Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. Galatians 3:25
God knew when he gave Moses the ten commandments that his people wouldn’t be able to keep them by their own efforts. God gave the law so everyone would recognise their shortcomings and their need of a Saviour (verse 21).
We cannot meet God’s standards by our own efforts. So the purpose of the law was to lead us to Christ so that we would be justified by faith (verse 24). The freedom God has given us is expansive and many have struggled with it. I was talking to a friend and they commented, “I think Galatians is one of the most dangerous books in the Bible. Paul is advocating so much freedom. A freedom like we don’t really want other people to have, ‘it’s too much responsibility’, we figure, so we try to take it away.”
Paul explains freedom this way, “so, then, if with Christ you’ve put all that pretentious and infantile religion behind you, why do you let yourselves be bullied by it? ‘Don’t touch this! Don’t taste that! Don’t go near this!’ do you think things that are here today and gone tomorrow are worth that kind of attention?” (Colossians 2:20 The Message).
Paul also tells the Corinthians, “Everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial” (1 Corinthians 10:23). St. Augustine puts it very simply, “Love God and do whatever you want.” Augustine knew that if we really love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength then we will only want to do what pleases our heavenly Father.
God gives us the great privilege, but also the enormous responsibility, of making decisions based on pleasing the Father rather than a set of rules.