But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
I Corinthians 13:10
But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
Liberty, according to most any dictionary out there, is the ability to freely choose, not through some outside force or arbiter, but through the exercise of one's own free will. Like Law & Grace, some would probably say that Law and Liberty are two opposing ideas! Law and freedom seem like they would be in opposition, right? If there is an external Law saying that you cannot do a certain thing, then wouldn't you say that hampers your free will just a bit? Sure, you have the free will to disobey that Law, but then that usually hampers your Liberty!
Law, though often external, and outside of oneself, is in this case written on our hearts! The Law as given through Moses on Sinai, and written on tablets of stone, was simply a shadow, in part, of what was to come, that perfect Law, written on our hearts by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit!
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.
Not much earlier in this same chapter, James talked about 'the implanted word'. This is that same Word/Law which the prophet Jeremiah wrote of as being written on our hearts. Because this Law is now written on our hearts, and internally implanted on our conscience, we can now truly obey this Law with Liberty, since it is an integral part of us ( 'in Him we live, move, and have our being'-Acts 17:28 )!
Previously, we have explored the notion that Jesus was the Law of God incarnate, that He not only filled up ( fulfilled ) the Law, but that He, in His Flesh, was actually the embodiment of the Law! As the Body of Christ, and in that sense, the corporate Son of God, we are, in that sense, a Law unto ourselves, that Law being the Law of Love!
We have the Scriptures, our English Bible, in various forms, to which we might turn for instruction in righteousness ( I Timothy 3:16 ), and it is usually a good thing that we do, because there is such a cacophony of voices telling us what we should and should not do, what we do and do not want, that we might quickly become confused and unsure of what voice to listen to!
Though we have the Scriptures in written form, with 'the implanted word' being written on our hearts, as God promised through Jeremiah, one might wonder then, 'Do we even need the Bible any longer?' Well, yes! James also writes later on in his epistle, 'faith without works is dead?' Although it is truly Faith Alone that saved us ( 'not of yourselves.......'-Ephesians 2:8 ), God works together with us, by our works proving our faith. Through our religious knowledge ( in action ) of His Written Word, we thus prove the inner work of the Holy Spirit, and the Law written on our hearts.
What shall we do with this 'perfect law of liberty'? Shall we become libertines, and do as Israel did in the times of the Judges, 'every man doing what was right in his own eyes', since we are, in effect, a Law unto ourselves? How much Liberty would there be in that? No True Liberty, for in doing whatever we wanted, we would be hampering, or outright denying the Liberty of another! With the Perfect, or complete Law of Liberty, as found in Jesus the Christ, the Law of Love, there is no hampering or denying another's liberty! 'Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed'; conversely, if the Son does not set you free, you are not truly free!
There is no freedom, no true liberty apart from Christ!
Charles Haddon Shank