Not Ashamed

Not Ashamed

They were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. M346

Those are the last words of Genesis 2:25.

The last words from the second chapter of Genesis talk about 3 key things.

  1. They were both naked
  2. the man and his wife
  3. and were not ashamed

Sometimes for us to understand what is being said, we need to start at the end. In the end, there were not ashamed. Why was that important?

Let’s first look at what the meaning of the word ashamed is in Merriam-Webster before we look at the meaning of not ashamed.

  • feeling shame, guilt, or disgrace
  • feeling inferior or unworthy
  • restrained by anticipation of shame MW59

They (man and his wife) were with not ashamed because they did not have feelings of shame, guilt or disgrace. This was because they did not do anything that brought about feelings of unworthiness or inferiority. They were unrestrained by the anticipation of shame.

The word that is used to describe not ashamed which is the opposite of ashamed is unashamed. Now let’s look up the meaning of not ashamed which would be unashamed in Merriam-Webster for some insight.

  • not ashamed
  • being without guilt, self-consciousness, or doubt MW60

What I find most amazing about the meaning of unashamed is not that it means not ashamed, but that man and his wife were without guilt, without the need to be self-consciousness, they were without a doubt.

They knew who they were, they knew they were naked, and they knew it was nothing to be guilty about.

The man and his wife were free from guilt because they did not break the Lord God’s command in Genesis 2:16-17.

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” M347

We know that in the beginning they were free form guilt and shame. We can also state that the reason they were free from guilt and shame is because they did not have any knowledge of good and evil.

What has the knowledge of good and evil brought us?

The answer to that is death.

Death is not because of sin. But death is because we are no longer free from knowledge of good and evil.

DEATH IS NOT BECAUSE OF SIN

This statement may come as a shock and contrary to what we have all been taught, but death did not come to man and his wife because they disobeyed the Lord God, but because they had knowledge of good and evil.

Man sinned because he did not follow the Lord Gods command of not eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The sin was disobedience. Death was a result of eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

THE SIN WAS DISOBEDIENCE

The fruit of every tree in the garden was free, but the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil had a price, the price of that fruit was death.

There was something else said in Genesis 2:16-17 which is very important to understand.

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” M348

The most important thing that was given to the man was freedom. We need to truly understand what the Lord God was saying.

It wasn’t that the man could not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the man was given freedom to eat of any tree of the garden. Freedom to eat of all and every tree, but one tree he should not eat from because the fruit of that tree comes at a price.

To really grasp what is being said we first need to understand what the meaning of the word free means as defined by Merriam-Webster.

  • not costing any money
  • not held as a slave or prisoner
  • not physically held by something MW61

The man was not physically held from eating of every tree, nor did it cost the man any money to eat, he was also not going to be held as a slave or prisoner by eating from every tree in the garden.

It was only the tree of knowledge of good and evil that had a cost, that would hold the man as a slave, as a prisoner. The man would be physically held by death.  

Eating from the tree of knowledge would incur a cost for mankind, the cost of which will be covered in another book. For now, we first need to truly understand the price of freedom.

KNOWLEDGE IS THE PRICE OF FREEDOM

The price to be paid for freedom is knowledge.

Knowledge is the high cost we have to pay for freedom, and we are not the only ones that incur that debt. The debt of lack of knowledge is passed on our children. This is written in Hosea 4:6

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.

Because you have rejected knowledge, I will reject you from being My priest.

And because you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children. M349

The question we need to ask ourselves is what does the people of God lack?

We know the answer is knowledge, but what knowledge do we lack that is able to destroy us?

Knowledge of the law.

We need to understand and have full knowledge of the law. Those that reject the knowledge of the law, the Lord God will reject from being His priest. The rejection is because many have rejected God’s law, they feel that the law does not apply to them.

The law is the law, and it applies to all believers. The laws of God are not to be confused with the traditions of man. Jesus spoke about this in Matthew 15:1-9.

Then scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, “Why do Your disciples violate the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”

But He answered them, “Why do you also violate the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death.’ But you say, ‘Whoever shall say to his father or his mother, “What you would have profited from me is a gift to God,” will be free from honoring his father or his mother.’ So you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. You hypocrites, Isaiah well prophesied of you, saying:

‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.

In vain they do worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’” M350

When the law is interpreted incorrectly and changed to suit the times we are living in, we then have done what the scribes and Pharisees did. We have made the commandments of God of no effect by our traditions, we have drawn near to Him with honor on our lips, but without honor in our hearts.

For our hearts have taught the teachings as doctrines; precepts of men. Hearts that have moved away from the teaching of the law, are like flowering plants that have no roots.

In Matthew 15:13-14 Jesus said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Leave them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the ditch.” M351

What are we to do with the leaders of the church today that lack the knowledge of the law?

We are asked to leave them alone, for they are not only blind leaders leading the blind. But since they have rejected knowledge, they will also be rejected from being His priest.

God’s people are called to know the law for two reasons. The first reason why we are called to know the law can be found in Romans 7:7-25.

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid! But I did not know sin, except through the law. I would not have known coveting if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of coveting. For apart from the law sin is dead. I was alive without the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was intended for life, proved to be death in me. For sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and killed me through it. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good.

Therefore, has that which is good become death unto me? God forbid! Rather, sin, that it might be shown to be sin, was working death in me through that which is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.

We know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand, for I do not practice what I will to do, but I do the very thing I hate. But if I practice what I do not will to do, I agree with the law that it is good. So now it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwells no good thing, for the will to do what is right is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good I desire to do, I do not do, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who does it, but sin that lives in me.

I find then a law that when I desire to do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God according to the inner man, but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

So then, with my mind, I serve the law of God, but with my flesh, the law of sin. M352

Understanding the first reason for knowing the law is important, because unless we have full knowledge and understating of the law, we cannot meet the requirements for the second reason.

Before we can begin to comprehend the second reason for why we are called to know the law, we first have to remember what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:1-9

Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes, our brother,

To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their Lord and ours:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I thank my God always on your behalf for the grace of God which has been given to you through Jesus Christ. By Him, you are enriched in everything, in all speech, and in all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you are not lacking in any gift while waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, and by Him, you were called to the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. M353

It is through the calling of fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord that those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus are called to be saints; as it is written in Daniel 7:15-18.

I, Daniel, was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. I approached one of those who were standing by and asked him the truth of all this.

So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things. “These great beasts, which are four, are four kings which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.” M354

It is because the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, Daniel saw this in Daniel 7:21-22

I beheld, and the same horn was warring with the saints and prevailing against them until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom. M355

Why was the beast warring against the saints?

The answer to that can be found in Daniel 7:25.

He shall speak words against the Most High and shall wear out the saints of the Most High and plan to change times and law. And they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time. M356

The beast wants to change times and laws, for the saints are those that are not blind and have not forsaken the knowledge of the tree of good and evil. They know the laws of good and evil which can be used in the court of God’s law as written in Daniel 7:26-27.

“But the court shall sit for judgment, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it forever. Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.” M357

For we have to remember that the law shall be in effect till the passing away of heaven and earth. For this is what Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-20.

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one dot or one mark will pass from the law until all be fulfilled. Whoever, therefore, breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do likewise shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever does and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will in no way enter the kingdom of heaven. M358

The question we need to ask ourselves is where do we want to be in the kingdom of heaven?

That is the question we have to ask ourselves, in 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 it says.

For to those who are perishing, the preaching of the cross is foolishness, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God. For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”

Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has God not made the wisdom of this world foolish? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom. But we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks. But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, we preach Christ as the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

For observe your calling, brothers. Among you, not many wise men according to the flesh, not many mighty men, and not many noble men were called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. And God has chosen the base things of the world and things which are despised. Yes, and He chose things which did not exist to bring to nothing things that do, so that no flesh should boast in His presence. But because of Him, you are in Christ Jesus, whom God made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. Therefore, as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.” M359

There is no shame in boasting, for let him who boasts, boast in the Lord. For as Jesus says in Matthew 10:32-34, Whoever will confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father, who is in heaven. But whoever will deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father, who is in heaven.

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. M360

We are called in Ephesians 6:11-17 to, put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your waist girded with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, having your feet fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace, and above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you will be able to extinguish all the fiery arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. M361

Jesus did not come to bring peace on earth, but a sword. A sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Jesus came to bring the Word of God so that what He said in Luke 12:49-53 shall be fulfilled.

“I have come to send fire upon the earth and wish that it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how pressed I am until it is accomplished! Do you suppose that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For there will be from now on five divided in one house, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, and mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” M362

In Isaiah 9:6-7 it says: 

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder.

And his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and over his kingdom, to order it and to establish it with justice and with righteousness, from now until forever.

The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this. M363

If Jesus the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace did not come to bring peace; but came to bring the sword the word of God and bring division, who is it that comes to bring peace?

The one who comes to bring peace is spoken about by Daniel the prophet in Daniel 11:17-24.

He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, bringing with him a proposal of peace which he shall put into effect. And he shall give him the daughter of women to corrupt it. But she shall not stand on his side or be for him. After this, he shall turn his face to the coastlands and shall capture many. But a commander shall put a stop to his reproach against him, and he shall repay him for his reproach. Then he shall turn his face toward the fortresses of his own land, but shall stumble and fall and not be found any more.

“Then one shall stand up in his place who shall send an oppressor in the glory of his kingdom. But within a few days he shall be destroyed, but not in anger or in battle.

“In his place, a vile person shall stand up, to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom. But he shall come in peaceably and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. A flood of armies shall be swept away before him and be broken, and the prince of the covenant as well. After the league is made with him, he shall work deceitfully, and he shall come up and shall become strong with a small force of people. He shall enter peaceably even upon the richest places of the realm. And he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers’ fathers. He shall distribute among them the plunder and spoil and riches. And he shall plan his devices against the strongholds, but only for a time. M364

What the prophet Daniel is talking about is “he” that is with spirit. The spirit of which is warring against the saints, against Christ, and spoken about in John 2:18-27.

Little children, it is the last hour. As you have heard that the antichrist will come, even now there are many antichrists. By this, we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us, for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have remained with us. But they went out, revealing that none of them were of us.

But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. I have written to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? Whoever denies the Father and the Son is the antichrist. No one who denies the Son has the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father.

Let that which you have heard from the beginning remain in you. If that which you have heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.

I have written these things to you concerning those who deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. For as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and just as it has taught you, remain in Him. M365

We need to be able to recognize the spirit of the antichrist that is among us for as you have read that the antichrist will come, and even now there are many antichrists among us.

Our fight is not against our brothers or sisters that believe in Christ, nor is it against them that do not believe in Christ. For even the spirits of darkness know who Jesus is as recorded in Matthew 8:29.

Suddenly they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?” M366

No, our fight is not with those that do not believe in Christ, but the spirit of the antichrist that will one day leave our brothers and sisters, for they are not of us, for if they were of us, they would have remained with us.

This is why we need to learn who we are fighting against. It is the spirit of the antichrist that is among us. That is what Ephesians 6:12 is trying to teach us.

For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. M367

Our fight is against the spiritual forces of evil, that is why it says in 1 John 4:1-6.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and is already in the world.

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world, and therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are of God, and whoever knows God listens to us. Whoever is not of God does not listen to us. This is how we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. M368

What is the difference between the spirit of truth and the spirit of error?

The spirit of truth is in the law and the spirit of error is not in the law. If I were to summarize this in a statement, it would be this. The spirit of truth is the law and the spirit of error is lawlessness.

THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH IS THE LAW, AND THE SPIRIT OF ERROR IS LAWLESSNESS

In Psalms 119:137-144 it says:

You are righteous, O Lord, and upright are Your judgments.

You have set Your testimonies in righteousness and faithfulness.

My zeal has consumed me, because my enemies have forgotten Your words.

Your word is pure and true; therefore, Your servant loves it.

I am small and despised, yet I do not forget Your precepts.

Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Your law is true.

Trouble and anguish have discovered me, but Your commandments are my delight.

The righteousness of Your testimonies is everlasting; grant me understanding, and I shall live. M369

The spirit of error, the spirit of the enemy has forgotten God’s words. The spirit of the antichrist has forgotten the precepts of the Lord.

Just like how we have errored in understanding scriptures, in understanding life and the resurrection. We have forgotten these words Jesus spoke to us in Matthew 22:29-31?

“You err, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like the angels of God in heaven. But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” M370

If our God is not the God of the dead, but of the living, who laws are we following?

Are we following the laws that lead to death or life?

What then is the law that leads away from death and to life?

The answer to that question is found in Matthew 22:34-40

When the Pharisees heard that He silenced the Sadducees, they came together. One of them, who was a lawyer, tested Him by asking Him, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?”

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” M371

If all the Law hang on the commandments of love, then the Law is love. This is why in 1 John 4:7-21 it says:

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this way, the love of God was revealed to us, that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we must also love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwells in us, and His love is perfected in us.

We know that we live in Him, and He in us, because He has given us His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him, and he in God. And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, God’s love is perfected in us, so that we may have boldness on the Day of Judgment, because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. Whoever fears is not perfect in love.

We love Him because He first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar. For whoever does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? We have this commandment from Him: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. M372

There is no fear in love, for perfect love casts out fear. Are we to be afraid of the Day of Judgment?

With love, we have nothing to fear and can stand with boldness on the Day of Judgment.

Now we need to understand that God, who is not the God of the dead, will judge the dead and Jesus will judge the living. But we should not forget that the saints will judge the world as written in 1 Corinthians 6:1-6.

Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to the law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more the things that pertain to this life? If then you have judgments dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint as judges those who are least esteemed in the church? I speak to your shame. Is it true that there is not even one wise man among you who shall be able to judge between his brothers? But brother goes to the law against brother, and before unbelievers, at that. M373

The shame that is spoken about is the lack of knowledge about the law. That is really what we need to be ashamed about. This is the failure spoken about in 1 Corinthians 6:7-11.

Now, therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves do wrong and defraud, and do this to your brothers. Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, and you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus by the Spirit of our God. M374

We have been washed and sanctified, justified against the law of sin in the name of Jesus by the Spirit of God. We have been washed because we make up the body of Christ, and the body is for the Lord Jesus Christ. By understanding the law and how we are governed by it as well as connected to it, we can begin to understand 1 Corinthians 6:12-20.

“All things are lawful to me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be brought under the power of anything. “Food is for the belly, and the belly is for food,” but God will destroy both of them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. God has raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His own power. Do you not know that your bodies are the parts of Christ? Shall I then take the parts of Christ and make them the parts of a harlot? God forbid! What? Do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him.

Escape from sexual immorality. Every sin that a man commits is outside the body. But he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. What? Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God, and that you are not your own? You were bought with a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. M375

The price for our freedom was paid for by Christ, and the knowledge of good and evil will keep us free from shame and the yoke of bondage that sin brings. In Galatians 5:1-15 it says:

Indeed, I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. I testify again to every man who is circumcised that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You have been cut off from Christ, whoever of you are justified by law; you have fallen from grace. For we, through the Spirit, by faith, eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith which works through love.

You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him, who calls you. A little yeast leavens the whole batch. I have confidence in you through the Lord that you will not think otherwise. But he who is troubling you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is. Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. I wish that those who are troubling you would castrate themselves!

You, brothers, have been called to liberty. Only do not use liberty to give an opportunity to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For the entire law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another. M376

We have been called to freedom, to liberty through our faith, through love. For the fullness of Gentiles is the maturity, understanding, and knowledge of love, and the relationship love has to the laws, to faith and to the promise of the law.

It is love that will bring the fullness of Gentiles to the understanding of their inheritance. The same love revealing the love God has for us, through Jesus Christ so that all Gentiles can be sons of God.

Let us now read Galatians 3:2-29 to better understand the relationship we have with the law, with love, and with God; for God is love.

I want to learn only this from you: Did you receive the Spirit through the works of the law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Have you endured so many things for nothing, if indeed it was for nothing? Does God give you the Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by hearing with faith? Even Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Therefore, know that those who are of faith are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel in advance to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

For all who rely on the works of the law are under the curse. For it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the Book of the Law, to do them.” Now it is evident that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, for “The just shall live by faith.” But the law is not of faith, for “The man who does them shall live by them.” Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by being made a curse for us—as it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” so that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Brothers, I am speaking in human terms: Though it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is ratified, no one annuls or adds to it. Now the promises were made to Abraham and his Seed. He does not say, “and to seeds,” meaning many, but “and to your Seed,” meaning one, who is Christ. And this I say, that the law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not annul the covenant that was ratified by God in Christ, so as to nullify the promise. For if the inheritance comes from the law, it no longer comes from the promise. But God gave it to Abraham through a promise.

What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, until the Seed should come to whom the promise was made. And it was ordained through angels by the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not a mediator for only one party, but God is one.

Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? God forbid! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, righteousness would indeed come through the law. But the Scripture has confined all things under sin, that the promise through faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

But before faith came, we were imprisoned under the law, kept for the faith which was later to be revealed. So the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

You are all sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, and there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. M377

Now that we have understood the basics of the law; isn’t the law confusing?

Are we under the law or are we free from the law?

The confusion on whether to follow the law or not follow it comes from lack of knowledge. What is the right thing to do?

This very question has created division not only among the circumcised that are under law, but also the uncircumcised that are not under law.

For as much as the circumcised are able to break free from the law, the uncircumcised have taken upon themselves the yoke of the law.

We need to understand the laws, for they apply to us all, but what we truly need to understand is that He has set us free from the law, from the law of Moses.

In Acts 15:5-11 it says:

Then some believers of the sect of the Pharisees rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the Law of Moses.”

The apostles and elders assembled to consider this matter. After much disputing, Peter rose up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that some time ago God decided among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, approved of them, giving them the Holy Spirit just as He did to us, and made no distinction between them and us, and purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why test God by putting a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.” M378

Those that are circumcised are yoked to the law, which neither their fathers nor Paul and others have been able to bear; except for Jesus.

Are we then free to sin?

No, for there are various types of laws. The freedom spoken about here is from the law of Moses. For we are still governed by the commandments. Does freedom form the law of Moses allows the uncircumcised Gentiles to do things that those who are under the law of Moses cannot?

Yes, for those that are under the law have with it the blessing that come from the law and likewise those that not under the law, have the blessings that come from not being under the law.

Freedom comes from understanding the law. The question we need to ask ourselves is, have we understood the law?

To understand the law, we need to first look at how the laws and commandments are structured.

 

The first commandment given to man by the Lord God was in Genesis 2:16.

The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” M379

After the first commandment was broken, what you will notice is that the Lord God issued 10 more commandments. These are 10 commandments that He gave next, recorded in Exodus 20:1-21.

Now God spoke all these words, saying:

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

You shall have no other gods before Me.

You shall not make for yourself any graven idol, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water below the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of them who hate Me, and showing lovingkindness to thousands of them who love Me and keep My commandments.

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold guiltless anyone who takes His name in vain.

Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, or your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or your sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

You shall not murder.

You shall not commit adultery.

You shall not steal.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.

All the people witnessed the thunder and the lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance. They said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen, but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.”

Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, so that the fear of Him may be before you so that you do not sin.”

The people stood a distance away as Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was. M380

After these ten commandments, the Lord God had issued the Laws, these laws are broken down into two sections. The first one is the law of works required to cleanse sin. The second are moral laws or laws that have been instituted to create order.

The law of works are things people do to get right with God. When people do things to praise God or worship Him these are works and the law governs how this work should be carried out. What is permitted and what is not permitted. For example, in Exodus 20:22-26.

Then the Lord said to Moses: Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, “You yourselves have seen that I have spoken to you from heaven. You shall not make gods of silver alongside Me or make gods of gold for yourselves.

“You shall make an altar of earth for Me and on it you shall sacrifice your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep, and your oxen. In every place where I cause My name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you. If you will make Me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of cut stones, for if you use your tool on it, you will have polluted it. And you shall not go up by steps to My altar, so that your nakedness will not be exposed on it.” M381

There are other laws that govern work. Laws that state what can be done and who can do it. There are laws that govern morality, right, and wrong. Laws are designed to bring clarity to what it permitted and what is not. It is used to help address the gray areas that might come about from not understanding the commandments.

A few moral laws can be found in Exodus 22:16-21

If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged and has relations with her, he must surely endow her to be his wife. If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must pay money according to the dowry of virgins.

You must not allow a sorceress to live.

Whoever has relations with a beast must surely be put to death.

He who sacrifices to any god other than the Lord alone shall be utterly destroyed.

You must neither wrong a foreigner nor oppress him, for you were foreigners in the land of Egypt. M382

The following is my take on trying to visualize the laws and which branch they would fall under.

 

We have to remember these words from Jesus in Matthew 22:37-40.

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” M383

Visually it would look something like this.

 

To better understand the law, we should understand the difference between a law and a commandment.

The word law is defined in Merriam-Webster as:

  • a binding custom or practice of a community
  • a rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority
  • the whole body of such customs, practices, or rules
  • the control brought about by the existence or enforcement of such law
  • the revelation of the will of God set forth in the Old Testament
  • the first part of the Jewish scriptures
  • legal knowledge MW61

With this, we can see that the law binds a community of people, and the law of the Old Testament (covenant) was binding His chosen people to a rule of conduct. What people can and cannot do, which brings about control. One has to have legal knowledge of the laws and how to interpret them. That is why we have lawyers today, for their ability to defend and prosecute based on what the law states. It is due to how the law is interpreted and used that we have judges.

This is why in 1 John 2:1-2 it says:

My little children, I am writing these things to you, so that you do not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. M384

Jesus Christ, our Lord God, is our Advocate with the Father. The meaning of the word advocate as defined in Merriam-Webster is:

  • a person who argues for or supports a cause or policy
  • a person who works for a cause or group
  • a person who argues for the cause of another person in a court of law MW62

Jesus is the person who argues for us, and supports our cause for salvation, He is seated at the right hand of the Father and not only works to support us, but also to argue our case in the court of law; the case for salvation.

Next, we need to understand the meaning of the word commandment so we can see the difference between a law that we are asked not to break and a command or commandment that we are asked to obey. In Merriam-Webster the meaning of the word command is:

  • to give (someone) an order
  • to tell (someone) to do something in a forceful and often official way
  • to have authority and control over (a group of people, such as soldiers)
  • to deserve or be able to get or receive (something) MW63

When the commands or commandment were issued, we were given orders, it was something official. It was something that controlled and had authority over us, over soldiers of Jesus Christ. The commandments were issued so that we may be deserving to be able to get the blessings and receive the rewards that are promised.

Jesus taught us this concerning the law and commandments in Matthew 5:17-20.

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one dot or one mark will pass from the law until all be fulfilled. Whoever, therefore, breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do likewise shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever does and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will in no way enter the kingdom of heaven. M385

We are not to break the commandments in any way shape and form. The commandments supersede the laws. They are higher than all the laws and the prophets. This is why Jesus told us that all the Law and the prophets hang on the commandments of love.

To understand this difference let us learn from Jesus again. We have been given the following commandment by God our Lord in Exodus 20:14

You shall not commit adultery. M386

The commandment was not to commit adultery but the law of Moses for those that are circumcised broke the commandment of God our Lord, when he permitted divorce.

That is why in Matthew 19:3-9 Jesus explains to us the importance of the commandments and how we have to ensure that the laws that are prescribed by the prophets should not break that which we have been commanded.

The Pharisees also came to Him, tempting Him and saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?”

He answered, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no man put asunder.”

They said to Him, “Then why did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to send her away?”

He said to them, “Moses, for the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery. And whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”M387

In the beginning, it was not so, the commandment you shall not commit adultery was enough, but out the hardness of hearts came a law.

A law that was contrary to commandment but required the teaching of Jesus for us to understand the importance of the commandment from the law.

It is without doubt that the way Jesus teaches us these things can shed light to so many things. But in order for us to understand these teachings we have to have knowledge of good and evil. Knowledge of the law and of the commandments.

In Exodus 20:13 the commandment given by Jesus, Lord and God on Mount Sinai was this.

You shall not murder. M388

Jesus had to explain again the law from the commandment and we can see this in John 8:1-11.

But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning, He returned to the temple. All the people came to Him, and He sat down and taught them. The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery. When they had put her in the middle, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. Now Moses in the law commanded us to stone such, but what do You say?” They said this, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him.

But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear them. So when they continued asking Him, He stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.

Being convicted by their conscience, those who heard it went out one by one, beginning with the eldest even to the last. Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had stood up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are your accusers? Did no one condemn you?”

She said, “No one, Lord.”

Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” M389

Here we see the law of Moses where the sin of adultery if convicted would lead to death by stoning which would lead them all of them into sin by breaking the commandment of murder.

I like this story because it shows how amazing Jesus was, by saving not only the woman’s life but also all those that accused her. He saved them from the sin of murder which is one of the commandments by interpreting the law correctly.

What we may also miss is the most humbling and beautiful statement made by Jesus in John 8:11 when He said to her, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” M390

Why did Jesus not condemn her?

Because in John 8:7 He said, “let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” M391

What I’m going to explain next is going to be challenging to say the very least, but follow it through till the end and re-read it if necessary.

First, we need to understand original sin and for that, we can look to Romans 5:12-13.

Therefore, as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, so death has spread to all men, because all have sinned.

For until the law, sin was in the world. But sin is not counted when there is no law. M392

FOR UNTIL THE LAW, SIN WAS IN THE WORLD, BUT SIN IS NOT COUNTED WHEN THERE IS NO LAW

Original sin came into the world through one man, and that sin lead to death, that sin spread to all men including Jesus.

This is very important to understand Jesus Christ did not sin, but as He was born into this world as flesh, He inherited original sin; which is death, but that sin is not counted except for the one who made it.

In Romans 5:19 it says, for just as through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One the many will be made righteous. M393

Jesus was able to take away the sin of the world, the original sin that brought death because He was the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world and by doing so brought back life. We can see this spoken about in John 1:29

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.M394

Now, because Jesus did not break any of the law, He was able to be the perfect lamb without spot or blemish. He did not get a spot because He did not break any law, or any of the commandments; He was without blemish because He fulfilled all the laws that were spoken about by the prophets.

This is why in Matthew 5:17 He says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish, but to fulfill.” M395

For if the law was abolished then sin would not be counted. This is what we learn in Romans 5:13.

For until the law, sin was in the world. But sin is not counted when there is no law. M396

Now that we understand why the law exists, we can begin to understand what is written in Galatians 3:23.

We were imprisoned under the law and commandments, kept for the faith which was later to be revealed. M397

The law was created to imprison the circumcised, to teach them. It was created to serve as a tutor to those that have been chosen by God.

We had a commandment that warned us about death, and we know there is no law or commandment that leads us to life but only righteousness.

This is why in Galatians 3:21 this is written.

Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? God forbid! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, righteousness would indeed come through the law. M398

There is no law or commandment that can give life, for that is what the Lamb of God gave to the world.

The lack of knowledge is what destroys God’s people. The lack of knowing how breaking the law leads to death and the promises of the law that lead to life.

Let us now come to full understanding of the law that is the same for both Jew and Gentile. For the circumcised and the uncircumcised. For the laws of the circumcised are not abolished, but the law of Jew and Gentile is established and is righteous and fair. This law is spoken about in Romans 3:21-31.

But now, apart from the law, the righteousness of God is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets. This righteousness of God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all and upon all who believe, for there is no distinction. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith, in His blood, for a demonstration of His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins previously committed, to prove His righteousness at this present time so that He might be just and be the justifier of him who has faith in Jesus.

Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. Therefore, we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the works of the law. Is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, seeing it is one God, who shall justify the circumcised by faith, and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then make the law void through faith? God forbid! Instead, we establish the law. M399

The law of the Jew and the Gentile is not abolished or void. The law of faith has been established for both the circumcised and the uncircumcised. The law of faith which brings the promise of life and forgiveness of sin. It is through the law of faith that righteousness can be revealed. This is why in Romans 4:5 it says.

But to him who does not work, but believes in Him, who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness. M400

In Romans 4:1-3 this was said about Abraham.

What then shall we say that Abraham, our father according to the flesh, has found? If Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” M401

Belief in God was credited to him as righteousness. Would that not be true for all who believe in God?

Would they also not be credited the same righteousness?

We need to understand that belief and faith are two separate things.

In Merriam-Webster belief is defined as:

  • a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing
  • conviction of the truth of some statement or the reality of some being or phenomenon especially when based on examination of evidence
  • a feeling that something is good, right, or valuable
  • a feeling of being sure that someone or something exists or that something is true MW64

Abraham, for example, believed God, he had a state of mind where the trust he placed in what he needed to do in God. He had a conviction that it was true, a feeling that he had to do the right thing because God exists and is true.

Now faith is different, and it’s important to understand not only how it’s different but why it’s different. In Merriam-Webster faith is defined as:

  • strong belief or trust in someone or something
  • a system of religious beliefs
  • belief and trust in and loyalty to God
  • firm belief in something for which there is no proof MW65

Faith is having a strong belief in God, it is a system of religious beliefs, it is loyalty to God and in believing in something for which there is no proof.

The subtle difference between faith and belief is often hard to describe, I’m going to try and use this analogy to help.

Faith is the measure of a person’s strength in what they believe.

FAITH IS THE MEASURE OF A PERSON’S STRENGTH IN WHAT THEY BELIEVE

The enemy tests our faith, our strength in what we believe; that is why we have to keep exercising our faith through works otherwise our faith may die.

So as it says in James 2:17, faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. M402

Likewise, if one does work but has no faith or belief, the works are not credited as righteousness but as a debt. We see this spoken about in Romans 4:3-4.

What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

Now to him who works, wages are not given as a gift, but as a debt. M403

This is where it gets interesting, and we see the beauty of God. It is in Romans 4:5 where we see the value God has placed on a person’s faith (strength) in believing in what God has asked.

But to him who does not work, but believes in Him, who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness. M404

Therefore, let us not go into debt with works that justify us, but let us enter into credit with belief in God and works that bear the fruit of love. For it is with love we will fulfill the law, just as it says in Romans 13:8-10.

Owe no one anything, except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not give false testimony, You shall not covet,” and if there are any other commandments, are summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love works no evil to a neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law. M405

Knowledge of the law of good and evil is important. Now that we have the knowledge of good which is love, we will be able to fulfill the law. Let us also remember that which is evil so we can strive to stay away from it. The knowledge of both good and evil is spoken about in Galatians 5:13-14.

You, brothers, have been called to liberty. Only do not use liberty to give an opportunity to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For the entire law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” M406

For the days when the opportunity to love fails and the battle between the flesh and the Spirit seem great, let us remember Ephesian 6:12 and Galatians 5:15-25

For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. M407

I say then, walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh. These are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Now the works of the flesh are revealed, which are these: adultery, sexual immorality, impurity, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousy, rage, selfishness, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I previously warned you, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control; against such there is no law. Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be conceited, provoking one another and envying one another. M408

Let us share the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, self-control and faith.

Let us have knowledge of Christ Jesus Lord and God as it says in Philippians 3:1-21

Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me, and it is reassuring for you. Watch out for dogs, watch out for evil workers, watch out for those who practice mutilation. For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, and boast in Christ Jesus, and place no trust in the flesh, though I also have confidence in the flesh.

If any other man thinks that he has reason to trust in the flesh, I have more: I was circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, and a Hebrew of Hebrews; as concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; and concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

But what things were gain to me, I have counted these things to be loss for the sake of Christ. Yes, certainly, I count everything as loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have forfeited the loss of all things and count them as rubbish that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is of God on the basis of faith, to know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if somehow I might make it to the resurrection of the dead.

Not that I have already attained or have already been perfected, but I follow after it so that I may lay hold of that for which I was seized by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I do not count myself to have attained, but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal to the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Therefore, let those of us who are mature be thus minded. And if you think differently in any way, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, according to what we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.

Brothers, become fellow imitators with me and observe those who walk according to our example. For many are walking in such a way that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ. I have told you of them often and tell you again, even weeping. Their destination is destruction, their god is their appetite, their glory is in their shame, their minds are set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, from where also we await for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our body of humiliation, so that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working of His power even to subdue all things to Himself. M409

It is through the liberty provided to us that our bodies can be transformed from humiliation; from being ashamed of sin to being free in Christ and not ashamed.