“But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does”
the perfect law of liberty
James characterizes the Bible as “the perfect law of liberty.” If we follow the principles of the Word, we will experience personal liberty. We will be free from slavery to sin. The Bible is a book of liberation.
“Jesus answered them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed’” (John 8:34-36).
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:2-8).
“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).
The Bible is “perfect” because it is inerrant. It contains no factual errors or misrepresentations. It perfectly reveals the will of God for man. It will not allow for any distortions of reality. It will not allow us to fool ourselves into thinking that we are better than we are.
“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7).
The Bible does not allow us to fool ourselves when we respond to it with positive volition.
The principles of God’s Word give us the liberty to live the Christian life. They will give us the freedom to love, serve, and honor God. We cannot orient ourselves to God without divine principles.
Ironically, God liberates the Christian by the “law of liberty.” Law and liberty appear to be opposites to the modern mind. How can a man be free and under the law at the same time? That is because the principles of God are true to every situation.
Following the laws of marriage gives freedom within marriage. Adultery is a violation of the law of marriage. Adultery brings slavery to the violator. The more faithful we are to the principles of God’s plan for our lives, the greater blessing we experience. God designs all of His laws for the purpose of liberty.
Liberty and license are different. Biblical liberty is the freedom to live within the principles of God. License gives free rein to the flesh.
“For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.‘ But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!” (Galatians 5:13-15).