and the strong influence of the gospel was governing from within each person, morals were higher and society was established with order. And in those days we did not have as many laws governing man from without because he was governed by his own conscience from within.
15. This is the difference between;
a. Self-imposed government from within and
b. Legally-enforced government from without
16. When Christ dwells within, and man lives by the laws of the kingdom, legislated laws enforced from without are not necessary.
17. The more we are self-governed from within, the less it is necessary to be legally governed from without.
18. The less man becomes governed by Christ;
a. The more wicked men become, destroying order.
b. The more laws are required to restore order.
c. The less freedom we all have as laws multiply.
19. Man is only free when his flesh is in bondage (a servant) to Christ.
20. So, you see, to be obedient to the laws of God does not mean bondage, they mean freedom in the spirit.
21. It is when man breaks loose from the laws of God and becomes “free” to live in a licentious manner, his troubles begin. As he disregards the moral laws of God, he necessarily comes under bondage to enforced laws from without in his society! If a man is not willing to govern himself by the laws of God from within, then he must expect to be governed by the laws of man from without!
22. He loses his freedom as he tries to throw off his obligation and responsibility to moral law! This is the paradox of freedom and liberty.
It is a great help to the Christian that lives in this modern and morally bankrupt world environment of these last days to understand Biblical Dualism (the two natures, flesh and spirit, opposing each other) and how the two natures represent two very distinct value systems contrary to each other (Galatians 5:17).
The spiritual man represents the culture found only in heaven (holiness) while the depraved flesh nature has everything in common with this corrupted world culture.
If we walk in the Spirit we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Romans 8:1, 4.