To be bound is to be placed under legal or moral restraint or obligation. While to be free is to be relieved or rid of what confines or restrains; the permanent removal from whatever binds or oppresses.
The Prophet Daniel tells of a very good example of how truly blessed it is to be free in observing the Laws of God; it is an honorable mentioning of three Hebrew men by the names of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
In Daniel 3:16-28 we read where, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.*If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. *But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” *Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated. *And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. *Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. *Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. *And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. *Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, “Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said unto the king, “True, O king.” *He answered and said, “Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” *Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire. *And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them. *Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.
It takes true dedication to stand up for that which is right. If a person is not accustomed to doing that which is right, as a normal part of their life, they won’t likely be prone to observe or do that which is right when put to the test. Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil, Jeremiah 13:23.
There is a saying that goes like this: as a tree falls (man) there shall it be.
An amazing thought about this incident is that their hair was not singed and the smell of the fire/smoke was not upon them.
Have you ever went into a convince store being well dressed for a special meeting and when you came out of the store you smelled like whatever it was they were cooking? I have. You walk in wearing a clean smelling suite and when you come out, the suit needs to be cleaned.
In like manner, sin will leave its effect/stain on a person. If you are a person that is given to doing that which is not right, you will not be able to endure.
However, to come into the presence of the Living God, is to be changed into His likeness. Praise His Holy Name!
In Psalms 16:12 we read where King David said, Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.
The Prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 43:2 said, When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
You may not have literally walked into a fire, but you may have been a situation that was, in a sense, very hot or extremely difficult.
Regardless of the situations a person may encounter, when a person is willing to observe God’s Holy Word as it is written, God will honor that person and keep them and provide for them all things that pertain to life.
In Daniel 6:5 & 16-22 we read where the Prophet Daniel went through an extreme trial. Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.*Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.
*And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel. *Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of music brought before him: and his sleep went from him. *Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. *And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? *Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. *My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.
The Prophet Daniel was not a person that was given to being disobedient to God. In fact, he was emphatic about serving God with all his spirit, soul and body. Because Daniel refused to eat the King’s meat, to drink the Kings drink and bow down and pray to a king/man, God kept him from harm in every situation. In God’s Word we read where He said that He would cause even our enemies to be at peace with him, Proverbs 16:7.
In 2nd Corinthians 2:9 the Apostle Paul wrote, For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.
Isn’t it wonderful to know that there are Ministers (like the Apostle Paul) around that have enough concern about the well-being of the Saints to inquire of their state and instruct them in the way that is right and pleasing in the sight of God?
The Apostle Paul in 1st Corinthians 7:39 wrote, The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.
What the Apostle Paul is basically saying here is that when a person is dead, they are not required to observe and do the things that are Written in God’s Holy word. They are free from the obligation and or ability of doing anything.
In Romans 7:2-3 it is Written, The woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. *So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
One thought to consider here is that a person that is a sinner is already dead, they have not the life of Christ in them therefore, they are as good as dead. On the other hand, a person that has been Borne Again is a Saint and is Alive in Christ Jesus therefore, they are obligated to observe and do the Laws of God for as long as they have Life in them.
The Apostle Paul confirms the above statement in Romans 7:1 where he wrote, Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
The Saints of God are bound to the Laws of God. While, sinners are bound to satan.
The Apostle Paul in Romans 6:13 went on to say, Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
The question here is, who have you submitted your life to? Do you live the life of the world? Must you have your own way to be happy?
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? *But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. *Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness, Romans 6:16-18.
The Bible states that a righteous man is satisfied from himself, Proverbs 14:14.
Those people that receive not the love of the truth shall be damned, 2nd Thessalonians 2:12. However, God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief (obeying) of the truth, 2nd Thessalonians 2:13.
In Romans 7:14 in part the Apostle Paul said, For we know that the law is spiritual:
When God made mankind, He created him in His image, Genesis 1:26. The Scriptures also state that God is a Spirit, St. John 4:24. Since mankind is made a spirit it stands to reason that they should observe and do the Spiritual Laws of God in order to maintain life’s freedom.
In 2nd John 1:6 we read, And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.
One thing to remember about God is that He says what He means, He means what He says and He does not change His mind. What does God require but to observe and do His Word.
In 1st John 3:4 we read, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”
Without the stipulations of the Law there cannot be any violation and without God, life does not exist.
The Apostle Peter in 1st Peter 1:25 said, The word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
A key word here is (endureth) which means it does not ware out, it is everlasting.
One Scripture states that God’s Word will last longer than the earth,
St. Matthew 5:18.
The things that are able to be changed are the physical or carnal things but Spiritual things are and will always be Spiritual.
In 1st Timothy 1:8 we read, But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; *Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, *For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
If the Law is good, why would anyone want to do away with it? The purpose of the Laws of God are like road signs, they are designed to help one to know they are going the right way. Laws are also designed to protect the innocent and to judge those that would cause harm.
In 1st Corinthians 15:56 the Apostle Paul wrote, The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
The Law gives us confidence to continue the path we have chosen. Without the Law, one might question whether or not they have chosen the right road. Have you chosen the right way? Are you on the right road? If not, while there is still breath in your body, choose Life in Jesus rather than death.
One final note in closing: Without the Law, we have no government or rule of authority. Thank God for His Law that keeps His children, (the Saints), on the Highway of Holiness.
Derwood A. Stewart, Minister
House of Prayer Sabbath Ministries