Paul warns people not to put themselves under a yoke of bondage, but rather to stand in the liberty Christ has provided.
Most interpretations of this verse sound like this “Christ has set us free from the law, so enjoy the freedom of living apart from the bondage of Law.”
I think this misses the point.
Certainly the Law has something to do with it, but is Paul talking antinomianism? (“Antinomianism” is the big word that literally means “without law.”)
Paul is not advocating antinomianism. One chapter after the “yoke of bondage” verse is “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Paul wants us to fulfill a law, he’s making a point here about HOW.
Paul later says a couple verses after the “yoke of bondage” verse that love fulfills the law. So, we need to be careful what Paul is really saying. Paul’s initial context in all this is circumcision–if you get circumcised for the Law, you bind yourself to do the whole Law, which even Israel couldn’t do.
No one has ever been saved by deeds of the law. No one. Not even anyone in Israel. Not any one who lived under the law was saved by deeds of the law. The law showed us our inability, our need for a Savior and was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ.
A man of faith will have no problem with the law of God. As a man walks in the Spirit He fulfills the law of God. As Paul later says in Galatians 5 (the same chapter as the “yoke of bondage” verse) that those who walk in the Spirit are not under law.
Why not? Because the Spirit produces fruit, none of which are against the law (also in the same chapter as the “yoke of bondage” verse).
Paul is saying that with the Spirit we have liberty, we are not bound to the Law as a fleshly duty. Instead, we are released into the liberty of the Spirit, who is going to lead you in love, bearing burdens of others, and fulfilling the law!
The law is only a burden to our flesh! Paul doesn’t want you toiling under the ineffectual power of your flesh to try to complete God’s spiritual guidelines, it won’t work and will only be burdensome duty for you–a yoke of bondage.
Rather, receive the Spirit and walk in the Spirit and by so doing you won’t have any problems with the law anyway! This same thing was true for Israel when they were under the law. None of them were saved by deeds of the law; all who were saved were saved by grace through faith.
Any true believer in the Old Covenant did not see the law as a burden; he saw it as perfect liberty. Any non-believer only saw the law as burden and a yoke of bondage.
The law wasn’t the bondage; the state of the person–being a believer or unbeliever–is the condition that made the law either bondage or liberty.
That’s why David, in his great Psalm about the Word, Psalm 119, can say “And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.” Get that?! “Precepts” is another word for “commandment.”
David says seeking God’s law is the same as walking at liberty! Why? Because he sought it by faith and not by fleshly works.
There is much goofiness in the Church today about people trying to eliminate the Law, trying to tell you that listening to God is a yoke of bondage. That is blasphemy. Listening to God is not legalism; it’s faith.
For the person of faith, the law IS liberty as it frees you up from all the mindless, humanistic, self-serving blather you hear around you. It’s a light to our feet and a lamp to our path. Walk in it and enjoy the liberty that is there!
(Yes, law and liberty are a huge issue. I know I did not cover that one point you wanted me to cover. Yes, I know I did not phrase everything the way you would have, nor did I emphasize the one thing the way you would have. This is not a personal affront to you. I am addressing a particular point in the subject, not the whole subject. If this blog irritates you then quit reading it. If you can say it better, wordpress.com offers free blog platforms for you to start your own blog and say what you want.)