Written By Eddie Vines

Eddie Vines is a former Jefferson county Judge and currently serves as President of Faith Fortress Ministries

But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under [e]the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under [f]the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 

Galatians 4:4-5

A few years ago during a trip to Israel, the group I was travelling with stayed at a hotel that in addition to the usual bank of elevators had one called the “Shabbat elevator” The thing that was different about this one was that on its way up and on its way down, it automatically stopped on each floor. This was done so that observant Jews staying at the hotel on the Sabbath would not have to perform the “work” of pressing the button to select their floor.

This struck me as a perfect modern-day example of the hopeless entanglements created by legalism. The extreme type of law-keeping represented by this elevator misses the point of God’s command to perform our work the other six days of the week and to keep the Sabbath holy. Other examples of rule-based morality that might hit closer to home for the average Christian would be “don’t smoke!” or “go to church!”.

The gift that Jesus offers through his work on the cross is a kind of liberty that inspires us toward obedience and service to him, not simply because it is a rule, but rather because our hearts overflow with gratitude and joy toward our creator.

When we require ourselves to live according to a moral check-list we miss out on the opportunity to enter in to the intimate relationship that God desires to have with us. We also do a disservice to Him when we shackle ourselves with the very bonds that he sent his son to deliver us from.