How the Truth Sets You Free From Law, Religion
The New Testament is loaded with instances of Jesus revealing truth to the religious folk. Jesus came not to overturn the law, but to fulfill it. However, He was not recognizes as the fulfillment of the law, and the manifestation of the Messiah, by many who supposedly knew the law and the prophets. There were two sets of religious sects in the day of Jesus: Pharisees, Sadducees. Jesus called both of these groups “hypocrites”. There was a lot of things the Sadducees didn’t believe in, including the resurrection. The Pharisees didn’t believe in who Jesus was because they were expecting the Messiah to be a mighty war general to come and raise an army. Each were blinded to see the true Messiah in Jesus. Even though the manifestation of Truth was before them, they could not see it. This Friday Night Sermon by Pastor Lonnie of The Way Church takes a quick look at some of the religious perspectives that kept many from experience Truth, which leads to freedom. The primary passage for this sermon is taken out of Mark 7.
Defilement Comes from Within
Mark 7:7-9,13-16 (NKJV) Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem. 2 Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. 3 For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders. 4 When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches.
5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?”
6 He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
‘This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
7 And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
8 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men —the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.”
9 He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.
13…making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.14 When He had called all the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear Me, everyone, and understand: 15 There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. 16 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!”
The Jews had many different customs and if you didn’t perform them you were breaking religious law, as described in the above verses. However, what’s different about the message that Jesus brought is that if God has our heart, He has it all. He doesn’t need us to perform outwardly, religious activities to have any part of Him. The message of the Kingdom focuses on the heart of man.
Revelation of Truth
When we receive revelation from God, we need to shine that revelation inward. We don’t want any religion or hypocrisy in us like the Pharisees or Sadducees. The written word and the living Word are different. The Bible, the written word of God, cannot contain Him. It reveals Him. His Truth will make you free. Truth is a person, not a subject. Jesus is Truth. This implies that freedom goes with you, it becomes a part of your life, and it’s in everything you do. Once you have freedom you will never want to be in bondage again, and you will never want anyone lording over you again and telling you what you can and can’t do. Walking with Jesus is a life of freedom, and there’s no law over the things that Jesus leads you in because He is righteousness, and He is law-abiding. This is why the righteous do not need a law, as it does not break the law. There is no law written against the fruit of the Spirit by God. Men, however, will create man-made doctrine and laws and try and lord it over you. God does not work like this. God has made us free and does not impose His will over us. It’s other human beings that try to impose their will on us in an attempt to control us, as well as the enemy, who will try and take away your freedom, your will and your rights. God will not do this. If you embrace God, and say yes, then out of the willingness of your heart you’ll have such freedom like you’ve never experience, and you will never live in bondage again. Watch the full sermon here: