Free
St. Andrew, Apostle
30 November 2018
Early in the Reformation Martin Luther made a pun on his last name using Greek. He began to sign himself "Martinus Eleutheros," meaning "Martin the Free." He was a free man; free from the curse of the law. In the presence of God the Law no longer had the power to curse, oppress and enslave his conscience. Christ's life, death, and resurrection delivered Luther from the power of the Law. In the contest between the Law and Christ, Christ is the winner. Christ is the law's Lord and therefore when He pronounces the law's end, that is the law's end. If Christ has pronounced the law abrogated, then it is powerless to enslave. This is the basis for our glorious freedom before God. If Christ has set us free, then we are all "Eleutheroi."

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

   Martin Luther
"When Paul says that through Christ we have been set free from the curse of the Law (Gal 3:13), he is certainly speaking about the entire Law, and especially about the Moral Law. It alone actually accuses, curses, and condemns consciences.... Therefore, we say that the Law of the Decalog has no right to accuse and terrify the conscience in which Christ reigns through grace, for Christ has made this right obsolete.
 
"This does not mean that the conscience does not feel the terrors of the Law at all. Of course, it feels them. But it means that the conscience cannot be condemned and brought to the point of despair by such things. For 'there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus' (Rm 8:1); again: 'If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed' (Jn 8:36). Regardless of how terrified the Christian is by the Law and how much he acknowledges his sin, he does not despair; for he believes in Christ, into whom he has been baptized and through whom he has the forgiveness of sins. Now if our sin has been forgiven through Christ Himself, the Lord of the Law-and forgiven by His having given Himself for it-the Law, that slave, no longer has a right to accuse and condemn us because of our sin; for this has been forgiven, and we have become free by the deliverance of the Son. Therefore, the entire Law has been abrogated for believers in Christ." 

Martin Luther, 
Lectures on Galatians, 4.27
Galatians 5:1-6

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
 
Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love. (ESV)
Prayer
Lord Christ, eternal Son of the Father, You have said that if the Son sets us free we are free indeed. Keep me from giving up my glorious freedom by being enslaved to the law again. Send Your Holy Spirit through the Gospel that my freedom would not become an occasion for sin, but rather the opportunity for loving service. Amen.
 
For Kay Scheffler, who suffered a stroke, that God would strengthen her every day
 
For Robert W. Paul, Headmaster of Memorial Lutheran School, that God would continue to bless him in his service to Christian education
 
For our Christian brothers and sisters in Nicaragua, that our heavenly Father would be an ever present help in trouble
Art: DYCK, Sir Anthony van  Pentecost  (1618-20)
Memorial Lutheran Church
smurray@mlchouston.org
http://www.mlchouston.org
© Scott Murray 2018
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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