Lae • Devotion 5

Rules and Freedom
Pastor David Wilson

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin out the scenery, breaking my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?


The Five Man Electric Band sang this in 1970 to a culture that was shifting to a lack of trust in their leadership. The youth were questioning everything they had been told and jumping past the conservative guidelines set by previous generations. What if they could have had no rules at all; would that have been the freeing answer for their “oppression?”

Matthew 5:17-20 records Christ teaching about rules and guidelines to give security to our lives. I believe that some may have believed that Jesus was going to get rid of the whole law, but instead, He states in verse 17 that He came to “fulfill them.”

Jesus fulfilled all the laws through living a perfect life and not offending even in one. It was necessary, per the Law, that the sacrificial lamb be perfect for the sacrifice of the people’s sins; He was worthy. Jesus presents a challenge in verse 20 to any who may call themselves His disciples. He said that our righteousness must exceed the scribes and Pharisees to get into Heaven. That is disconcerting since they knew all the rules and laws and even if we miss one we deserve the punishment.

The fourth Beatitude says that we are blessed when we hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matthew 5:6). Righteousness is merely holiness. Do we desire holiness? Are we pursuing holiness in our hearts, minds, souls, and with all our strength? If we are to achieve holiness that exceeds the scribes and Pharisees, we must recognize that there is security in the standards God gave us. The only security blanket we can have is the grace extended to humanity by Jesus’ sacrifice. When we place our faith in Jesus and trust His deity, God chooses to see the payment and forgive our debt of sin.

The Five Man Electric Band sang of their displeasure to rules and regulations, but as believers, we can find security and love in the Lord’s rules and regulations; they create the framework for righteousness. Please revisit the question from earlier, “Would removing all the rules allow freedom to people’s lives?” Rules and guidelines provide security and show love. When people are not afforded rules and guidelines, they try to make their own way and they fail to hit perfection.

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