"And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil... And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Gen. 2:9, 16-17. He planted the tree in the garden. He didn't have to. He did not put a fence around it. He commanded us not to eat of that tree because He wants us to live with Him for eternity. However, He gave us the freedom to eat the fruit of that tree, even though He knows it will poison our minds and lead to our death.
The liberty He included in creation allows us to decide our eternal fate, "But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." Jam. 1:25. He gave us a choice, and we are in the process of deciding on eternal life or death, "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:" Deut. 30:19.
He called His law of liberty the royal law, "If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:" Jam. 2:8. We do not show our love for our neighbor when we ignore this law and we will be judged by it, "So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty." Jam. 2:12. If we choose to have the kind of faith that does not produce works, we will be fruitless, without the hope He promises, "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Jam. 2:20. So, what does the law of liberty require?
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Tim. 3:16-17. To properly understand the law, we must read the scriptures. "And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life." Jn. 5:37-40. Jesus did not come to destroy the law, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." Matt. 5:17, but rather to help clarify it by fulfilling it. This was necessary because the Pharisees were busy adding ordinances to God's simple law of liberty and confusing the people, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." Gal. 5:1. We have been freed from the ordinances by accepting Jesus as our savior, "And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses." Acts 13:39. To fall back on the ordinances would mean Christ died in vain. "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." Gal. 2:21.
"Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;" 1 Tim. 1:5-8, and using it lawfully means we must bear one another's burdens, "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ." Gal. 6:2. We cannot "pretend" we are holy, "Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." 1 Pet. 1:16, we must be partners with Christ by doing the work, "He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." 1 Jn. 2:6.
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